We went to Europe – The Short Version

We went to Europe – The Short Version

Since we were gone for two weeks and went to 3 different countries, the blog posts are long. Add pics in and they get longer. If you don’t feel like reading through the posts and just want to skim the pics, this is your post!

Kelly’s Trip Summary:

JFK was a nightmare coming and going! But the flight to Zurich turned out to not be so bad. Zurich wasn’t my fave. There were tons of fancy cars but they were also loud, and we heard revving engines well into the night. I worried 24 hours in Zurich wouldn’t be enough but I thought it was more than enough.

Lucerne was amazing! It was such a pretty city. I like that it was situated right on the river. Lucerne in the sun was a totally different city than Lucerne with clouds. The mountain views were all around and I loved that! I’m really glad we went to Mt Pilatus! It was a really cool experience and probably the only mountain I will ever climb.

Paris was okay! I really thought I would like it more. I guess my expectations were a little high. I don’t think it helped the park was blocked off. I had visions of drinking champagne in the park under a twinkly Eiffel Tower but that was hard since it didn’t get dark till so late. We only saw the Eiffel Tower lit up once and that was from a cab at 1am. The city itself was pretty and the food was amazing. I think 4 days in Paris was a day too long though.

London was short and sweet! It was great seeing E&T and just hanging out.

Devon was amazing! I would put it at the top of my favorite places (Lucerne was probably 1st). It was just beautiful! And relaxing. It was also great to see the fam.

Reigate was good! We went there for family and we spent tons of time with everyone so that was nice.

All in all, the trip was amazing! I kind of worried that we weren’t spending enough time in places but honestly, I think the time we spent in each place was just right. Since we were gone for two weeks, it was nice to be on the move. It was also a lot though. I was glad to be home!

Also, I read 5 books on the trip and I took over 1500 pictures!  I’ve tried to narrow that down quite a bit!  They also have not been edited at all so… yeah.

Matt’s Trip Summary:

Considering that we’d planned this trip for so long it really seemed to sneak up on us. We got the flights, hotels, and travel booked so far ahead of time we kind of “forgot” about the trip. Wasn’t really until about a week out that it really hit me that it was time to go!

Trip started of very smoothly and got derailed rather quickly once we got to JFK. I didn’t really mind the delay so much, as the plane was broken, but just not being told anything was rather quite annoying. I was thinking to myself that it was a good thing we decided to spend the night in Zurich and didn’t have other travel arrangements that we’d have to change. Once we got underway the flight over was uneventful.

Zurich was a nice way to ease into the trip. I’m glad we got to check it out but I wouldn’t spend anymore than a day there. It would probably be a good home base to do a few day trips to some other places in Switzerland.

Lucerne was beautiful! Glad that we got some nice weather so that Kelly could see just how magical Switzerland is. I kept telling her that it just doesn’t look real and I’m glad that she got to see that. Really do wish that we had better weather when we went up Mt Pilatus so that we could see the mountains. Next time we go I think we’ll head more into the Alps.

I really enjoy the way of life in Paris. Good food. Good wine. Enjoying life. Hard to beat sitting outside at a brasserie and enjoying a nice meal as the world goes by. Was nice to see some of the sights again and to see some new once. Was disappointed that the Champ de Mars was closed for the Euro Fan Zone as it’s one of my favorite places in Paris.

England was really nice. Seeing lots of family and getting to explore some new places was great. I still cannot believe the house Devon. The pictures that we took there really don’t do it justice. Hard to believe that we were in England! It always feels nice and familiar to be in England and it was a nice way to end the trip.

I enjoyed the pace of the trip. Spending a few days somewhere and then moving on to the next place. One little adventure after another. I think we spent just about the right amount of time in each place. Never felt like we didn’t get a chance to do something and never felt bored.

Of course we got to bookend the trip with another travel disaster in JFK. In all of my travels I’ve never had issues like this before. Hopefully we’ve paid our dues and won’t have to experience anything like this again any time soon.
Quick links to each location:

We’re going to Europe!






