European Getaway Recap

Josh and I were able to escape to Europe for a little anniversary trip at the end of June. We ended up road tripping through Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, and Switzerland which meant we got to see a ton of beautiful scenery, quaint little villages, fields of poppies, lavender, and sunflowers.  Our trip was kind of like a beer tasting— we saw a lot of things really fast so we found some gems that we really want to go back too and some places that we may not go back too anytime soon.

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Dinner in Bastogne Belgium

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Our VRBO for the night.

We flew into Dusseldorf Germany (during that 10 hour flight I puked for the last 4 hours) and started our driving right away (which was a less than brilliant idea considering sleep deprivation). But we powered through Germany, ate dinner in Belgium and finally made it to our over night destination–Verdun. We tried to stay off the beaten path and explore lesser known areas or not as hot tourist destinations for some of the trip. Verdun was one of those places. We toured the battlefields and forts (which was amazing and sobering at the same time) and then the village of Verdun, which has a small river running through and cobblestone streets. At the end of the day we drove to Dijon—taking backroads (we saw the village where Joan of Arc was from!).

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This building is a giant tomb for the 130,000 unknown soldiers.

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One of the forts

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A gun on top of Fort Duamont

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The destroyed village of Fleury.

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The next morning we woke up early and went straight to the old part of Dijon. We walked around, grabbed some breakfast and coffee to go, and found a place to sit and people watch while we devoured our food (French pastries for breakfast are literally the best). Then we got back in our car and drove down to Gordes. Gordes is a town that all the sudden appears on this hill–it’s pretty breath taking. Before touring the town we headed down below it to see the lavender fields of the Abbaye Notre-Dame de Sénanque. Then we headed back up to Gordes where we drank wine, and toured the little walkways and alleys. Then we got BACK in our car and drove to Cannes.

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We stayed two nights in Cannes which felt like a lifetime since most of this trip we were only in each town for a few hours. We went swimming in the Mediterranean, walked around, went up to a cathedral that overlooked the water and town. Then ended the last night there having a picnic of pizza and wine on some rocks at the beach while watching the sunset (definitely a highlight of the trip). Josh ended up dropping his sunglasses between the rocks and spent 15 minutes trying to fish them out of the water—he finally recovered them!

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The next morning we woke up early again and drove down the riviera to a town called Eze—one of the gems of the trip. It was similar to Gordes—a town built on a hill, but instead of overlooking lavender fields it overlooked the Mediterranean. We got there at 8 in the morning and the town was quiet, we were literally the only people walking around. It was really nice to get there before the hordes of tourist. We walked up to the top where this beautiful garden is—we were blown away by the view! It is a definite must see!

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After touring the town for an hour and a half Josh and I got back on the road and drove through Italy into Switzerland. I never realized Switzerland had so many tunnels and some of them are LONG—like they took us 20 minutes to get through! We finally made it up to Zurich after a 7 hour drive. Zurich may be the cleanest city I have ever been too! We had our favorite meal of the trip at this pub style restaurant called Zeughauskeller. Then we walked along the canals.

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On our last day of our trip we decided to go to Interlaken. The drive there was pretty fast, but once we got there we really wanted to head up into the mountains. The trains were a little expensive to get up to them so we drove instead—why not make a long roaptrip even longer! We decided on Grindelwald! It was a quick drive up and parking was easy. Then we headed to the gondola (after taking in the stunning views). The gondola was pretty expensive, but really worth it! At the top you can zipline part way down, walk on a bridge that is suspended on the side of a cliff and have hot chocolate in the restaurant at the top! We didn’t do the zip-lining, but I did walk across the extremely scary bridge while josh made fun of me for hugging the cliff wall the whole time! Grindelwald was definitely another gem on this trip. It literally felt like I was in the book Heidi. The hills were covered in wildflowers, there was cows grazing in the mountains with their bells making the most beautiful music, and little wood cabins dotting the mountains.

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Interlaken

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So Scared!

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For our last meal in Switzerland we went back to Zeughauskeller. The next morning we woke up early and caught our flight home (no puking this time!). It was such a fun trip, but I was so glad to see my kids when we got back!

 

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The Mountains are Calling

In my last post about Thaddeus’s room I gave examples about what we were thinking of updating in his room (spoiler alert–everything). We have made progress! We painted his room.

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We free handed the mountains with a pencil. We had some Benjamin Moore paint left over from our living room as well as some white Behr paint. We mixed together the two colors in 3 jars to create an ombré mountain affect.

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It was pretty fast and easy to do, a couple of hours Saturday morning to complete. We are really happy with the results now on to the next task…buying storage and decor.

 

 

Making Memories Father’s Day Gifts

I feel like we have exhausted the homemade mugs with hand prints and tool set gifts for Father’s Day. I love giving Josh gifts and the kids get really excited coming up with ideas they think he will like, but sometimes I want to give him memories over material objects. So here are some ideas to inspire you to create memories on Father’s Day.

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Explore your city
Josh did this for me for Mother’s Day two years ago and it was really fun. Plan a day exploring everything your city has to offer. For us that was exploring Seattle (even though I have lived here for 10 years it still had a blast). Find a cute place to have breakfast, adventure around the landmarks that make your city unique, and most of all enjoy yourselves!

Picnic
Pack a really special picnic full of his favorite foods and drinks then find the perfect spot to enjoy them— beach, woods, riverfront, backyard, even your living room if you can’t leave because of naps 🙂

A hike
Living in the PNW I had to include a hike. Hiking is a great way to spend some time together talking and enjoying your family. Bring along a picnic and make a day out of it!

Take a day trip
If you don’t have much to do around the city you live in or just feel like getting away plan a little day trip to one of his favorite places. For us that would be heading over to the peninsula or to the ocean. Plan all the details and surprise him with a fun filled day or a relaxing sit back and enjoy the scenery day!

Image Source: Craftsy