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Thursday, July 17, 2014

European Adventures

I am back in the USA and truly had the most amazing trip to Europe. I had spent a bit of time in Italy previously but I had never been to Switzerland and I will definitely be going back. Switzerland is one of the most beautiful places in the world with diverse terrain, nice people and great food.

My family and I (all seven of us) landed in Zurich and took the train to Bern (our namesake!). We stayed at the lovely Hotel Schweizerhof. It was so great to stay in a nice hotel after not sleeping on the plane. It was located right in the center of town and had great food and comfy beds. We only had one day in Bern so we wasted no time and went on a great tour of the city (thanks for planning, Tory!). Bern is so incredibly charming - I totally fell in love.

The next day we took the train through the Swiss Alps to St. Moritz, where we were picked up and driven to our hotel in the mountains. Hotel Sonne Fex was one of the most refreshing and wonderful places I've been in my entire life. Forget rehab and retreats, I felt completely recharged and fresh after spending 4 nights there. My grandparents have been going there for years and it was so special to be able to spend time with them at their favorite hotel. We went on the most stunning hikes and the wildflowers and scenery were breathtaking. The food was fabulous and the hotel staff was attentive and it really felt like a family retreat.

After four amazing days, we spent a full day traveling to Forte dei Marmi on the coast in Italy. Known as Forte by people in the know (which we obviously weren't), the town has amazing shopping and great beaches. I also enjoyed some of the freshest seafood I've ever had. After four days of hiking, it was nice to relax on the beach. We stayed at the Hotel Hermitage and it was perfect for our big family (plus free wifi!).

Our last stop was Milan, where I wish we could have spent more than one night! We stayed at the Rosa Grand hotel, which was in the BEST location and we did quite a bit of shopping and sight seeing. We also ate an amazing restaurant, Da Giacamo, where we all proclaimed that the whole family would be on a strictly enforced diet upon return the US (kidding - kind of...).

I am so lucky to have gone on such an incredible trip and I really hope that I have the opportunity to go back! I'm also so thankful that I was able to spend so much time with my family, both immediate and extended. I will be making regular updates now that I'm back but I'm off to Chicago and Michigan for the week tomorrow so I can't promise you won't be bombarded with "my life latelys" and "travel Tuesdays!"


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