Hello! It has been almost three weeks since spring break, so yes, I am behind in my blogging. (And if you missed it, you can read about Mom and Dad’s visit to Ireland and my trip to Amsterdam here.) There are multiple reasons that I’m behind: 1) I recently turned in my last paper this week so I finally have free time and 2) there are so many memories from break that I wanted to remember them all, but here goes.
We started off in Milan, staying in an AirBnB in Seregno. We explored Milan for a day, seeing the duomo and wandering the city. The next day, we took the train to Venice – which I think we all enjoyed a lot more than Milan. Venice is a beautiful city to wander in and explore all the small shops you may stumble on. You have to be willing to get a little lost in Venice to really see everything you have to.
It’s beautiful there! 10/10 would recommend.
Pro-traveler tip #5: If you have strict dietary restrictions, be patient with whatever international city you’re in. It can be difficult to find good food, but not impossible.
Highlights from Italy:
Guy: “Eating gelato in the sun along the canal.”
Kim: “Every facet of Venice, especially seeing it for the first time.”
Kaitlin: “Every meal and the first moment getting off the train in Venice.”
Emily: “The guy in Venice making masquerade masks along the canal.”
Pro-traveler tip #6: You don’t have to be fluent in the language of the place you’re visiting, but it’s always an advantage to know a little bit of it.
From Milan, we took the train to Nice. Nice was nice – oh come on, I had to say it! But actually, I think we all really liked Nice. It was the part of our vacation that was actually just vacation. We spent one day on the beach, reading, listening to music, relaxing, joking with each other. It was really wonderful. We also took the bus to Monaco one day, so check that country off the list! Monaco was beautiful – I felt a little out of place just because everyone there looked like they were coming off a night at a charity ball and they were just heading out to brunch on the beach.
Being in Nice was also a great way to brush up on my French skills before next fall when I take French 201. Conversationally, I did pretty well, but I still need a little more refreshing.
Highlights from France:
Guy: “The pastries, not getting sunburnt, and Monaco.”
Kim: “Reading my book wrapped in the quilt in the AirBnb, laughing in the park, playing 20 questions on the beach.”
Kaitlin: “Reading a new book on the balcony, finding beautiful paintings, the view from the AirBnb.”
Emily: “Wandering the streets of Nice just exploring, the beach.”
Pro-traveler tip #7: Always figure out train schedules, ideas for food, making plans before leaving a wifi spot.
We flew from Nice to Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona is a beautiful city and it’s nothing like I expected. It is so modern and active and contemporary. There are, of course, old, authentic European corners of Barcelona, but I think what is so endearing about the city is how mixed up it all is with the modern. We visited a market in Barcelona and were surrounded by fresh fruit and seafood and corn tortillas filled with salsa and meat and vegetables and I could eat almost everything in the market! It was wonderful.
We also visited a lot of old churches, and we visited the old Jewish quarter of Barcelona. I made everyone take a break from churches so we could have a short introduction to the first synagogue in Barcelona and it was so small but beautiful. While we were leaving, a family from Jerusalem came in and it made me nostalgic for Israel, but how could I be missing that country when I was in an amazing country too?
Eating in Barcelona was a breeze. We all loved the sangria and the paella. And honestly, who doesn’t love paella? It’s so good.
All of us loved Sagrada Familia when we visited. It’s quite an amazing building, and I can’t even imagine how wonderful it will be when it’s completed. Maybe we’ll all have to go back and visit when it’s completed as a reunion.
Highlights from Spain:
Guy: “Sagrada Familia and paella.”
Kim: “Paella, churros (it was her first one!), and our adorable only family photo.”
Kaitlin: “Sagrada Familia and walking the pier with sangria at sunset.”
Emily: “Paella, wandering along La Rambla street, the old synagogue, sangria, Sagrada Familia.”
(Can you tell we all loved Sagrada Familia?!)
Until next time, Europe. We all had an amazing time.