Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Europe Recap in 10 Minutes or Less

So who likes reading super long vacation recap posts that take over a blog for 2+ weeks?


Thought so.
As it turns out, I hate writing them just as much as you hate reading them.

And THIS is why we're friends.

So here's my European adventure recap, in "ain't nobody got time for that" style:

Refresher Course: Levi and I spent two weeks in mid-May visiting Brussels (Belgium), Bruges (Belgium), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Munich (Germany), and Prague (Czech Republic).

Favorite City: Amsterdam
  Turns out, there is SO much more to Amsterdam than the red light district and legal weed.  Even in the rain and cold, it's the most beautiful place I've ever been. The people are kind, the streets are charming, and there's a general feeling of happiness and contentment that permeates the air.  This was Levi's favorite city as well.  Bruges and Munich tie for second (but this is like comparing apples to oranges -- we loved them both for vastly different reasons!).

Had to document our 30 seconds of sunshine in Amsterdam

Sweetest Digs:
We stayed Airbnb in every city and LOVED IT.  I would highly recommend giving it a shot on your next trip!  Every place we stayed ended up being wonderful, but I wouldn't be mad if I had to move into our Brussels apartment.  It was huge and really well decorated!

Corner of the living room in our flat in Brussels, Belgium

Best Meals: 
Cafe Savoy for brunch (Prague - we stayed across the street and may have eaten here multiple times), homemade truffle ravioli with ingredients from the Marienplatz Market (Munich), bagel sandwiches from Delish (Brussels - ate here multiple times too, whoops)

Shopping for dinner ingredients in Munich (say hello to Levi's finger!)

Cafe Savoy in Prague.  Order the french toast.  TRUST ME on this one.

Most Delectable Dessert:
Waffle with Chocolate Ganache from street stand (Amsterdam). Although, ganache isn't the right word.  Chocolate sauce isn't either.  Whatever it was, it was magical.  Heck, I don't even like waffles most of the time.

Didn't get a photo of our magical waffle, but we did devour crepes in Prague

Best Beer:
Any beer sold in Belgium.  Seriously.  We drank so many beers in Bruges that our lovely bartender offered us a place to sleep it off if needed.  Ounce for ounce, we had more beer than water throughout the trip.  Half of my trip photos are portraits of beers that I drank.
I regret nothing.

Levi looking through the epic beer list in Bruges. 

Hofbrauhaus in Munich.  I lived off of carbs for two weeks.

Most Fashionable City:
Amsterdam (Munich was a semi-close second).  I tip my hat to anyone that can look impossibly chic while riding a bike in the rain.  I wanted to take photos of strangers but thought that might be creepy.  Next time!

Best Shopping:
Amsterdam & Munich.  Amsterdam had the best locally owned boutiques but Munich had the best big brand shopping.  I bought a dress from COS in Amsterdam and as well as a pair of shoes from Maison Scotch, of Scotch & Soda Amsterdam Couture.  

Favorite Tourist Activity:
Mike's Bike Tours in Munich.  If you're ever in Munich or Amsterdam, book a tour with Mike's.  Our guide was SO fun and really informative.  We saw a side of Munich that we would have never found on our own!  Had the weather been nicer, we would have taken some of the other tours that they offered.  I'd give them a million thumbs up if I could.

Only hit one parked car before I got the hang of it.

Most Thoughtful Museum:
Dachau Concentration Camp (10 miles outside of Munich, Germany).  It truly was a sombering experience, but the museum portion was very well done.   We spent close to 3 hours there, and I could have easily stayed for 3 more.

Most Amazing Moment:
Three-way tie here! Listening to the most amazing violin player in a tunnel outside of the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), riding bikes through the breathtakingly beautiful English Garden (Munich), stumbling upon a free outdoor performance by the Czech Symphony (Prague).  All three moments sent chills up my spine and almost caused my heart to explode with happiness.

The English Garden is Munich's "Central Park", if you will

One of my favorite days in Munich


The John Lennon Wall in Prague.  Stumbled upon this on our very last day and it gave me ALL the feels.

That wasn't too painful, right?
(Shh, that's a rhetorical question)

Want more photos?
I posted a million more pictures on Instagram (@natalia_etc)!

Want more information?
Please email me at allthethingsetc@gmail.com.  I'd love to talk travels with you!


  1. Love this condensed version and I'll probably have to steal it for our trip!! I'm actually surprised that Prague wasn't the favorite city on the list - I've heard such amazing things about it! Loved seeing all your photos on instagram!! Amsterdam is still on my must visit list!!

  2. All of your pics are amazing! Jealous of your trip! I'm seriously obsessed with Belgian beers. So delicious. Jealous you got to go to HofbrÀuhaus! LOL and that's awesome you only hit one parked car... I think I would have hit like 10 and ended up in the hospital!

    <3, Pamela

  3. lol! Great recap :) Your pictures are gorgeous, looks like an absolutely amazing time! Annnd the pretzel, I would live off those alone!

    Clothes & Quotes

  4. I’m all about this kind of vacation recap! Y’alls trip looks awesome and Munich is one of my favorite European cities! We did the Mike’s Bike tour too and absolutely loved it. Adding Amsterdam to my list of places to visit asap!

  5. awesome recap! i really want to visit Amsterdam eventually! love your blog! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  6. Just stumbled across your blog! You guys are the cutest - really! What an awesome present to go to Europe! I hope to go back one day to experience it with my husband - so many places I still want to see. Your trip looks incredible. I've done bike tours in Paris and Barcelona, and they were so much fun. It's the best way to see the sights for sure! (I was impressed with myself too for staying on it and not hitting a dozen cars! hah)

  7. These are such beautiful photos and you are a stunning gal! Love your blog too -- excited to be following along. xo!

  8. Haha, I keep checking a blog I follow for new posts and they've all been their vacation pics... which was 2 months ago by now- ugh! It looks like you had an amazing time-- I can't wait to go to Europe some day!

  9. Love this recap! And loved following along on your trip via Instagram. Glad you guys had such a great time.