Monday, February 13, 2012

2012 travel plans

Mark and I just went through our calendar and decided what days he should request off of work, and where we wanted to travel to during our last year here in Italy.  Here’s what we came up with.
We’re going back to the States for Mark’s training for 2 months.  We really weren’t planning on going back to the States at all our last year here, but the Air Force had different plans so we adapted our plans to fit the Air Force’s.
In June we’re going to go to Croatia for a long weekend - to the beach and Plitvice Lakes National Park.  The Croatian coastline is well known with Europeans and is a major vacationing spot for them.  I’ve heard Plitvice be compared to the Garden of Eden and it’s some place we’ve wanted to visit since we heard about it shortly after we moved here. 

In July we’re going on an 8 night cruise to the Greek Isles and Turkey.  This was on the top of both Mark’s and my lists of things we wanted to do before we left Europe.  I am really excited about this.  We’ll be going to Athens, Santorini, Olympia, Corfu, Katakolon and Bari.  I’m a little nervous about cruising with a 3 year old and an 8 month old, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?  This will be our first cruise ever, and hopefully not our last!
In August we’re considering going to Belgium for a long weekend because I have a friend that lives there.  She was an exchange student and we went to high school together for a year and became good friends and we’ve kept in touch over the years.  I would love to go visit her and meet her family, but that might be an expensive trip, especially right after the cruise, so we’ll see.  If we don’t go there we might do something else a little more locally.

In September we want to go to Munich and visit Dachau and Hilter’s Eagle’s Nest.  This is about a 4-5 hour drive for us, and I wanted to visit a concentration camp the first time I was in Germany in 2003 and the second time I was there in 2008.  So now that we’re so close to it, I really want to drive up there and see it.

October will be a big month for us.  Mark’s brother is being ordained in Rome, so Mark’s family will be down in Rome in the beginning of the month.  We’re going to go down to visit them for a day, but we’ve already been to Rome twice, so I want to head down to Pompeii to see that while we’re down there.  We’re also planning on going to Ireland for a week in October.  We plan on renting a car and driving along the coastline.  Ireland is also at the top of Mark’s and my lists and neither of us has been there before, so I’m excited about that trip.

We also have two 4 day weekends in November where we’ll try to go someplace, but pretty much every place we want to travel is north of us, which means November might be a bit too chilly, especially since we’ll be traveling with kids.  I would love to go to Salzburg and Vienna, Austria and also Budapest, Hungary.  I want to do the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg.  (That’s where the movie was filmed.)  And I would love to see the Lipizzaner Riding School in Vienna.  So I’m not sure November will be the perfect time of year to visit those places, but we’ll see.  I also want to visit Vintgar Gorge, which is about 3 hours from our house.  But again, that’s more of a summer mini-trip.

Two big trips in one year will be a lot, but we didn’t get to travel much last year due to Mark being deployed from April – October, so we’re making it up for it this year.  All of these places, with the exception of the cruise, Belgium and Ireland, are within a 5 hour drive of our house.  So while this sounds like a lot (and it is more than normal for sure), most of these will just be weekend driving trips.
Mark loves to travel as much as I do, which is a great thing.  I feel like we had traveling with Abbie down to an art, considering she’d been to nine countries before her 2nd birthday.  Hopefully we can figure out traveling with two kiddos as easily as we figured out how to travel with one.  We’ll let you know!


Shari said...

May I just say that I am *insanely* jealous!

I'm so happy to hear of someone actually taking advantage of their time in Europe. I cringe every time I hear a military spouse talking about how (s)he can't wait to get back to the U.S. Get out & explore your world, people!!

Jessica Lynn said...

What wonderful trips you have planned! I'm glad we hit the ground running with trips the minute we got out here, since Kenny will be gone for half of this year.

I may need to steal some of your trip destination ideas!

Em said...

Monica! What wonderful adventures you have on the horizon this year! I'm so thrilled for you and your family.

Remind me when you're in the states again? Will you be traveling at all while you're there? Or back up to Galena at all? Sierra looks at your blog and talks about Abbie; it would be fun to get them together again.

Sadly, Jason's job does not allow days off during the school year (or even weekends! Bah!), which means summer is our only travel time. This summer will be crazy for us: sister's wedding, st. louis, bozeman, glacier national park, denver to see friends, probably galena again on the way back, home. Phew!

Brittney said...

When you do the Eagles nest, that's when you can do's within an hour I believe. The first time we went to Salzburg, we went to Berchesgaden the next day :)

Amanda said...

Oh so jealous of that blue blue water in the first picture! Sounds like a ton of fun.. and how cool to look back and be like we've been there there and there.. and even the kiddos can say that too! Even if they don't remember.

Anonymous said...

so jealous! That gorge I had never heard about!

Elsbit said...

Em- Monica has been invited to Nashville while they are here. Perhaps you can bring the girls and we can have a giant baby/toddler/galenian rendezvous here. :D