A Memorable Weekend in Krakow, Poland

We spent a chilly weekend getting to know Krakow and its intricate history. Once a home to royalty, Krakow is a well-preserved medieval city located on the bank of the Vistula River in southern Poland. Yes, Krakow boasts great food, trendy cafes, historical charm, and a castle that rivals most fairy tales, but I challenge you to dig a little deeper. So stay with me for a little history. The city of Krakow has always played an integral role in Polish history and was truly at the epicenter of Poland’s economic, political, and cultural growth throughout the 14th century. ...

Family Weekend on the Danube Bend

Family time is the best of time. This particular weekend trip was just that. Family on both sides traveled from 3 different countries to meet up for a delightful weekend on the Danube Bend. This picturesque region is located roughly an hour north of Budapest and is accessible by train, bus, and even boat. The Danube Bend is aptly named for the dramatic southward turn of the Danube River through the historic cities of Esztergom, Visegrád, and Szentendre. ...

Seaside Escape to Cascais Portugal

Cascais is a quaint seaside town and historic fishing village located on the Portuguese Riviera. An easy day trip from Lisbon, Cascais is known for its dramatic rocky coastline, old world charm, and perfectly relaxed pace. Our visit to Cascais was one of the highlights of our trip to Portugal, as the beach is always calling our children’s names. Although its history dates back to ancient times, Cascais first began to flourish in the 12th and 13th centuries. ...

A Magical Day in Sintra with Kids

Sintra is a magical oasis set in the mountains just a short train ride from Lisbon. With a slew of historic palaces and castles, whimsical gardens, and winding cobblestone streets, a visit to Sintra is like stepping into a fairytale. The city of Sintra is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and is the most popular day trip from Lisbon. We were limited to one day exploring this special place, but I would strongly advise at least two days to better enjoy all that Sintra has to offer. ...

Little Explorers in Lisbon: A Four Day Family Itinerary

Lisbon is one of the oldest cities in the world, full of magnificent history, culture, and charm. From its iconic azulejos tiles and sweeping views to its historical sites and delicious cuisine, Lisbon is a destination that the whole family can enjoy. Lisbon offers a great opportunity for global learning. All kids love adventures. Introduce a few of the famous Portueguese explorers from the Age of Discovery and talk about their voyages as you stroll Lisbon’s marinas. ...

A Charming Day Trip to Szentendre

Szentendre is a small artsy town in an idyllic setting on the Danube just north of Budapest. It is known for its cafes, museums, churches, and galleries. Its proximity to Budapest and undeniable charm make it a very popular day trip destination. Szentendre’s baroque architecture and mediterranean feel stem from its multicultural past. This riverside city has been settled in some form since ancient times and throughout its history has acted as a haven for refugees. ...

Budapest: Top 6 family excursions WITH playgrounds

One of the tricky parts about traveling with children is finding balance. You want to see the sights, but little legs and limited attention spans sometimes put a wrench in your plans. When we travel we strive to combine play with sightseeing. Carving out time for the kids to run free allows them to recharge and makes sight-seeing more exciting for everyone. Fortunately, Budapest has a plethora of unique playgrounds to accomplish just that. ...

Győr, Hungary

We went by train to Győr this past weekend and were pleasantly surprised by the city’s charm. Located within the “golden triangle” of Budapest, Vienna, and Bratislava, the city of Győr is a perfect destination for a day trip or weekend getaway. We arrived in Győr with no itinerary or agenda and enjoyed strolling through the old town at a leisurely pace. The city is very walkable, even for little legs, as most of the main sites are within the city centre. ...

Hollókő, Hungary

Step back in time and enjoy a day trip to this authentic Hungarian village located in the hills 100km northeast of Budapest. A hidden gem and UNESCO World Heritage Site, Hollókő is a Palóc ethnographic village. It is considered a “living village”, as people continue to inhabit the village, preserving Palóc traditions and heritage. Hollókő’s history dates back to the 13th century with the original construction of its castle, which was intended to protect the region from additional Mongol invasions. ...

Cassis and the Calanques National Park, France

Cassis is a picturesque fishing town just 20km east of Marseille. The harbour is filled with sailboats and lined by colorful cafes and shops. An old chateau sits atop the rocky cliffs overlooking the city. It is a quaint, peaceful setting with magnificent views of the Mediterranean coastline. We walked through the harbour to begin our trek to the Calanques and returned to Cassis in the afternoon to enjoy a well-deserved al fresco meal. ...

Lyon, France

We had the pleasure of visiting Lyon on our World Cup trip to France. Lyon is a very welcoming city with lovely French charm. Although it ranks as the third largest city in France, we enjoyed the more leisurely pace and friendliness of the Lyonnaise people. As the culinary capitol of France, we were delighted by the cuisine. From the buttery croissants at the boulangerie on the corner to an elegant three course meal in the historic Port Vieux, it is fair to say that we ate our way through the city. ...

World Cup Champs

Gabe and I were fortunate enough to go on our first big kid-free getaway in France shortly after our arrival in Europe. Our main draw was watching the FIFA Women’s World Cup and seriously, what better place than France? We bought our tickets for the semi-finals and final match in Lyon prior to the group announcements and were just banking on the USA making it through. It was a tough road at times, as the US faced off against the host nation of France and a highly competitive English squad prior to meeting the Netherlands in the finals. ...

The Minutia

How do you pack up and move abroad for a year? On the stateside, we rented our home, moved all of our belongings to a storage unit, found temporary “housing” for our pup, sold a car, and left a job. Gabe will continue to work as a software engineer. I will be happily unemployed and preoccupied with learning the ropes of our new city. Once the kids start school I will be enrolling in language classes and enjoying some free time to re-balance life as a mom. ...

Getting Our Feet Wet

I had planned on getting started on my blog much sooner, but as it turns out, moving abroad and venturing between 4 countries in the first 3 weeks is quite a lot to navigate! We have a beautiful apartment in Budapest, which we have spent very little time in thus far. We are finally heading back to settle in and unpack! So what have we been up to? We spent the first two weeks traveling back and forth between Budapest and Gabe’s hometown of Fülek, Slovakia, which is 2 hours straight north from Budapest. ...