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Monday, October 11, 2010

My Ultimate Family Vacation--A Summer in Europe

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Cheerios® is giving you the chance to win a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, your ultimate family vacation. As part of a paid promotion for their “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, Cheerios® is sponsoring my post today about what my ultimate family vacation would be. Read mine, Enter the Sweepstakes for a chance to actually win your own fantasy family trip or one of a bunch of other great prizes.

Ever since I moved to the Bay Area the majority of my family’s summer vacations have been spent visiting our extended clan back in Illinois. While I actually enjoy spending part of my summer in the Midwest heat (call me crazy, but I miss hearing about dew points) with my parents, sister, nieces and nephews, what I would really love to do is take my family of six to Europe for the entire summer (don't worry mom, we'd stop in Illinois as we headed back home to the Bay Area).

I’ve got it all planned out—-three months, three countries, and lots of yummy food!

Our European vacation would start by renting a villa for a month in the countryside near Munich (my parents are German, so we have to kick off the trip there). We would visit the villages where my mother and father lived before immigrating to Chicago. The kids would get a glimpse into their history and see what a beautiful country their grandparents are from.

We would take day trips to visit castles, the mountains, and medieval towns, like Rothenburg. We would eat giant pretzels and landjagers (it’s like a beef jerkey but way better) every day and immerse ourselves in our German heritage before moving onto our next destination, France.

In France, I picture us spending a month in a quaint French town somewhere in the Loire Valley where we would all enjoy a slower pace of life. We would eat crepes and croissants and enjoy amazing French wines. The kids would ride their bikes past sunflower fields and we would cheer on the Tour de France riders as they sped through our temporary home base.

Our last stop would be Spain. I can just picture my kids’ amazement in seeing the Alcazar in Seville and the Alhambra in Granada. In Spain we would stuff ourselves silly on jamon (the next best thing to bacon), croquettes, and fruity Sangria.

The Alhambra, Granada Spain

I hope that someday I can make this dream a reality.  I long to expose my kids to new cultures and new people and to help them develop an expanded view of the world.     Maybe one day we will have this opportunity.  Until then, we will spend our summers in the Midwest catching lightning bugs, sweating in record breaking heat, and listening to the local news report about what this year's crops will yield.

Where would you spend your ultimate family vacation?

Don't forget to enter the “Do What You Love” Sweepstakes, for a chance to win your own ultimate family vacation. I was selected for this sponsorship by the Clever Girls Collective, which endorses Blog With Integrity, as I do.

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