Sarah Browning

RoamingGators

Sarah Browning

We are celebrating our survival of the first year of parenthood by packing up the baby and heading to Europe for two months. We'd love to have you follow our new 'family travel' adventures! We'll be stopping in Barcelona, Minorca/Menorca, Brussels, Athens, and Rome.

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We're off to Europe!






Europe » Italy July 17th 2011

On our last full day we headed for what we knew would be a huge hit with Delaney, the Spanish Steps. As expected she really enjoyed going up and down the steps over and over again while taking breaks to wave to her adoring fans. We were only saved from an eternity of stairs by a glimpse of the horses at the bottom of the stairs. Delaney had never seen a horse before and thought they were very silly. After the stairs we stopped by the Piazza del Popolo before tracking down our lunch choice: Freschetteria Brunetti. We had chosen it based on its purported offering of 11 different kinds of lasagna (including a gorganzola walnut variety). Sadly, they don't serve lasagna during lunch. Our waitress brought us the handwritten offerings of the day and kindly ... read more
Pasta Course
Clapping with the Staff
Our Sweet Ride

Europe » Italy July 16th 2011

After a quick 2 hour flight from Athens and being met at the airport with a sign bearing our name (first time ever!), we were dropped off at our apartment in Rome. It wasn't too comforting that the driver was having trouble finding the place even with GPS, but it was late and we were too tired to care. We put an exhausted D to bed and Pat ran out and grabbed the equivalent of Roman fast food for dinner (pasta, but definitely nothing to write home about). The next morning we regrouped, largely thanks to our forethought of bringing Greek coffee with us (FYI- if you fill a jelly jar with coffee grinds and put it in your carry-on bag be prepared to be stopped A LOT). I had to master another form of coffee ... read more
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Yummy!
Toddler Fight Club or True Blood Fan?

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens July 10th 2011

After nearly a month in Athens, it was time to think about packing up and grabbing all those souvenirs we had been putting off. We took one last stroll to the central market to stock up on honey and sesame covered peanuts for the flight to Rome and to grab another round of Greek donuts. We also revisited the Cretan restaurant we found in Psyrri (after a month in Athens ANY variation on Greek food is much appreciated). We climbed up the hill one for one last look at Athens before walking back to the apartment. On the way, we walked through Syntagma square to see what the riot damage looked like. Amazingly, unless you knew there had been a 2 day riot just days before you would have never known anything had happened there. The ... read more
My Custom Made Sandals
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A Lightning Shirt in Rome?

Europe » Greece » Attica » Poros July 2nd 2011

Warning: The following is a blatant advertisement for the island of Poros! After doing some research about Greek islands that were close enough for a 1 year old to survive the boat trip, yet far enough away to provide a 'real' island vacation, we decided to take a 3 day trip to Poros. Since many things are closed on Mondays in Athens, we decided to leave Monday and planned to return Wednesday. Right before we left we found out there was a 48 strike planned for Tuesday and Wednesday so we figured it was a great time to leave Athens as the strikes tend to involve teargas these days. We double checked and the ferry unions were not planning to participate. Monday morning we made our way to the port and boarded the high speed catamaran ... read more
Sunset
stairs to the clock tower
Poros town

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens July 2nd 2011

Since we've been in Athens for nearly a month now, we've taken far fewer pictures and have basically just been living life. We take nearly daily trips to the central market to pick up the dirt cheap fresh produce (Greece may have the most delicious cherries and oranges on planet Earth). D developed a taste for Kiwi that may be very hard to provide for in Fargo. We also hit the fish market regularly to pick up fresh salmon and grouper filets, both extremely cheap. We've found it necessary to cook some dinners at home even though our budget of 80 Euros a day would certainly allow us to eat out for all our meals and then some. Greece is remarkable in the homogeneity of its restaurants. Your choices are Greek, or....Greek. Seriously, there is nothing ... read more
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The donuts
Aeropagus Hill

Europe » Greece » Attica » Aegina June 23rd 2011

So where were we? The next stop on our tour of old stuff in Athens was Hadrian's library, which is actually a collection of multiple buildings (a bath, church, homes, and a library). We decided to go after 2nd nap which put us at about 1:30 in the afternoon. This is not an ideal time to be outside in Athens in June. For the first time in our lives we busted out the umbrellas on a crystal clear day in an vain attempt to avoid heat stroke. Proof positive we live in North Dakota. The site had remnants of a fresco from a church that made use of some of the ruins as well as a tile mosaic floor with a hearts motif (perhaps made by ancient teenage girls?). The library was just a pile of ... read more
Proof we're from ND
God?
D getting in the water

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 19th 2011

After a week in Athens we decided it was finally time to visit the Acropolis. Unfortunately, so did EIGHT cruise ships. Ugh. The conga line to the top was unbelievable. Luckily the ticket person let us go up the exit, though the exit line was equally formidable. Though the Parthenon and all the other temples at the top are covered in various stages of scaffolding, the site is still quite impressive. The entry gate must have been SO impressive to the ancients since it is still quite imposing today. The visit to the Acropolis museum prior to visiting the site itself was very helpful. It helped us to understand exactly what we should be looking for and what the various pieces were. Some of the carvings are still intact on site, while others are in the ... read more
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Riot squad

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 17th 2011

Apparently the theme for this year's trip to Europe has been 'Protests'. We've run across one in every locale save Menorca. On our walk to find was is reportedly the 'best' Greek coffee we ran across a gigantic protest as well as many, many closed streets. They were all headed in the direction of Syntagma square and the Parliament building so we gathered we should stay away from there. We didn't manage to find the mythical coffee as it was on the square in which the protesters were gathering, so we grabbed a coffee elsewhere and then wandered back to the central market. We were on a mission to buy some lamb for dinner. We asked for lamb chops and were shown a rack instead. Unfortunately, I didn't listen to my gut instinct that said 'hmmm, ... read more
A rare family photo
Self-timer fun
Filopappou Hill

Europe » Greece » Attica » Athens June 15th 2011

Our travel day to Athens showed that we have finally gotten the hang of traveling with a wee toddler. We didn't spend multiple hours waiting at the airport nor did we have to do the mad dash to make our flight. Much, much better traveling. The 3 hour flight was perfectly timed for D's nap. Unfortunately they had sat another toddler right behind us and he was hell bent on making D look like a traveling angel. Eventually D managed to fall asleep despite the constant screaming. She was complemented in multiple languages on her flying prowess. The warmth of Athens was a welcome relief from the chilly days in Brussels (since we both only brought one pair of jeans and a fleece). We found our apartment without any problems. We are in the Neapoli area ... read more
Acropolis before the Downpour
Fish Market
Lunch in Plaka

Europe » Belgium » Brussels-Capital Region » Brussels June 10th 2011

On Tuesday we finally set out to see a few museums. Since we have a 1 year old in tow, we figured fine art museums might not be the best bet. Instead, we opted for shorter, more entertaining museums. We started with the Chocolate Museum, where D had her first taste of chocolate (do not wear white while giving 1 year old chocolate chips). She, of course, loved it. The museum was interesting. They started by letting you taste the flowing chocolate from the fountain before watching a demonstration on making chocolate candies and sculptures. We found it quite interesting that many of the sculptures (like Snow White's dwarfs in the pictures) were made by pouring chocolate into Halloween masks. After the demonstration, we walked through the actual museum which traced the role of cocoa in ... read more
Drinking fountain
The next victims (notice the Sara beer...made from buckwheat)
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