I am probably the worst travel blogger to ever blog. If I didn’t keep a list of where we’ve been and when in the ‘notes’ section of my phone I’d forget- guaranteed. For some reason I woke up this morning with a new determination to jot down the where we’ve been in the past six months and any highlights that might have ensued. Let me present to you a quick summary of the ‘bunch of places’: Halkidiki, Mallorca, Gran Canaria, Venice & Winterberg.
I found this fun scratch off map at a drugstore for 4 bucks.
Alll the way back to 2016, we went on our herfstvakantie (fall vacation) to Halkidiki, Greece. I had seen a Facebook ad (see? they really do work) for a place called Sani Resorts. It was hands down the highest end place we’ve stayed together as a family, with the most amazing staff and the food! This all-inclusive resort had several restaurants on site- all of which were absolutely delicious. You know it’s gonna be good when you see people trimming the herbs right from the property for the meals. I can’t sing the praises enough of this beautiful resort- my only regret was that it was a bit too chilly at the latter part of October for a swim in the sea- but thankfully the pool was heated. Where we stayed: Sani Club family suite– absolutely fabulous.
I got it in my head to do a yoga retreat in Mallorca with my mother in law when she came to visit. She had never been to Spain, so when I found one that sounded interesting we went for it. I didn’t ask enough questions though- and that ‘climb’ up to the monastery where we were sleeping was a bit more involved than I had suspected. Where we stayed: Santuari del Puig de Maria. Anyone can stay here! Very cool and highly recommended to check out if you can.
Well, December is my birthday month and for the grand old 41st birthday my husband booked me a solo trip to Gran Canaria in Spain. What can I say? The man knows I like warm temps, sunny skies and being alone. I loved the big beach and soft sand, and thankfully got a couple really great days of weather and sunshine. It was a bit cold (but hey, it was right before Christmas) so there was no swimming of any kind. Where I stayed: Cantur City Hotel. It was fine, room was nice and bed was comfy. Dinner wasn’t memorable. No sea view, but only a block to the beach.
Busy month. It started off with a last-minute whim to go to Venice. My husband and I were watching Inferno and as I was sitting there he said ‘why don’t you see what it costs to fly there now?’. I looked and one way tickets were €12.99. Needless to say, I booked a trip for two weeks later. I stayed in what I was told a ‘thousand year old building’ and besieged by mosquitoes at night- but otherwise it was a fabulous and informative trip. I did a free walking tour which was fantastic, went on an overpriced and lame gondola ride (which I do not recommend booking though Viator), and saw an exhibit from our good buddy Bosch at a museum. Where I stayed: Casa Dolce Venezia. Great location, quiet, comfy bed, super friendly owners and staff, good value. For a three star place this was fine. I wouldn’t say family friendly (too small) but the shower had excellent pressure (seriously, a thing with me!) and I felt very safe.
We ended the month with a family trip to Winterberg, Germany with every intention of having the boys learn to ski. What we ended up doing was in fact learning (as a family) how to sled. The boys have never seen so much snow- and for a three-hour road trip it was the perfect distance. I don’t think we are a ski destination type family- which is just fine with me. Where we stayed: Haus Merian. I’ll admit, the outside needs a good and thorough cleaning because as we pulled up I said under my breath ‘This looks like a dump.’. Fortunately, however, the inside was very clean, the apartments very nicely decorated and plenty of room for us all. Just don’t freak out when you pull up to it. Extremely family friendly with a kids playroom downstairs.
What’s ahead in 2017:
There’s always a quick trip that seems to pop up here and there, but for the most part we have 2017 planned out. At the end of April we’re touring Finland by RV when my father (who is half Finnish, half Norwegian) comes to visit. I’m sure nothing can go wrong with six people and three-generations worth of history crammed into a motorhome for a week!
My husband has signed up for an IronMan in Luxembourg late in June, it’s still TBD if we’re going to be able to go or not. School is a tricky thing here and although it’s just a few short hours away, there is a bike to pack and all of his gear. We may just have to wish him well from afar.
August brings us our most anticipated time of relaxation in Spain on the beaches of Malaga. We’re going with my friend Sabine and her family and we are all agreeing that we simply cannot wait.
We get back from Malaga on a Wednesday and I’m toying with the idea of going to the States with the boys two days later for a week. I’m still not sure I can manage that but we have a week before school starts and I thought a trip around Michigan with the grandparents (both sets) would be fun. I want the boys to see what I thought of as a ‘family vacation’ and that consisted of Michigan’s finest: Sleeping Bear Dunes, Mackinac Island, fudge and pasties in the UP. I mean, I realize it’s no Rome or Prague or London, but hey. It’s what I did as a kid.
After summer our plans are still up in the air. We have another herfstvakantie to plan (I’m pushing for Portugal) and possibly somewhere at Christmas. This is our last round of vacations in Europe so we’re budgeting our time and money as best we can. My hopes are high that by the winter holidays we will know where we’re going to live in spring of 2018. You know I have some thoughts on that, but it’s best I just keep them to myself for the time being.