If You Give A Mouse A Cookie

Anyone remember that childhood story?

Basically the premise is for everything you give the mouse, he will want something else. If you give a mouse a cookie, he will want milk to go with it. Before he drinks his milk (that you gave him), he'll want a straw. And the list goes on and on and on…teaching children that all actions have consequences.

I think, perhaps my mom read this story one too many times as I frequently find myself in the mouse's shoes. (Quite literally if you consider that I have small feet.)

Justin and I are taking a trek across the Atlantic to Europe very soon for a wedding and a bit of touring. When we first decided to go, Justin and I were only going to go for a week. Justin's vacation time is very limited. I assumed we'd go to the wedding, take a small peak around Germany, and then return. (Hopefully no worse for the wear.) But then the friend that invited us to the wedding started talking about us staying for a while and touring Europe with him and his soon-to-be wife.

I'm not hard to convince. You want to explore Germany AND Italy with us?! Okay…Sounds good to me. And then there was my silly mistake of booking a flight into Charles Chagall airport under the premise that it was "cheaper". Psh. Whatever. It was and is an excuse to visit France which was also on my bucket list. Within a month or two (maybe more, I forget), plans had changed; not only were we going to a wedding in Germany, but we were also going to spend a bit of time in France and Italy as well staying for an extra week and a half.

Are we crazy?


Rather than just sit back and let things happen, I jumped on the planning bandwagon. Even though our friends were planning their wedding, I naively assumed they were also planning this crazy European vacation. They, obviously, know far more about these countries than I probably ever will.

When January came around, the impending trip sat like a cloud over my head. My impatience grew. One day I popped. All of a sudden, I gave in to my Type-A personality and asked point-blank "What are we doing?"

The response was worse than I ever imagined: "whatever you want."

AHHHHHHH!!!!! Stress!!!!!!

So then there was a bit of back-and-forth where I would recommend something since I had been told "whatever you want" and every response would be turned down with nothing recommended in return. As you might can imagine, I was on the verge of pulling my hair out…or tears…or both. (I think I was a bit sick too.) Justin was unable to help because…because.

Not only did I have to narrow down/pinpoint my exact desires, I had to do so without knowing what anyone else really wanted to do or enjoyed doing on their vacations. That is like my worst nightmare. I like when I can meld my choices with others to make the most ideal decisions possible. Everyone being happy is definitely optimal.

The good news is that I have officially come up with a schedule that has yet to be turned down by any of the parties involved. We are basically travelling in a circle (square?) and avoiding many of the biggest cities, because I don't want to get caught up in the rut of "I want to see x, y, and z". (Read: mouse --> cookie.) Maybe in the future I can see some of the famous artwork and go to the more historic places. In the mean time, I have stuck to landscapes and general areas under the premise that we can stay as long as we want while not getting caught up in the "see everything, do everything" cycle that I tend to get into. There will be views, food, and friends. I know it sounds relaxing, but I imagine (if no one else can) I can make it pretty hectic and busy. Staying up until 2AM to get the perfect night time shot?! Yes, please. (Poor Justin. Maybe our friends will want to go to bed early too.) Plus, if we get bored with the landscapes, we can always throw a city into the mix, right?

In general, I tend to feel much more comfortable and confident with a plan. Especially since I am going to 3 countries where I don't speak the language. I'm ok with spontaneity thrown in, but overall there should be a plan that we can always fall back on.

I think I am most excited about a hotel I found in Paris for Justin and I to stay in the night before going on to Germany. It turns out a hotel in a hotel chain I have status with has a terrace with a 360 degree view of the city. While we will most likely be too tired to do much after de-plane-ing, getting a rental car, and obtaining a phone, I'm 95% certain we will be quite content sitting on a rooftop terrace in Paris with a glass of wine after a long day. La dolce vita.* ;) Be jealous.

Hope everyone is having a fantastic Monday!

* I know! I know that's Italian. We're going to Italy too though, so it will be OK. :)

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