Road to Reigate


Going Home!

Going Home!

Saturday July 9 – We were up super early to catch our flight from Heathrow to JFK.  J&S drove us to the airport and we arrived around 7:30.  We didn’t know what security in Heathrow would be like so we wanted to make sure we had enough time.  As it turned out, we had PLENTY of time.  Heathrow was a breeze.  It probably took us longer to check in to our flight than to clear security.

Once we were in the terminal, we grabbed some breakfast and then made our way to duty free.  Chocolate and candy were on the list.  We grabbed what we wanted and then waited for our flight.


The flight from Heathrow to JFK was pretty easy, I had hopes of reading but reading was making me sleepy so I ended up watching 3 movies on the plane, “Daddy’s Home” “Point Break” (the new one) and “Sisters”.

We landed at JFK around 1:00 pm local time.  We then had to go through customs and clear security, again…. Once we were finally back through, we headed for our terminal.  I was pretty excited there was a Shake Shack in our terminal so that’s what we had for lunch.

Our flight time kept changing and finally around 4:00 pm we were able to board.  We sat at the gate for a good 20 mins before the pilot came on to say we were waiting for the catering truck to come.  About 10 mins later, they’d come and gone and we were still waiting.  At this point, the pilot comes back on and tells us the airport was requiring them to open the door.  Lots of grumbles later, the door was opened and we were told we could deplane if we wanted.  Apparently there is some rule that you can’t sit on the tarmac for more than 3 hours but we’d only been on the plane about an hour.  The pilot seemed pretty frustrated we had to open the door and said Delta was on the phone “giving them a strong talking to”.

Finally we were allowed to push away from the gate and make our way to the take off queue.  We were like 12th in line but the pilot said it normally was pretty quick and he was right.  But by the time we got in the air, we should have been landing in Raleigh.  It was very frustrating.  We were allowed to take the “short cut” to Raleigh, which saved us a few mins then, I guess.  We landed at RDU around 7:00 pm.

Then we were headed home!  We finally got home around 9:00 pm, cuddled some kitties and went to bed!



Thursday July 7 – We woke up and headed to Matt’s grandmother, Beryl’s,  house to hang out with the fam.  Several of his cousins were stopping by with their kids and then we were going to take Beryl out to lunch for her birthday.  She turned 90 on the 16th.

While we were there, I got a message from my mom saying my grandmother had passed away.  We were prepared for this and I figured it would probably happen while we were on our trip.  Matt and I took a little walk around the neighborhood so I could chat with mom and get a few more details and collect myself.  While I wasn’t close to my grandmother, not in recent years, I was still sad.

Once we got back to the house, it was about time to head to lunch so we took Beryl to one of her favorite restaurants, the Black Horse.

While we were in Reigate, I asked if we could check out a few antique stores.  I figured I could find something much cooler than your average tourist souvenir.  So after lunch we drove over to Dorking to check out the antiques.  While I didn’t see anything crazy, I did find some old glass picture slides so I bought a few of those.  I figured they were small and would be easy to carry on.

Friday July 8 – We went to Heaver Castle for the day.  This was the childhood home of Ann Boleyn.  The grounds were beautiful, it was a nice place to spend the day.  While I spent most of my time with my eye in my camera, Matt spent most of his day looking up.  Situated near Heathrow and Gatwick, tons of planes were flying over.





Taking pics of Malcolm and Steve taking pics.





Flowers for the wedding that was in the afternoon.



Beryl and Jill
Beryl and Matt
Beryl and Vala


Scared kitty!
Matt, Beryl, and Me (photo courtesy of Steve Edwards)
Michael, Steve, Jill, Beryl, Matt (photo bombing 😉 ) Me, Vala, Malcolm (photo courtesy of Steve Edwards)

The castle itself was interesting but you couldn’t take pics of the inside!  Finally it was time to head back.  As we were pulling out of our parking spot, we backed into another car.  Haha, whoops.  No real damage and everyone was fine.

