Our Most Memorable Travel Experiences of 2012
It’s that time of year. Time for everyone to share their “Year in Review” articles, reflecting on the year that was. So, in an effort to stick with tradition, we share our most memorable travel experiences of 2012. You can read last year’s review here.
It was a big year for us – one of our biggest on record – but our travels were somewhat limited, at least comparatively speaking. 2012 was a year of transformation and growth. It will go down in history as the year that we introduced our baby to the world and the year we graduated from cramped condo living to owners of a spacious house in beautiful North Vancouver.
As such, world travel dropped down a few notches in the priority rankings – but we’re stoked that we achieved our 2012 travel goal of visiting 5 countries with Baby B. He’s become quite the little globe-trotter!
1. Our first family trip with Baby B – Palm Springs, California
Our first family trip to Palm Springs taught us that traveling with a baby is not as scary as it sounds. We were very happy, and relieved, that Baby B’s first flight was a success – he seems to be a natural!
Read more from our trip to Palm Springs:
- Our First Family Trip to Palm Springs, California
- Traveling with Baby – Not as Scary as it Sounds
- The World’s Largest Rotating Aerial Tramcar
- The Extraordinary Landscapes of Joshua Tree National Park, California
2. River boat cruise down the Mosel River in Germany
The Mosel Valley is our favourite part of Germany. The region is famous for its steep vineyards, fairy-tale castles and cute medieval villages. One moment that stands out from our time in the Mosel Valley was an afternoon river boat tour that departed from the town of Cochem (pictured above).
It’s easy to fall in love with this part of the world!
3. Returning home to Windsor, Ontario
The passing of my beloved grandmother was the reasoning behind an impromptu trip to Windsor, Ontario. I was born in Windsor, but hadn’t been back for a visit in over 20 years. The trip was filled with sadness but it was comforting to be around our family and friends, many of whom we hadn’t seen in several years. It was also great to introduce Baby B and Nicole to the city where I was born, a place that that occupies many of my childhood memories.
Here are photos from our trip to Windsor, Ontario (that’s the Detroit skyline above).
4. Helicopter tour over the Hawaiian Islands of Maui and Molokai
One of the highlights from our trip to Maui was a heli-tour over West Maui and Molokai with Blue Hawaiian Helicopters. Floating over the earth in a helicopter is a thrilling ride, one that everyone should try at least once in their lives. We can’t think of a better way to experience the Hawaiian Islands.
Read more posts from our trip to Hawaii:
- Video: Helicopter Tour over the Hawaiian Islands
- Photo Essay: Heli-tour of West Maui & Molokai
- Tiger Sharks, Hammerheads and Eagle Rays in Maui
- Ziplining through the Forests of Haleakala in Maui
5. Discovering Le Petite-France in Strasbourg, France
Strasbourg instantly became one of our favourite cities in France, primarily because we fell in love with Le Petite-France. Le Petite-France is a cute neighbourhood on the Grande Île, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historical centre famous for it’s medieval half-timbered houses, baroque sandstone buildings and the Strasbourg Cathedral (the world’s fourth-tallest church).
We think Strasbourg should be on every France itinerary, especially if traveling during the summer months.
6. Riding the World’s Steepest Cogwheel Railway to Pilatus Kulm in the Swiss Alps
When we decided to add Luzern to our Swiss itinerary we did a quick search to educate ourselves on its popular attractions. We wanted to take full advantage of our surroundings and get outdoors, but we needed to find an excursion that was also baby friendly. The Golden Round Trip is a fun excursion that includes a boat trip on Lake Lucerne and a ride up the world’s steepest cogwheel railway to the peak of Pilatus Kulm (altitude 2,132 metres or 7,000 feet).
Read more from our trip to Luzern, Switzerland:
- From Our Lens – Cruising Around Lake Lucerne
- Luzern, Switzerland – We Love Surprises
- Photo Story: The Golden Round Trip to Pilatus, Lucerne
7. Road tripping to Cariboo Country in central British Columbia
We love road trips. We love playing old songs on the stereo, eating crappy food and making pit stops at strange gas stations in the middle of nowhere. Fortunately for us, there are few places in the world that can compete with the natural beauty that British Columbia has become renowned for.
See photos from our road trip to Caribboo Country in BC.
8. Wine Festival in Reil, Germany
Our distant family owns a vineyard and guesthouse in Reil, a century old village in the Mosel Valley of western Germany (near the borders of France and Luxembourg). Every year, on the first weekend in September, the villagers and winemakers of Reil celebrate the harvest by throwing a 3-day street festival.
It’s always a good time when the German and Canadian sides of our family get together to celebrate!
9. Introducing Baby B to the Eiffel Tower
Okay, so Baby B had no clue where he was and he had no interest in the Eiffel Tower, but it was a special moment for us as newbie parents. To be able to snap photos with him in front of one the world’s most recognizable landmarks was a very cool experience – one that we will look back on with big smiles. Hopefully he’ll feel the same way when he gets older!
Baby travel tip – Paris hotel rooms are small and super expensive, so consider Paris vacation rentals as an accommodation alternative. Having a kitchen means you can boil water, store baby food in the fridge and wash toys and bottles.
10. Exploring Zurich’s Old Town
It didn’t take long for us to connect with Zurich. It has a lot of similarities to our hometown Vancouver, with its waterfront parks and close proximity to snow-capped peaks and endless outdoor adventure. However, unlike Vancouver, Zurich is loaded with historical buildings and remarkable classical architecture. We found ourselves constantly reaching for our camera, snapping photos of virtually every building in Zurich’s Old Town.
See more photos from our trip to Zurich, Switzerland.
More 2012 travel experiences that didn’t make our Top 10:
- A Colourful Autumn Trip to Whistler
- Exploring the Streets of Louisville, Kentucky
- A trip to Fort Lauderdale, Florida
- Cruising down a Volcano with Maui Easy Riders
- Strolling down Memory Lane in Victoria
What was your most memorable moment of 2012?
And what are you looking forward to most in 2013?