Friday, September 2, 2011

Dazed and Confused

This week has been a bit of a blur.  We have cleaned up most of the trees and big leaf debris that came down on our property from Hurricane Irene, now there are just piles of things everywhere.  And my sister, brother, and brother in law have cleaned up the trees down at my parents.  It's been a daunting job and there is still more to do, like removing the other half of our big dead tree.  But after driving around our county and seeing the utter devastation to people's homes and property, our tree can wait so that the tree folks can get to the people who really need their help.  Besides, the dogs are liking the obstacle course of huge branches which still litter our backyard.

Besides work stuff, I have also been going a little nutty trying to decide what to do on our upcoming trip to Germany.  I'm not a big planner when it comea to travel, often not even knowing where we will stay or go until we get somewhere, but I would at least like to have some idea so that we can make the most of our trip.

We will spend 4 days in Heidelberg, Germany where Mr. Tide has some training, but the last 4 days will be ours to do with however we like.  I would love to venture south into northern France in the Alsace region, but trying to decide where exactly to go has become a bit overwhelming.  The wonderful thing about Europe is that there is so much, so close by, that you can literally lose your mind trying to figure out where to go!  We could go to Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, France, or stay right in Germany!  I've been looking at the TGV train routes and the world is our oyster, which is both good and bad!  I finally sent Mr. Tide an email this morning telling him my head is spinning and I just might wait until we get there and can talk to the locals to decide where to go.

That's exactly what my daughter and I did a few years ago on a trip to England, and we got to see some of the most beautiful and out of the way places that way.  France appeals to me because we loved our time in the south of France and Paris a few years ago, and I would love a taste of that magical french bread again!  Mr. Tide suggested taking the train back to Paris, which is less than a 4 hour trip.  But I am torn, I know you can never visit Paris too many times, but we've been there, and the thought of going someplace else is weighing on me and sparking my sense of adventure and discovery.

I also looked in to going to Strasbourg, France, which looks amazing, like it fell out of a medieval fairytale book!  But it also looks a bit touristy, which isn't really our style...sigh, so many choices!  A few friends have also made suggestions...thank you Traci, but I am still dazed and confused about where to go.  I know, poor pitiful me right?!

And to top it all off, the budget this month is shot because of college tuition for our son, books, meal plans, and now tree removal!  But I still plan to enjoy myself while I'm over there.

So I will leave the comments open for this post in hopes that one of you, any of you, can tell me where to go...including hell if you like!

I am slowly working through my emails, I have hundreds to return, but made it through about 30 yesterday, so by the end of the year I should be caught up! ;-) 


  1. Don't bother to answer me back cause you are busy envy your trip and am looking forward to seeing where you decide to go. Glad I don't have to plan it.

  2. Kat, I am so jealous of you going to Germany!! I was there in 2001 (Austria and Switzerland too) and I just loved it there! I have to say Lake Lucerne in Switzerland was one of my fav spots to visit. That lake is just gorgeous and you can go out on a boat (very large, all enclosed with a dining room)! I have always wanted to see the lavendar fields in France. I hope that what ever you plan, you have a marvelous time!! ENJOY!!!

  3. Such a great place to visit. I was in Germany, Austria and Switzerland also in the 90's. Loved it all. Have fun planning. Hugs, Marty

  4. Kat,
    I would be overwhelmed as well! Oh, the possibilities! I'd like something very old, lots of history, warm weather, lots of sunshine!
    I hear you about the budget, too!

  5. So sorry to hear about the mess there after the storms - I know that feeling too well! Not due to a hurricane, simply due to periods of drought, followed by floods which leads to tons of huge old trees falling. Thank goodness you guys are fine though and no major house damage!

    I can also totally identify with the head spinning trying to figure out where to go - that's both the beauty and curse of Europe - haha! It's so easy to get from country to country there which is why we always seem to try to do too much and end up in 5-6 countries in one trip!! I think it's a great idea to just wait and see what you want to do once you're there. The last two times we went to Europe we had a rough idea of what we wanted to do and knew where we'd begin and end, but saved most of the time in between for just going wherever struck our fancy :) I know you guys will have a blast no matter what you decide to do!

  6. You two will have many amazing adventures while traveling! And then you can come home and tell us about it.

  7. Hi Kat!
    I would just be tickled pink to go to any of those places. Since I once lived in Belgium, a thousand years ago, I would love to return.

    Keep us posted.


  8. Hi Kat, you are going to have a grand time in Germany, I am sure. My husband and I enjoyed a long boat ride up the Rhine River in Germany where that fairy tale castle can be seen.

  9. Kat, so glad all
    is well, despite
    the damage. I had
    a number of friends
    and relatives in
    harm's way, but luckily,
    everyone came out
    okay! So excited for
    your trip, but can't
    help as I've never been
    to Germany. Enjoy all
    the planning!
    xx Suzanne

  10. Kat, have a wonderful time in Europe, wherever you end up after your 4 days in Germany!

  11. I've never been to Europe but I wanted to tell you that I hope you have a safe and happy trip! :-)


  12. I would be no help, but I know you'll enjoy wherever and whatever you end up deciding upon in Europe! I've always wanted to see Monet's Garden, but maybe you've already seen that with your daughter. Enjoy your trip though because I know you'll come back with some awesome pictures to show us! xo ~Lili

  13. Hi Kat! I am a Kat too! I got an email from Savvy Kim and she thought I could help you out. I lived in Germany for almost three years in the Black Forest area. We were about 40 minutes (if that from Strasbourg). The Alsace area is fantastic as is all of Germany. I would be happy to help you out. I also love the Bavarian part of Germany. Gorgeous! If you would like, I would be happy to help!

