Tomorrow we leave for a 2 week trip to Europe and I'm finally ready. I have cleaned the house for those who will be housesitting while we're gone. I've overwatered my houseplants so they can survive without adding extra work for our guests since they will be taking care of all the animals. I want them to enjoy their time here so I pulled as many weeds from my flower gardens as I had time. And I've been in the process of packing all week--thinking and re-thinking what I want to take. I keep checking the 10 day weather forecast to help me decide. Packing is by far the worst thing about travel for me. All advice is to pack as light as possible, but I would rather carry around extra things that I won't wear than to not have something I really wish I had.
We are excited about this trip! A few months ago we decided it would be a great graduation gift for our two high school age grandsons, even though one of them has a couple of years to go till graduation. We thought they would enjoy it more together and it would be fun for us to spend time with the two of them. After talking with the boys we decided on a Rick Steves' Best of Europe Family Tour.
Tomorrow we are flying into Rome for an extra day before we join the tour so we can get adjusted to the time and do a little extra site-seeing. We'll be there 3 nights and then go to Tuscany for two nights with a day trip to Florence, then on to Venice (two nights), then to Reutte, Austria (2 nights), Wengen, Switzerland (2 nights), Beaune, France (1 night), and end our trip with 2 nights in Paris.
A few years ago Country Guy and I took a Rick Steves' Tour of Italy which was one of the best trips we've ever taken. His tour company provides transportation and finds the hotels. The groups are much smaller than many tours--24-28 people and they are much more active--although you can choose your level of activity. You have to carry your own suitcase--sometimes up several flights of stairs, but the hotels are usually locally owned so it is worth the effort because of the opportunity to learn more of the culture in the area. Most stops on the tour are for two days with the first day usually organized with tours of some of the most famous attractions in the area and then the second day is usually free to sight see on your own. We love this mixture of free time and organized time!
I think the boys are excited--at least I hope so. I know it will be a great memory-making time for us. I'm sure I will be posting along the way if the hotels where we're staying have wi-fi and if I'm not too tired trying to keep up with 2 teenagers. :o)