I’ve got a ton of posts to crank out on our family vacation to Sicily and Salzburg. I’m hoping to get my butt in gear. Here’s a quick peek at what I expect to cover:
- Getting There. Connecting In Rome And Using Hertz Gold Plus Rewards Points Overseas
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Catania, Sicily
- A Return To Taormina, A Beautiful City On A Hill
- Our Favorite Part of Taormina
- Exploring Mt. Etna
- Walking And Eating In Downtown Catania
- A Day In Siracusa
- Priority Pass Lounge At Catania Airport
- Mess after Mess. airberlin To Salzburg
- Hotel Review: Sheraton Grand Salzburg
- Sound of Music Tour
- Walking Around Salzburg
- L’Osteria Restaurant
- Salt Mines at Berchtesgaden
- Cable Car at Untersbergbahn
- Tasty Donuts, Salzburg
- Train To Vienna
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Vienna, OMG
- Park Hyatt Vienna Review, Part 2
- Riding The U-Bahn Subway In Vienna
- Schmetterlinghaus: The Imperial Butterfly House
- Haus des Meeres: Aqua Terra Zoo
- Austrian Airlines Lounge, Vienna Airport
- Austrian Airlines VIE-IAD, Business Class Review
- Wrapping Up
After a long overdue, exhausting array of blog posts, we’ve reached the end of this trip report. I really enjoy writing trip reports, but they do take up a bunch of time.
We started this trip in Sicily. It was our 2nd time back to this wonderful island. When we left last time, we promised that we would return to explore Palermo and points West. Well, we returned, but we never made it further West.
There was a return trip to Taormina, a city that we fell in love with the first time. Any first trip to Sicily requires a stop in Taormina. Heck, even second visits! One of my favorite parts of Taormina was re-creating a picture we took of Michelle and our daughter, Catherine, 7 or 8 years ago.
Mt. Etna was a wonderful surprise and a place we would happily return. Siracusa was a nice diversion. I don’t think it ranks a second visit soon for us. Like Naples, this was a city we liked but didn’t love. Certainly worth a day if you haven’t been.
Sicily isn’t necessarily a place where you need to spend a lot of money. There are plenty of hotels that won’t cost you a lot of money. You’ll find great food that won’t set you back a bundle. And, there’s plenty of activities that are light on the pocket. We truly love spending time there.
We’ve added Salzburg to the list of places we would absolutely return. It started out as Sound of Music, but we were really taken by the city. I only wish we had a few more days to explore downtown, just walking along the water. Day trips to the Salt Mine and Untersbergbahn, a cool cable car ride experience to the top of a mountain. I’d also happily return to the Sheraton Grand downtown. It was a delightful hotel.
The beauty of Salzburg (and, so many other cities in Europe) is that it’s easy to get places via train. That’s how we ended up with a short trip to Vienna.
Ending In Vienna, But Only The Beginning
Our time in Vienna was way too short. Originally, it was just going to be overnight. We were lucky to end up with one more day. It was enough to make sure we’ll be back. That next trip will be for more than a day or two, and might include a train ride to Budapest. While there are plenty of reasons to come back to Vienna, the Park Hyatt and Haus des Meeres are two pretty excellent ones for our family.
That’s A Wrap
Family vacations are a special thing for our family. If you’ve followed me along this far, I hope you’ll hang around a bit longer.
I love when our kids remember moments from our vacations. I think of each destination as a place on our quilt. Each of us has our own quilt. They’re different even when visiting the same places. Catherine’s quilt will have the Sound of Music on it when she thinks of Salzburg, and certainly the visit to a faraway friend. Charlie? Probably that little stream outside the restaurant with the colorful balls bobbing downstream.
Mine? Probably a mixture of both of theirs. Life continues to look more special when viewed through the eyes of my children. I never expected that before we had children. It remains one of the most rewarding parts of parenthood.
I have small memories of trips our family took when I was a kid. Our family wasn’t the happiest back then. We had our moments, here and there. The things I remember most fondly? For the most part, they involve travel. Exploring new places has a way of sticking with you. Of filling out the squares of that quilt.
We don’t have a summer trip planned for next year yet, nor anything for Thanksgiving or Christmas this year. Those trips will come into focus soon, I’m sure. Until then, I’ve got plenty of other trips to share with you.
I’ve enjoyed having you along for the ride. I hope you’ll stick around!
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