As you may have seen on social media, we spent the past week driving through Europe, passing through Italy and central France and spending the majority of our time in Switzerland! I am SO passionate about travel, so I have been looking forward to exploring more of Europe for awhile! As our renovation is coming to a close, the painters are working hard on finishing up and we decided to travel for a week to avoid little fingers touching all of the wet paint and breathing in the fumes.
So off we went - we rented a car and spent the first day driving about 6 hours to Lake Como, Italy. I grew up taking road trips all the time as a child! If we weren't driving from Minnesota to Chicago (at least 4 times a year) to visit family, we were making the long trip to New York to visit my aunt, or hoping the the car for a trip along the East Coast. Either way, we were always driving. I was so used to it that it felt like no big deal to spend the whole day in a car! I want our girls to have the same attitude towards travel, to know that it's no big deal and to be comfortable entertaining themselves often. I felt like overall this trip went SO well with the girls, and I was very proud of how well they played together and often completely ignored us!
Lake Como was GORGEOUS! We stayed at the Palace Hotel and it was such a wonderful experience. I highly recommend it if you're traveling to the area, especially with children. The immediately brought the girls little cups of hot chocolate once we arrived while we checked in, and it was a perfect location near the old town.
We wandered around Como for half a day before heading back into the car for our beautiful drive to Zürich!
Our drive to Zürich took us through the alps on such an incredibly beautiful route! Along the way we saw castles, gorgeous centuries old bridges and forests of pine. It was truly an unforgettable trip.
Driving through the countryside of Switzerland (or 'Swiss' as they call it in French) was magical. The tips of the Alps are covered in snow, while the lower countryside is lush green.
I positively LOVED Zürich! It felt like a cosmopolitan winter wonderland, with its beautifully decorated storefronts, light snowfall and warm shops - I was in heaven! Below are some photos from our 3 days there, the Christmas markets were a big highlight!
After enjoying all of the Swiss hot chocolate Zürich had to offer, we got back in the car and drove to Lucerne (or Luzern as it is spelt in Switzerland). And wow, it was spectacular!! My biggest take away from this trip is how excited I am to go back, especially when the girls are a little older!
We stayed at the Hotel de Balances, and it was such a dream. As a small historic boutique hotel, our room was very small but the location was amazing. Below are photos taken from our balcony, and you can even see one Matthew snapped of me while I was taking them, lol.
After Luzern, we started our trip home, stopping for a day in Lyon and visiting a farm where the girls played with so many animals. Maddie was in absolute heaven, it was too cute!
The views from the glacial lakes are some of the most amazing I've ever seen! The turquoise color comes from the fact that algae isn't present in glacial lakes, creating a glow which is normally dimmed by overgrowth of plant life.
And then after 6 day of fun, we were home! I am so grateful we could take this journey together. I grew up taking road trips often, and am so happy to share them with our family!
Thanks for reading along!