Countdown to Europe Edition.
T minus 7 days until I board a plane with the hubby and three teens and travel off for springtime in Europe!
The first flight my kids have been on in over 10 years!
The first time 4 of us have ever left United States soil!
We’ve got lots to finish taking care of… but here are some of my favorite things this week.
My Mother-in-law’s Birthday
Last Sunday, we celebrated my mother-in-law’s birthday. She’s actually an April Fool’s baby.
I’m not allowed to tell you her age. I will tell you that she looks Ahh-Mazing for her age and I hope my skin looks as lovely as hers as I age. This is her with my 17-year-old, my firstborn. His height to the cabinets is not an optical illusion. He is 6’6″ with his shoes on (if you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you’ve read about some of my observations about having a tall child. And that we’ve purchased extra legroom seats for him on the extended legs *see what I did there* of our flight.)
The girlie’s soccer schedule has definitely been keeping me busy. As of yesterday, her middle school team is 7-0!
New Mattress and Box Springs.
One of my big faves happened today. The delivery of a new mattress and box springs!
Your eyes aren’t deceiving you. The side wall is two colors. The bedroom is in the process of being painted my favorite color- Sea Salt by Sherwin Williams.
I really shouldn’t claim how old our last bedset was… but I’m always keeping it real..so… it was 16 years old.
I know…I know… they are supposed to last 7-10 years. But there wasn’t anything wrong with the last one…until there was.
We had what I consider a family bed when the kids were little. The oldest took naps with me, and sometimes slept with us after feeding in the night. I knew that we would do the same for the next child. The boys are 18 months apart. So that would mean two in the bed with us. So we got a bigger bed.
I also believe in children being able to crawl into your bed if they awake frightened in the night. Or if they just need comfort. It wasn’t that long ago in the scheme of the world that we slept in the same space huddled together (and is still the case in some parts of the world).
It was hard for me to let the bed go because it held precious memories. Reading stories…giggling… tickle wars…nursing my final child…moving its way through a lifespan of seven homes.
But it finally became tired. It had given all of the life it had to offer. My back began to suffer and so the shopping began. Culminating in the new mattress that I hope serves me as faithfully as my last.
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I finally had a chance to get up to Roanoke Mountain and watch a spectacular sunset.
I’ve shared a couple of shots on Instagram and will continue to do so.
If you caught my last post, then you know that spring has sprung here in Virginia.
I’m especially taken by the crabapple tree blooming in my front yard.
But there are beautiful signs of life and color everywhere.
I stumbled across this field of yellow next to the fields where the girlie practices with her travel soccer team. Of course, I only had my phone to capture the awe of the expanse of color.
To Do List.
And of course in the midst of all of this… taking care of things before our travel to Europe.
We are getting down to the little details.
I’m very visual so I like to jot them down.
We did do a trial run and will all be traveling with only a carry-on. This may or may not be a literal carry-on. We are flying Lufthansa and their dimensions are somewhat wider and shorter than the other averages that we had used to purchase prior carry-ons.
3 of our 5 bags may end up under the plane because they may be 1/4″ too long. It’s hard to tell and perhaps when the handle is squished, they will fit. I was originally concerned about the girlie’s being too big, but given that it was slightly shorter and wider, it was the only one we didn’t have concerns with on this specific flight.
The main reason that we still opted to travel with a carry-on is that we will be toting them through Amsterdam and Paris… on trams, trains, buses…whatever method of transport we find ourselves on and we didn’t want to lug giant bags around.
We considered getting backpack luggage, but in the end, it was a cost-efficient choice for us. Traveling with 5 people to Europe is pricey enough. We already owned 4 carry-ons, so the sensible choice was to add a 5th carry-on.
I found a nice Timberland, which is what the boys have well. We have an aging Eddie Bauer that’s been all over with us but is still holding up nicely. The girlie has Roxy, a nod to our coastal origins.
I was really concerned about the weight of my DSLR and given the fact that I still have a lot to learn about photography, I really considered not bringing it.
In the end, though, I think that I’d be disappointed to travel to these amazing places and using only my phone.
And yes, we are going to the Anne Frank museum!
It was one of my main “must-sees” in Amsterdam. When people tell you to purchase tickets well in advance, they mean it. I checked three weeks in advance and they were sold out. I did not know that they are released two months in advance.
I was sorely disappointed!
You can get in line for tickets on a first come-first serve basis at 3:30, but I read that it can be a 1-3 hour wait. We are only there for 2 1/2 days, so while I could have had everyone wait for an hour, 3 was unlikely.
However, they also have tickets which are released two weeks in advance which includes a 30-minute introduction to the life story of Anne Frank before the included museum visit. I made sure to be online when they became available.
I also need to plan for international cell phone usage (which is very pricey x 5) and alert my credit card so that I don’t have denials due to fraud concerns.
I’m steadily checking things off on my #CountdowntoEurope.
I hope that you all are having fabulous weather. It was spitting ice this morning and snow flurries on the other side of the mountain.
I’m not letting that change my perspective.
It’s springtime! I am growing and I am spreading my wings!
How about you?
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So lastly, I song that I’m loving this week
I think it’s so important remember to spread kindness, smiles, and love no matter how chaotic life becomes.
I hope that you have an amazing weekend and that you spread your wings a little more.
Let your light shine!