I didn’t want to tempt the travel gods, so I didn’t plan on writing about day 25, the day we go home. So I won’t.
Not that it was eventful - we woke up early, around 6:45 Munich time, and took trains and planes until we fell asleep in Austin at bedtime, around 4:30 Munich time.
I got a stuffed bear hat, so that helped pass the time.
But I will use this post to summarize the trip. As a whole, the trip was, as my brother would say, “pretty rad” (as in “radical”, or he would call it “lit”, as in “that’s lit”). I would call the trip “rad potatoes” (as in, “the trip to Europe was rad potatoes”).
T-shirts are being made, of course.
The trip was fast-paced, sleeping in 4 countries in as many weeks. This was as interesting as it was exhausting. We got to compare the different countries, and we got to see the highlights of each country.
Being a fast survey trip, every country deserves more time. Even a trip of their own. My Grandparents (mother’s side) did a thing where every year they traveled to a different European country.
As they got older the countries got more obscure, of course.
Maybe I could do that.
Regardless, we got to scratch the surface of a lot of different countries. This was the goal.
The goal was accomplished. Fun was had by all. I rate the trip 5 out of 5 stars, would go again.
A quick note on the pictures: Most of the pictures were taken with a Canon Rebel DSLR. By the end of the trip that camera had taken just over 3,800 pictures. Also, every was equipped with a smart phone that had a camera, and collectively around 2,000 pictures were taken with those, for a total of about 6,000 pictures (about 240 per day, taking up 160GB of storage).
Of these, there are about 218 pictures in these blog posts.
Generally, the blog posts were written in several stages, not always in real-time-order. First, at the end of the day I would create the post, with the title and a short note about what happened that day (it became surprisingly hard to remember what happened the day before, let alone several days before). Then, every few days I would sit down and write all of the blog posts up to that day. After I’d written all the words for all the posts, we would download the photos from the camera, and I would add them to the blog post, adding more words to make the pictures make sense.
In general, Ellen, Jason, and I would separate from Dad, Kayla, and Ryan, and only one group would have the camera (usually they had it in museums, and we had it the rest of the time). Thus sometimes the pictures don’t quite match my experience (for example, in the Deuches Museum, they didn’t visit the astronomy section so there are no pictures of it).
Anyway, here’s a table-of-contents of all the posts, with a short summary for each. Also note that these posts were published in-order, with nothing in-between them, so you can click the previous/next links on each page to read the next day’s entry.
Day 1: Austin to London. The Kolbly family boards a plane for the adventure of their lifetimes.
Day 2: Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, and London. The crew awakens several hundred miles from London, and has to find their way.
Day 3: Sex and the City. After arriving in London, the family goes to a candy store to find chocolate. But the candy store is not as it seems.
Day 4: Modern Art, and the Confluence of Round. Trapped in a modern art museum for hours, the younger boys find a way to keep themselves entertained.
Day 5: Friends Seen Long Ago, Artifacts From Long Before. The game is on for the family as they visit the exterior filming location for the Sherlock series.
Day 6: Paris, but like with an accent. The family takes a train to Paris. But when they arrive, will they be able to find food?
Day 7: Triomphing over the Eiffel Tower. After a night of hard rock, the family decides to visit the iconic Paris landmarks.
Day 8: Don’t you Louvre my baby. Time is running out as the family races through the largest art museum in the world.
Day 9: Rest, and Relaxation. Will the family be able to figure out how to use the washer in time?
Day 10: The Thinker, The Kiss, and All the Arts. The family is ready for more art, and the youngest boys reveal a hidden talent.
Day 11: Notre Dame and The Oranges. On their last day in Paris, the family tries to cram in as many iconic locations as they can.
Day 12: Montreux. The family rents a car to drive through the alps, and find out that European streets are not the same as American streets.
Day 13: Montreux, Part Deux. The family meets up with a local girl and visits the Callier factory and the Giger cafe.
Day 14: European Council for Nuclear Research. After visiting Mecca, Jason wants to swim, but can he take the cold?
Day 15: Up. The Italian driving stereotype turns out not to be a stereotype.
Day 16: Our Lot. After stopping in Pisa, events seem to go south for the family.
Day 17: My Own Room. Relieved at getting room to sleep in, the family tours Florence in an afternoon.
Day 18: Wine Country. Arriving in Verona the family finds beauty in the rolling hills.
Day 19: Venice. Resting in the hill country, the family decides to find as much gelato as possible in Venice.
Day 20: Goodbye, Italy. The family marvels at the differences between Italy and Germany.
Day 21: Beers, Boobs, and Pretzels. The Kolbly family gets drunk on beer and coca-cola.
Day 22: All The Crazies. The family is slowly going crazy from exhaustion, when they visit the castle of a reclusive king.
Day 23: Into The Fountain…. A day full of shopping and water fountains.
Day 24: She Blinded Me! With Science! On their last day in Europe, the family tours a local science museum.
Day 25: This is the end…. The season finale finds the family safe in Austin.