My very first EuroTrip has finally arrived!
I find that when it comes to first trips to Europe, people usually go to countries like France, Italy, and Spain. But JP and I decided to go to The Netherlands and Portugal.
Well, to be 100 percent honest, I’m not too sure. But when we were planning the trip, it seemed like a good idea. I have a cousin (more like my third sister) that lives in Delft (in The Netherlands) after all. So it felt right to go visit her. And as for Portugal, it’s been quite the popular travel destination. It also doesn’t hurt that when it comes to Europe, Portugal is pretty inexpensive.
So I wanted to share a bit about our trip. Because to be honest, I want to make sure to not forget a single detail about our amazing 2-week adventure. Since there’s so much to share, I’ll break it up into a few posts. Starting with our actual trip there.
Let’s back up a little. Just a few weeks before our flight, we received very difficult news. My little baby pooch, Carrie, has to start chemotherapy. It was very tough to hear and to be honest, I was starting to feel guilty that I’d have to leave her with someone while we traveled. Although I was excited about our trip, I couldn’t help but feel a bit heartbroken as well. It’s just how life happens I guess. Everything at once. Needless to say that the days leading up to our trip, were a bit emotionally draining. It was mainly about taking care of Carrie while she started her first session.
But here came Thursday morning, the day of our flight! If you were thinking that it was just about getting ready for our trip, well, where’s the fun in that? We actually had to rush Carrie to the vet at 7 AM. She had a little staph infection and we needed to get her some meds to later drop her off with the pet sitter. You know when it feels like you’ve lived 3 different days in one? Well, that’s what our Thursday felt like.
By some divine miracle we were able to get everything ready, drop Carrie off with the sitter, have lunch, shower, and head to the airport on time. Thinking back to that day, it still amazes me how we got everything done. But there we were. Miami International Airport, ready for our flight to Paris. Yes, although we weren’t visiting France, we found the most amazing tickets flying to Paris. So that’s what we did.
Now about our flight. I confess that I was a little nervous about spending so many hours in an airplane. First those seats are just so uncomfortable. What if I got restless legs? And second, I’m not going to deny that the thought of flight turbulence makes me a bit nervous. But I honestly just try not to think about it. Because if you let your fears take over, then you miss out on some amazing adventures and opportunities in your life.
JP and I found our seats and 3,2,1… we take off to Paris.
Those 8 hours were quite long and not the most fun. Here’s a little fact about myself. I am not someone who can sleep in airplanes. So I was awake for the entire flight. My original plan was to catch up on movies since Air France surprisingly enough had a very good selection available. That plan did not last long though because I started to randomly get a migraine. Allowing me to watch one movie only.
NOTE: If you get nervous when flying, just skip the next paragraph ;).
To top things off, after hour 3 in the flight, we started to experience turbulence. And that lasted for the remainder of the flight. I can take a little turbulence here and there. I won’t like it, but I can handle it. This time though, I was actually so nervous that I found myself playing some silly games on the airplane screen while fighting my migraine. For those that have never gotten a migraine, having light around is just about the most painful thing. So you can imagine how uncomfortable I was that I preferred staring at a screen just to not think about all the space between the airplane and the ocean below us. I lost count of how many times the pilot told us that we were going to experience turbulence and to remain in our seats. And I also lost count of how many times I grabbed JP’s arm. Because as silly as it sounds, it made me feel so much better. But we finally made it and I couldn’t be more thrilled to be back on land!
Welcome back to those that skipped my dramatic flight narration!
We finally arrived in Paris at around 6 AM and now it was time to find our way to the train station and head over to Amsterdam. So I know many say “I took french in high school”. And that’s my case too. Needless to say I don’t know enough to actually hold conversations. Now here’s the tricky part. It seems to be a known fact that the French don’t really appreciate being spoken to in english. Rumor has it that they would rather have you speak to them in spanish or portuguese. Even if they don’t speak it. So I decided that the best course of action is to ask if they spoke english in french. It’s a little better right?
Well it turns out that they were still not too happy about it. But at least we were able to get directions to where we needed to go. I guess that when I do decide to visit Paris, I should probably work on my french. D’accord?
So we made it to our 3-hour train ride. Destination: Amsterdam!
The view was beautiful, but truthfully speaking I passed out for half of it. That is until a lady that worked in the train walked by letting us know that they caught someone pickpocketing and for us to check if our bags were still there. Boy oh boy! What a way to sober up, huh? Not that I had any alcohol in my system. That’s the best way to describe how out of it I was after not sleeping on our flight. So for the rest of the ride, I was wide awake and just taking in the view.
Alas, JP and I arrived to the Amsterdam train station.
And now, finding a way to our hotel. Walk for 30 minutes carrying our backpack and dragging with us our suitcase? Uuuhmmm, perhaps not. So to the tram we went.