That night we had dinner at the Black Horse again, to celebrate Beryl’s birthday.  It was also our last night to see everyone.  We had an early flight out of Heathrow and needed to be up around 5:00 am.

Matt helping Beryl and Jill take a selfie.
Road to Reigate

Road to Reigate

Wednesday July 6 – The final leg of our trip started as we left the beach house and headed to see the rest of the family in Reigate.

On the way, we drove through Dartmoor National Park.  This place was amazing.  Almost as soon as you drive across the cattle grates, you see animals on the sides of the road.  There were cows, sheep, horses.  I had no clue what to expect so I was pretty surprised to see all the animals.  We decided to stop and check out the horses.  I was able to pet a few of them.  It. Was. So. Cool!  Unfortunately, no one (ahem Matt) got a pic of me petting a wild horse!

The park was pretty big so we were constantly in and out of it with animals all around.

This was the first horse I petted. He wasn’t super friendly.






We stopped for a quick coffee break and a few bathroom breaks on our way to Stonehenge.  Matt was super excited to go, haha, not!  But it was on the way so we stopped.  Apparently, you used to be able to just stop on the side of the road and walk to it, but now they had a visitor center and bus shuttles to the actual site.  Oh and did I mention it was pricey?  *thumbs down*  Anyway, we hopped on a bus to check it out.  I have to say, it was pretty cool.  Not quite what I was expecting but I’m glad we went.  I would probably be with Matt on not going again though.







After Stonehenge, we headed for the small town of Winchester for dinner.  One of the largest cathedrals in Europe was there and we were trying to make it before it closed.  Unfortunately, you had to pay to go in so we just walked around outside and took pics there.  Then we headed over to find dinner.







We stopped at an Italian place, which was good because we were starving at this point.

We still had another hours drive to get to Reigate and pulled into our hotel a little after 8:00 pm.  The hotel was well……it had seen better days.  We got our bags settled before heading to Matt’s other grandmothers house to say hi.



Sunday July 3 – Matt and I woke up early to catch our train to Devon, a 4 hour train ride.  Joy!  Since the train station wasn’t all that close to our hotel we decided to grab a taxi again.

At the train station we grabbed some lunch while we waited for the 1:00 train.  The train ride was pretty uneventful but we did follow the coast for a little while and that was nice though mostly I just read.

Jill and Steve picked us up from the train station and we headed to the beach house.  It was only 15 – 20 mins from the train station.

Matt’s grandmother and aunt have rented this house before, and while we’d seen pics, the view was even better in person!  The house was very nice and situated at the top of a hill.  We had panoramic views all around.



We got to the house and got settled before taking a quick walk around to check things out.  I probably took the most pics of any one place while we were at the beach house!  The place was absolutely stunning.









I’m not sure what this is but I WANT one at our house! It was in the yard at the beach house.



Monday July 4 – We woke up to find we were fogged in.  The fog lasted till around noon before finally burning off and producing another beautiful day.  We took another walk down to the beach with Matt’s aunt and uncle.  I was like a little kid and finally said we needed to go because my pockets were full of shells and rocks.  hehe


I have no clue what this was but the leaves were HUGE! I wish I’d made Matt go stand beside it for comparison.







One of several frigates we saw going in and out of the harbor.


My haul from the beach.

Tuesday July 5 – We decided to go to Plymouth, which was about 10 minutes away, to take a look around.  This is the  Plymouth, where the Pilgrams set sail from.  It was a cute little coastal town and we even saw where they think the Pilgrims left from. 😉

Right here! This is where they think the steps to the Mayflower probably were. Matt and his mom.










The time at the beach house was mostly spent enjoying the views or hiking around the house.  It was a nice relaxing time.

London – Europe ’16

London – Europe ’16

Saturday July  2 – Matt and I were up early to catch our train to London.  It was really nice having the train station so close to the hotel.

