Travel Planning for 2014!

Happy New Year all!

Happy New Year from John, me and our nieces Jane and Kate!

Happy New Year from John, me and our nieces Jane and Kate!

I’ve neglected this blog for a little while – even though I toted my laptop on my two-week vacation home to Michigan, I never once powered it up let alone wrote anything for this blog! (Note to self, next time, leave the heavy laptop at home…if only to cut down on the complete pain it causes going through multiple airport security checks!) It was too much fun playing with my nieces and nephews, and enjoying all of the things in the States that I can’t get over here!

But this afternoon, during a lull at work, I was updating my planner (Lilly Pulitzer Agenda – hands down the BEST planner ever) and trying to narrow down all of the places I wanted to see and do before my tour ends in September! Spoiler alert: The narrowing down of places did NOT go well! There is just too much to see and do – couple that with a 2014 goal of concentrating on increasing our savings account and this is going to be one interesting year! 🙂 Still, no time like the present to make a wish list and see where it takes us!

Drumroll, please.

The Top 20 Places I want to see (in no particular order):
1. Rome, Italy
2. Venice, Italy
3. Amsterdam, The Netherlands (which technically, I have visited thanks to a 5-hour layover, but I’d like to spend more time exploring this city – it seems really interesting!)
4. Coupled with No. 3 are the Tulip Fields in The Netherlands.
5. London, England
6. Edinborough, Scotland
7. Normandy Beach, France
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
9. Florence and the surrounding Tuscan towns, Italy
10. Split, Croatia
11. The towns on a Rhein Cruise, Germany
12. Loire Valley, France
13. Schwabisch Hall, Germany (an easy day trip from Stuttgart, this visit is planned in two weeks!)
14. Hannover Germany (Planned! Will be heading to this town MLK weekend in an ancestry-oriented weekend, where I will visit Hannover, where my family originated, and Bremen, where they boarded the boat for America!)
15. Dresden, Germany
16. Cologne, Germany
17. Liverpool, England (Planned! Signed up to run a Half Marathon here in May!)
18. Lisbon, Portugal
19. Mainau Island, Germany
20. Santorini, Greece
21. The island of Malta
22. Budapest, Hungary
23. Barcelona, Spain
24. Bergen, Norway (Where my mom’s family is from!)
25. Reims, France (Because I want to drink Champagne in the Champagne region!)

I’ve accepted the fact that I probably won’t be able to do everything on my list (well, sort of accepted, it’s more of a work in progress). But John and I squeezed a lot into 2013 and while 2014 won’t be nearly as frenzied, my TripAdvisor contributions should continue to build in an equally solid manner! My first contribution to the Travel Site was after our trip to Munich last April…since then, I’ve traveled and spent quality time in 8 countries (Germany, France, Czech Republic, Ireland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Belgium) with quick stops in 4 countries (Luxembourg, Slovakia, The Netherlands and Hungary for a 20-minute photo op!) Total, that is 12 countries in 10 months with amazing and memorable experiences thrown in.

For future comparison, this is what my contributions page looks like now:

8 countries - all of which have been awesome!

8 countries – all of which have been awesome!

But aside from making lists in my planner, I am really most excited filling in dates annotating visits from friends! John and I’s great friends, and travel partners, Jake and Renee, are planning a visit in late April, and my dear friend Karyn will be making a return appearance in June! Continuing the fun in July will be meeting up with my oldest friend, Emily, and her hubby in France!

There is so, so much to look forward to that I can honestly say I couldn’t wait to do the countdown to 2014, even though I was sad to see the amazing year that was 2013 come to an end.  I can’t wait to see what 2014 holds for John and I, but just so our luck doesn’t run out, I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that even more wonderful adventures await us!

But first, it’s time to start planning and looking forward to a trip to Hannover, where I will definitely be putting this on my “must-see” list:

The Hannover Neues Rathaus!

The Hannover Neues Rathaus!

Cheers and Happy New Year to you all!!! 🙂

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