HomeJuly 19 in the United States ⋅ ☀️ 88 °F
And we're back! 14 countries and 23 locales in 84 days - and (pardon the cliche) a lifetime of memories.
We had an awesome surprise at the airport with friends waiting to greet us.
These shoes have seen a lot - they all started out new. Anya wore holes in the toes. Mine have pretty much no traction left and are slippery. Éowyn outgrew her first pair, we got new ones in Romania and now these are almost too small too! Willow plans to clean hers for a YouTube before and after, so stay tuned.
Where we stayed:
Tossa de Mar, Spain
And lots of day trips
What We Lost:
1 powerbank case
(I feel like that's not too shabby - Anya wants it noted that she lost nothing)
Things we learned:
• Smoking is still very accepted in Europe. I told the girls it was like this in my childhood.
• No one says excuse me. They'll just stand politely and quietly behind you until you notice, haha
• Paprika chips, Milka bars, strawberry juice, real Greek yogurt, and cheap parmesan reggiano will be greatly missed.
• Don't expect to find anything remotely like west coast Mexican food here. They may say authentic but it's a lie. We're spoiled.
• European chocolate really is superior - even cheap stuff in the grocery store. Do better, FDA.
• Kebap is the Mexican food of Europe.
• For all that America is about freedom, you'd likely never see a park where kids are handed axes to throw, heavy construction loads are lifted over pedestrian walkways, and many towers and high paths have no railings. In Scandinavia, you see a lot of younger kids out and about on their own.
• Eastern Europe feels like stepping back into the 80s. Love it.
• The Romans were just about everywhere.
• High speed rail and metros are the bomb.
• Eurail passes take some planning, but gave us so much flexibility to have adventures as we learned more about things to see and do.
• Romanian people are so nice. Romanian trains are confusing and their train conductors are the worst. We are also too naive to understand when we're being asked for a bribe, lol.
• Every country has different ideas on how to organize grocery stores.
• Having lived in a small town our whole lives, big cities are exciting. So much to see and do. Willow wants to live in a city now.
• If you can't find a bathroom, walk confidently into a hotel lobby.
• Toilets come in a lot of shapes and sizes with a lot of different flushers.
• The Mediterranean is noticeably saltier and more buoyant than either the Pacific or Atlantic.
• We'd read a lot about Americans being easy to spot by their rudeness and loudness. We found that others were much louder.
• We were often mistaken for Brits or Norwegians (?), and often had people asking US for help. When people found out we were American, they seemed genuinely excited to have us here. A lady in Paris used her very broken English to tell us how happy she was we were there and that Americans were coming back. We were often the only Americans in our tour groups.
• Eastern Europeans especially seemed happy about us - we had more than one person excitedly ask if we were really Americans.
• Oregon is the state above California on the west coast. Just start out describing it this way.
• Little kids naturally make friends despite language barriers, and all the adults nearby are charmed by it.
• I love my family an awful lot. Nobody hates each other even after living in close quarters for 3 months.Read more