4 countries, 5 cities and countless memories made

**Blogging while watching The Bear on Hulu - highly recommend! (Especially if you are obsessed with Chicago like we are). **

After 2+ years of no international adventures, Kyle and I were made up for lost time. We did a 10-day, whirlwind trip around Europe: 4 countries, 5 cities and countless memories made. 

We started the trip in Ireland to do something we will never forget: officiate a wedding! Our friends, Lindsey and Rory, got married in Howth, Ireland at a beautiful resort right on the water. It was such a fantastic time with lots of Guiness consumed and not to toot our horn, but Kyle and I killed the ceremony. (toot toot). What a special experience and were so honored to be able to marry our friends. 

Sunday after the wedding we hopped on a plane to Berlin where we spent 2 nights in a cute neighborhood and did all the nerdy history things that Kyle just loves. 

From Berlin, in true European fashion, we took a train to Rinteln, Germany and stayed with a family who showered us with food, laughs, wine and great conversation. The Steinbecks hosted Kyle 4 years ago when he went to Germany through a work program and it was so special to finally meet them. 

From there we went to Eindhoven in The Netherlands where we stayed with another family Kyle knew from work. It was so much fun sharing meals with the family, seeing the kid's school and hearing what life in the Netherlands is like. 

We ended the trip with 3 days on the beautiful island of Mallorca, Spain. Our airbnb was a block from the beach and we took full advantage. My favorite part was re-learning how to drive stick with all the narrow streets, intense hills and curvy roads. (The rental company didn't even tell us we were getting a stick shift. 😆) I literally had to Google "how to reverse a fiat 500" and got a charlie horse in my calve from all the shifting. But we survived! 

We landed back in Chicago on the 4th of July and in the taxi to our home, we heard the news of the Highland Park shooting (which is 20 mins from where we live). It was such a sobering moment and we were immediately jolted back to reality. We live in a country where guns are more protected than people, and where politicians would rather stay in power than keep our kids safe. I'm still processing all the events that have taken place over the last couple of months - it's a lot. I hope everyone is taking care of themselves and doing that they need to keep going. oxox, JJ


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