I am so happy to report that it looks like things are pretty much back to normal here on the website.  I am having some issues with font size, but that is a minor issue and I will play with it as time goes on.  I will cut and paste a blog post I wrote back in mid-October before I realized that the site was all bungled up with cyber-bugs!  Here's to smooth sailing from now on... 

(Edited on Feb. 6/13 with new font.  Took longer than anticipated!)

October 15, 2012

Wow. I am so bad, so, so lazy. I have thought about writing in this blog repeatedly over the last two months only to stare at a blank screen when I sit at my computer. While I'm driving in my car I have a zillion thoughts I'd like to write down but when I'm faced with some free time I feel like I'm a boring suburban lady with nothing interesting to say. This is not a pity party in any sense, just a straight up admission!

So now I'm here and renewing my commitment to writing down my ramblings about all things travel related - and anything else that crops up. For now I'll do a little summary of our summer trip, my thoughts on the trip in general, and anything I wish we could have changed.

First things first - Paris never disappoints me. I don't want to oversell the city to anyone and cause disappointment when they don't fall in love at first sight, but for me that city almost feels like a second home. My mom recently gave me the world's biggest and heaviest book entitled 'Paris' that photo documents the city from basically the inception of photography. Lots of little pictures and captions as well as full blown historical articles. I am LOVING it. I am such a nerd - I will pore over the photos and remember where I've walked and what I've done (and what I've eaten!) while transposing myself into the photo from 1868. So interesting.

Our week in Paris was great. We ate fabulous food and explored areas of the city we had never seen before. There is always an internal struggle for me whether to visit a beloved city again or go somewhere new. There are so many interesting places in the world to go to, and yet Paris draws me back again and again. Luckily my husband is on board with Paris as much as I am as we both thoroughly enjoy the food, culture and atmosphere. Having a full week this time, and having already visited all the top 'sights' on previous visits, meant that we could just relax and wander. Our kids are now at the age where they actually get a little history and culture out of our visits, and we do our best to explain things as much as possible so they can get an understanding of what they are seeing and doing. On previous trips they were perfectly content to simply eat crepes and fly their mini-Barbies around on baguette pieces!

A full two weeks in Amsterdam is a long time and more than necessary, but we had so much family to visit and lots of events set up so it was the appropriate length of time for us this year. My only regret is that I wish we would've taken 3 days or so and gone for a little jaunt somewhere new to mix things up. Our day trip into Germany was fun, as was our daytrip exploration of the town of Ijmuiden. However, a train trip deeper into Germany or even into Northern France would have added a little spice to the 2 weeks of family visiting. But, I must admit that the Dutch weather this summer was absolutely unbelievable. It didn't rain the entire two weeks we were there until the day we left. I think this is almost impossible and unprecedented! Not only were the skies clear, but the temperature was more like Italy than Holland. We had 3 full beach days as well as sweated our way around downtown Amsterdam multiple times. The beaches in Holland are gorgeous; if you ever go and happen to have the happy synergy of a free day combined with beach weather it shouldn't be missed. Gorgeous sand, long clean beaches, and super fun little beach bars everywhere. 

The summer of 2013 will be a little different for us as we are so excited to be heading to Scotland! Admittedly Scotland wasn't top on my bucket list (I am dying to go to Greece and Croatia), but I am more than pleased to get the opportunity to go as one of my favorite people in the whole world is getting married there this summer. So, I will make sure my husband wears underwear under his kilt (better yet, pants INSTEAD of a kilt) and our family will wander the green hills and listen to the Shrek-like accents. We plan on 2 weeks in the England/Scotland area and then a week somewhere warm - potentially the Barcelona area. We went there 3 years ago and really liked it - do you know they add lime slush to their beer on a hot day? Brilliant.

So now the planning fun begins. We have our tentative flights chosen and we need to fill in the details. So many choices - and I currently have 3 travel books from the library laying around in various places of my house. It's almost as though simply having them in my possession is all that is necessary, although I'm sure actually reading (let alone simply flipping through!) these books would help us figure out what where to go and what to do. Happy problems. :)



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