spreadsheets and suitcases

organization + travel = family fun

Europalooza Trip Report Part 15: lions and tigers and science, oh my

After traveling all day and a good night’s sleep in New Jersey, we were ready for the last day of our vacation- in NYC.  I am unable to have a lazy day at home when away from mine, so I had a whole list of things to do/see.  First, a lovely breakfast at the hotel, included in our rate.  Then, we tried to arrange for the hotel’s “local” shuttle to drop us off at my parent’s home, since it was within the 3-mile operating radius of the shuttle.  Unfortunately, it was booked, so we called a cab instead, and quickly arrived.  Once we were reunited with the kids, who’d slept and breakfasted at my parents’ house, we headed out to what my niece calls, “New Yorkie.”  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 14: making it back to the US…barely

So after many days of fun, Europalooza was finally coming to an end.  Today was all about travel.  The plan: get to Barcelona airport via DH’s friend, take a short hop from there to Munich on Iberia (via Lufthansa codeshare), then, after a 1 hour and 40 minute layover, fly from Munich to Newark on Lufthansa (9 hours and 25 minutes, ugh).  Then we’d meet up with my parents, have a nice dinner at home, and get a full night’s sleep before having a whirlwind NYC touring day.  Best laid plans…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 13: wrapping up Barcelona :)

Funny story first: my husband read that last blog entry, and afterwards he mentioned to me that he had completely forgotten about the Telepizza incident!  He’d simply cleared it from his mind, and reading it here reminded him of the whole thing.  Then, he mentioned that the other restaurant we’d tried was really good, and when was I going to write about that one?  My turn…I had absolutely no idea what he was talking about.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 12: mosaics, stained glass, and Telepizza

We had a great night’s rest at our Barcelona hotel.  Another great thing about it besides the beds?  Free Breakfast!  We were needing some fuel to set us up for our day, which included several of Barcelona’s biggest tourist/cultural attractions.  A Gaudí extravaganza was planned, including glimpses of La Pedrera and Casa Batllo, a wander around Parc Güell, and an exploration of La Sagrada Familia.  Would curvy houses, nontraditional parks, and an unfinished church hold the kids’ attention?  Maybe.  But first, FOOD.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 12: in which I dip my toe into the freezing Mediterranean

After a fun 2 full days in Sevilla, it was time to travel to Barcelona.  Our friend graciously drove us to the airport 🙂  Our flight was at around 9:30a, and we arrived at the airport by 8:15a.  I had reincorporated the duffle bag that held the dirty (now clean) clothes, so were back to having 5 pieces (1 backpack for each traveler, plus the rolling carry-on).  Shouldn’t have to get into that long line to check in a bag at the Iberia counter then, right?  The problem was that European airlines’ definition & dimensions of “personal item” are much different than the American airlines…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 11: New Year, Old Memories

¡Feliz año nuevo!  January 1st, 2019 found us in one of the most special places in the world to me: Sevilla.  Out itinerary this day had us hitting my daughter’s favorite bakery and playground, our neighborhood and apartment, a place to eat my favorite tapa, and a recreation of a treasured photo.  We woke up without an alarm- a true luxury!

We breakfasted with our friend, who had gotten in at 4am!  She jumped right into a Spanish New Year’s Day tradition that I was not aware of: watching the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert live on TV.   I have to say, it was a lovely and gentle start to the day- and year!  Gotta love Strauss, especially while consuming reheated Freiduria chicken wings.  After a while, my itinerary began calling out to me…this was our last full day in Sevilla, after all…  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 10: Hola España

A note before I commence with the Trip Report: I was of course deeply affected by the fire that destroyed the roof and spire of the Notre Dame.  DH and I feel honored to have visited it so recently, as, even with renovations, it will never be the same again. The kids will always have that memory, too.  Travel is important!  Ok, let’s proceed.

After a nice evening in the Star Trek-themed Paris airport hotel, we woke up at what felt like dark o’clock.  Our nonstop flight to Sevilla (SVQ) on Vueling had a listed departure time of 7am.  It took less than 5 minutes to go down the elevator, drop our room keys at the front desk (which was this hotel’s checkout policy), and enter the terminal.  This hotel was definitely very convenient for early departures.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 9: Paris touring, Eiffel Tower & Mr. Spock in the elevator

How lovely it is to wake up in Paris! We got to sleep in a bit on this day, which was nice after our long touring day yesterday.  Our tickets for the Eiffel Tower were not until 10:30a.  This gave us plenty of time to shower and make sure all our stuff was properly stowed.  The hotel would be holding our luggage for us as we toured around the city.  Another shoutout to the family suite at the Best Western Plus 61 Paris Nation– we had slept comfortably during our 3-night stay, and greatly enjoyed to towel warmers in the bathroom on these chilly Paris nights!  Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 8: Paris touring, Notre Dame & Louvre

I normally get post-Disney Depression after leaving a Park for the last time in a while.  I had no time for that on this trip, because there was so much more to see and do!  We were in Paris, one of the most beautiful cities in the world.  Having said au revoir to Mickey, it was time for a blast of old-world culture.   Read the rest of this entry »

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Europalooza Trip Report Part 7: much magique at Disneyland Paris

After finding our way back from the suburbs of Paris and into our hotel, we prepped for the all-important next day: Disneyland Paris!  I felt as prepared as I could be…the day was planned, the tickets were bought and printed and stuck into my day bag, the credit card was well-rested (lol), the official Disneyland Paris app was downloaded, and most importantly, I was happy and excited, and my crew were, too.  Warning: this is a photo-heavy post!   Read the rest of this entry »

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