In a mere four days, we’ll be off to start a 66-day Euro adventure.  One question we are always asked is “How do you choose where you go?”  There is no real formula because for us not too many places are on the don’t-want-to-see list. As I write this, I can’t even think of one.  On a whole, we let deals lead the way. However, this European trip began with a concert.

Yes, a concert.

On February 20, 2012,  John asked, “Queen and Adam Lambert will be performing together in England this summer on July 7 at the Sonisphere music festival. Should I buy tickets?”

Might seem like a no-brainer to you, but what you should know is we had a United States road trip planned and were both already really excited about it…but Queen and Adam Lambert together in concert?  I hemmed and hawed for about thirty minutes incapable of making a choice.  It went something like this in my head:

Bad Trenquilla: You already have a great summer planned.

Worse Trenquilla: But, it’s Adam Lambert WITH Queen!

Bad Trenquilla: But, it’s expensive and you stated you wanted to save some money this summer so you could plan a non-budget trip in a few years like the Trans-Siberian Railway.

Worse Trenquilla: But, it’s Adam Lambert and Queen!

Bad Trenquilla: But, you’ll miss out on Comic Con in San Diego.

Worse Trenquilla: But remember how amazing Queen was in concert with the guy from Bad Company that you didn’t really like and you still thought Queen was amazing?  So amazing you had goose bumps!  This is that but with Adam Lambert – another one of your favorites!

Just as I was about to continue arguing with myself, John interrupted and said, “Look, every second you waste hemming and hawing over this, someone else is buying tickets.”  I blurted out, “Pull the trigger.”  Worse Trenquilla wins.  John buys the tickets and we begin planning our trip.

On March 29th, John receives an email stating that the concert has been canceled.  What?  Unbelievable – the concert that prompted our entire summer trip has been canceled. That’ll learn us.

In mid-April, Queen announced they would perform with Adam Lambert in London – offering two dates.  However, we still had to see if we could even get the tickets, and we had to rearrange a bit of our Scotland plans to accommodate the concert.  John stayed up until 1am to buy tickets (9am London time), and he was able to secure two.  YES! We’ll still get to see them.

In preparation for this vacation, we moved out of our rented dwelling and put our stuff in storage for the summer.  One of our beautiful friends took us under her wing this week as we wrap up the school year by letting us crash at her house.  Our last school day is June 6th, and we are off to enjoy our European sampler on June 7th – commencing in Venice, Italy on the 8th.

We are taking two carry-ons and one backpack. It’s our version of backpacking.  Yes, it is true, we won’t be able to take some things we would like to, but it just means we won’t be lugging it either.  We’re minimalists in the souvenir department, so unless a bag bursts or tears, we should be fine. 

Two carry-ons and one backpack is all folks.

In 2006, our 45-day Seattle/Alaskan adventure started with three stuffed full-size suitcases and a backpack.  Our first week into our travels we were at a teacher conference in San Diego, and took the opportunity to fill a medium box with our packed luggage and have a teacher-friend hold it for us for the summer.  It’s a good thing we did this because we had to shift stuff around at the airport to accommodate the weight limits.  Then, on our first stop in Seattle, we dumped another box of stuff and had it shipped home through UPS.  Our luggage didn’t feel lighter. Each time we’ve traveled, we’ve downsized.  We’ve come a long way in the luggage department, baby.

How Much Cashola Are You Spending? We have not calculated our trip, and not really sure we want to know.   Truthfully, we looked for bargains along the way with a few spots of splurging.  You will see them as we travel through Europe. 

European Sampler?  What does that mean?
We will not be staying in any place more than three days.  Many are one or two day stops.  We are not traveling with a tour company.  We designed this trip.  The first 45 days will be spent traveling by train and buses.  The last 21 days will be spent on a Holland American cruise.  Here is the complete itinerary: 

Venice, Italy

Padua – Verona, Italy

Lugano, Switzerland

Milan, Italy

Ljubljana, Slovenia

Zagreb, Croatia

Budapest, Hungary

Vienna, Austria

Krakow, Poland

Prague, Czech Republic

Berlin, Germany

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Bruges, Belgium

Luxembourg, Luxembourg

Paris, France

London, England

Edinburg, Scotland

Perth, Scotland

Loch Ness, Scotland

Glasgow, Scotland

Liverpool, England

Dover, England (we board the ship in Dover)


Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Lisbon, Portugal

Gibraltar, British Territory

Cartagena, Spain

Palma de Mallorca , Spain

Barcelona, Spain

Monte Carlo, Monaco

Rome, Italy (we’re not going into Rome, but checking out the port city, Civitavecchia, instead)

Ibiza, Spain

Almeria, Spain

Seville, Spain

Portimao, Portugal

Dover, London

Amsterdam, The Netherlands – we fly home from Amsterdam. 

Some places we have firm plans of what we’re doing or what we’d like to see, but some we do not.  We have no expectations and are ready to fill our plate with a multitude of experiences.  If you’d like to share anything about any of these places, we’d love to hear about them. We’d also like to know how you choose your vacation adventures!

Peace out, Trenquilla