Rust, Germany: Adventure Day at Europa Park!

After yesterday’s long, long bike ride we were all happy to sleep in. Till 6:30am 😄

We had a relaxed morning at the apartment and headed out about 8:30. Europa Park (aka he largest theme park in Europe!) didn’t open till 9. So we walked to the local bakery before slowly making our way to the entrance.

Its a Friday here so the park really wasn’t that busy! It’s huge and has country themed areas, also a mouse mascot. So it’s a bit of a knock-off Epcot. But we had a blast! All of the fun, without the Disney prices or expectations.

Linc was 4cm shy of the 120cm mark for some of the really good rides. So we just stuck with all he small stuff and whatever the kids chose. It was super low key but we stayed from 9am till it closed at 6pm.

Super amazing playground area we came across. With lounge chairs for parents and access to a beer garden!

More rides…

I was having a blast on this ‘spinny dragon’

Then we went to the rides that involve water. We couldn’t have asked for better weather today. Probably low 70s, so warm but not sweating hot. It made these water rides so fun and easy to dry from.

Please excuse the horrible faces. I have a love/hate relationship with roller coasters. I love them but they freak me out!!

L did not like this ride but we bribed him to go again with the promise of ice cream after. #smartparenting 😆 Also please crack up at how hilarious everyone’s faces are in this! ☝🏻

The kids were all about getting soaked on the water rides and were disappointed when it didn’t happen.

We had such a fun day and walked almost 19k steps, almost 9 miles. It was nice to use different muscles from biking.

We’re back on the bikes tomorrow for a shorter day of riding and settling into Strasbourg, France for a few days.

Life is good…

Basel, Switzerland to Rust, Germany: Cycling Day 5

Well today was a doozy! Got separated, lost, a flat tire, you name it, we dealt with it today. All on the day we knew we were going to ride 60 miles. 😩

The day started off just fine. Breakfast at the apartment. A beautiful day and a impressive church to start.

It quickly went downhill from here. Just down the hill from here Ty had u-turned in the street. Well I’m not as quick, let’s blame it on the trail-a-bike. So by the time I had turned around he had completely disappeared. L didn’t see where he went either. We rode down a side street for a block but came right back to where we had lost him. I tried turning my phone on but it wouldn’t work. I found a bakery that had WiFi so I tried FT’ing him, my mom, my father in law. Anyone who could maybe call Ty for me. Nothing worked.

We sat there for half an hour and i kept thinking, you get separated and you return to where you last we’re together. Why isn’t he returning?!?

Meanwhile Ty thought I had gone on ahead. He traveled over the border into France even! 🤦🏻‍♀️ He was wondering why I wouldn’t just turn on my phone. If only it had been that simple!

He obviously wasn’t too concerned since he was taking photos. 🙄

After sitting there for 30 minutes L and I realized Ty wasn’t coming back so we rode back to the church and then decided to go to the nearby police station to use their phone. Thank goodness it was no big deal and we got ahold of Ty. They came back from France for us and we were glad no one was hurt. But with a 60+ mile day ahead of us, we hadn’t needed this hour delay.

We hit the trail together and headed over the border to France. With a quick break to see some muskrats and swans.

The weather was beautiful but the headwind was a bit brutal. The majority of my day looked like this.

Tucked in behind the chariot just trying to draft off of Ty. I took 11 photos like this today! Hope you don’t mind the view 😆

We were in and out of towns. The bike path varied between winding villages roads, dirt trails, and abandon mud trails in the woods.

Finally found a village with a cafe for lunch around 1:30.

I need a hashtag – things L climbs!

So tired by this point! We had attempted to get on a train at the next village that was an hour away from lunch. But they trains would have taken longer to get to our final destination than just riding. The decision was made to just suck it up and ride. By this point I gave each kid access to a phone. Chariot kiddo got to play games while trail-a-bike kid got the audiobook of their choice. They were such good troopers today!

Then our way was blocked by this dang gate. So we ended up in the woods, on an unmarked dirt path. There’s no way we could have found our way if Ty didn’t have on his phone.

This photo cracks me up. We were getting loopy by this point.

We finally make it out of the woods, up a hill to the trail and R mentions that funny noise again. Ugh I’m pulling a 7 year old on a flat tire!

Thank goodness Ty’s Superman when it comes to changing tires. We were back on the trail again with an hour or so to go. Just sucking it up and pedaling at this point.

We kept saying, at least it’s not raining.

With Europa Park in sight we were so extremely thankful to roll into our apartment building at 5:45pm. After starting at 8:00am we were wiped out, exhausted! Strava wasn’t working but we estimated 67 miles of riding today. 🤪

But tomorrow is our day off and we’re going to the largest amusement park in Europe, Europa Park! So tomorrow will include all the walking instead of riding. I know my buns will be happy for the break.

