Talk about a dream vacation…
In early 2018 I found out my friend was getting married in Europe and that I (and my at the time fiance) was invited to attend. Immediately, I jumped into planning a 2 week vacation since I did not want to fly all the way to Europe and not pack in as much as we could while there. I made a list of everywhere I would LIKE to go and from there, looked at where it was on map and where the easiest places would be to get to, and HOW we would get there. After discussing all our option, the only place Eric said he would love to visit was Amsterdam and luckily, it was easy to get to, so we added it in!
We flew from Nashville to JFK in NYC. Had enough time on our layover to see my cousins for a quick dinner, then flew overnight to Oslo, Norway. Had another 6 hr layover there, so we ate again, then we landed in Rome. From there, we hopped on a train that looked JUST like Harry Potter, and instantly fell asleep (Since it was approximately 36 hrs after we left Nashville); Almost missed our stop, jumped off the train AS IT STARTED moving from the stop in Orvieto, Italy, grabbed a ride to our bed and breakfast and collapsed! We woke up a few hours later to meet our friends who were getting married, and we went sightseeing around the gorgeous countryside that is Orvieto. We spent 3 days in Italy, then flew to Amsterdam. Honestly, it was the place I was least excited to see but I ended up loving it so much!
It is extremely chill and laidback, everyone spoke pretty good English, was super helpful to Americans who did not speak or read the language and we found our way around the city easily. We took a river cruise which showed us so much of the city and even some of the areas and spaces outside the actual city. We saw Anne Frank’s home, shopped at local places and the most amazing Zara I have ever seen! I also discovered that in Amsterdam, “coffee” shops do not actually sell coffee. There ARE, however plenty of “other” items for sale. Ha! I was clearly not a local, there.
After a day and a half in Amsterdam, we flew to Paris, France and I could not wait. I was MOST excited for Paris more than anywhere else we went in Europe. We had gotten tickets to Moulin Rouge, the Eiffel Tower at night (So we could see the twinkling lights!), and Disneyland Paris and I. was. ready. Unfortunately, Paris was NOT ready or excited for me =( We stayed lost, couldn’t find anywhere we were supposed to be and found the people there to be rude and completely unhelpful. Even a police officer sent us the wrong way for the Eiffel Tower and we almost missed our time slot to go up. I was very unimpressed and was very disappointed to be so unimpressed. The highlight of our time there was seeing the Alma Tunnel where Princess Diana died so many years ago (It was still covered in tributes, flowers and pictures of the People’s Princess) and walking beside the Seine River. Disneyland was not even half the size of Disney World in Florida and while we were there it rained and all the rides shut down, so it was a total waste of time and money.
Our hotel was also an hour outside of Paris (We did not know this) and we spent almost the entire day traveling rom one place to the other and then realizing we were not at the right spot. It was exhausting and irritating. Moulin Rouge was absolutely NOTHING like the movie I saw with such wonderful actresses, and when they rolled open a tank full of huge snakes that a dancer jumped into, naked, well, I was OUT OF THERE. I was so sad to not fall completely in love with Paris, but it did teach me that I should use google translator more often and definitely should have upgraded my cell phone so that I had international coverage and the ability TO use translations while out and about, ha!
Still, our two weeks in Europe were enjoyable and a trip I will never forget. We had a wonderful time together and I would highly suggest anyone go if given the chance to.
Below are pictures from our trip (From L-R: Disneyland Paris, Anne Frank’s House, The middle of downtown Amsterdam, and standing right above the boats we took a tour on, in Amsterdam)