4th of July weekend and backpacking Europe summary

We had a great 4th of July weekend down in Winthrop, MA with Mike's cousin Todd. His place is right by the water where airplanes fly over into the sky line.

We took his dog Marlowe (a gorgeous Akita) for a walk into the park and down by the shore.

The nautical seashore of Massachusetts was a nice sight of home after being away for a little over two months.

The planes got real close.

We sat on the beach and watched them set off the fireworks. I liked this one because it looked like something from space.

It is great to be back and see family again. At the start of the trip we weren't sure what we were going to do or exactly how long we were going to stay over in Europe for. Now that we are back we are looking at where we are going to live whether we stay in Portsmouth or not. I am also looking for a job since I don't have another semester of school to go back to! For the time being I will stay at the hospital as a Nurse's aid.

The trip was honestly out of this world. Now that we've had some time to take it all in, I can say what we felt was our favorite, and where we'd want to go back to or even potentially live. Every spot had something we liked but we thought of it in terms of how we are as people and the vibe of the location. Most of the spots we visited were cities, and so those are our only reference points vs suburban areas. But we would definitely return to Munich in Germany, Copenhagen Denmark, or Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

Munich had a different vibe about it. It was really fun and had a kind of edge to it that's hard to explain but you wanted to find out more about. We were there for a total of 5 days and we were able to see some of the spots that give Munich its name as the capital of the country. We experienced the architecture and the dancing puppets of the marienplatz church, the many beer halls and even one that hitler frequented. We had so much beer, and I experienced the "radler" for the first time. The people were friendly, but the language was the hardest to pick up. We loved that there wasn't a speed limit on the autobahn which gave us a chance to flirt with danger (but Mike has been forgetting there's a speed limit back at home!) Munich has so much history, and germany itself is part of both Mike and I's heritage (the last name Behrmann being german.)

We really loved Copenhagen. It had a whimsical appeal to it that we didn't really see the rest of the trip. It was a little cooler, something we northerners really liked and it rang pretty close to my family's heritage from Norway. Mayo and sour cream and onion chips galore. I now know why my grandma and my mom always had these items in their house. People always thought it was weird that my mom would mix ketchup and mayo together for her frites, but they did it there all the time! Not to quote Rick Steves, but I remember him saying that you know where you really fit in because everyone looks like you. There wasn't a language barrier and you could pretty much find whatever type of food you wanted. We almost didn't make it to Copenhagen this trip but we're glad that we did.

And Amsterdam was actually very similar to Copenhagen in that there were a lot of canals, it was a cool vibe, and we didn't even need to attempt to speak dutch. Amsterdam was a pretty good sized city with the 3 iconic canals in the center where there are a lot of restaurants, bars, and places to sit outside and people watch. It was just the overall laid-back vibe that we really enjoyed.

I won't bore you with any more summaries of our trip. But what we've noticed so far is that people want to know how we planned our trip and what how we lived out of a backpack for a couple months, so I'll share that in the next post.

Also, here's our tats we got in Amsterdam.

We got bear crests. For our last names Behrmann which is German, and is also the crest for a part of Germany (Berlin). It reminds us of our European trip and is traditional yet unique since we've never seen it on anyone else. It was Mike's first tattoo and he said that it wasn't too painful. For me, the one on my neck was a bit more sensitive. Mike wants to possibly fill his in more or add more detail around it, and add a smaller "bear cub" for each of our kids. *swoon*

Read next about a girls trip to Portland, OR!: Portland, OR: day 1

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