I was pretty excited to take the high speed train from Paris to London and to go through the chunnel!  Matt had never done the chunnel train so it was a first for us both.

Since we were crossing over to England, we had to go through customs at the train station.  It was pretty quick which left us about an hour to wait for our train.  There were a ton of people waiting in our train terminal so I made Matt go in search of food, which took forever!

The train from Paris to London was only about 3 hours so we would arrive in London a little after lunch.  The plan was to then meet Matt’s cousin Emma and her boyfriend Tim, for a “normal” day in London!

The train ride was pretty uneventful and the chunnel was a little disappointing.  I really thought you might be able to see some water as you were approaching but we got nada!  One minute fields were passing, the next we were in the chunnel.  It only took about 20 minutes to get through and then we were headed to the city.

image1 (1)
This was right before we went into the chunnel.

Once we got to the train station, we started looking for the train to get to the hotel.  The train station was absolutely crazy so we kept passing up ticket lines hoping for a shorter one.  We finally stopped at one and Matt was just going to wait while I stood with the bags.  We’d popped into a Starbucks so I was happy for the moment.  Not more than a few minutes passed before Matt walked back to me and said we’d just find a cab.

The cab line was much shorter and we figured it was worth the 18 pounds.  We also figured, we had gotten to the hotel before Matt would have actually gotten through the ticket line.

We stayed at the Doubletree Westminster.  While I really would have liked to stay somewhere a little less generic, the room was nice, convenient, and had good views.






I’m pretty sure I have this exact same pic from our last trip to London. 😉

Our room wasn’t ready when we arrived, so we grabbed what we needed and headed to meet E&T.  We met them at the Embankment Station and then headed out to find lunch.  We ended up at a place Matt and I had eaten at the last time we were in London over by the Tate Modern.  We sat down and were both like “we’ve been here before!”

Matt on the left on our trip. Matt on the right from our previous trip! I was like “GET ON THE HORSE!” haha

After lunch we decided to take a water taxi to Greenwich.  Matt and I had to buy tickets but E&T could use their train pass.  We waited and waited and waited.  We finally talked to one of the attendants to see what was going on.  He moved us to the front of the line and we waited for a while longer.  Finally our taxi came but a large party had taken the wrong taxi and they ushered them onto the next one, which meant we were SOL!  We finally decided the water taxi was going to be a bust, since we’d been there close to an hour and were still waiting.  We tried to get our money back but it turned into this big ordeal so E&T took our tickets and were going to submit a refund request.




At this point, we all decided we needed a drink so we headed for a pub.  We had a few drinks there while a little rainstorm passed before heading to dinner.  We went to a Mexican place called Wahaca.  They severed small plates so we tried a few different things, which were all really good.

The only pic we got of the 4 of us.

Matt and I still hadn’t checked into our hotel so we decided to call it a night.  We made it back to the hotel and got settled in our room, then we walked a few blocks to grab some water and food for breakfast the next morning.  Another early morning as we were headed to Devon for some family time.

View from the elevator bank on our floor.


Tuesday June 28 – From Lucerne, Matt and I caught one of the high-speed trains out of Basel to Paris.  The train ride was about 3 hours but the scenery was pretty and I read a book.

We arrived in Paris a little after 1pm and after sorting out our metro tickets, hopped on a train to the hotel.  Luckily for us, the hotel was right across the street from the metro stop!  We checked into the Hôtel Observatoire Luxembourg and  had a cute (small) room with a nice spacious bathroom.  We both agreed the shower in Paris was fantastic!

Our hotel
Stairs in the hotel.

