1 MONTH TO GO!!!
It is truly hard to believe that in 1 month Martin, Jenny, Amber & I will be boarding a plane to go see Tina and ultimately take Europe by storm! You have to understand when Tina said she was moving to Paris for a year for work I knew this was my once in a lifetime opportunity. Not only will we be able to hang with T, but also we will be able to use Paris as our homebase to explore and discover the rest of Europe. For me traveling to Europe for my first time I must say that: "Truly dreams can come true!"
As I write this with much anticipation and excitement, I must stop and say thank you to #1 my mom and brother who without them I would not be able to leave work and take so much time off. Also using the family business credit card many of the hotels we are staying at are free due to the reward points. A huge factor in deciding if Martin & I could afford it. No words can express how grateful I am that you both had a hand in my dream. You two will be getting the best souvenirs (Eiffel Tower magnets perhaps? You'll just have to wait and see!!) #2 To my sisters and father who played a less direct role in our trip but nontheless equally important. I thank you for your sage advice and your geniune interests in our plans. You will be getting much crappier souvenirs I'm afraid. :) #3 To Martin who I will be travelilng with exclusively for the second half of our trip, thank you so much for your enthusiasm even if it means you are seeing something for the fifth or so time, and thank you for sacrificing 1 whole month so that I can realize my dream. I promise this will be the best time you've ever had in Europe. And last but not least to Tina my best friend, the impetus for this whole thing. Remember the days of high school when we'd skip class and go back to my moms house and play spades and hang? Who would ever think back then that we would be meeting together in Paris the City of Light? Surreal totally surreal.
Ok with that out of the way lets get down to business, as of now this is what I have accomplished in planning our trip:
-Created Europe binder with Country dividers (yes color-coded) all paperwork organized
-Created 2 Back-Up Files with all paperwork to stay here and to stay with Tina in Paris
-Booked Rountrip Airfare Virgin Atlantic MIA-LHR
-Booked Eurostar R/T LON-PAR
-Booked R/T train from Paris to Amsterdam (Thalys)
-Booked 1way train from Paris to Interlaken (SBB)
-Booked Overnight train from Munich to Venice (T6 DB Bahn)
-Booked EasyJet flights from Venice to Rome, and from Rome to Paris
-Booked All Hotels through reward points (Yikes!! Does anybody out there have any experiences like this? Did the hotels have your reservation, I used Bank of America Worldpoints. Any feedback is appreciated)
-Booked Royal Castle Tour Neuschwanstein, Venice Walking Tour & Gondola Ride (35min), Rome Hop-on, Hop-off all with reward points. (Still have some more activities to book especially in Paris, any suggestions? Was thinking of trying to use points for a Visite Card or museum pass, is it worth getting these two as we will be in Paris on May, 6, 10, 20-25.)
-Made reservations for Shakepeare Globe theatre (A Midsummer's Night Dream Matinee)
-Made reservations for Teatro Dell'Opera in Rome (Madama Butterfly- opening night)
-Made reservations for Hang Glidiing in the Swiss Alps through www.hangglidinginterlaken.com
And thats it. Anybody reading this: I NEED YOUR HELP!! At this time I need to book the train from Interlaken to Zurich and am stiil awaitng Rail Europe to display the fare I need for the overnight train from Zurich to Munich. (Supposed to be $210 but I need to wait 30 dys before departure to book. I really hope the fare will show up it is the train that leaves at 10:40pm on 5/12 and all of April shows the $210 fare, so far none of May does.) Does anybody have experience with Rail Europe? Do you know if you get closer to departure date will the fare's actually go down?
Also it seems we will be in Venice during the festa della sensa (May 15-16). Has anybody experienced this before? Is this actual date for the festival? Will it be jam packed that weekend- we have our hotel (Venezia 2000) on Lido, will that offer some breathing room or is it really out there and far?
Thanks for reading, any comments and suggestions really help, I will try to update this as we go so not only family and friends can follow us but in a way, everybody can!