Waldshut, Germany to Basel, Switzerland: Cycling Day 4

It wasn’t raining this morning!!! We had a yummy breakfast at the house, packed up, the kids exchanged a few more notes, and we were on our way. Or so we thought…

Our first (and hopefully last!) flat tire of the trip. It was the trail-a-bike. A couple of quick pumps from the road crew and we were back on the road.

The morning ride was quite scenic.

Aside from the giant power plant on one side of the river.

However, everything else was mostly like this.

We alternated between hot and a bit windy. The kids were switched out about every hour. Both wanted to stay on the trail-a-bike so they could listen to their stories.

After this snack stop L didn’t want to get back in the chariot. He wanted to run the trail. So we let him for a bit.

Ty managed to entice him back. 😁

There was a fare amount of city riding as well today. I nearly crashed R and I on a large curb. We irritated a few sidewalk walkers with our giant bikes. We went the wrong way on trails. Whatever!

I love these little troopers of mine!

We made it to the city of Basel about 1:30 after riding 40 miles today.

We couldn’t check into our apartment for about an hour so we went to the nearby playground and Ty picked up lunch.

After getting settled into the apartment we decided to use the easy button and call an Uber to take us to the zoo. It was glorious!!!

L had a bit of an injury situation.

Thankfully it was healed by another playground coming into view. 😆

We took a taxi back to a grocery store near our apartment. It was a Mercedes that had built in booster seats. It was awesome!

We grabbed dinner from the store and walked home. Felt so nice to finally take showers, feed everyone, and finally get a chance to relax. My Fitbit has me at 26,800 steps today, though I’m not sure how it calibrates the biking. But either way we’re are pooped!

Tomorrow is supposed to be clear and hot but we’re also hoping to make 60ish miles. 😬 It’s going to be a challenge for me but trying to focus on the fact we have a rest day after that!

Stein am Rhein, Switzerland to Waldshut, Germany: Cycling Adventure Day 3

Well we woke up and guess what, it was raining still! It didn’t seem too terribly bad so we decided to try biking in it. Ty would not only be carrying all the camping gear, he would also pull both the kids in the chariot so they could stay dry.

We had a wonderful breakfast at the hotel.

Before we put on all our rain gear and hoped for the best.

We’ve definitely gotten our money’s worth out of this chariot! 😆

The ride was so beautiful but so wet!

We crossed over this amazing wooden bridge.

So wet! And you notice the dirt path we’re now on. It made everything so muddy and filthy!

I finally had to stop Ty because my hands were so cold. He gave me some dry gloves which I then covered with free doggie poop bags to stay dry. 🤷🏻‍♀️ You do what you need to!

We finally made it to Rhein Falls which are the largest waterfalls in all of Europe. The kids and I were freezing at this point. So we came, we looked, Ty took photos, and we said let’s find the train!

Funny side story, another cyclist was there and he came up to Ty so excited to see him. He said something like I saw your video and now I’m seeing you!! Ty had no idea what he was talking about, if it was actually us or not but hey, we seemed to have made his day. Also people have been taking photos and videos of us along the way so it’s hard to say if it was or wasn’t us he saw. We’re kind of a rolling circus!

The train station was just up the hill from the waterfall so that was nice. What wasn’t great was he fact we had to wait 40 minutes for the next train.

We finally get on the warm train!

However, it stopped after about two stops. This wasn’t really the train we wanted. 😩 So we waited about 20 minutes or so for our next train. Thankfully the conductor let us sit on our current train till the next one arrived.

That one took us to our last stop where we found out we had to wait an hour for our last train. 😭

So we are our lunch of snacks in the ‘smoking room’ out of the rain and read some Little Prince.

We finally made it to our town in about the same amount of time it would have taken us to ride our bikes. 🙄 I zipped into the grocery store to get dinner and breakfast food. Then we rode our bikes to the house Ty had rented. I was so thankful we aborted camping again! The rain had stopped but we still all needed to dry ourselves out.

It took a lot of wandering and one international phone call to find this house but it’s been totally worth it!

I unpacked all our clothes while Ty washed our bikes and gear. R made friends with the family that lives downstairs and it’s been so fun to hear how much german she knows! Oh yeah, we’re now in Germany. Apparently we crossed over the boarder on our last train ride. Who knew?!

Ty caught just this snippet of her chatting with the kids. She ran off to the playground with them while L helped me get dinner ready.

After dinner R and L have been slipping notes under the doors of the kiddos downstairs. International friendships are the best! So thankful this miserably cold, wet, and long day ended on such a high note.

The weather is supposed to stay clear tomorrow, the gear is all dry and ready for us to cycle a full day. 🤞🏻

St. Margrethen to Stein am Rhein, Switzerland: A Non-cycling Day

Last night was not the greatest. We slept in a tent which is alway a bit iffy for sleep. Then the kids were both restless. Numerous times L would just sit up and need to be coaxed into lying down again. Weirdo. Then there was the rain. Several times it was coming down really hard throughout the night. L and I woke up about 6:30 and Ty was already awake. I told Ty, I’d be happy if he could research some train options for the day. I wasn’t looking forward to a 5 hour ride in the wind and rain.

