Europe: What I Packed

Before heading abroad for three months I spent hours upon hours reading other people’s packing lists and researching bags, shoes, clothing, and accessories to compile the perfect collection of items for my trip.

Our trip spanned mid-summer to mid-fall, taking us across a gambit of landscapes from strong winds in chilly Iceland to dizzying heat in the Sahara desert; and with varied activities like hiking in the French Alps to a dinner party in Italy, my clothing and shoe arsenal needed to be versatile and layer-able.

I thought I’d share what I packed for anyone planning a similar trip or just plain curious. Continue reading “Europe: What I Packed”

Fall in Chamonix

The last real stop on our European tour was the small resort town of Chamonix, France. We used to make fun of Chamonix and Mont Blanc because the whole place sounds so full of itself. You can’t say the words Mont Blanc without sounding like an asshole. It just rolls off the tongue with the slightest hint of arrogance. Go ahead, try it. But now I don’t care if I sound like a d-bag because Chamonix and towering Mont Blanc are incredible!

It reminded me so much of Park City in the fall (but on steroids), which is my absolute favorite season. Seeing it in all its Autumn splendor was really special. Continue reading “Fall in Chamonix”

J’adore Paris!

By far the biggest surprise of our entire three months in Europe was that I loved Paris. All along the way we heard horror stories from other travelers, and even from a few Parisians, that Paris was an unfriendly, miserable place. Rumor had it Parisians look down upon tourists, especially Americans and especially if you try to speak French. We were instructed to not even try because they would scoff and ignore you. Given my aversion to big cities and its reputation I was more than happy to forego Paris. Continue reading “J’adore Paris!”

It’s all greek to me

Once we finally escaped Italy, we only had two weeks before our flight home from Geneva, Switzerland. Choosing how to spend those two weeks was excruciating. Do we jet up to Germany or Amsterdam? Cruise over to Croatia? Train to France?

Ultimately, we decided that Greece was a deal breaker and couldn’t be missed. So we booked 3 days in Athens and 3 days in Santorini.

I loved Athens. The people were so friendly; the food was delicious and super cheap (I literally ate a gyro every day in Greece), and there was a lot to see. Continue reading “It’s all greek to me”

Tuscany in Pictures

Tuscany was incredible! We stayed a few nights in San Gimignano and one night in Siena but also explored Certaldo. The home where we stayed in San Gimignano has been in the host’s family for three generations. She shared the home’s history and how they managed before modern conveniences like refrigerators and electricity.

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Continue reading “Tuscany in Pictures”

Faenza, Venice & Lake Como

Faenza

Following our Roman escapades we had planned on renting a car and getting lost in Tuscany for several days. But yet again the Universe had other plans for us. After taking a train to the airport and catching a shuttle to the rental car pick-up location, the rental car company refused to give us the car because we didn’t have our passports, despite our having obtained an Italian translation of Mark’s driver’s license – which is all their website said was required. It was by far the worst customer service we’ve received (don’t use Gold Car!) and I’ve never seen Mark so mad. Continue reading “Faenza, Venice & Lake Como”

When in Rome (II)

Ready for a two cent photo wrap-up tour of Rome? Continue reading “When in Rome (II)”