Tag Archives: Europe

Our Honeymoon in Greece – Part One

When Andy and I got engaged back in 2014 we used to joke that I was more excited for the honeymoon planning than the actual wedding planning.  Maybe not entirely true and maybe a little bit true.

I mean honeymoons are a once in a lifetime opportunity.  You get to go away for an extended period of time without anyone thinking you’re “irresponsible.” You can ask your family and friends to help pay for the trip as their gift to you (I highly recommend this).  And you are treated as if you are the first people on the planet to enter into this union we call marriage.

Greece had always been on my bucket list and all it took was one photo of Santorini to sell Andy.  I typically don’t use travel agents but was so glad I did for this trip!  Kate Germond of Custom Travel planned the absolutely perfect honeymoon in Greece for us.

Our trip began the first week of September and lasted for 12 days.  We started in Athens for two nights, flew to Mykonos Island for four nights, and then ferried to Santorini for our last five nights.

Here is a recap of Athens and Mykonos in pictures and short descriptions!

After a 10 hour direct flight from Newark, we arrived in Athens!  Guidebook in hand for helping us translate and communicate with our taxi driver (who was so nice that he stopped smack dab in the middle of our drive on the highway to snap a photo of us).

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My first meal was of course a fresh Greek Salad.  You can pretty much get this at any restaurant you wander in to.  Look at that feta! So so good.

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We had a recommendation to go to the Grande Bretagne Hotel for it’s rooftop bar and view of the Acropolis.  We actually came here both nights in Athens for a glass of wine because we loved it so much. It was also right near our hotel in Syntagma Square.

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Take Me Back Tuesday – Interlaken, Switzerland

I’ve slacked on my Take Me Back Tuesday post for the past couple of weeks.  It’s a whole process writing these posts because it requires a lot of remembering, reminiscing, and getting lost in tons of photos and stories.  This week I want to share with you one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places I’ve ever traveled to…Interlaken, Switzerland!

I remember after coming home from studying abroad in Europe people would ask ‘which country was your favorite?’  It was so hard to choose just one, but Switzerland always came to mind first.  My best friend Rachel, who I traveled there with, and I, still to this day say we want to retire in Switzerland.

Rachel and I were inspired to buy our tickets to Switzerland after a bunch of our friends traveled there to go skydiving.  We watched all of their videos and decided that would be our next trip.  It actually ended up snowing, so we couldn’t skydive (that would come a few years later).  Instead we went Canyon Jumping….which was even more insane than sky diving!

Here are the reasons why Interlaken, Switzerland was one of my favorite places in Europe:

The back drop of the Swiss Alps is beautiful.

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The air is so clean, crisp, and fresh.

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The small, quaint little streets with small chalet styled shops, restaurants, and stores.

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Cows! 

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The people are so friendly.

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We got to drive this teeny, little car.  We followed a map to a lake not too far away. 

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The lakes are a blue I have never seen before!

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Our hostel was one of our favorites of the whole semester.  It was called Balmers.  The staff made you feel right at home, we even met the owner Erich Balmer who gave us an inspirational talk.  There was a bar in this hostel too, so a great place to meet other travelers.

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We decided to splurge on this trip and got the “suite.”

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We jumped off of a mountain, free fell for 300 feet, and swung into a canyon in the middle of the Swiss Alps.

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I still can’t believe that I did this!  

Here is a link to the video

Enjoy!

Take Me Back Tuesday – Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany

So it was six years ago this week that my 19-year-old self and two best friends were preparing to go to Oktoberfest…yes the real Oktoberfest.   We had never been to Europe, did not speak German, and did not book any accommodation.  We did however have plane tickets to Munich and apparently very fearless attitudes.  What an adventure!

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Here are a few of my tip-top tips.  Keep in mind this is my advice based on a 3 day trip at the age of 19!

  • Book your plane tickets far in advance.  We booked ours the spring before.  The festival is usually the last week of September into October.
  • If on a budget, check out this camp site (Wiesn Camp).  It’s super cheap, close to the festival (train ride away), clean, has shower/bathroom trailers, and a beer and food tent.
  • Stick together.  If you lose your friends it’s probably very unlikely you will find each other quickly.
  • Be prepared to drink a lot of beer!  There isn’t a huge variety and they only come in one size – a liter!
  • Try some wienerschnitzel!  It tastes like fried chicken.
  • When you sit down at a table in one of the beer tents – they might bring out chicken and fries for the whole table without you asking.  At least this is what happened to us 🙂

I literally look back at this trip all the time and just think to myself “I can’t believe I did that.”  It almost seems like a dream.  This is why I’m going to show you how we navigated this trip through pictures – so I can remember myself!

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We arrived at the Munich airport.  As you can see we were a little torn between being backpackers and cute tourists.  We had no place to stay at this point.

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When in culture shock what do you do?  Go to a familiar place – Burger King!  This is where we got out the map and brochures and found a camp site to check out.

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We made it to the Wiesn Camp, pretended to have a reservation, and got set up with this sweet tent!  Now looking back it actually was a great place to stay on a budget.  It wasn’t too cold at night, they had a common area that was a great way to meet other travelers, and it was cheap!

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We met a great group of guys from Ireland right off the bat.  They seemed really nice and like they knew what they were doing – so we decided to stick with them the rest of our first day at the festival.  We were glad we did!

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The entrance to Oktoberfest.

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There were thousands of people!  We were very careful to stay together the entire time.  As long as you do that you’re good.  It really feels like a movie while there!

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We got close with the Irish guys quickly!  We also kept up with them….that’s a whole lot of beer!  

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This was one of the German waiters.  To realize how much beer he is carrying!?

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The next day we tried to be a little touristy and walked through downtown Munich.

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The second day of the festival we met some local Germans, drank more beer, and ate huge pretzels.  Prost! (That’s cheers in German)

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The inside of one of the beer tents.  There are so many people in these tents!  At one point every person in there broke out in some type of sing-a-long.  Again, it was like living in a movie!

 

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We needed proof that we went to Munich so we found the office where they stamped our passports!