Fifty by Age 50: Bienvenue en Europe
If you follow me on Instagram, you know Chris and I had a great time in Europe!
I feel good about the pictures/videos I posted. I took over 1000 photos while I was there, but I only posted 29 smooshed into 12 different posts. I’m thinking of doing one more that shows all the different bands Chris ended up playing with while we were there. Don’t worry. he was just sitting in with the bands, we did NOT go and make money while on vacation because that would be a violation of their tourist visa laws.
In case you missed me talking about it in literally every blog post leading up to the trip, my husband Chris and I went to Paris and Brussels from Dec 27 – Jan 5. We flew into Paris, stayed there through New Year’s, then went to Brussels for a few days before heading back to the states.
It was a great trip for Chris and I; I feel like we really reconnected on this trip. I feel like I learned quite a bit about myself on this trip, as well as some cool stuff about Europe and travelling.
What I Learned About Myself
- I have a hard time being around anyone for that many days in a row. I never got sick of Chris, but I got… weary. I need alone time in my life and there wasn’t much of it unless Chris was showering.
- My body refuses to adjust to changes in time zone. I’ve noticed it when travelling to other time zones in the US, but I thought after a few days in Europe, I’d get to it. But nope, I was up until 6am, waking up at 3pm damn near every day we were there.
- I freaking love staying in an airbnb. Being able to cook a couple of my own meals and having that “home” feeling while on vacation is great for me.
- I’m not as out of the box with food as I’d like. I am more adventurous than a lot of people, and I will try almost anything twice (in case it wasn’t prepared properly the first time). But while in Paris, I literally had to drag myself past this one bar/restaurant that has this amazing Chanterelle mushroom penne. My thirst for trying new things was easily outweighed by my desire to keep eating what I knew I’d like. I wanted to eat it ever day, but in the spirit of exploring, we tried a new restaurant every day. I wish we had stopped there once more though before leaving Paris…
What I Learned About Europe/Travelling
- Those Europeans are stingy with surprising things (because they’re not wasteful Americans): paper napkins, bottle of water, personal space
- Every single person except one that we spoke to spoke English. Some not fluently, but with my leftover (never-conversational) French we were able to make it work.
- I need to go thank my middle school and high school French teachers because I was all over those signs that were in French, and I was correctly conjugating words. They’d be proud.
- Springing for the international data plan was sooooooo worth it. Being able to keep my pictures backed up just in case and having constant access to Google maps was essential to our spontaneous exploring.
- Booking everything all at once up front is pointless, you book when you get that perfect combination of exchange rate and price.
I was thinking about writing some more posts, getting specific about some of the things that we did. But I may not feel like it. The story of that woman kissing me full on the mouth shortly after midnight on New Year’s is worth telling. Chris getting held up in customs at JFK airport is also a sitcommy tale. The adventures of our flask trough Paris is also nice (I wouldn’t let Chris take a swig at Notre Dame). Eh, it depends on if I’ve got good pictures to go with the stories I think.
I still have to sort through all our pictures. Finding a back door into using the Aura Frame when I have no iPad, iPod, or iPhone took some time, but soon I’ll share all my pics with my family. My parents got a frame for themselves, for my brother, and for me and Chris. I think it’ll be kinda cool to have three households worth of pictures shuffling through our frame.