New York, New York; Day 2

We were all awake much earlier than usual thanks to our 6 hour time change so our day started unusually early. We had a quick breakfast at a nearby cafe and then hit the subway. Brian pointed out that in the last month we’ve ridden 3 of the oldest subway systems in the world –Continue reading “New York, New York; Day 2”

New York, New York; Day 1

Today our Adventurers took their last long flight and departed Europe after nearly 13 weeks travelling from one bucket list destination to another. We were last in NY (and the US) late on December 6th as we ran through New York’s Kennedy Airport to catch a flight to Thailand (via Qatar). Our total time hereContinue reading “New York, New York; Day 1”

London, United Kingdom; Day 5

For our last day in Europe we packed in a few more activities around London. Our first stop was the Tower of London (with a better view of Big Ben on the way). Initially built in the 11th century the Tower of London served as a royal residence, a defensive structure and a prison overContinue reading “London, United Kingdom; Day 5”

London, United Kingdom; Day 4

Yesterday, we visited the West End to see a stage production and talked about the kid’s current obsession with Percy Jackson and the Olympians. But before Percy, there was obsession with Wings of Fire. Before that was Lemony Snicket and his Unfortunate Events. But the big one, the one that started it all, is ofContinue reading “London, United Kingdom; Day 4”

London, United Kingdom; Day 1

Our travel days are dwindling and based on today’s experience we’re ok with that. We ended up booking a flight to get from Amsterdam to London rather than continuing our Eurrail Adventures. We missed out on going through the Chunnel which would have been novel but at the time, booking a quick flight seemed theContinue reading “London, United Kingdom; Day 1”

Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 4

We have enjoyed some marvelous weather here this week. Brian was here in June during the World Cup 2006 and experienced some great weather then. In fact, he doesn’t believe that he as ever seen rain in this country. We will have to see if that weather luck holds out through rainy London starting tomorrow!Continue reading “Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 4”

Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 3

It’s been almost 6 months since we celebrated one of our Adventurer’s birthdays. Brian took his second turn today – he’s the only one to have two birthdays on this trip. His first was in Yosemite Valley. His big day started with homemade cards from the family. We’ve traveled the whole year with paper, coloredContinue reading “Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 3”

Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 2

There are 30 parks in Amsterdam and we visited many of them today. There are over 800k bicycles here too and we added 5 of our own to see those parks! We rented typical Dutch bikes and found them to be easy to procure, ride, and lock. The vast number of bicycle lanes and fellowContinue reading “Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 2”

Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 1

We continued to get good use of our Eurrail pass today with a journey from Brussels to Amsterdam. We’re relieved it was uneventful because there was a railway strike in Brussels today but it was scheduled in advance and over by noon. By the time we arrived at the station it was very crowded butContinue reading “Amsterdam, Netherlands; Day 1”

Brussels, Belgium; Day 5

On a cool and rainy day in Belgium our Adventurers were able to take care of some final travel arrangements, pack for Amsterdam tomorrow, play Minecraft and watch a classic movie from the 80’s. In other words, today was a leisurely Sunday spent without the usual number of steps in our average week.  We areContinue reading “Brussels, Belgium; Day 5”

Brussels, Belgium; Day 4

One year ago today we waved goodbye to our San Clemente house and hit the road to our first destination in Monterey, California. Since then we’ve had so many Adventures they are hard to count and since we’re not quite done, we’ll wait on the counting for a little while longer. But it’s a bigContinue reading “Brussels, Belgium; Day 4”

Brussels, Belgium; Day 3

Today we had a full complement of 5 Adventurers to explore this capital city of Belgium and, in a way, the European Union. We chose to travel on the Brussels Metro to get around. We found this Metro to be a bit shabbier, smaller, and more expensive than the Paris version but it was muchContinue reading “Brussels, Belgium; Day 3”

Brussels, Belgium; Day 2

We had one Adventurer a bit under the weather today. Seems a summer cold has been working its way through the family and today it knocked Brian back a bit. So the other 4 had some fun around town. Our first stop was a well known landmark called Mannekin Pis. Dutch for ‘Little Pissing Man’Continue reading “Brussels, Belgium; Day 2”

Brussels, Belgium; Day 1

When deciding our destinations in Europe, the kids chose Belgium as one of their picks. They were very specific that it was for the waffles and chocolate and they don’t really care about anything else. At least they are honest. Perhaps we’ll find some ways to round out their experience. Oh, and get some ofContinue reading “Brussels, Belgium; Day 1”

Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 3

Today was what the kids call a ‘do nothing’ day. They would argue that we don’t have enough of them – these are our days to relax with no specific agenda. Since today we are still at our Marriott vacation club, it offered some options. In the morning, the kids took themselves to the Kid’sContinue reading “Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 3”

Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 2

Hmmm…how did we come to choose this particular French town as a stop for our European Adventures you wonder? Simple. We spent the day at Disneyland Paris. Instead of walking miles seeing history, nature or culture, we rode rides, ate junk food and overall had a great time. And of course walked miles back andContinue reading “Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 2”

Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 1

This morning we did our normal ‘packing up to go’ routine. Tiffany does a lot of the packing, Brian usually makes breakfast and cleans out the fridge/ cleans the kitchen. Today’s effort was sized to the kitchen – which in our little kitchen was not very big. We traveled out of Paris today but lessContinue reading “Bailly-Romainvilliers, France; Day 1”

Paris, France; Day 7

We have walked 34 miles (54 km) here in Paris this past week. Some of our walking today happened in front of and on top of masterpieces. And CreeperPuppy successfully tied his own shoe at Monsieur Eiffel’s iron masterpiece. We began the day by a return trip to the Jardin des Tuileries. The adults wantedContinue reading “Paris, France; Day 7”

Paris, France; Day 6

We enjoyed our quiet Friday. We put a pause on most of the touristy stuff to do some normal life type things – Paris style of course. The first stop was the Laverie to get some clean clothes. Our apartment is quite small so it doesn’t come with a washing machine. A short walk solvedContinue reading “Paris, France; Day 6”

Paris, France; Day 5

We had an All-American day which was only disrupted by a kind French woman seeking directions. The kids have consistently said that they miss breakfast the most. They missed the concept of eggs and toast while we were in Asia and Africa. They missed morning pork badly when we were in the UAE, Egypt andContinue reading “Paris, France; Day 5”

Paris, France; Day 4

Today’s big Adventure took us to the Musée du Louvre. The forecast called for rain and we got a little damp on the way to the Metro. This experience just reinforced our pleasure at the plan for the day which was to spend time inside an old palace with hundreds of fabulous pieces of art.Continue reading “Paris, France; Day 4”

Paris, France; Day 3

We wanted to enjoy being Parisians for a day by staying in our neighborhood and investigating local parks and restaurants. We are staying in a small apartment near the historic Le Marais area. We almost made it down to the Seine yesterday before tiring so we decided that this would be a good goal forContinue reading “Paris, France; Day 3”

Paris, France; Day 2

On the first day in a new place we try to walk around to get oriented and to see some sights. Paris is much bigger than many of the places that we’ve been to but we still wanted to spend most of our day on foot. To start, however, we took our first Metro ride.Continue reading “Paris, France; Day 2”

Paris, France; Day 1

Today was primarily a travel day as we left the French Alps for the capital city of Paris. In order to get there, we returned to Geneva and caught a high speed train which delivered us to the Gare de Lyon in a little over 3 hours. The kids haven’t had a tremendous amount ofContinue reading “Paris, France; Day 1”

Chamonix, France; Day 5

Our last day in Chamonix started with bright spring sunshine and stayed that way all day. We were very pleased since our plans included going back into the nearby mountains for some high altitude Adventures. This time our mode of transport was a cog wheel train that took us up 2,900 feet of altitude inContinue reading “Chamonix, France; Day 5”

Chamonix, France; Day 4

We decided today that we would get outside into the beauty of this valley regardless of the weather conditions. And to start, we were rewarded with sunshine and mild temperatures. We chose to pursue the objectives of an orienteering course which runs though Chamonix. There are 20 stations deployed throughout the valley area. An orienteerContinue reading “Chamonix, France; Day 4”

Chamonix, France; Day 3

Some rainy days you adjust your plans and stay inside. Today we decided to do what we wanted to do despite the weather. Our hope today was to get a closer look at the second of the ‘Seven Summits’ that we’ve been near during this trip. These are the tallest mountains on each of theContinue reading “Chamonix, France; Day 3”

Chamonix, France; Day 2

Our accommodations here in Chamonix are appropriately befitting a ski town. There is a large ski locker room in the basement whose flooring is thick rubber mats to cushion the blows of hard ski boots. The interior walls are all knotty pine and threadbare carpet. There is an indoor pool and a pair of saunas.Continue reading “Chamonix, France; Day 2”