I should probably put it out there that I’ve never blogged before, so you’ll have to bear with me. Nevertheless, welcome to my travel blog! I’ll be posting daily while me and my family (hang on, we’ll get to them) are in Europe for five weeks starting June 21st. We’ll be in Paris, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Sälen (in Sweden) and London.
Convenient map minus London! Google maps wouldn’t let me show the route in flights (which we will be doing because, fun fact, it’s cheaper than driving or taking the train) and adding London into the driving route takes you back through Amsterdam and stuff. Long story short: it looked weird. And everyone knows where London is.
Here is my family, whom I will probably just refer to as “we” most of the time. Unfortunately, we haven’t taken a family photo recently, so there will be a couple pictures.
Apparently my parents don’t take nice photos together very often, since this one from a couple years ago was the most recent one I could find. In case it wasn’t obvious, my mom is on the left and my dad is on the right.
Fortunately, my parents take pictures of us more frequently – this one is from last week. The tall, blonde boy on the left is my little brother Michael and I (Maggie) am the short, blonde one on the right.
Now that you know who all is going on the trip, let me give you a quick rundown of what we’ve done so far.
Well, all of our rooms, planes, and several of our passes/ tours are booked, but in terms of packing, we haven’t started.
In March, Michael and I applied to have our passports renewed and oh boy, wasn’t that fun. Michael got his within a month, but I only got mine a week ago. A couple weeks after Michael got his passport and papers back, I got a letter listing all the things that could possibly be wrong with my passport application. After taking with our city hall, they decided the only thing that could actually be wrong was the photo, so they re-took it for me and sent it in again. About a week later, we got another letter – the exact same letter – telling us that something (who knows what) was wrong. After much frustration and long hold times, my mom talked to someone who said that, even though their website stated that you didn’t need parental permission to apply for a passport if you were over 16, the age was in fact 18. So we filled out all the appropriate paperwork and sent it back in to them. Three days after I turned 18, my passport started being processed for the third time, over three weeks after we sent in the final corrections. That was the middle of May, and I received my passport at the beginning of June. As of June 9th, almost exactly three months after we sent in the first application, I have not got my birth certificate or other papers back yet.
Pro travel tips from an 18 year old: renew your passport as early as possible.
But other than that struggle, it’s been fairly smooth sailing. Booking a small apartment in Paris was a bit of an ordeal, but we found a solid place after only a couple flaky owners.
So when I said not much has happened, I guess that was a bit of a lie. The real push begins this week though, now that we’ve survived my high school graduation and Michael’s 8th grade promotion. I’ll make another post before we leave letting you know what we get up to in the next two weeks, but until then, I hope you have a great week and I look forward to sharing our adventures with you!