Once we were settled at the hotel we decided to take off and check out the city.  Our hotel was about a mile from Notre Dame, so we started there.  The line to go in was pretty long so we decided we would come back later.  We walked down to the Lourve to see it.  Again, we didn’t go in but just walked along the outside and down through the Jardin des Tuileries to the Big Wheel.  We crossed the Seine and headed back towards the hotel.  At this point, I was getting hungry and needed a break.  There may have been a small meltdown before Matt finally stopped for a drink.  He was saved by the popcorn they provided with my glass of wine!  After food and drink, we made our way back to the hotel for a rest.

Notre Dame
The Louvre
My first view of the Eiffel Tower!



Where wine and popcorn saved Matt’s life, bc it saved mine! 😉

We ended having dinner at the hotel restaurant that night and my dish was amazing!  I had the duck risotto, Matt got a steak and we ordered a bottle of wine!  Matt was interrupted while we were at dinner with work stuff so we went back to the room after dinner for an early night.

Duck risotto
Matt’s steak frites

Wednesday June 29 – We started the day with yummy pain au chocolat as we headed over to the Eiffel Tower.  The front desk told us there was a bus that stopped in front of the hotel that would take us over there but we decided to walk.  I mean it was only like 3 miles so NBD right? 😉 We strolled along and finally made our way to the Eiffel Tower.  Unfortunately, with the Euro 2016 taking place in Paris, the entire park in front of the Eiffel Tower was blocked off!  This meant, no picnic in the park. 🙁   I have to say, I did love the Eiffel Tower, though I expected it to look more worn.  There was a ton of security to go through to go under the tower so we just walked around and across the Seine to have a snack break.







From there, we walked over to the Arc de Triopmphe and down the Champs – Elysees.  A quick trip to McDonald’s to the bathroom (because the bathroom situation in Paris is odd and not free) and then we stopped for ice cream at Jeff de Bruges.  It was delicious and just what we needed!  We then walked down to what we think will be the finish line for the Tour de France!  We hopped on the Metro back to the hotel so we could take a quick nap before meeting my cousin for dinner.



This is where we figured the Tour de France would end.

We met her over in front of the Moulin Rouge and as we were walking there from the metro stop, I noticed the street was lined with sex shops!  hehe!  As I was pointing this out to Matt he’s like “you do know what the Moulin Rouge is right?”  Duh!  I guess I just wasn’t prepared for the fact that there was a still a “redlight district” in Paris.  haha!  The 3 of us found a small cafe around the corner and stopped for dinner.  I think Matt’s dish was the only good one, so clearly choosing based on having a table was a bad idea.  We had a really fun night as we started chatting with some Canadians sitting beside us.  My cousin finally had to leave and Matt and I stayed at the table talking to our new friends.  A bottle of wine, and a whiskey later, we realized the metro was now closed and set off to find a cab!  That was a fun ride and we got to see the Eiffel Tower lit up!  It was also 1am.



Thursday June 30 – We woke up with no real plans for the day and set off towards Norte Dame again.  In the process of wandering around, we ran across a bakery that had HUGE meringues in the window!  Of course we stopped and grabbed a chocolate one along with a pain au chocolat and a croissant.

As we were eating our ginormous meringue, we noticed the line to go inside Norte Dame wasn’t too long and was moving so we decided to go in.  Luckily you could take pics, but without flash!  We were also lucky that we were able to catch the end of Mass.  It was very, very cool!




There was no flash photography inside, so I was scrambling with my camera trying to get the settings right to get anything at all. Even though this one is dark, I think it turned out well.



This is definitely one of my favorite pics from the whole trip.

We left Norte Dame, we started wandering again and decided to head over to the Marais.  This was a quaint little section of town.  We walked around pretty aimlessly for a while and finally decided to stop for a drink.  Lucky for us we stopped because as we were finishing our drinks it started to rain.  We stayed where we were until the rain was done and decided to head back to the hotel.  Originally we thought we might head over to the Sacre Coeur but I was getting tired and we figured we could take a nap and go there later in the night.