  14. Well, I'm no help with your Europe trip because I've never been there...but I hope that you have a great time! I would definitely wait til you get there and check with the locals. They always know best! :)

    xoxo laurie

  15. Kat, Sorry things seemed to crescendo just before your big trip. Always seem that is the case! Have a wonderful time and relax! We will all be waiting for a virtual tour from you when you get back!

  16. So sorry you had damage from the crazy weather we have had this year--floods, droughts, "hot beyond belief" temps, tropical storms, earthquakes--what have we left out!! I'm not sure you have my sympathy on your "tough" decision of where you should go in Europe! What wonderful options you have--I don't think you can go wrong on any choice you make--it will be a wonderful experience. Have a terrific (and safe) time. Mickie :)

  17. Hi Kat - we lived for three years in Germany just across the river - 10 minutes - from the Alsace. Go, go, go! Markolsheim, Riqueweher, Strasbourg - get lost in Strasbourg, sit in a cafe in the sunshine near the cathedral. Gorgeous. You might want to visit the German city Freiburg - so beautiful and walk-able, south of Heidelberg in the Schwarzwald. Any of the small towns in the Schwarzwald or Alsace will be having their wine fests - stop wherever you see a tent and hear a band to drink the new wine and eat Zwiebelkuchen (Germany) or Flammenkuchen (Alsace) - a wonderful, tender onion tart. I'm drooling with envy!

  18. Hi Kat,
    I've never been to Germany but my brother lived there for years and my sister also said how lovely it was and that it was the cleanest country she has ever been to (and she has been everywhere!).
    If you're going to be close to Belgium I highly recommend at least a day there. I've been a couple of times and Bruges is just beautiful. I could go there again and again - it's very picturesque (old town square, beautiful buildings, churches, horse and carriage rides, canal, lovely little shops...) and is small enough to do in a day and on foot. Try and fit in a trip there - you won't be sorry. Also Antwerp was a shocker - I took Seth there when he was 6 as there was a Tall Ships Festival and he had just got into The Goonies and Pirates of the Carribean so I thought it would be a cool trip to take him on. It was beautiful - trams, little streets which opened onto lovely squares around every corner and even one of Europes oldest zoos just in the town. We had an amazing time and even took a helicopter ride over the city. You could then spend a day or two in Northern France - Normandy is stunning. Hope you have a great time - wherever you go. You could fit quite a bit in though if you're using the trains as they are really fast (from where I live to London is a 3 hour train ride - the same distance in France takes an hour!).
    Have fun - I hope you have an amazing trip! Don't forget you could always pop over to Wales for a bit if you fancy that too :)
    Enjoy your trip and good luck with cleaning your land. We can't even imagine what hurricanes must be like over here.

  19. Kat - No need to reply to me - I know you are busy- Have you been to Normandy? What about Switzerland or Holland? -Trish

  20. You just enjoy EVERY second of your amazing trip!

    m ^..^

  21. I am glad you may it through the storm & cam through safe and sound on the other side. I have a big property & the hard work that is required after a storm. But I haver experienced anything like that. At least your holiday will be a good distraction.

  22. Comments open. Yay! Now I can tell you without having to write you how beautiful these photos are. I can't remember the last time I took my camera out and tried to capture some shots like these, so this is very inspiring to me.
    As for travelling in Europe, never been there - so I am of no help. But enjoy !

  23. Hello, this is my first time commenting on your blog. I wanted to let you know that I have been to Strasbourg, France, and I loved it! I chose to visit the city during our 2008 trip to France because my grandfather came from Strasbourg. It is a charming, picturesque place with the most amazing cathedral. I did not find it touristy. The boat ride along the river is nice. I highly recommend Strasbourg. The nicest people we met while in France were from Germany. I would love to return to the Alsace region and also visit Germany. The wine in that region is fantastic. Enjoy your trip,

  24. Hi Kat~~~Because I've been to Paris, I think I would like to visit another place. Austria sounds like a great place...but that's just me.
    I'm sure where ever you end up, it will be a wonderful trip.
    Have a great time!

  25. Happy that you didn't have worse damage. My husband and I go to Europe almost every year, visiting France and Germany most often. I would not spread yourselves to far with only four days or it will just be a blur. The Alsace section is wonderful, picturesque and has wonderful food.

  26. Our son was in Europe this summer. Part of his trip was to Marseilles and to Nice. He really enjoyed Nice. My mother-in-law loved Austria while she was there years ago and our daughter loved Switzerland during her visit for a birthday/spring break trip. Like you said the world is your oyster. No matter where you go I'm sure you will enjoy yourself.


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