I was so incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to visit the Alsace region of France and Zermatt earlier this year. One of my sweet friends, Ally, had moved to Stuttgart for work. Her husband (and pups!) had to stay behind in the US for a few extra weeks, so I thought it would be fun to explore together while she was alone in a new country! Her adorable sister-in-law, Steph, had the same idea, so the three of us had a week of adventures together. It was, in all honesty, a completely perfect trip. We were three totally different types of travelers, but somehow when we were all together, it just clicked.
In honor of our getaway, I wanted to share some highlights and memories that I never want to forget!
+ The $100 cab ride to Ally’s house from the airport — the driver said the credit card machine didn’t work until I insisted and it magically went through… imagine that!
+ The hike to get up to the apartment with all my luggage. How she got Ikea mattresses up there alone, I will never know.
+ Walking around the adorable town and stumbling upon the best bakery — only in Europe!
+ Eating so much Ritter Sport chocolate in every flavor imaginable.
+ Going down one-way streets, bus lanes, and being totally lost in Colmar in the complete darkness — and then having to trek over construction sites with our luggage to get to the hotel.
+ Ally spending a small fortune (jk John!!!….) on tea to tell us when we left that she does, in fact, hate tea.
+ Seeing the absurdly large stork nests on top of buildings.
+ Finding it impossible to get a tasting of wine — full glasses only!
+ Eating all the macarons and pretzels we could find.
+ The other tourists who told us it was tacky to get photos with the sign.
+ The kindest ‘travelling’ gentleman who helped us get a ride from one town to the next. Why is it so hard to find taxis & ubers here!?
+ Find all the souvenir shops and visiting each and every one in search of the best ornaments!
+ Sleeping in the “loft” and having to try not to die on the wooden ladder in the middle of the night!
+ My lovely birthday surprises — flowers from Ally (“It’s a gesture!”), dinner from Steph (“Wait, I don’t have euros!”), and wine from Rob (“what’s this data charge notice?”).
And some iPhone snaps!
+ Tossing our mint shots (yuck) on the way up to Zermatt in the shuttle.
+ Sitting at a NOT reserved table at breakfast to later be told we had assigned seats.
+ Being complete tourists with the Toblerone sign — I mean, they have it there for a reason!
+ Going to a viewpoint with Ally to find out that the cable car was closed. The way up? “You walk”. Walk we did — for miles and miles! But the view was worth it, as was the turquoise lake and running into someone from UVA!
+ Stumbling into “Paradise” after said walk and being drawn in to the most epic wine bar with the most stunning view and sultry music… only to find out it was closed… for the season.
+ Being completely out of place on the lift to Glacier Paradise with all the skiiers. I’ll never forget the older gentleman who gave us tips on crossing the border with illegal substances — why!?!
+ The never-ending switchbacks from hell on the drive from Zermatt to Lucerne. Still shocked we made it without anyone getting sick!
+ All the puppies! But especially the man who had three Bernese Mountain dogs.
+ The best meal of my life — raclette, black stone steak, chocolate fondue, and all the bread. All with our wonderful waiter from Minnesota aka Venezula.
+ The worst meal of my life with the server who gave us used bread in a basket with glass. That was some dank ass pizza bread through.
+ Slipping on the ice because I forgot my hiking boots — sneakers are not made for snow!
+ Swimming in the most luxurious outdoor hot tub/pool with a view of the Alps — and Ally loving me enough to buy a disposable (read: diaper material) swimming suit.
+ The woman at our hotel who just had the hardest time figuring out how to get us water. Why does Europe hate water? How do they survive?
+ The same woman who didn’t want to recommend any spas and insisted on Googling.
+ And, of course, that same woman who wouldn’t look at us for fear of new questions the following day.
+ Farewell dinner at McDonald’s. Micky D’s on vacation is just a standard at this point!
And some iPhone snaps here too!