Our Experience, Questival 2017 Salt Lake City

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Questival Adventure Race, Salt Lake City, Utah

This weekend, we combined forces with our extended family and participated in Cotopaxi Questival in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Questival, for the uninitiated, is a 24 adventure race/scavenger hunt held at locations across the country, where teams of two to six people complete a series of odd challenges from eating crickets to summitting a 14’er over an intense 24 hour period.  We laughed, we ran, we sunburned, and we’re already planning to do it again.

But, next year we’re in it to win it, so watch out fellow Questies.  

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Florence

Florence

Seven years ago, fresh off surgeries, ambulance rides, ICU treatments, and a year that would not give an inch, my husband and I took a pause to travel through Italy with his family – a trip that we are still talking about with awe and wonder. The central element of that trip – three days in Florence.  So, naturally, my Brunelleschi-loving husband, and his Botticelli-adoring wife could think of only one city that they couldn’t wait to visit again with our two sons in tow — Florence!

The itinerary: one afternoon, a full day, and one long morning. But, first, we have to get there from Cinque Terre.

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Trains & Public Transit Options: 2017

 

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Taking the train through Cinque Terre, October 2010

As a family of four we will be “backpacking” through France, Italy, and the Netherlands through a series of planes, trains, and automobiles.  Because I know that wireless access can be limited when travelling, I am saving all of the relevant train schedules for June 2017 here so I have an easy one-stop solution for calling an audible on train travel during the trip.

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Packing for Europe with Teenagers

Packing for Europe with a family of four is naturally a challenge. But, a two week trip through three countries, six hotels, and an overnight train, our packing will need to be done in a way that supports  “backpacking” meaning light weight, and streamlined – which will prove even more challenging.  That in mind we plan to take the Rick Steves approach: pack everything up, put it on your back, and head downtown for an hour to find out if the weight is too much. 

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France: Paris

While I generally believe in planning a European vacation with the optimistic assumption that I will return, there’s also a logic in ensuring that a first trip to Europe covers at least a few of the “greatest hits”.  Which is why, our upcoming family adventure will include three days in Paris, even though (gasp!) it isn’t one of my favorite cities.

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Amsterdam: 18 Hour Layover

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Rijksmuseum, Courtesy IAmesterdam

There are three direct flights from Europe to Salt Lake City, through London, Paris, or Amsterdam. Following our time in Rome, I knew we’d have to connect in one of these cities, and based on a great deal I found on Delta, Amsterdam was the best option.  So, I decided to push for one more day of Punching the Travel Fun Button with a layover in Amsterdam.  We won’t have much time, so I opted for maximum convenience in all our planning.

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