Our First European Adventure: Learn From My Mistakes in Paris

     In case I haven't mentioned it enough, I was so pumped to visit Paris. In high school (longer ago than I'd like to say), I took French as my foreign language for when I inevitably visited. More recently, Disneyland Paris edged out Paris the city as number 1 on my bucket list, but visiting the greater Paris area was GOING to happen. Our compromise for Europe was going to Amsterdam for my husband and going to Disneyland Paris for me. So now that you're in the proper mindset for how I felt about France, we journey from Amsterdam (Day 1, Day 2) to Paris.

Our First European Adventure: How I Fell In Love With Amsterdam

Click here to read about Day 1 in Amsterdam, 

   The following morning, we slept in until lunch time and were frankly still exhausted. We grabbed some sandwiches from the small cafe in the hotel lobby and made our plans for the day. Aside from food, my number one "must-do" was a canal cruise tour. Initially, I had planned on doing a meal cruise of some sort - everything from pizza and burgers to a 5-course meal. However, because of our late start to the day and the fact that we already had plans for dinner, we opted for one of the many one-hour guided tours.

     Based on reviews, we chose the Gray Line 100 Highlights canal cruise tour.  Did you know... the canals were such a vital part of European history, they have been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site? During our tour, we learned a lot of interesting facts about the city, from architectural trends to rumors and folk lore. We also shared a somber moment as we passed the house where Anne Frank and her family sought refuge during the Holocaust. I took way too many pictures (over 100), but the city was just so beautiful from the water. It is said you haven't truly seen Amsterdam until you see it from the water, and I must say I agree.

Our First European Adventure: Arrival in Amsterdam

      If you had asked me six months ago where I most wanted to travel in Europe, I can honestly say Amsterdam would not have made the list. All I knew was that marijuana and prostitution were legal there... which didn't really sound like my scene. When my husband mentioned he wanted to visit a friend in Amsterdam during our trip to Europe, I was not enthusiastic.  However, I figured since he was going to Disneyland Paris for me, I would go to Amsterdam for him.... even if I was less than thrilled.

WDW Tiara Takeover

Stop for a moment and imagine a weekend away from your family and responsibilities. Where would you go? Are you lounging by the pool and drinking mimosas for breakfast? Maybe you'd rather travel around the world, visiting as many countries as you can. Perhaps a dinner show with your friends is more your speed. For some, it could just mean uninterrupted time in the bathroom. What if I told you could have all of these in one weekend... And someone else has already planned everything so you don't have to!

Disney Dining for Romance

     For most people, Walt Disney World conjures images of balloons, princesses, and larger than life characters. While that is of course part of the draw for children and families, there's so much more to Disney parks. Today, I want to explore a more adult side of Disney! Here are some of the most romantic spots at Walt Disney World!

Trip Report: Our First European Adventure

Image courtesy of Jens Fricke
     For me, Europe has always seemed like a magical land of castles and fairy tales. Visiting France, in particular, had been high on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. When we found out my husband's work would be sending him to Munich for training, we jumped at the opportunity to visit Europe with his flight already paid for.

     Those who know me know I'm a planner by nature - which is why I plan vacations for a living! I'm used to planning Disney vacations several months in advance and booking dining and fastpasses and the like. The idea that I had less than 2 months to plan a vacation to a place I had never been was a bit stressful! I dove into my research, but agreed to my husband's request that this trip be less planned and more spontaneous.

Photo courtesy of: Charles Clegg
     First, we chose our route. My husband wanted to visit a friend that lived in Amsterdam, Netherlands. She was going to be travelling the latter part of our trip, so we decided that would be our first stop. The absolute #1 item on my bucket list was Disneyland Paris, so we added that as a stop. If we were going to pass through Paris on our way to Disneyland, you have to stop and see the Eiffel Tower! Finally, we would end our trip in Munich a few days before training was scheduled to start. By happy coincidence, Oktoberfest ending the weekend we were scheduled to arrive, so we added that to our must-do list.

    I researched top attractions, best restaurants, cool neighborhoods, and read dozens of blog posts about each city.  While I didn't specifically book anything, I wanted to have an idea of what was available so we didn't miss something amazing because we didn't know about it.  I approached this trip with the philosophy that everything will be new, so it's okay if we don't do that absolute best thing we possibly could for the lowest price possible.  I worked hard to adopt a more "go with the flow" attitude toward everything we would see and do. We would squeeze what we could in to 8 days and the rest would have to wait for the next trip we're sure to take.

   To read about our experiences in each city, click the links below!  I'll update the link as I write each post.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Arrival in Amsterdam   How I Fell In Love With Amsterdam

Paris, France: My Mistakes in Paris  Two Americans in Paris

Disneyland Paris

Munich (M√ľnchen), Germany

Even when you're traveling the world, never grow up!