Chicagoland Photographer | European Vacation 2016

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One year ago exactly my children and I had just gotten back from our vacation in Europe! I took them out of school for 30 days and we went on our little adventure. My children hadn't seen my parents for a few years and I wanted to refresh their memories. When I realized the beginning of the year that I had no weddings for October/November yet and flights were affordable, I booked our trip. It was not easy leaving during the busiest time of the year for a photographer and I never felt I got caught up completely since then, but it was probably my most favorite time spend with my children.

For most of the 18 years that I have lived in Crown Point, my parents had lived in Switzerland, pretty far from my home town Eisenach. So whenever I went to see my parents, I barely got to visit Eisenach. Eisenach is where my heart is at, my homeland, where my childhood was spend exploring castles, visiting little towns on weekends, going on nature hikes with my parents. My mom actually worked on the Wartburg, a castle in Eisenach.

It was a special event to be able to take both my kids there last fall. My mom Krystyna was with us and it was surreal. Now that I am in my 40's, my childhood seems very very far away. Add to that that I no longer live in Germany and it just seems like such a far away memory. The Wartburg castle is so beautiful and the view amazing.

 Last year was the year of the dab!

Last year was the year of the dab!

A few years ago my parents finally moved back to Germany, to a small town by Bad Hersfeld in Hessen. It's just about 30 minutes from Eisenach and now much closer to visit.

Where my parents live is also very pretty and although it was freezing cold the whole time we were there, we had a blast. We bundled up each day and either went for a hike or rode our bikes!

I had never been to the Neuschwanstein Castle and that was my biggest dream to finally visit it. And how awesome to take my kids along?! So we rented a car, to our surprise it ended up being a sporty Mercedes, and off we went to Bavaria. Our Hotel was actually in Austria, just 20 minutes from Neuschwanstein though. Although you can't drive as fast as back in the day on the Autobahn, let's just say we tested that Mercedes pretty well without getting a ticket! It's an indescribable feeling to drive, to some good music, surrounded by amazing nature and going on a road trip! The only thing that could top that would probably be touring on a motorcycle!

While in Austria we went on the Highline 179, a suspension bridge. Wow, what an adventure! It was freezing cold when we got there shortly before sunset. The hike up to the bridge was very steep and I am definitely not used to that anymore.

We ended up having the best weather of the whole trip in Bavaria. Neuschwanstein and the other castles where amazing. The forest was gorgeous and the fall colors still so vibrant. We had so much fun eating good food and hiking and exploring!

After a few days we visited friends in Karlsruhe, Baden-Wuerttemberg, where I lived for 13 years before coming to NW Indiana. We celebrated Halloween there and even got to go to a KSC Fussball game and stood in the fan block with the most hardcore fans! The atmosphere is pretty intense during a german soccer game! Another unforgettable memory!

A couple weeks ago I found out my dad is not doing well and his birthday is December 5th. I decided to spontaneously plan a visit, this time without my children. I haven't visited my parents without my kids in 11 years. We never had uninterrupted conversations and it was always about the kids. I am worried about my dad but excited to go next week!

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With Thanksgiving coming up, I wanted to blog some of these images because I am very thankful for my parents, my in laws who will be taking care of my children while my husband is at work and I am gone, and especially my awesome children Linus & Malina. I couldn't ask for better kids. They are little adventurers at heart and I will miss them so much this time around.

I hope you will enjoy your families for Thanksgiving! Eat a lot and give them hugs and kisses!

xoxo

- Carmen | CHC-Photography, Inc.