Fying buttresses – Notre Dame




After a nap, we headed out to find food and decided to stop at an outdoor cafe not far from the hotel.  I told Matt I didn’t want pizza and then I saw the four cheese pizza on the menu so….yeah!  That happened!  And it was delicious!  Once we were through with dinner we decided just to head back to the hotel and call it a night.

Friday July 1 – We woke up to cloudy skies and our last day in Paris!  I asked Matt what he wanted to do and he said “I thought you wanted to go to the catacombs?”  We’d heard the lines were long, like 2+ hours, but there wasn’t really anything left that we felt we needed to do while in Paris.  The catacombs were about a mile from the hotel so we decided to check out the line and go from there.

I hopped in line while Matt ran across the street to grab some breakfast.  I figured we’d give it 15 mins or so and see where we were.  With no other plans, we ended up waiting almost 2.5 hours to get in!  I think it took the longest the closer we were.  Finally we were in and headed down to the tunnels!

Stairs leading down. (looking back up)





Stairs leading up. They were very narrow. There were 87 in all.

We entered with a small group of about 10 people but as Matt and I started walking in the tunnels, I realized there was NO ONE around us.  It was about this time that I had to start talking myself off the ledge.  I wouldn’t consider myself claustrophobic but being in the tunnels all alone started to kind of freak me out.  Finally another couple came up behind us and I started feeling better.  From there, it didn’t take too long before we entered the actual catacombs.  It was weird, and creepy, and cool to see all of those bones.  There must have been millions down there!  And we only saw a small section.  The bones were all neatly stacked.  Some had designs or patterns.  It was very interesting.

It’s supposed to take about 45 mins to walk the 5 blocks to the exit but it didn’t feel like it took that long.  Maybe it did.  Anyway, in order to exit the catacombs, you have to go up this tiny, spiral, stone staircase.  It’s only big enough for one person to fit as you go around.  When we started up, Matt saw a sign saying there were 87 steps.  We kind of laughed and started up.  About halfway up, I kind of freaked out again.  I had to focus on my breathing because you are just in the small tunnel going around and around.  You can’t see anything above or below you really, other than a few steps either way.  Finally I saw light and bolted for the top.  When we got out Matt made a comment that this might not be the best place to go if you were claustrophobic.  It was then I told him I had a few minor freak outs.  :O

While the catacombs were very cool, and I’m glad we ended up going, I’m not sure it was really worth the 2.5 hour wait in line.  I’m glad we waited till Friday and had seen everything else first.

After we got above ground, we headed back towards our hotel to the Luxembourg Gardens.  They were directly across the street from the hotel.  We stopped to have lunch by a fountain and then walked over to the actual garden.  It was a lovely park and there were tons of people lounging on the lawn.  It was still pretty cloudy though so we headed back to the hotel for a nap.

Start of the Luxembourg Gardens.





When we got up, we walked around to find some souvenirs and grab dinner.  We still had yet to have crepes so we stopped at La Creperie.  We could see the Pantheon in one direction and the top of the Eiffel Tower in the other.  The crepes were delicious!  After dinner we took the long way back to the hotel before turning in early, since we had an early train to catch to London.  This turned out to be a good thing since it started to rain after we got back to the room.

Our view from dinner.
Looking the other way.
Our dinner. Before and after!

It was an early night, which was good considering we had an early morning ahead of us.

Lucerne Switzerland

Lucerne Switzerland

Sunday June 26 – We arrived in Lucerne a little after lunch on Sunday.  The train station was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel, the Boutique Hotel Zum Weisses Kruez, so we dropped our bags off and set out in town.

The first place we decided to go was the Lucerne Lion Monument.  On the way, we stopped and grabbed some lunch and dessert.  The Lion Monument was craved in stone as a memorial to fallen soldiers at the Tuilerires in 1792.  There were quite a few tourists when we arrived but we managed to find a little spot off to the side to have our lunch.  I tried to get Matt to take a selfie but he thought it was disrespectful so we didn’t (though there were tons of others doing it.)

