The Europe leg is definitely the most rushed part of my Cescapade and that was completely due to my “planning.” At the time of booking, it was planned to be the only trip, other than GlitchGate, and then I was going to go back to New York and get a job. Because a month of traveling is enough for anyone-especially an unemployed anyone, right?
After spending New Years with one of my favorite humans and his Mama, Finn and Hezza, I got inspired to work towards my 40 x 40-a familiar phrase among the wonderlusting folk that refers to hitting 40 countries by the time you hit 14,610 days…accounting for leap years, of course. I had only done 9 (10 if you count Northern Ireland as it’s own country) so I had a long way to go. I was almost 32 and accounting for potential years I would be pregnant or with small child and out of commission-again with the planning-I figured I probably need to hit about 8 countries a year on my good years and 2 on the off ones to make my goal. 4 good years, 4 off years and 2 baby years put me in good shape so I needed to hit 6 in this one trip. Abu Dhabi was booked and there was talk of Iceland, and so a trip to Norway, Denmark, The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Czech Republic (France is a repeat so it doesn’t count) began to take shape.
Operation Eurotrip was alive with a mission to basically get into as many countries as possible. The flights into Oslo were extremely reasonable (thank you Norwegian Airlines) so it was the clear starting and stopping point. Then came the fun part. In addition to the places that made the final cut, Sweeden, Greece and Poland were up for review, but something had to give. Brussels even almost got the axe but got saved by an amazing hotel at a great price! I narrowed it down to 10 cities. Let that sink in. 10 cities, one city twice, in 19 days. Whew..I can do this!
Turns out, this is hard! It’s now Sunday and in the last week I’ve been in 5 countries. I’ve been on 3 airport shuttles, 2 planes, 1 train, a handful of roller coasters, a boat and tomorrow I leave on a bus! And I’m loving it, I truly am, but even the good Lord needed a day of rest!
So here I am in Brussels. And on my way here I pulled out my map of all the pre-starred, check-listed, fully planned things I needed to do during my 17 hours here. I reviewed my must sees and my should dos and by the time I got to my hotel I had a plan.
But then I saw that a former-Belgian friend on FB mentioned a few areas not in my list. And the lovely clerk who checked me in mentioned the sauna and hot tub are open til 11. And then I got out and realized that it’s Sunday and many of the things in my plan just aren’t open today.
So I stopped at the first restaurant I saw and filled my belly with some delicious Ethiopian food…probably the best Brussles has to offer. And I’m gonna snake my way to the monuments and see what I can see, and hopefully a few pieces of chocolate or a waffle makes it way to my mouth before that hot tub starts calling my name. And then I’ll probably be in bed by the time the is day football games air here.
And that’s ok. Sometimes plans don’t work out. And sometimes the best things in life happen by mistake. So here’s to taking a vacation from my vacation.