Don’t throw your pen at your desk in anger as you read this blog, but yes, I did just go on another vacation. But but but!!!!!!!! This vacation was different and special because this time I had a very important girl I had to show around since it was her first trip to Europe!

Meet Skylar, my “little sister.” Skylar and I were matched together when she was just 8 years old through the non-profit org Big Brothers, Big Sisters, whose goal is to help children realize their potential and build their futures. (Sidenote: I am in love with the program and can’t shut up enough about it, so if you ever want to know anything about it, contact me!!!).  We used to hang out all the time when I lived in San Diego, doing fun things like going to the zoo, ice skating, playing at the park, and watching baseball games. When it came time for me to move to Zurich after we’d been so close for 5 years, I promised Skylar that our relationship wasn’t ending just because I was going to live farther away. In fact, I told her it gave us more opportunities to see the world together and to do bigger and better things together, albeit less often. And with that in mind, Florian and I flew Skylar out to spend two weeks in Europe with us.

There are a million little heartwarming stories I could tell you about our girly time – like how I taught her how to braid hair, how I showed her that eating broccoli won’t kill her, how we rocked out to loud music in our hotel rooms, and how we talked about future baby names for my kids.  And some of the most special moments were those savored only by us, as we experienced them, and the beauty of the moment is lost in trying to retell them. 

But think for a minute. Can you imagine what it would have been like if the 13-year-old you had gone on an awesome dream vacation to another continent? And all the new, exciting, crazy, different things you’d think you’re experiencing?

For example, the younger you wouldn’t have had a problem having pigeons crawl all over you! (the video is worth watching…)

And you would have LOVED to eat a Nutella and banana
crepe while standing in front of the Eiffel Tower
You would have been in awe while taking a beautiful sunset
Gondola ride in the fabulous old waterways of Venice
And learned early on the two most important
French words a girl needs to know – Louis Vuitton
You would have struggled to pronounce Sacré-Cœur
but would have loved the view nonetheless  
You would have only known Notre Dame cathedral because
of the Disney movie you’d seen just a few short years ago
And you would have thought you’re going to grow up to be a
photographer because the pictures you take are amazing

The 13-year-old you would have been conflicted about whether to
try the escargot. On one hand, you want to look cool and adventurous.
On the other hand, SNAILS?? EWWWWWWWWW!
And would it have been cool or scary to eat a two hour meal in the pitch
black dark so you could experience what it would be like to be blind?
And last but not least, you DEFINITELY would have thought it
was hilarious when you saw pasta shaped like penises. And
you would have felt the need to take a secret picture.