How Traveling with Your Children Inspires Growth

September 20, 2019

Holly Haze

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                 My daughter Jordan recently graduated from high school. As a graduation gift, my sister gave her a trip to Europe. So naturally, I tagged along!!! I wish I had done more traveling at a younger age and I certainly wish I had experienced a special trip with my mother. My mom’s family was from Amsterdam. She always wanted to go and never did.

                 First stop on our trip was Croatia. We spent four days there, mostly in the capital of Dubrovnik, but also a day trip to Split. While in Croatia we toured Old Town. My daughter loved hearing the history of the town. To see structures that were built in the 12th century was incredible to see. You could see the lengths the town had to go to in order to fight off invasions back in the day. One of the days we rented a boat for the day. Our skipper was a young guy named Maro. We stopped at caves and went snorkeling and swimming. The whole day was exploring the Adriatic. Although very salty, we had never seen water quite that beautiful. 

Holly Haze

 

We had lunch at Hotel Dubrovnik. The seafood is so fresh there that they bring you a plate of the morning catches and you pick which fish you want them to cook. This day on the water was one of my favorite parts of the trip. After lunch we did more boating until 6 o’clock when he dropped us off at our hotel.

                 Next stop on our trip was Slovenia. Such a lovely country. We arrived in Portoroz later in the day due to a scary border issue, but ended the night with a great dinner at Kempinksi Hotel. The next day we did a day trip to Piran. This was such a great port town reminiscent of Venice. Piran is known for their sea salts. We did a bit of shopping there and also had lunch. 

While in Slovenia, we visited the capital, Ljubljana. This was the only day we had bad weather. It rained most of the day, but we made the most of it! The market had a wide variety of breads and pastries, as well as meats....where horse is a main option. We did not eat any horse. In spite of the many culinary differences, Ljubljana was definitely worth the visit. 

Holly Haze

                 We then headed to Portopiccolo in Italy near Trieste. Another port town and absolutely breathtaking.  We were there for four days and didn’t want to leave. This hotel was definitely the favorite of our trip. Pizza and gelato in Italy is like no other. I fear we are now ruined and will no longer enjoy either in the states! I am not a wine drinker, but I managed to find a wine I liked because....well, because it was Italy!

Holly Haze

                 Next stop....Verona, Italy. Such a romantic little town and I highly recommend. It is, after all, the setting of Romeo and Juliet. Great food, wine and shopping. It’s a small city and easy to navigate. The arena there was built in the first century. (Pic4) While staying in Verona we also did a train ride to Venice for the day. To see a city that is traveled only by foot and water is remarkable. No cars. The trash collector, construction, taxis, ambulance and the mailman even use boats.The markets are so cool. Fresh farm to table all through Europe. It gets very hot in Europe in the summer. Many places don’t even have air conditioning. Thankfully the hotels we chose did.

                 Back to Verona where we finished up our days walking around admiring the culture and of course eating and shopping. The food in Europe is amazing. I think I gained 10 pounds in two weeks! We left Verona Airport and flew to Dublin for a few days. Such great pubs in Ireland and an extremely friendly country. We went up to coast to see the Giant’s Causeway, considered a world wonder of sorts. Along the way we stopped at various castles and even had lunch at Bushmills Inn. This was one of my favorite meals in Ireland.

Holly Haze

                 On the way back to Dublin, we took a detour through Belfast. It was sad to see the division of this beautiful city. Protestant against Catholics; still a wall between the city. We had a beverage in Belfast, but were back in Dublin for dinner. The cutest and smallest pub called The Dawson was a favorite find.

                 Our two week trip was coming to an end. Definitely hard to pick a favorite. Each location had something special. I hope my daughter enjoyed it as much as I did. I feel very fortunate to have shared these memories with her and my sister and my only wish is that she explores more countries in her lifetime.