Our family took a two and a half week trip to Europe. My husband, three sons and I got on a plane in Chicago and flew to Amsterdam where our long time friends greeted us on a hot, Dutch day. After a six hour layover in Dublin, we were more than ready to get in our rental car and make it to our vacation cottage.

Things we did in the Netherlands: Stayed in the cutest of cottages in a small village, went to a nature preserve and rode bikes to the Kroller Muller Art Museum (what an amazing collection!), swam in the pool, shopped in the grocery store, went on a day long bike ride with our friends outside Rotterdam, went for Dutch pancakes and visited a friend remembering all of the fun times we've shared together over a lifetime.

Things we did in Germany: Stayed with friends in Brunsbrock and our kids played with their kids, took a trip to a  nearby lake to beat the heat, went to a local school open house, went to church in German, visited Bergen Belsen concentration camp, stayed with friends in Oberursel at the seminary, visited Wartburg castle, spent the day in Heidelberg, met up with my nephew and his mom and we went rafting down the Lahn River, OH AND I GAVE  A CONCERT IN GERMANY! On the way out we visited Aachen where Charlemagne built a cathedral. It was pretty cool.

THings we did in Belgium: Stayed in a really cool apartment in the museum district, went to dinner in a locals only type restaurant, ate street fries, the best waffles I've ever had in my life, went to the comic strip museum (we have some serious Tin Tin fans in our family), the Magritte museum and then just as we were going to the Classical Art Museum I got sick and then spent the rest of the afternoon searching out medical help. Ended up at a hospital emergency room- quite the cultural experience. We got the prescription and knew I would have to pay out of pocket and were so scared how much it was going to be because we were a little cash strapped and.........it was 15 euro!!!! I had to pay for the ER visit at the time of service........116 euro!!! I can handle those prices.