I went to Europe first in 1997 on a business trip to Paris and London. I got a chance to visit the cities while I worked during the week, and I promised Madeline that we would go there sometime in the future.

Our first trip to Europe together happened ten years later because I received the Purdue Alumni Travel guide in the mail. Lots of places piqued our interest, but Italy over Spring Break just seemed a perfect way to initiate us into European travel. Not controlling the whole process was a first for me, and Europe itself was a first for Madeline and Dana.

We went back the next two years, but then the economy tanked and foreign travel got a little scarier, so we stopped heading across the pond until a cruise in 2015.

Europe

We had hoped to be able to see Mäggi after she graduated high school, so Madeline and I scheduled this trip to Germany. Using a lot of frequent flyer and hotel points, we began the trip in Frankfurt, then moved down to Munich to use as a base. We booked multiple tours with Viator.com to simulate the what we did in Italy and France. After that, we were picked up by Mäggi's family and taken to her home town in Regensburg. There, we let them be the tour guides.

Germany: 6/30/09—7/10/09

Return to top

After the success of last year's Italy trip with Purdue Alumni Association, we opted for another trip with them. This time, it was to Paris. It fell over the week AFTER Spring Break for Dana, though. She suggested that maybe while we were there we should pop in on the Brits, so we extended the vacation by starting in London for a couple of days, then moving on down to Paris to meet up with the tour group. Dana was 18.

London/Paris: 3/27/08—4/6/08

After leaving O'Hare on Friday at 10AM, laying over in Detroit for 5 hours, taking a 7-hr flight to Amsterdam and then a 2-hour flight to Rome, we arrived about noon Saturday. We then met the Purdue people and boarded a bus to get to our hotel. Even though we were tired, we ventured out and saw some sights near the hotel.

Italy: 3/24/07—3/31/07

We took a cruise in the Baltic Sea on the Disney Magic right before we put our house up for sale in Chicago. We added onto the cruise with Adventures by Disney, which toured us around the various countries. Starting in Copenhagen and ending with a day in Berlin, we really had a great time knocking off five more countries.

Baltic Sea: 5/28/15—6/8/15

I had my first opportunity to go across the Atlantic on a business trip in 1997. Originally I was supposed to travel with a colleague, but his boss canceled his trip a  day or so before. I still went, doing business in Paris, London, and then Coventry. I happened to see the Pope in Paris and I left London a day before Princess Di was killed.

London/Paris: 8/24/97—8/29/97

I went back to Europe on business in 2009, with Chris Yo, a colleague of mine at Comdisco. We went to Munich first and visited the Glockenspiel and Hofbrauhaus. In Paris we went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and around Notre Dame. Oh, and we did some work while were there, too.

Munich/Paris: 10/6/99—10/10/99