Monday, February 15, 2010

Summer Vacation 2010: Planning

After this past summer's crazy road trip to the midwest, J and I are planning an even more extravagant summer vacation for this year. We'll call this "Team Jachel Summer Vacation 2010". So appropriate.

I am very blessed to have my summers off (truly the best part of my job!), and J is lucky that he can take several weeks off at a time at his company. We've known that we wanted to travel overseas this summer for quite awhile; however, we're having a bit of trouble deciding where exactly we should visit.

For awhile we tossed around South America (Brazil, Argentina, Peru), but we're kind of torn between that and Europe. J has been to Italy, but I have never left North America, so it's all new to me.

If we did Europe, we're looking at Spain, Portugal, Southern France,Germany, Belgium, Switzerland...honestly, all over. We're hoping to go for two weeks in July.

The question mark below shows just how confused I am. So many choices!


So, here is where I need your help. For those of you who have traveled to any of the places I listed above, what advice would you give me. Where would you go, what would you call a must see? I know I listed a huge range of places above, but that's because there's so much I want to see, and I don't really know where to start. I want to hear where you've been that you loved and think I need to go. Or tell me where you went that was an awful experience. I want to hear it all!

Last spring when I posted about our midwest trip, and asked for suggestions of places to stay between our main destinations. I got some great tips from a few of you all about places to visit and stay along the way. I'm all ears again!

17 comments:

  1. You know I would help if I could but I have no experience with any of the places you mentioned. Good luck, I can't wait to hear where y'all end up! Sounds like you have some exciting options! XOXO

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  2. I backpacked through Europe for 2 weeks and it was the best experience ever. I think I saw 8-9 countries? The place I wouldn't miss on your list is Interlaken Switzerland- it is SO BEAUTIFUL and so fun.

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  3. Bugger Europe... Do Australia and New Zealand.

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  4. hey! first off, you have to go with the mentality that it isn't the last time you will travel to europe and stick to discovering the hidden treasures of a few cities... ( : i vote for italy, but only because it's my personal favorite and i can give you lots of advice ( :

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  5. Wow...how great that you can take such a fantastic trip! I'm not much help as the only time I've been to Europe was in high school and we spent 3 days in London, 3 in Paris, and 2 in Madrid. I'd love to take a much more indepth tour...can't wait to follow your trip!

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  6. I've never left North America either, so I can't imagine! I'd bet it would all be awesome! And I can't wait to hear all about it!

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  7. I spent a semester in the south of France and loooooved it! I'm dying to go back! I lived/studied in Cannes and visited Nice, Monaco and St. Tropez (among others). All of those places were fantastic. I'm planning a trip there next spring to take my husband! :) If you want to know any more about the area, let me know!

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  8. I have never left N.A. either, but out of those choices I would go to Germany in a second. There is just so much history there {yes, history nerd}! You have a tough decision ahead and I'm sure not matter what you choose it will be amazing.

    No one ever understands why teachers have summers off, but if they had to spend allll year with 25 to 30 10-year olds (or other ages), then they would totally get it!

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  9. Out of the places you mentioned in Europe I've been to England and France. If you go to Paris, don't stay at Le Mercure. It was blistering hot (June) and they didn't have working air conditioning so we were miserable.

    The best place in Paris...The Louve. Amazing! Allow at least 3 hours to see it all.

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  10. May i suggest you to go to PAYS BASQUE in France ? It's a sunny oceanical part of France ( land of surfing) : you could have sea from one part , mountains from the others( les pyrenées) and Spain at one hour !!! It's so beautiful and you will not invaded by the others tourists like in Côte d'azur !

    Or you can try my country region BRITTANY ( take à look one internet , it's amazing !)

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  11. an sorry for my miserable mistakes when i wrote ( "you will not be invaded" is better " and "take a look one internet" also ! sorry i'm french lol

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  12. Spain is amazing. I spent a month there as an exchange student one summer (in Barcelona) and then my family spent a few days in Lisbon, Portugal (amazing) and Sevilla and southern spain. I highly suggest hitting up Spain...however I have never been to any of the other European countries but am dying to go. I know a lot of people who stayed in hostels and hit up a few countries in about two weeks so I totally think you could do it.

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  13. If you go to Brazil you should go to Rio! I just posted about my trip there on my blog so check it out if you are interested.

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  14. I backpacked for 40 days in 2004 when i finished college and it was wonderful. In Spain we went to Barcelona and it was so much fun! It was really warm, so we stayed away from Madrid. I know that Kate really loves Sevilla and would highly recommend it. And she can give you tons of info on it.

    We only went to Paris in France-- and I liked it for the obvious reasons, but I didn't enjoy just BEING there as much as some of the other destinations.

    Switzerland is flat out amazing. We went to Interlaken, Bern, and Geneva. We were in Geneva on July 4 and they have the world's largest American Independence Day celebration outside of the United States on July 4. That was great.

    We did some fun adventure sports things in Interlaken.

    Ooohhh!!! Another amazing town is Brugges! Must visit Brugges!!

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  15. Ah! Take me with you! In college, I went with a group for a month to 9 countries in Europe (actually met my husband on that trip!). My two favorite cities were Brugge and Prague, but really all of the cities were fabulous!
    I don't know what kind of experience you are looking for, but I would recommend going on a cruise around Europe if the ship is going places that you are interested in. My family took one that went to Barcelona, Marselle, Nice, and Rome. We had so much fun that my husband and I went on one in the Baltic Sea for our honeymoon. We got to see all of the sights, found ourselves in a new city everyday and didn't have to worry about the logistics of traveling.
    Have fun planning!

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  16. All of my European experiences have taken place with either Busch Gardens in Williamsburg or the Biergarden in Portsmouth so I'm not much help. ;)

    Adam & I frequent Mexico quite a bit and we've been throughout the Carribean. It's my wish that we can make it to Mexico again this year, but we'll see.

    How lovely & exciting that y'all are planning a two week trip to Europe (or South America if you decide that). TAKE ME WITH YOU!!! LOL

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  17. Check out Cinque Terre in the northwest of Italy -- most beautiful place on Earth I've ever seen. Prague is an absolute must. I'd also recommend stopping in Salzburg, Austria (where the Sound of Music was filmed -- you'll love it and even J will be enchanted) on your way from Prague to Venice (throw away the guidebook and just get lost in the narrow streets).

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