Friday, May 26, 2017

Babymoon Recap

Wowza!! We made it through the whole trip! Are you exhausted from reading?? Today I thought I would share my final thoughts of our trip.
The most Americans we saw were in Florence and Cinque Terre, Italy. It seemed like we didn't see many Americans in many other places. Our hotel rooms seem to get a little bit better each night. We had booked three of them before we left and did the rest on the fly. It actually worked out really well! Many of our rooms required us to put the room key in a holder for the lights to turn on. There was also the sleeping bag thing that came up multiple nights and the two beds pushed together. 
All of the travel blogs we read before leaving never said to have a "one night stand" in any city, meaning we should stay in each city at least two nights. Well, that only happened once, and you know what? It worked out just fine for us. I don't think we would have been able to do that without a rental car because we always had somewhere to keep our luggage. We were very happy we chose to rent a car. The tolls and petrol did get a little pricey, but I think it still ended up being cheaper than paying for trains. The city roads were crazy! It was very easy to drive in the country and on the highways, but the cities got a little confusing. In the city, we tried finding a hotel that provided free parking. That worked out most nights, but if not, we tried to park away from city center so that parking was not so expensive. 
We could not have survived without data on our phone. We had purchased paper maps just in case, but they were basically worthless. We used the maps on our phone which were awesome! The maps even gave us routes with the fastest public transportation routes which was SO HELPFUL! We brought along back up chargers for our phones which were a necessity. Thanks to my Grandma Mark and Nolan for gifting Matt battery chargers the last couple years!! We were able to charge our phones and chargers in the car or our hotel room and then recharge our phones with the back ups during the day. The best thing we packed was an umbrella! It rained quite a bit, and we were so happy we had it! 
Lastly, never be in a hurry to eat anywhere. Even the fast food restaurants took a while. The pubs in London let us pay right after we ordered which saved us a ton of time. There were several times we waited over 30 minutes to get our check. I think we could have left so many restaurants without paying, but we waited each time. If you are in a hurry, street vendors seem to be the best bet!

We walked A LOT! Tennis shoes were a MUST for this pregnant lady! I brought some cute sandals and my Converse which I tried wearing the first few days. My feet were miserable and Matt got really sick of hearing me complain. So I gave up and wore my tennis shoes even with my dresses. It was so worth it! 
Here is a breakdown of our trip:
11 days
9 countries
4066 km driven (2526 miles)
> 70 miles walked
156,437 steps walked
419 flights of stairs taken
1 growing baby!

If you missed any of the posts from our trip, just click on the city name below, and it will take you there!

Thanks for reading! Next week it's back to real life with my regular inconsistent blogging!

Thursday, May 25, 2017


We made it! The last stop on our trip. We were driving through the countryside of France on a Sunday afternoon. We drove and drove looking for a place to eat and go to the bathroom. We finally gave up and went for McDonald's round two but literally drove through the woods to get there! As we were driving through the countryside, I felt my first baby kicks! 
We arrived in Paris the night of their presidential election. Matt became very invested in French politics. The government was worried about a potential attack at one of the after parties so they evacuated everyone that was waiting for the announcement outside of the Louvre. And guess where we were headed in the morning?? You guessed it, the Louvre! Luckily, the threat was gone and everything seemed back to normal.

Since it is the biggest museum in the world, and we had other things to see, we tried to make sure we at least caught all the big things.

I'm not sure if this lady's husband got a good picture of her, if not, she should take this one!

There were groups of tours everywhere in the museum!

After the Louvre, we walked around the city to check out the sights like the Seine River.

Then we stopped at the Notre Dame Cathedral.

Again we got a little cold so we stopped for lunch to warm up. Then we headed to the Luxembourg Gardens.

After that we headed over to the Arc de Triomphe. It was VE Day, so they were celebrating the end of WWII which was why the huge France flag was up.

We watched in awe as the cars tried to get drive through the enormous roundabout.

We were getting a little cold so we decided to go check out the Eiffel Tower and call it a day.

We found these cute little trains that we picked up for our neighbor girl because she loves trains!

There was a huge line waiting to get into the Eiffel Tower. Matt asked a security guard how we could get into the blocked off area and he simply opened the gate for us and we walked in to get a view underneath the Eiffel Tower. 

I grabbed a nutella crepe as we were heading back to the subway, and it was delicious!

Paris is vying for the 2024 Olympics and there were signs for it everywhere!

I had to take a picture of our hotel because it was the most American hotel we stayed at. It even had a neon hippopotamus on the side of the building! Even though it was very Americanized the waiters at the hotel really had a tough time communicating with us. They had a different guy bring out our food who actually spoke English and seemed to be very happy that we also spoke English!

Since we were cold and tired we called it an early day and headed back to our hotel. We ended up going to the gym!

That night we getting ready to head back to the US and needed some more US food so we found a KFC. The cups had a QR code on them so you could only fill up your cup with liquid one time. It seemed like a lot of extra expense for them to save three cents on people not filling up their cups more than once!
The lights were crazy in Paris. I think the smaller one was for bikers, but it seemed a little bit odd.

See anything missing in this intersection?? Like stoplights?!? They are on the side, but they were very hard to see!

We packed our bags that night. Our airline had a very strict weight limit so we literally only filled up our suitcase on one side and put the rest in our carry-ons. 

The next morning we drove over to Versailles. We had international data on our phones the entire trip which was incredibly convenient. We must have asked to have it shut off on this day so we had no data for today which meant no directions!

The town of Versailles is absolutely gorgeous! The Palace is also a beautiful place to see!

We took a quick walk through the grounds and headed for the airport. 

Luckily we managed to drive to the exact right spot to return our rental car at the airport. It was a very strange setup at the airport. We didn't go through security until right before we got to our gate. The security was for only eight gates. It was not nearly as strict at the US; we didn't even have to take our shoes off! There was a guy on our flight wearing a Tree Hill basketball jersey. The last day of our trip ended up lasting 33 hours. Our trip was such a whirlwind! We got into LA that evening and drove all the way back to our house that night. Tomorrow I will give you my final thought on our trip as well as a few tips and tricks we found to be helpful!