Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Honeymoon Planning

Ok, so we are still planning our honeymoon. Sarah at The Seven Spot blogged about her great European honeymoon the other day and it got me thinking that we only have a few months to go and ours in not finalized. My fiance wants to be in charge, which is fine and I know it will all be wonderful, but...I actually work at a travel agency! I'm not a travel agent, I'm a group meeting coordinator/event planner, but I have some fabulous resources at my fingertips. The downside of working here is that I don't get full client privileges, so no one is in a real hurry to actually sit down and plan my honeymoon when there are tons of other clients. So...I'll just have to figure some of this out on my own for now.

We are going to start in the German wine country, then go to Switzerland, then to Paris ( on...). I would love to hear your suggestions if you have been to these places before. We have decided to be very daring and use a Delta Buddy Pass to fly to Europe. The plane tickets were running about $1300.00 for July 1st, and we can fly stand by for about $250.00 each. I used them every other weekend this past year to get to NYC to see my fiance and they do work...if you know how to use them. The key is flexibility and for once in our lives, we both have it! My fiance won't start his job in Manhattan until August and I am done with my job on April 13th. So, if we don't get out the first day we can try again. If we can't make it into Frankfurt, we can fly to some other country and add a new portion to our honeymoon. (This idea really excites me.)

Why Europe? While I love a good island, but he likes something a little more active. I enjoy activity as well, but I would like to figure out a good balance on our honeymoon. I don't want to be running around feeling like I have to see every museum in town. He has been EVERYWHERE. I consider myself pretty well traveled, but my passport pales in comparison to his. I really want us to go to at least one country that he has not been to, so that we can both experience it for the first time together.

So here is a rough draft of our into Frankfurt, Germany (or somewhere close by that a Delta Buddy Pass will take us.) My fiance studied for a year in Germany after college and also for a summer during college. (Yes, he speaks German which will be great!) When he lived their for the summer in college, he was the 3rd generation of his family to work in the German wine country (in Rhodt) at a small family owned vineyard. The vineyard has a bed and breakfast and a restaurant (they call it a weinstube.) Since my fiance knows the area so well, we will basically do a wine tour at all of his favorite places. He told me that unlike Napa/Sonoma where you make an appointment, you just knock on the people's doors in Rhodt and ask to taste their wine and they invite you in and you taste wine with the families! How fun! We went to Napa/Sonoma awhile back and that was one of our favorite trips together, so I know this will be amazing. I'm looking forward to being in the countryside and sharing a place that I know is so important to my fiance. (Plus, I get to drink lots of good wine!)

After about 3 days, where we are planning to drink all the wine in Rhodt and the surrounding areas and visit Heidleburg Castle (pictured above--isn't it beautiful!) , we will be ready to move on to Switzerland! We are not 100% sure where in Switzerland we want to go. We have talked about doing either Lake Geneva and staying in Lausanne or maybe Lake Lucern. Both places look amazing, so we are just trying to figure it out. We want to spend about 3 days in Switzerland. I really want to go on the chocolate train one day (pictured below). What girl wouldn't? The trip leaves from Montreaux and travels up the Swizz Riveria to Gruyeres, where you get to go to a castle and cheese factory. Then, you continue on to the Cailler-Nestle chocolate factory for a tour and some tasting! Montreaux is on Lake Geneva so we would probably want to be in that area. Hmmm. So many great and fabulous choices!
After 3 days in Switzerland, we are torn. We originally discussed doing 3 days in Paris (I've never been, but my fiance has been like 5 times.) I am concerned that I need more time than that in Paris and it might overwhelm me as the last leg of our honeymoon. But, on the other hand, it is one of the most romantic places in the world and going their on our honeymoon would be very special. If we go, does anyone have any suggestions on how to make it more low key? What things should I avoid and what things can I not leave without trying?

The other option after Switzerland is to include some "beach time." We could do three days on the French Riviera or on the Italian Riviera. We have thrown out the ideas of doing Cannes or one of those fabulous places. Or, we could go the Italian route and do Cinque Terre (like Sarah at The Seven Spot). I'm lost! I love it all! Has anyone been to any of these places? I would love to hear everyone's opinions.


sisters with style said...

I've been to Paris and Heidleburg when I was in law school, so you can imagine I had to do both very cheaply. I backpacked and stayed in very cheap hotels. I spent three days in Paris and loved it, even though I didn't have the funds to stay comfortably! So, definately go to Paris--it's the most romantic city in the world! How could you pass it up?

Heidleburg is very low key and everyone was incredibly nice and accomodating! YOu will love it. I'm very very jealous of you!!

Britt said...

Warning - long post!I'm so excited you are going into Germany!

Long story short - my FI's father is a Colonel in the military - they have been living in Heidelberg for the past five years (three of which FI & I have been together), so I've been to Germany a good month or so combined all the times I have gone...the first time I came, we made a short trip to Paris (for three nights, loved it and that was a tease of time to spend there - not enough to see anything!)
Then, the family loves to ski, so I've been a few times in the winter. But last summer FI and I planned a road trip through Germany, Austria to Italy - wonderful, HOT, but wonderful.
Germany in the summertime is fabulous! So clean, friendly, easy to get around and plenty of great food & wine. Heidelberg is busy in the summer, but there is a ton to see and do - esp. castles, which are always fun.
FI has been to Switzerland a bunch and his personal opinion is that the Alps are his favorite in the summertime. As you can tell, we opted for my personal choice, Italy last summer and it didn't disappoint by any means - but we didn't go near the places you have suggested.

I could go on and on, but if you want some more info. please feel free to email me - have fun planning, you will have a FANTASTIC time - esp. the weinstube !

E said...

We spent three weeks in France on our honeymoon a few years ago, about a week in Paris and 2 weeks in the south, sort of around Aix-en-Provence, Cassis, the Riviera, places like that. If you can get to Paris, I think you'd love it, even if only for a few days.

MC said...

I lived in France last year and did A LOT of travelling. Luzern was beautiful, but very touristy. I highly recommend Cinque Terre, one of my favorite places ever. To me, if you don't have a lot of time, don't bother with Paris. There is too much to see. If you want to go to France, I would suggest smaller towns, you can get more of a feel for the country that way.

STL Sarah said...

Well, I'm biased, but I'd say Cinque Terre for the last stop! It's supposed to be really laid back and would give you some much-needed time to relax. The trip sounds incredible. I love that you are being spontaneous. You will have a wonderful time!

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