My good friend Shelly and I had been dreaming of a EuroTrip for years. Galavanting through the cobblestone streets, eating fresh food, drinking cheap wine, and dancing the night away in fabulous discotecas while wearing trendy leather jackets and effortlessy-chic hair and makeup. When I spent a summer in Dublin, Ireland two years ago, our dreams came to life. We decided to spend a relaxing few days in Dublin before enjoying a few more days in Paris and Nice to close out the summer.
Well, those plans quickly diminished the week before Shelly arrived when she Gchatted me, “Elaine. I only booked four days. We didn’t think about the two days that’d be killed with my flights!” *Face palm*
We didn’t have the money for cancellation/rebookings, so there was only one thing we could do. Suck it up, and see as much as we could. While I don’t recommend only spending four days in three cities located in two different countries, it is possible. This trip really introduced me to the world of short trip planning, and how weekend trips are doable. And necessary given the little vacation leave most of us accrue/are able to take off. So, here’s what we learned:
1. For a short trip, sleep is only an option.
Our longest nap was during a two hour flight from Nice to Dublin, sun-burnt in our bathing suits, coming down from our Prosecco buzz (more on that later). If Shelly had slept any longer, she would’ve been jet lagged, so we decided to just power through. We almost took a day nap in Paris, but I forced us outside to see all of the sights. We only had one day and night in Paris.
2. Use oblivion to your advantage.
3. …But also act overly confident.
4. Plan a little, but take risks and explore new things.
5. Go with the flow.
We could have spent the day running around and seeing every historic sight, but at a certain point we just decided, enough. We indulged in fresh Italian pizza and pasta then headed to the beach to share some bottles of Prosecco. We ended up sitting with a group of fun, middle-aged Norwegians celebrating a bachelorette party, swam in the sunset, and made memories that will last forever (including the shocked expressions and gasps from the French on the boardwalk as we ran in our bikinis to catch our flight in time). Don’t waste time doing everything everyone else does, and just enjoy the moment.
Shelly and I are planning, once we have the means, to make Nice an annual occurrence – and not just a short trip. Although short, it turned out to be the most exciting EuroTrip we’ve had.