Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Europe Recap. And Everything Else.

SO I'm just going to act like it's not been 57 years since I last blogged . . . right. Hi. I'm back. And I'm sitting at Starbucks planning to write this post and do my taxes and finish a project for my boss all in the next, say, hour and a half. So, first, I need to tell you all about Europe! Or instead, I'm mostly going to show you because I have some really great pictures. And because this was an amazing trip and I had so many wonderful experiences that I really don't know how to put them all into words!

This was our itinerary: We started out in Paris for 4 days. Then we spent two days in Rome, two days in Florence (which included a day trip tour of the gorgeous Tuscan countryside), two days in Venice, and two days in Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland.

Some of the most memorable moments: This BEAUTIFUL little town in the Tuscan countryside called San Gimignano, home of the world's best gelato and most stunning views! Going on a bike tour of Paris at night (most nerve-wracking experience ever, but fun! I had not been on a bike, except stationary bikes at the gym, since 2007). Traveling around in a "water taxi" in Venice. Climbing to the top of the Eiffel Tower, to the top of huge hills in Rome and Florence, and to the top of a cathedral in Reykjavik. Experiencing the "polar nights" in Iceland because you're so close to the North Pole and it's December, so there's only 4 hours of sunlight each day. Three words: blackberry lavender gelato. The Louvre and seeing the Mona Lisa up close and personal. Touring massive "Christmas markets" in Paris. The Sistine Chapel and seeing Michelangelo's "Hand of God" painting. Sunset over the Venetian canals. The Colosseum at sunset. Going to a pizza-making class at the Florence Food and Wine Academy. Ferris wheel rides over Paris! Seeing the aurora borealis in a boat off the coast of Reykjavik. The Leaning Tower of Pisa. Lunch at a Tuscan winery. The best almond cookies in the world in Siena, Italy. Seeing the painted houses on the island of Burano off the coast of Venice. Going to a Vivaldi concert in Venice. Having the best brunches EVER in Iceland--they do brunch right! Tromping through 18+ inches of snow in Iceland and wondering what I had gotten us into!

All told, in two weeks, we went to 4 countries, including the smallest country in the world (Vatican City), 8 cities, and multiple islands, and walked more than 100 miles through Europe. In one day, we traveled by boat, bus, metro, plane, train, and car--I wonder if I'll ever do all that in one day again! We had such a great time and are so grateful to have the chance to travel together. Next up for us? Prince Edward Island, Morocco, Spain, and Portugal are on our list for this year . . . because life's too short not to ride a camel and go surfing in Africa and explore Madrid and see the Anne of Green Gables house, and I could go on! I have a million pictures, but these are my favorites:

And since coming back, I've been incredibly busy with the holidays, volunteering at the Passion 2016 conference, lawyering, and planning goals for the new year (post on this coming very soon.) I hope you all are having a very happy new year . . . more coming soon!

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