Our room
We could hear them playing from our room. We didn’t know where it was coming from until we walked out behind the hotel.
There were water fountains all around town. I told Matt no way! The old fountains constantly run water from underground glaciers.
Matt filling up our first water bottle! We drank city water our entire time there!




Church door.


Stairs up to the city wall. There were a LOT of stairs.
On top of the city wall.



After we ate lunch, we headed back for town.  As we were walking we noticed a church on a hill so we walked up to check it out. It was very pretty inside.  We then headed over to the City Wall to check that out.  After a  LOT of stairs, we reached the wall.  You could walk up to the top and then walk across the wall.  The views from the top of the wall were amazing!  Had it not been kind of cloudy it would have been even better.

We got to the other side and walked back down, this put us on the back side of the wall so we followed the path down to the road.  We (at least I) had no clue where we would end up, but as we followed the road we found ourselves just on the other side of the river from our hotel.  One cool thing about Lucerne are the wooden walking bridges that cross the river.  Once we crossed back over we decided to stop at one of the hotel bars for a drink overlooking the river.

This is probably my favorite door from the whole trip.



This is also at the top of my fave pic list!
Fave pic list!

After walking back to the room for a nap, we set out to find dinner.  Around trip around the city center ended with us back at the hotel  restaurant, where I had a wonderful lasagna.   When dinner was finished we decided to walk down the river on the other side and check it out.  Since it didn’t get dark till close to 10 pm we were able to enjoy the sights around us for a while.

Monday June 27 – The other thing we had planned for Lucerne was Mount Piltaus.  There were several options on how to get up and down the mountain and Matt choose the Silver Ticket for us.  This included a cogwheel up and a cable car down to a bus. It was about a 30 minute train ride to reach to the cogwheel station.  Once at the station, we piled into a little train car thing with 6 other people and set off up the mountain.  As we were going, the conductor informed us this was the steepest cogwheel in the world and that it was built in the 1800’s.  :O  I had a seat by the window so I could take pics and OMG, it was breathtakingly beautiful!  And also very, very steep!  I was facing up, and I think I’m glad about that!  You couldn’t quite tell exactly how steep it was from that angle.  (I’m pretty sure there is no way in hell I would have gone back down the cogwheel!)


This shows the angle we were at going up.







After trudging up the mountain for about 30 minutes, we finally reached the summit.  Unfortunately, it was clouded in but Matt and I walked around to check things out.  We ended up going to the smaller summit before deciding if we wanted to try to largest one.  In the end, we decided not to since the top was completely cloudy.

Since the clouds weren’t breaking we hopped on a cable car down to Pilatus Kulm.  Situated about half way down the mountain, there was an adventure park that included rope walks, zip lines, and a toboggan run.  We grabbed a coffee, enjoyed the views and watched people on the adventure courses.  When we decided we were ready, we grabbed  a smaller cable car for the decent down.  This was definitely the way to go down!  Stunning views of the treetops and city, it was a different view from the mountains on the way up.








Once we were down and back to town, we decided to walk back around the city since it was sunny and looked completely different.  Now I have pics of cloudy Lucerne and sunny Lucerne!  😉  That night we went to a place called Jill’s Burgers for dinner.  The food was good ( and the menu in English – most places had menus in Italian, German and Japanese).  While we were eating dinner the Euro 2016 was going on between Italy and Spain.  As soon as the game was over and Italy had won, we started hearing car horns!  This continued on for a quite a while so Matt and I walked up to the main street to see a line of traffic and people lining the streets celebrating the win!  It was actually really cool to see!


Fave pic list!





We went back to the room and watched England lose to Iceland.

The next morning, we were woken up at about 5:30 am to the loud as crap sound of the street sweeper!  This continued for a good 15 minutes.  We had an early train to catch on our way to Paris and the street sweeper didn’t really make my day!

Switzerland – Zurich to Lucerne

Switzerland – Zurich to Lucerne

Our trip officially started Friday June 24th with a flight to Zurich leaving Raleigh at 4:55pm.

