Exactly six months ago we returned from Europe Trip 2010. Today I started planning Europe Trip 2011.
Six months, it seems, is the statute of limitations on my memory. If you’ve been reading this blog since that trip, and are anxiously awaiting another train wreck of a trip, well…your wait shall be worthwhile. We’re going back!
First, I suppose I should address why we are returning. Though I’m not one of those wives who, you know, wants to make her husband happy or anything crazy like that, I told him that he could pick our summer vacation destination. Unlike previous years, we are only going to take one trip. I thought it was only fair that he pick the location, as I’ve had complete trip planning control for the last few years.
He picked Amsterdam.
I did many cost comparisons, trying to prove to him that other destinations would be just as much fun but infinitely less expensive. Sadly, everywhere he wants to go is insanely expensive. His second choice was Napa. Even given the half-as-much airfare, it is a more expensive trip. Anyone who has priced hotels or apartments in Napa or Sonoma county can attest to this.
So he decided that we are going back to Amsterdam. Ok. That’s fine. I know that I like it there. It’ll be fun. But then the trip blossomed–as all trips of mine do. But more on that later.
Today at lunch, we discussed ‘what we learned’ from the first Europe trip . Fortunately we have this post to remind us. Ah, yet another benefit of obsessive blogging–one always has posts to help jog the memory. Based on those lessons, here are the things we are doing differently.
Lesson: Guidebooks are bullshit. There’s no way anyone can do as much in a day as is suggested.
Application: We have one goal per day. Example goals include ‘drink beer’, ‘walk across bridge’, and ‘eat chocolate’. These are individual goals for individual days.
Lesson: It is worth the extra money you’d spend to stay somewhere more centrally located.
Application: We will only be considering extremely central lodging options.
Lesson: It is worth the extra money you’d spend to fly into and out of somewhere closer to your starting and ending points, even if they are different.
Application: We are flying to Prague and out of Amsterdam. More on the Prague thing later.
Lesson: Blogging whilst traveling is not always the best idea.
Application: While I will be writing as we travel, and even posting here (and on my new education-themed blog, soon to be linked) we are actually avoiding places with wifi. I will also not be advertising this blog on Rick Steves. See Rick Steves rant, soon-to-be-posted. (And yes, this time it IS a rant, thank you very much semantics police.)
Lesson: I like to travel by train.
Application: We will be, um, traveling by train. A lot.
I’d like to add an additional lesson to my list of ‘things I learned’, even though I didn’t fully learn this lesson until today.
Lesson: People on the Rick Steves message board are often very helpful; however, many of these people are very often giant assholes.
Application: I will not be using the Rick Steves message boards for advice.
I cannot believe that I did not realize this until now. But I guess it is better late than never, right?
Up next…1. The Europe Trip details. 2. My beef with RS boards (but not with actual Rick Steves–he rocks, as do his books and his site, random assholes who post there not withstanding.) 3. More on my upcoming Orlando trip(s).