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European Vacation 2008

a travel blog by corncobb


The Cobb family is set to reunite this week in Paris as we begin nearly two weeks in Europe to see Stuart and visit Paris, Amsterdam, Maastricht, Brussels and London.

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Colorado Springs airport

Colorado Springs, United States


Well, we're on our way...stopping in the airport for lunch and a few cold beers before departing for Chicago.

We'll try and update as we go today, so far, very uneventful...but, based on past history, that will change!

permalink written by  corncobb on November 19, 2008 from Colorado Springs, United States
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Chicago to London

Chicago, United States


OK, Chicago's airport could use some decent places to eat...we had to trek over to the Hilton, their place was good...got us in the mood for Europe with the price of their drinks!

Lots of activity for a Wednesday night though...we leave for London in about an hour and a half, eight hour flight. Hopefully, we'll sleep...otherwise, Liz and Kelly will be grumpy.

Liz and Kelly just bought a battery charged ipod charger, that will come in handy. And, they bought a tip that will work with the iphone. Never let it be said that Liz isn't a good shopper.

Next update will probably come from the Chunnel, traveling from London to Paris... assuming we can get internet access underneath the English Channel! Cheerio!

permalink written by  corncobb on November 19, 2008 from Chicago, United States
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London St Pancras

London, United Kingdom


We're at the St Pancras station, waiting to take the eurostar to Paris. The flight was ok, a bit cramped for 71/2 hours...that's what we get for booking reward travel, I guess.

This train station is nicer than any airport I've seen in the US...we're still getting along, although I just realized we're working on 24 hours between showers...hmmm.

OK, we're about to board the train, back in touch later...

permalink written by  corncobb on November 20, 2008 from London, United Kingdom
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Paris in the rain

Paris, France


Arrived to our hotel about 8pm last night...a long day, to be sure. We have two rooms on the top floor, Liz and I can see the top of the Eifel Tower from our room...not big, but comfortable. Everyone slept ok, I think we'll be adjusted to the time change by the end of today.

Just had a wonderful breakfast downstairs, the owners of the Hotel Valadon (Victor and Maria) are delightful people. They've advised us to do the trip up the Eifel Tower this morning while it's raining...less tourists to navigate through, so that's what we'll do. We're waiting for Stuart to arrive, he should be here by 11am, then we'll head out.

We'll begin posting photos tonight...we have a full day, so we should have a good many to show you...

permalink written by  corncobb on November 21, 2008 from Paris, France
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Day 1 In Paris

Paris, France


Stuart arrived promptly at 11 and we set out for the Eifel Tower...however, the high winds prevented us from going all the way to the top, so we took some photos out front and will do our ascension either later tonight or tomorrow morning.

We spent a few hours at the Louvre...I think you could spend a few days there and not see enough...but we had a wonderful time, saw some incredible art. We had lunch closeby (Stuart had the largest beer I've ever seen), then proceeded to Notre Dame...again, quite impressive, especially since it's been there since the 12th century.

Next to the Champs-Elysees...I know, we're very touristy, but we're only here two and one half days. Very much like Park Avenue in New York, although you can feel the history of the street. And the Arc de Triomphe was spectacular.

Walked back to the hotel from there, we were briefly lost, a couple of times, but made it home safely. Tonight, we're dining at Chez Georges, Ina Garten's (the Barefoot Contessa) favorite restaurant...can't wait.

Everybody is well, Stu's hair is long...Liz likes it, I'll reserve comment. We'll try and get todays photos on the blog tomorrow...Until then.

permalink written by  corncobb on November 21, 2008 from Paris, France
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Day 2 in Paris

Paris, France


Day two was packed, we mastered the trains of paris and saw many sights...First, the catacombs. Over 6 million parisians are buried there, and the walls are made of their bones! Incredible and creepy at the same time.

We also traveled to the antique district in northern paris...again, quite a site! At lunch, we were treated to two old women singing along with the piano and accordian players. Our little taste of paris culture.

We visited the Layfayette Galleries last night, their holiday windows are a tourist attraction...lots of animation, puppets, etc. We also strolled around the Paris Opera, a spectacular building.

permalink written by  corncobb on November 22, 2008 from Paris, France
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On the way to Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands


Stuart left early this morning...we thought we'd go back to sleep for an hour or so, but didn't wake up until 10...our activity yesterday apparently wore us out. We're on the train right now from Paris to Amsterdam.

We didn't feel like we got enough time in Paris, but we're probably going to feel that way about all of our stops...we're visiting 5 cities in 13 days, so I know we can't do all of them justice. Nonetheless, we really enjoyed Paris, I know I liked it more than I thought I would. The food was fantastic, and the people were very nice...

We'll be in Amsterdam in a couple of hours, I'm hopeful to get all the Paris photos downloaded tonight. We'll be back in touch tomorrow.

permalink written by  corncobb on November 23, 2008 from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands


Today may have been the most fun we've had. Woke up, had a great breakfast (Kelly loved the ham and cheese sandwiches) and set out for the rijksmuseum. It was fabulous, even though it was in renovation. The Rembrant's were spectacular. We then visited the Van Gogh museum, it too was splendid.

Then,we stopped for lunch, and that's where the excitement really started.

After ordering, Jerry went to the bathroom. When he returned and pulled out the chair, he startled a cat, who promptly bit and clawed, thankfully only at his jeans! It gave all in the restaurant a start, and Jerry swears it was a bobcat or mountain lion, but all is well, and everyone has their limbs.

We visited the red light district, did some shopping and had a great time riding the canal bus throughout the city. This was our only full day here, and we made the most of it, we had a lot of fun.

We'll do a little more exploring tomorrow, then its on to Maastricht to see Stu and his place of study (?). We'll be back in touch tomorrow.

permalink written by  corncobb on November 24, 2008 from Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Maastricht

Maastricht, Netherlands


We arrived in Maastrich this afternoon...one of the most beautiful cities we've seen, anywhere. The city has the best shopping district we've ever seen, it's a very clean, bustling little city, lots of great restaurants and sights.

Tomorrow, we'll visit Stuart's school, and we're doing a walking tour of Maastricht, so we'll have lots more to talk about.

permalink written by  corncobb on November 25, 2008 from Maastricht, Netherlands
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Maastricht Tour and shopping

Maastricht, Netherlands


Got up early today, and saw much of this wonderful city...Liz led the walking tour this morning, we visited the site where the first bridge was built by the romans across the Maas (or the Muese), we saw several churches that were built in the 11th century...in addition, we saw the original city wall. Very cool.

Then, the shopping...this city has, by far, the best shopping I've ever seen. And, we saw it all. And, even though we visited every shoe store (there are hundreds), Liz didn't find any boots she loved, although I can tell you, she tried. Still, the shopping was impressive. Their local market was today, and many of these villagers must sew...probably 20% of the booths were selling fabric, notions, etc.

Had a great dinner tonight at a local seafood spot...Stu invited his friend Shey Wiley, we had a blast. We're leaving in the morning for Brussels, we'll give everyone a shout from there...for now, Happy Thanksgiving!

permalink written by  corncobb on November 26, 2008 from Maastricht, Netherlands
from the travel blog: European Vacation 2008
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