... the tales of two sisters

Dana lives in Seattle, and Tracie lives in Germany. We are businesswomen, writers and humorists. We write about life, dating, and today's modern women.

5 Countries… 5 Days

5 Countries… 5 Days… If this sounds Deja Vu, it is. I’m Not Crazy, but still just a little un-well. This really could be the theme song in my life. Two years ago, I took the same trip and shared highlights in my travelogue. But this time around, my daughter graduates this week from High School. We have parties to throw, parties to attend, and ceremonies galore.   My sister, co-blogger and BFF is home from Germany to help commemorate this special time.  We celebrated our blessed Mom’s 87th year.  My home is in a major remodel.  Since January, when I’m not on the road with my fiancé who resides in Nashville, I have shared a bedroom with my mom and a bathroom with my daughter.  My son and business partner, Brett and I have overseen the renovation and re-renting eleven units in a month.

So, my cup does indeed runneth over.  But when my fiancé, Eric called and suggested I join him for 5 countries in five days on a business trip, my crazy little un-well side said of course! I asked Eric, what he likes most about me and his first response was that I am adventurous. Well, no need to disappoint, I reasoned as I stuffed items from my recent Marie Kondo organized drawers.

London, Geneva, Switzerland, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam.

Sunday, we arrived at the Hotel Wellesley Knightbridge, This intimate building dates back to 1906 when the Hyde Park Corner station first opened. Years later, the place was converted to a popular jazz haunt and Pizza on the Park until the Wellesley took up residence in 2010.  One of our travel companions was told his shorts were not proper attire in the lobby of the hotel.  Gotta love the aristocratic snobbery of some British establishments.  Dear friends, and part-time London residents Peter and Nicole met us for cocktails first and then dinner at The Bombay Palace. Ever so thoughtful, they arrived with a beautiful bouquet for me as it was Mother’s Day.   It’s always refreshing to visit with knowing locals, and seeing that Peter is British, we got even greater insights on taking the Tube, best eateries, shopping et al.  (I will follow up on another blog about our evening at the H Club). The next morning while on my search for Starbucks, I wondered upon as Nicole and I agree the best shopping on the planet, aka Harvey Nichols.  After enjoying a piping hot cup of coffee and perusing the haute couture of the European fashions, I really sensed with the melting pot of all nationalities that Megan and her new baby, Archie are truly embraced by this country.  These shoes I spotted at Harvey Nickle, Boss Lady are an example of who she is.

Go Megan!

Tuesday found us on Lake Geneva. Geneva is the second most populous city in Switzerland and French speaking. I was familiar with this exact location as this was one of our destinations two years ago on the same business trip.  My days were free as Eric was in long meetings.  So, I decided to embark alone on a windy morning walk.  As I exited the President Wilson Hotel, I couldn’t resist my urge to hop on a courtesy bicycle parked out front and literally felt like the Flying Nun as I peddled along the waterfront.  Either that or the mean witch from the Wizard of Oz.  A friendly Bell hop warned me not to keep my phone in the rear seat basket as it could get stolen.  The affluent shops such as Gucci, Prada, Dolce and more did not hide the danger of thieves.  I decided I’d been blown sufficiently when my beloved I phone fell from my pocket after a hefty wind shook me and said bike, so back to the President Wilson I peddled.  

Wednesday we awoke in Stockholm.  I was super excited to see this country as it was my first trip and my cousins QD3 and Martina have both shared their love of their second city home.  It was extremely clean.  I visualized the many apartment units I have seen decorated from the Swedish brand, Ikea. We stayed at the Nobis Hotel.  The one thing that struck me about Sweden is it’s mostly cash free.  I even had to charge $4 for a cup of tea!  Our stay in Sweden was not long enough as I really wanted to visit the ABBA Museum.  This “Dancing Queen” will have to come back.

Next up, Copenhagen, the birthplace of Legos! Along with being one of the most bicycle friendly cities in the country, it is also home to the instantly recognizable statue of the Little Mermaid. Inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale, I patiently waited for my turn to pose by this international identifier.

 Rushing back to the airport for a tight connection flight to Amsterdam, Eric discovered he forgot his attache case with his passport at the last meeting.  We miss our flight and all other flights were sold out, so we stayed the night at the Copenhagen airport.  Let’s just say, Eric agrees I get a pass for two major mess ups.  I started to increase the punitive damages to 4 as that was the hour we had to awake to catch the 6 AM flight the next morning to Amsterdam.

Amsterdam truly is one of my favorite European cities.  The rich history. The canals.  The bicycles. Staying again at the W, I tried to embrace my inner hipster.  But truth be told, the dark room with lights that come on when my presence prompts them, the cold concrete floors, uber mod lighting, and odd architectural structure left me wanting Whatever Whenever normal.  But I found myself embracing the moment as the sun shined from the rooftop and I indulged in grilled cauliflower, asparagus, and a vodka tonic.  I reflected that walking blocks away the Red Light District, Anne Frank’s House, and the Van Gogh Museum were all  a part of my reality.  That I could experience 5 countries in 5 days, I may be exhausted, crazy, and a little un-well, but then again… aren’t we all?

Stay tuned for a blog on our cocktail concoction challenge at the H Hotel with Peter & Nicole