"ON THE ROAD WITH THE FAMILY (2013 edition)" stamporama's Profile

My wife has always had this dream of taking our 2 kids to Europe. We have brought them to the US before, but for her Europe is something of an ultimate achievement if we could pull it off. So by June we began planning with the goal of visiting when our 2 kids are on school break for 2 weeks by the end of October. It was gonna be costly but once we left then returned home, oh...it was a priceless and memorable experience.

Our first stop was my fave European city Paris. Of course we went to the usual must-sees and while my wife and I were not that too excited anymore, our 2 kids were all agog to see the sights they've only seen in books or TV. And that was enough for my wife and I to know that it was time and money well-spent.

To make it more novel for the 2 of us though, we also headed off to the Versailles palace where we've been to 10 years ago but couldn't remember any of its features except for the Hall of Mirrors.

From Paris, we rode an overnight sleeper train to Venice. My wife and I have taken a similar train last year from Budapest to Krakow and I swore to myself that I won't do it again. It was noisy and hard to sleep then. But for my kids' sake, I just wanted to give them the experience; fortunately our train this time was quieter and had a smoother ride.

It's been 10 years since my wife and I first went to Venice but we didn't get to appreciate the place that well before as we were on a tour group. Back then, we were herded to a glass-blowing facility then brought to a gondola ride, then after an hour's free time we had to leave already! So this time around we had the chance to go on our own pace and suck up the place.

Next stop: FIRENZE! Again, we were here 10 years ago but all I could recall was the hilltop view of the cityscape dominated by the Duomo. So on this visit, I got to suck up again those sights that I saw only for a fleeting moment before, and marveled at what I've missed.

Of course part of the travel experience is the FOOD!!! And when it comes to Italy, it's not that difficult to crave for their traditional pasta and pizza which only Italians can cook up best.

When we got to Rome my daughter wanted to see the Colosseo because just like me, it's in her bucket list to see the 7 New Wonders of the World. So this is her third as she's been to the Great Wall of China and Chichen Itza.

One notable thing about our trip was my son's birthday fell on the day we arrived in Rome, and the specific place he personally wanted to be in was St. Peter's Basilica and Square. By a pleasant surprise, it was a Wednesday so we were just in time for Pope Francis' weekly general audience.

  • Intro Updated Nov 8, 2013
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