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Friday, July 21, 2017

Zurich and The Very Bad Hotel

The day started out with all the stars aligned.  We left our home without complications.  I packed us a yummy picnic breakfast which we ate about half way down.  We found our hotel without complication though discovered parking was limited.  We didn't let that get us down.  Quickly checked out our room but it wasn't ready which also didn't fluster us because it  gave us the opportunity to talk to the housekeeper requesting extra bedding for the children. Then we were off to meet a friend.  Our good friend had a good laugh at us because apparently our hotel was located in the Red Light District. How was I suppose to know? I just shrugged it off because I figured we would be in our room before the action started and the children would never know the difference.  We had a lovely day walking around the lake, eating ice cream, and playing in the splash pad with our friend Christoph and his daughter. Let's clarify, the children had fun playing in the water and we enjoyed watching them play. After saying goodbye to our friend, we stopped for dinner and made our way back to our room.  We opened the room to the hotel and we were hit with a wave of heat.  Oh my! How did we miss that! The room was unbearably hot!  Zurich was blessed with lovely weather that day, but without air conditioning we weren't sure how we were going to survive the night.  We rushed to the windows but once again no luck because the window couldn't be opened.  I quickly stripped down the children, brushed their teeth and tucked them into bed. Cold showers were in order which helped some, but around 3 a.m. I woke up in complete panic.  I felt like I couldn't breath.  I grabbed the key to the room and rushed outside for some fresh air!  When I came back into the room my husband popped up his head and asked me what was going on and I told him that in the morning we were going to look for a new hotel room.  Yes, even seasoned travelers like me make mistakes and in this case a big one. I forgot to check for A/C, I forgot to look on Tripadvisor, and while 99% of the time booking through hotels.com is perfect in this case I had made the mistake to not check the cancelation policy before booking. This paticular room had a no refund policy.  This also meant we had to eat the cost of the room; however due to my husbands quck thinking he booked us a road of beautiful hotel room in Lake Como at a hotel we had stayed at before and knew with 100% assurity that it had air conditioning.  Lesson learned and an expensive lesson especially in Switzerland wher the hotels are expensive.




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

My Heart







Hi!  I can't wait to share more photos from our trip, but I just realized that the majority of my photos are on my iPhone and of course it is dead at the moment.  Usually, I don't take many photos with my iPhone, because I don't think the quality is very good but I was worried that my camera would be stolen at the beach and that sand would get into the components and break it.  I did bring it out one day and I will share those photos soon; however, I will share a little photo shoot I did with my children one evening before dinner.  The light was so pretty as the sun was beginning to set creating a pink glow. These babies have my heart and I am sure missing my other two tonight.  I still can't believe I am a mother to an adult now and in a month he and my husband will be packing up his things to take him to college.  Winston is currently hanging out with his grandmother and grandfather along with a slew of other relatives in Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. Well, it is 1 a.m. here in Germany.  I better get to bed!  Hope you are having a fantastic week!  We are off to go hang out with some friends at a trampoline indoor park in the morning because it is suppose to rain today. See you around!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Cinque Terra

Hello!  We are home from an amazing 12 days in Switzerland.  It really was a dream well at least most of the time.  My kids are terrible in the car (just keeping it real).  Our first stop was Zurich where we visited a good friend that we hadn't seen in years.  I will share that day at a future date.Then from there we headed to Lake Como, Italy.  We have been there multiple times and love it!  Didn't see George Clooney though I heard he was in town. Then on to Cinque Terra which I am going to share today and final stop Elba, Italy.  When talking about places it is really hard to say one place is better than another because all places usually have something unique about them, but I seriously think God smiled down and worked a little harder on Italy.  I never get tired of visiting and each time I go I always add a few more places we need to visit. Five years ago when we were living in Heidelberg, we traveled to Sicily and on our way down after my husband had worked a week in Milan I planned for us to stop in Cinque Terra; however, our visit just wasn't in the cards.  Our rental car was acting up and so we had to stop at a car repair shop to see what was going on, then we hit traffic, and by the time we rolled into the small village we were staying it was dark.  The next morning we woke up and it was foggy and raining.  The visibility was horrible, so we moved on to Naples where we would catch our ferry to Sicily.  I was so bummed.  My husband promised me we would go back another day and so here we are five years later.  Cinque Terra was everything I hoped it would be.  Cinque Terra is actually five villages along the coast of Italy and we visited Manarola. We will go back and visit the others another day when we don't have children in tow.  You can actually hike a train along the coast that connects the villages, but being that it was July and hot we lot that would only result in hot whiny children.  My husband would like to add that the drive is not for the faint of heart and while it is beautiful it is probably best to take the train.  As he was driving he said make sure you write this because otherwise some poor husband is going to be a victim of your blog post.  Another factor in taking the train is that the parking is limited.  You can't drive into the villages themselves. You have to park at the top of them and walk down and is hard on the knees.  The train leaves from Genoa or from La Spezia which is where I would recommend parking.  It only takes 11 minutes and cost just a couple of euros.  The children and I took the train to La Spezia on the way home because the kids were tired.  I will let the pictures speak for themselves but seriously it was so dreamy.  My heart was bursting in happiness.






















Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Frankfurt Zoo

We are officially on our way to Italy.  Yahoo!  I am so excited!  I love Italy and even better we are going to Elba which is located about an hour ferry ride off the coast of Italy. We are stopping in Zurich for two days first to visit friends; however, before we move on to photos of Swizterland and Italy I need to catch up on photos from our first month here in Germany. The first week we were here in Germany we took the train into Frankfurt and went to the zoo.  The day at first didn't look promising but by the end of the day the sun came out and the kids had a fantastic time.  I should note though that the Frankfurt Zoo is under partial construction and it is not my favorite zoo.  The Stuttgart Zoo and the Berlin Zoo are the best.  One of problems with the zoo is that it is hard to see the animals.  Many of the enclosers are over run with grass which is fantastic for the animals because they can hide, but makes it difficult to see the animals.  One fun fact we learned is that Giraffes have really strong hearts.  The need this because they have such a long distance between their heads and their hearts.  The children once again had fun playing at the play ground and enjoyed eating fresh waffles covered in Nutella and powder sugar.











Monday, July 3, 2017

Legoland

HI!  We are off to explore Frankfurt today, but before we go catch the train I wanted to post some of our photos of our trip to Legoland here in Germany.  A year ago, we gave the children the option of opting out of big birthday parties for a small home party in exchange for the opportunity to go to Legoland , and they all agreed it was a good idea.  I am actually still in shock how inexpensive the trip was in comparison to Disneyland.  2 days of Legoland was half the price of one day at Disney. Since Legoland is a 4 hour drive south of where we are living we choose to stay overnight, and we stayed in the Legoland hotel which looked like a castle.  The kids thought it was the bomb.  You can actually get a package deal if you visit the website.  In the morning we were also served a fantastic buffet breakfast fit for a king.  Another fun part of our visit was that it was Star War days and so there were lots of people dressed in costumes.

(warning photo overload)