But since our trip was so long, and since my parents are my primary readers anyway, I'm not going to go through every detail of it. Here were the highlights for me:
- Going to a restaurant in Porto, Portugal where the owner wanted to make sure we were learning about his culture and gave us free port wine with our meal
- Relaxing at a family friend's house in Utrecht, the Netherlands and eating lots of cheese and Indonesian food
OK, we may have popped by Amsterdam too...
- Hungarian goulash (especially the free one, right Mom?), which is nothing like what we know as "goulash" in America, but is just as (actually probably more) delicious
- A cruise past the parliament building in Budapest at sunset
- The opera toilet in Vienna--sometimes tourist traps are actually funny!
- Our day trip to Bratislava, Slovakia--I was expecting everything there to be really run-down and ugly, but the old town was so cute! I wish we'd had more time to spend there.
Bright colors, cheap prices, and way less touristy than Vienna--what's not to love?
- The train adventure from Vienna to Prague--our train broke down in the middle of nowhere, Czech Republic, so we watched most of the other passengers run across the train tracks to the other side, then we helped some Mormon missionaries carry their 10 heavy suitcases down and back up the stairs (aka the legal way to get to the other side of the train tracks), then we ended up on a train that was way too full and had to sit in the hallway for the next few hours, and in so doing made friends with an Aussie couple and their baby. Weird day.
- Going up an old secret police spy tower in Prague and feeling like we'd time traveled when we reached the top and there was a man in full police uniform rambling at us in half Czech/half English with all the old spy instruments around him and a calendar on the wall that said 1974
- Cheap Czech beer--less than a dollar for half a liter of good beer!
- Me telling my parents to stop making American Gothic faces in every picture and instead having them make the following face at me in every picture
These will be cherished memories one day...
- Going on a WWII tour in Normandy, France and seeing my dad geek out over the whole thing
- Going to Santiago de Compostela and not really seeing anything because it was raining so hard
- Introducing my mom to the wonders of tapas
- Being the leader of our three-person "tour group"
Quite a long vacation, but as my mom always says, "it was a good trip." Miss you guys already, and can't wait to see you again at Christmas!