On our Christmas Markets cruise we not only got to enjoy some of Europe's finest Christmas markets,but we also visited some of the most well known historical sights as well. Visits to cities like Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, and Nuremberg provided a number of historical and cultural highlights.
If you have never thought of doing the Christmas Markets through Europe - I know I hadn't - they should definitely be on your travel bucket list. There is nothing like sipping on some warm Gluhwein while meandering through medieval cobbled streets admiring the local handicrafts to put you in the holiday spirit!
Our Christmas Markets Through Europe down the Danube River with AmaWaterways was a once in a lifetime experience. There is something for everyone - it isn't just for avid shoppers. We saw many Unesco World Heritage sights. We experienced some amazing local cuisine, craft beer, and incredible small production wines from the Wachau Valley that likely never make it to the US market.
The sights and sounds of the Christmas Markets were a fabulous way to ring in the holiday season. I have no love for cold weather. I have no problem being completely upfront about that! However, the cold was no deterrent during this trip, in spite of what the thermometer read. Consider a Christmas Markets tour through Europe for next year. I promise you, it will not disappoint. But be sure to book it early. Space on these special sailings fills up quickly.
Thank you for following my travels on Facebook, and I hope you will consider traveling on this journey down the Danube next holiday season. It may seem like a long way off, but remember, life is short.
Stop dreaming. Start Going.
We are off like a shot into the busy holiday season. Time for turkey, pumpkin pie, and showing gratitude for all of our blessings. Thanksgiving is a time to gather with friends, family, and loved ones. So what am I thankful for this year? First off, I am thankful for my husband. Next month marks our 20-year anniversary. TWENTY YEARS! Wow, I feel really old now! I’m also thankful for my three beautiful children who are the light of my life. All are classical ballet dancers who will be performing in Nashville Ballet's rendition of the holiday classic The Nutcracker (shameless plug – ya’ll go see it, OK?). I’m thankful for my mom who is my biggest fan and business promoter in the whole wide world – I’m pretty sure it’s all of her traveling that keeps my travel business up and running in the black. She’s the best! I’m thankful for good friends both near and far. And, I’m thankful for the opportunity to work in an industry I love.
I can honestly say that I LOVE my job. Work isn’t a four letter word for me. I love meeting people and talking to them about their dreams and places they’d love to visit, sights they want to see, and experiences they long to have. I get the privilege of helping create the vacation they’ve always dreamed of. I get excited with them as the date approaches, and I love the pictures they send me while they’re there. I love to hear the stories afterwards when they get back and their plans on where they want to go next. I will say that my job does have two downsides: I always want to go on these awesome trips with them, and my bucket list of places I want to see is constantly growing.
Next week I will be cruising down the Danube River and visiting the European Christmas markets from Budapest to Nuremberg with AmaWaterways. I call it an anniversary/work vacation. Like I said, I love my job. If you visited my booth at the Nashville Beer and Wine Festival or the Rippavilla Plantation Wine Festival you probably saw some of their brochures at my booth. As an all-inclusive luxury river cruise company, local wine and beer are freely poured and lunch and dinner, and champagne is available at breakfast. Shore excursions and tours are also included. It’s perhaps one of the best ways to travel Europe. These small ships are able to dock in ports for you to explore at your leisure. The idea of a floating hotel that travels with you and enables you to unpack only once makes visiting multiple cities a breeze. The food is prepared by top rated chefs and reflects the cuisine of the regions you are visiting. Have I mentioned that I love my job?
I hope you will follow me as I chronicle my travels on my Facebook page. I will be posting pictures, videos, and reviews of my trip along the way. As a food, wine, and beer lover you can expect to see a lot of what the region has to offer to those who share my passions. Maybe you will be inspired to plan your next vacation. In the meantime, reflect on all that you have to be thankful for in your life. And, consider what experiences you hope to have in this next year. Life is made up of experiences and memories that you create.
Stop dreaming. Start going.