Nick and I made the trip back from Europe over the weekend and spent the last few days recovering from jet lag and getting settled back into our routines. We had a truly amazing time during our vacation and the two weeks seemed to go by so quickly – we were both sad when it was time to leave. I slacked off on my planned blog updates after the first week since our days were busy and often long – instead of blogging in the evenings I relaxed with Nick and a glass of wine and relished the experience. 🙂
I have lots of stories and photos to post but first I wanted to finish highlighting our rental apartments. Other than a few quirks, the rentals and overall experience through Airbnb.com were great; I’d definitely do it again and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the rental site to others. In each of the cities our rentals cost between $125 – $200 per night, far less than the cost of a hotel in the same central areas as we stayed; and a rental gave us access to a washer/dryer, kitchen and free wi-fi.
After we checked into our rentals we usually got settled and then walked around the neighborhood before finding the nearest market to purchase a few breakfast items, snacks and often a simple dinner. Nick and I don’t speak French or Dutch, but for the most part we had no problems deciphering food labels (yay for graphics on packaging) except for when I accidentally bought sour buttermilk instead of creamer for our coffee…thankfully I tried it before pouring it in our drinks!
After four days each in London and Paris we headed to Brussels, Belgium where our stay was pretty short – only one full day and two half-days. Our rental was directly across the street from the main market square and was by far the largest – it was nice to have a bit more space after sharing a studio apartment! Airbnb.com provides really good photos and information about each rental, but somehow we missed the fact that the toilet was located off the bedroom and the sink and shower were located off the main living area – so using the bathroom required a lot of walking back and forth.
The final leg of our trip was four days in Amsterdam, where we rented one of the many houseboats that line the city’s hundred-plus canals. Sitting on the patio and overlooking the water each evening was so great that Nick and I are now dreaming about buying and living on a houseboat in Europe!
Next up, highlights from each of the cities we visited.