Weekend Trips From Madrid
If you’re subscribed to the weekly newsletter and/or following me on Instagram, you’re probably getting regular updates on where my family has traveled while living in Spain. But in case you missed it, I thought it would be fun to share all of our quick European getaways in one post below.
#1) Zermatt, Switzerland
For our first weekend trip from Madrid, we traveled to what I like to call ‘Heaven On Earth’… Zermatt, Switzerland! It was magical. The landscape is unreal and ridiculously gorgeous. In addition to the most recognized mountain in the world, the Matterhorn, and a gigantic glacier enabling you to ski year-round, you have sweeping mountain plains and the brightest turquoise lakes I’ve ever seen. We’re hoping to go back and ski during the winter.
Chris and I really appreciated the low-key vibe in town too. For example, I’m pretty sure I didn’t see a single person dressed in anything but hiking gear and everyone was very helpful and friendly.
We stayed in one of the apartments at Matterhorn Lodge, which I highly recommend. It was so charming, and we had a big balcony with the perfect view of the Matterhorn. If we had brought Traveler with us, we would have stayed for much longer.
One of my favorite things that we did while in Zermatt was take the 5 Lakes Hike. It is supposed to be a 6 mile hike, but somehow we made it into an 8-miler! While exploring the trail, we stumbled upon the most wonderful restaurant called Chez Vroni. You can see some of the photos from that hike above. It was nothing short of incredible.
#2) Amsterdam, Netherlands
Our next trip was to Amsterdam! The entire family really enjoyed this trip. Collectively, our favorite activity was the 2-hour boat tour. It’s a great way to see the city and we had an incredible guide who really made it interesting and share unique facts you wouldn’t get from an average tour guide!
To make this experience educational for the kids, we had them do presentations before we left. Elizabeth did hers on Amsterdam in general and Gage did his on The Night Watch. We went to Rijksmuseum and actually got to see the world-famous painting, which Gage (and the whole family) loved.
Something I noticed about the fashion in Amsterdam is that the women wore very tailored, polished looks. Which I thought was interesting compared to the American fashion scene where everything baggy and oversized is very on-trend right now.
Quick Note On Travel During COVID…
I wanted to touch on the actual travel aspect of these weekend trips. Because of the pandemic, traveling is actually very complex. To get into most countries you have to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. But every country is different and some require much more paperwork. I just wanted to point this out so that anyone who is considering a long trip at this time will know that going everywhere you’re wanting to go, might not be as easy as you think.
#3) London, England
Our next trip…London! I’ve been to London quite a few times in the past… but there was something so special about seeing the city through the kids’ eyes as well as creating new memories with the family. To get to London, we had to take a COVID test before going, and then two days after getting there. So, I’d say it’s not super easy or necessarily ideal. BUT, since there are so many hoops to jump through, there were basically no tourists. It felt like we had all the tourist attractions in London to ourselves and we were able to do so much!
For example, what we were able to do on our first day alone is one for the record books. We rode the London Eye, the double decker bus, visited the Tower of London and saw the play Mouse Trap! If you’ve been to London before you know that the Tower alone has super long lines and you are lucky to see a couple of things there. We saw it all, the crown jewels, the tower itself, the Beefeater tour, ravens, etc.
I’m not sure if you know this about me (or Chris) but we both love theater and musicals! I used to cover Broadway when I worked at WCBS in New York and I often saw the shows in previews. On this trip, we were able to see TWO shows in just two days, The Mouse Trap, the longest running play in London and Phantom of the Opera. Funny story, after eating a really fast and delicious Indian dinner we walked out and saw “Her Majesty’s Theater” where Phantom was playing. Chris and I had the same thought about just checking to see if any tickets were available. Sure enough… four tickets were available (great seats too). I had never seen Phantom and really loved it! Elizabeth was mesmerized. I’m not sure Gage will share our love of theater, but I’m glad he had the experience.
Where Should We Go Next?
I want to hear from you! So many of you left your suggestions on this post, but if you have any other recommendations, please let me know in the comments below! On my personal bucket list is Morocco, several places in Italy including Positano and Venice, and the fjords in Norway. We also want to show the kids Paris. It’s a massive list. What do you think?? We only have time for 6 or 7 more short trips. Where would you go?
To get blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, along with some awesome freebies, be sure to sign up for the newsletter here.
Thanks for stopping by!