Racing around Europe

Spring Break. In Europe.

Kill me now.

April is always a stressor for parents because we feel the need to vacation as a family. Living in Europe is like vacationing on crack. Sometimes it feels like if I’m not super gung-ho and slightly hyper about traveling in general I’m failing as an overseas American. It is my duty, on behalf of all the people who would like this opportunity, to get out of my house and see the world.

This kind of pressure routinely sends me back to bed and leads me to avoid certain topics of conversation. I hate feeling like we’ve been sucked into the Amazing Race. Questions like, “So what are you doing for Spring Break?” or “We just got back from France/Poland/Yugoslovia, have you been?” sound super innocent but they always give me hives under my armpits.

Last fall Jason and I decided to use our Time Share to book spring break way in advance. I swear the Time Share is the best invention ever, for a very low fee we usually eek two free weeks at a two bedroom condo plus a number of super cheap deals out of RCI (old, reliable, everywhere).

After all the going and the doing, I feel like we need a relaxing beach vacation. Jason feels like Alexander the Great–he wants to conquer the globe one city at a time. We decided to meet in the middle and booked six days on the coast of Malaga, Spain with an extra four days in Madrid to see the surrounding country side.

The best part about traveling here in Europe is the disgustingly cheap air fare. For about $30 a person you can fly roundtrip all over Europe. You just have to watch the specials.

Since my husband has been spoiled by the Time Share, he can’t seem to overcome the idea that travel should be mostly free. Pair it with super cheap flights and what you get is a dude who waits for the airline to pay us to fly.

We’ve been watching the air fare for five months. Five months and it hasn’t ever been cheap enough for Jason to finalize our plans. Here we are three weeks from the vacation and what do you think has happened? Instead of flying our entire family for about $300, it’s now going to cost us upward of $1600 to get to Spain.

It was a nice idea but thanks to our overly thrifty patience, we have successfully killed the dream.

I won’t go into the multiple lectures I’ve given Jason or the week’s worth of glares and sniffs every time someone around us mentions Spring Break in the Alps/Normandy/Venice. I almost took matters into my own hands until I realized that I hate planning vacations. I am happy to do the packing and the pictures, but excavating the details is more than I want to handle.

Finally last week, while sitting with my girl friends in the movie theater, I got a text from Jason. It said, “Super cheap airfare to Sardinia, and super cheap Time Share there as well. Any thoughts?”

I have no idea what or where Sardinia is. For all I know it’s a back alley two villages over. What I do know is that Spring Break is coming fast and I’ll be body searched before I sit at home and do laundry for ten days of pre-sunshine. “I love Sardinia!” I wrote, “It’s awesome! Book the tickets NOW!!!”

And so, according to Wikipedia we will be spending eight days on the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, located off the coast of Italy and butting up with Corsica (we’ll be there for part of our trip). Frankly, I don’t care what happened there. I care that my kids get to spend a week in the sunshine, relaxing and playing without being yanked around from one historic site to another. They’re good sports, but this will be so much fun for them.

I guess sometimes it’s okay to lose the race, especially if running it is giving you blisters.


  1. Annie, my husband and I are headed on a similar adventure as yourself.. Is there a way I could contact you to ask you some questions? E-mail? I am a planning freak and am really getting stressed out! Thanks!

  2. The Divine Miss M says:

    Ooo I have been to Sardina and what an amazing place it was! Absolutely beautiful, warm ocean and friendly people. What more could you want??? Where are you staying? We based ourselves in Cala Luna which was just out of this world …

  3. I feel like posting this on my blog for my family. This is sooooooo how the travel bug bite feels being blessed to live here! Well said again. Love reading you!!