So here is our late start to our EPIC EUROPEAN ADVENTURE journal history. We have already been in Europe for almost two months but catching up on everything it too daunting so we’ll give a BRIEF overview and add recaps throughout when we have extra time or remember a story.
So far we flew into Paris on August 31st, spent a night at our “home base” in Normandy with our friends The Blairs then woke up, packed our two back packs in 15 minutes and were off to Paris and onto southern Germany for Eurobike. There are great details about this adventure that we will get into later. After 5 days in Freidrichshafen and Ravensburg we were ready for a break…someone to take care of us that spoke both languages, a real grocery store, a washing machine to clean our three pairs of garments and other laundry since we packed so minimally. We headed north to Bremen where Max lives, our soon-to-be brother inlaw that happens to be German. Bremen was awesome, Max was awesome, his friends were awesome, the food was AWESOME. This is where we coined Germany “Meat Candyland” and Nick was in a dream. We ended up staying a whole week, then we were off to Berlin. We Loooooooove Berlin. It’s a fusion of great history with newness and rebirth. And we have loads of great things you have to see in Berlin. We extended another day in Berlin and then left to Paris.
Paris is Incredible. The Eiffel Tower is mind blowing. We now fully understand why it is so iconic and in every girls college dorm room. It was our first hostel experience but we happily found a design hostel that is rated top 10 in the whole world. I could walk the streets of Paris for months and love every minute of it. After one week of trapsing we went back to Normandy to recoup and repack…instead I spent the entire week quarantined in my room in agonizing pain with strep throat. I really thought I might die. I literally thought they would have to ship my body back to America in a coffin. It was awful. Thank goodness for my chimney smoking French doctor, a kid chemistry kit strep test, and a weird and disgusting dissolvable 8 day anti-biotic, I was cured. We had a small window for traveling before we had to design the Demon Snow catalog and nanny for the Blairs to go to Florence so we hopped on our train to Milan. Since I was so sick and my brain was cooking from a fever we had not done ANY of our planned planning. When we traveled the first 3 weeks everything was spontaneous so instead of our nights being filled with blog posts and sleep we were making decisions and researching cities and places to stay on airbnb for our next few days of travel. Italy was supposed to e different. But it wasn’t and we still loved it. Our two days in Milan were great, and what really made us love Milan was finding a design museum where there was a Louie Vuitton special exhibit that was ending in three short days. It was mind blowing. I never understood why that stupid brown on brown patterned bag was so coveted by so many people and now I do. Louis Vuitton is brilliant. We will have many more details and internet images that do not do a bit of justice to the collection. Then Venice for two days that was charming and always will be. Florence for three days which was actually disappointing after all the great cities we had already seen. Rome was cool and we should have spent more time there but Italy was overrun with tourists and everything was expensive so we were ready to get back.
After an overnight train back to Paris with 3 Arab young adult boys and a fake bag street ring man we made it back to Normandy. The very next day I was sick AGAIN. French germs are SO narly. A fever again, and this time sinus, then throat, dripping nose, occasional stomach ache, whatever. Its been 11 days and I’m still quite miserable. Booooooo. But we are in route again so there is hope! We attribute my sickness to a few things. 1) Since public restrooms are scarce we don’t get to wash our hands as often as we’d like. 2) We are eating on the go which means I’m definitely not getting many vegetables and not a ton of protein since I don’t eat meat. At home I can eat beans, legumes, nuts, protein bars, eggs on occasion, etc. In Europe my diet consists of bread, some cheese, fruit occasionally, and sometimes falafel. 3) We live with 6 children that swap germs at school daily. They even get sick in France more often then they did in America. So to remedy I am taking vitamins daily, using hand sanitizer, and paying more attention to my foods…I even had to eat meat today According to my smart nurse mother-in-law your body needs protein to build white blood cells for your immune system and I’m guessing they have been quite depleted. Also we are getting back on the road. We love being vagabonds.