Europe, in three photos.
Though my dad never got to see Europe before he passed (2 years ago today in fact), my mom and I finally decided to take the trip in his honor, and as a special mother/daughter trip before I get married in April. We booked a guided tour through www.getours.com and were off to an exciting two week whirlwind tour starting in London and ending in Rome.
The whole time we were transported on a coach tourbus with 40 other people from all America, South Africa, Canada, New Zealand, and Australia. Our group drove through the countries of England, France, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Litchenstein, and finally Italy.
We went back in September, but for Christmas, much to my mom's begging to see the photos, I finally sorted through about 3,000 photos to narrow it down to about 900 keepers for my mom and I. As a professional photographer, it was fun to take a break from shooting for work to simply shoot for fun along our adventures. MOST of the landscape photos were actually taken out the window of the tour bus. When I said it was a whirlwind trip, I wasn't kidding.
I think what I found the most fascinating about Europe was the architecture. I grew up thinking I was going to be an architect and studied architecture history for a few years in high school and college. It was so fascinating to be able to see all these old buildings that I had only seen in history books before, but was now seeing in person! I only wish my dad could have been there to soak it all in too!
The other thing I loved about Europe was that I arrived to find out my iPhone didn't pick up international roaming. I guess I had never activated it, so I was forced for 2 weeks to get off the internet and email and disconnect from all the crazy technology I realize we Americans are addicted too. I was lucky to get a few hotels that had wifi long enough that I could skype on my iPhone with my fiance a few times, but other than that, it was SUCH a refreshing change to remember there is a world out there that exists without all technology we think we need to survive.
I enjoyed actually writing about my adventures in a real journal instead of typing it out on a blog. I enjoyed spending one on one time with my favorite woman in the world. I enjoyed escaping away from all the things I worried about that I thought mattered to realize they just don't. I enjoyed meeting new people not only from the countries we visited but from the countries that my fellow tourists came from. I enjoyed being reminded how young of a country America is compared to the centuries and centuries of countries that existed long before. I enjoyed seeing the beauty of God's creations from top of the the highest of mountains of Switzerland. I enjoyed simply going to Europe, before I retire, and see the sights my dad never could.
I wish I could blog them all, but between wedding planning and running a business, I'm just now getting around to printing out these 3 photos to frame in the house. So I thought I would share at least these 3 with you.
A pic I took of my computer screen with my iPhone of the 3 photos I'm cropping right now in Photoshop. From left to right, the Leaning Tower in Piza, Italy; a typical work day in Venice; and of course the Eiffel Tower in Paris. In fact, that photo is the exact view I had from my hotel window. Didn't get much better than that!