Europe in a Week: Part One

Let me rewind to several months ago (as in before Grayson was born) when my sister Jessica asked me (Michelle & Bridgette too) if we wanted to go to Europe for a week vacation. Long story short I said yes and here we are now, already a week back from our adventure of a lifetime! A huge thanks to Jess for planning the travel details of the trip and making it happen.

Let’s just say our adventure started a little earlier than had expected but it was just another story and place to add to the list!✔️ Friday, September 29th at 2:00 pm was when I got the text from Jess that said, our flight from Providence, RI to Dublin, Ireland was cancelled!  #woof  My flight from San Francisco▶️Providence was planned to leave at 10:40 pm that same night so we had a couple of hours to scurry around figuring out Plan B for our main flight over the pond!  😂 Jess took care of these details and after several hours of making calls etc; we had a new flight, leaving at about the same time but from Newburgh, NY. Leg 1 of our trip just increased by adding a 3.5 hour drive from Providence to Newburgh!  Let the adventures begin.

I said goodbye to G and little g Friday night as they dropped me off at SFO! This was harder than expected 😭 Grant was gracious enough to watch Grayson for the week so that I could take this vacation with Jessica!  I can’t thank him enough for doing this, it was a nice getaway.  #mrmom  He snapped this pic of me as I was leaving– because never again was he going to have to carry 50 lb luggage for a 1 week trip!  #sohethinks

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 9.49.31 PM Luggage: The weight and size of luggage was very stingy. If you’ve read some of my other blogs you know that I pack pretty light 😂 ( I’m joking)! This trip was going to be different and I knew I had to minimize what I packed or it wouldn’t be fun for us–waiting on a checked bag at every airport.  So with 22 lbs as the maximum on the majority of the flights and some even requiring 17 lbs, not to mention the strict dimensions, we were in for a treat when it came to packing!  I managed to get packed in this suitcase (barely qualifies as a suitcase) but the weight was still a little over.

I figured if all else failed I would just have to layer up through the airport! (As Jess said, she was going to wear her shoes on her hands so that we could have plenty of options! 😅)

Transportation: We took 10 flights in 10 days equalling approx 36 hours of flight time! We rented a total of 4 cars during our trip, took 1 non airport bus, 4 ubers, and walked well over 50 miles!  We got honked at about 200 times but thankfully no collisions!  We both learned how to drive on the left side of the road, only drove in the bike path once, but as for the bus/taxi lane we took that quite often. At one point when I was driving I thought I was getting honked at yet again so just kept on my way, but it actually was the EMS trying to get by!  oops😳  We finally learned how to get a parking brake off after squealing along for a block with it on and then another time having 3 different Spaniards assist us in how to even leave the car rental lot. 🤦🏼‍♀️  Our rental cars some how continually got smaller– I guess it was a good thing because we were squeezing in spaces with the Fiat that I don’t think you are supposed to squeeze! #bikelane The Fiat definitely took the worst beating, whoever gets that next better watch out–it will probably fall to pieces!! (You’ll have that when you go 100 km over a massive speed bump!) Our lineup of vehicles–only because it helps you visualize our travels 😂

Theme Songs: for Dublin was– Ed Sheeran’s Galway Girl (typical Irish song 😂)  Theme song for the rest of the trip was Havana by: Camila Cabello (only because the radio stations played it nonstop!)  It’s kind of hilarious as you are flying over bumps in you Fiat 500 😂

Goals: Our goal with this trip was to ✔️ off as many sites as we could!  Just snap a pic and move on. Remember we only had a week in Europe and lots of traveling to do in between! To give you a little better idea of what our overall route looked like–

Jess and I met up in Charlotte where we both were on the same flight to Providence.  We landed, got a rental car and off we went! Our plan was to visit Rhode Island and other places on the way to Newburgh but we hadn’t factored in the rain! As we were leaving brunch at this quaint eatery, Olga’s Cup and Saucer, it was pouring.


This made us rethink visiting every sight from there to Newburgh, so we decided to stay dry and head to the airport! Although we did make a pit stop at this Visitor Center–only because we missed our turn. #notworthit


We grabbed dinner at a random Mexican restaurant in Windsor, NY, Chapala Grill.  (One of the few places available in this small town– let’s just say it wasn’t going to be the first sketchy area we came to on this trip 😂) The food ended up being great, and we were then ready for another flight.  We rolled up to Newburgh Airport (SWF) and felt as if we were already in Ireland!  This airport was tiny and in the middle of nowhere, smaller than Fort Wayne International.  My first thought was does this airport really host an airline that it going to make it across the pond?! haha It sure did!

We got to the ticket counter where we had to have all carry on items weighed–10 kg (22 lbs) per person! They weren’t joking when they said 22 lbs!! This was the moment of truth lol I had no idea what Jessica was doing as she put hers on the scale– all I saw was the weight constantly fluctuating from 9-12 kg.  She kept moving her bags around on the scale so it wouldn’t stop above 10 kg.  #brilliant  My plan was to hide my satchel behind the counter so that it wouldn’t have to be weighed, until the lady asked me if I had another bag!! #shecaughtme  I sat both of mine on the scale and sure enough it was over, weighing in at 12.2 kg.  I just stood there and looked at her, acting like I didn’t know what to do.  (Sometimes that blonde comes in handy 😉) She nicely whispered, I’ll just tag it!  Whew, we made it!! We boarded the plane, which was bigger and nicer than expected–after judging from the airport size, and we headed to Dublin!

Our adventures in Ireland are coming soon…