Matt took the day off and I worked from home that morning (to save a day).  Our morning was filled with last minute details and packing.  Finally 1:30 rolled around and Matt and I hopped in the car and headed to the airport.  Our flight from RDU to JFK was a breeze!  Left on time, though once we arrived at JFK there was another plane parked too close to our terminal so we had to sit on the tarmac for a good 30 mins before finally being able to park at gate.  The airline staff asked the passengers to stay seated if they didn’t have an immediate flight, which was good because Matt and I were going to be cutting it close. Thankfully our departing terminal was the next one over.  We managed to run to the bathroom and grab a sandwich before boarding our flight to Zurich.

While we were waiting to depart, we noticed 1) the plane wasn’t very full and 2) some workers on one of the wings.  We didn’t think much about it until the Pilot came on and said there was a  maintenance issue but we would stay on the plane while they fixed it.  No more than 2 minutes later we were asked to de-board the plane!  So our flight departing at 8:05 ended up not boarding until midnight!  I was so annoyed.  I was tired and just wanted to go to sleep.  We also taxied for what felt like an hour before finally taking off.

The “we are stuck in the airport” selfie.

We get in the air, finally, and things are nice and quiet and dark and then they turned the lights on to serve food! WTF!?!?  At this point, I was really glad they had provided eye masks.  Finally the lights were turned off but it didn’t do much for my sleeping situation.  I think I managed a few hours of sleep on and off.  I finally woke up around 6am EST starving!  I ate a few cookies and not long after they started to serve breakfast.  It wasn’t great but it was food.

We landed in Zurich after noon and made it through customs pretty quickly.  We found our train and headed off for the hotel.  By this time, I’d found my second wind so minus really just needing a shower I was doing pretty good.

After a short walk from the train station we found our hotel, Sorrell Hotel Seindenhof.  Our room wasn’t quite ready so we went to the hotel restaurant and ordered a coffee while we waited, watching all of the super expensive cars drive by.  We saw a McLaren, Porsches Lamborghinis – there was not shortage!  As we were sitting there the bottom fell out.  Thankfully it was a quick little rain storm and passed before we went to our room.

View from our room.
Our hotel duck!
One of the many bachelorette parties we saw.
This was a dining trolley.

Once we got to the room we showered and headed out to check out the city.  We wandered over to the old city and walked around before deciding we needed food.  At this point, we were back by the hotel but hadn’t found anything interesting.  We stopped by the front desk and the girl recommended a place in the old city.  Go figure!  So we headed back over there.  We ended up stopping at a place called Saint Lucia for Italian food!  It was really good! After dinner we headed back to the hotel for sleep!











The next morning we woke up and grabbed breakfast from the hotel restaurant.  We then took another walk around town.  The sun was out so we had a nice stroll before going to check out and grab our bag for the train to Lucerne!

European Trip 2016!

European Trip 2016!

The Edwards do Europe!!!!

Back in January Matt’s parents mentioned that one of his grandmother’s was turning 90 in July and asked if we would like to go over and celebrate her birthday!  Pretty much a no brainer when they also offered to cover our plane tickets!

It’s been over 6 years since we’ve been to the UK to see family and quite a few years since anyone has been over to the US.  With a vague timeline in hand, Matt and I decided we would go over for two weeks.  We’d spend one week with family and one week trekking around.  At first we thought we’d actually see Beryl on her birthday so I started trying to figure out how we could also see a Tour de France tour stop.  I mean if you’re going to be in Europe in July, you might as well make that work right?!!?  The only stop I could kind of work out was the Tour stop in Berne Switzerland.  Then Matt’s parents decided to go over a little earlier.  This would rule out any Tour stops but we decided to keep Switzerland on the list.

Once we started looking for plane tickets we found a good deal flying into Zurich and out of London!  This would mean we’d have a week to make our way to the UK.

First stop, Zurich!