His quote, happy wife, happy life! Had he been with a buddy they would have suffered through the rain. However, with wife and kids in tow, suffering is not the goal. So he kindly researched train and hotel options for us, from the campsite shower area since the restaurant wasn’t open.

When R finally woke up we joined them and hashed out a plan. He’d found which trains to take and a town near our campsite so we could stay on course for our rides.

The restaurant owner finally saw us trying to FT my mom out in the rain and let us in. He then made us tea/hot cocoa, offered to let us pack up inside. So kind!

The rain was a total downpour when we left the campsite. I was so glad we only had to ride in it for maybe ten minutes. Both kids were crammed into the chariot to stay dry.

We got the train successfully. It’s a bit of an ordeal getting on and off before the doors close. Two heavy bikes with paneers, a trail-a-bike, and a wide chariot, between two adults, a helpful 7 year old, and a distractible 5 year old. It’s a lot!

Our second train ride was over an hour so R took a nap.

We got off at our town Stein an Rhein. Neither Ty or I knew much about it. He’d had time to research hotels, that’s about it.

It was a total downpour when we left the station. But from what I could see through squinted eyes the town was beautiful.

Ty navigated us to our hotel and wonderfully they had a place for our bikes out of the rain, AND our room was ready!!! We changed into dry layers, loaded the kids back into the chariot and walked through the center of old town on our way to the grocery store for lunch.

Gotta love a grocery store that has a giant bratwurst out front!

Yes I got myself a hard cider for lunch!

Yes we let our child water the plants wherever we go!

Then we came across one of the coolest playgrounds we’ve seen. And we’ve explored plenty of them! The area was filled with all different types of beautiful mature trees. The play structures were so well made out of wood. There were so many different areas for kids to play in and there were small details all over the place.

From here we wandered back through the center of town to relax at the hotel before dinner.

Dinner was going to be the pizza place right next door but they were closed. So we wandered through the town looking for anything that was open. Thank goodness a few tourist hotels were open by the river. We had amazing pasta and pizza while the kids were melting down and so tired. L actually fell asleep with a chicken nugget in his mouth!

We got everyone back to the hotel and snuggled into bed. It was nice to be in a warm and dry room, airing out the tent and drying our clothes. Instead of being huddled under the tent in the downpour.

The weather isn’t supposed to be any better tomorrow. Ty’s really pushing to see this waterfall so we shall see what tomorrow brings.

Zürich to St Margrethen, Switzerland: Cycling Day 2

It was another jet lag morning. 🤪 The kids and Ty were up at 3am. I wasn’t feeling good so I fought for more sleep till 6. Ty had us mostly packed up and ready to go when I finally got up. We had a grocery store breakfast in the room and left for the train station about 7:30.

The plan was to avoid the big hills at the start of the trail by taking the bikes on the train and starting in the city of Sargans. After buying tickets for a train that didn’t allow bikes we quickly got on the right train and settled in for an hour ride around Lake Zürich.

The Swiss think of everything related to cycling! It’s made things so nice.

The weather was predicted to rain on us and it was a bit cold to start getting off the train. But we rode by cows with bells, beautiful fields, and along Flat wonderful trails next to the river. It was beautiful and it started to warm up! These big snails came out all over the path.

We crossed over into Liechtenstein and stopped for brunch in Vaduz. It was a beautiful little town and was jam packed with tourists.

Yep pretty much every place is just this beautiful.

We plugged right along for a while. R took a nap in the chariot and then we stopped for a playground break.

We switched the kiddos out so L could get a chariot nap. Still a few more hours of riding to our campsite but at least the weather was now warm and sunny.

We crossed back over the river into Switzerland.

I was really starting to drag at this point. We had a bit of a headwind and spin class doesn’t quite prepare you for riding hours at a time. 😁 Ty patiently slowed down and let me draft off him. Since having the chariot, and all the camping equipment didn’t slow him down at all.

We made it to our campsite by 2:30ish and the weather was incredible. We were the only campers at this RV site. It was wonderful. The kids were all about the pool even though it was freezing.

They even convinced Ty to try out the high dive into the lake.

We stayed out in the water until the dark clouds rolled in. Dinner was an interesting experience at the campsite restaurant and then we snuggled into our tent in the rain.

Zürich, Switzerland: Cycling Day 1

Well that 6pm bedtime came to haunt us about 4am. #jetlag The kids watched some shows for a while. I researched Zürich and Ty got some sleep since he was up from midnight-4.

We grabbed an early breakfast across the street for $50! 🤑 Before heading out to explore the city on bikes. We loaded the kids in the chariot since it was easier not to have the trail-a-bike.

Nothing like an early morning ride through a European city. So beautiful!

This town is so bike friendly. They even have bike ramps on stairways.

Fun scenes from this morning.

Ty being Ty!

This was the largest clock face in Europe at St. Peter’s cathedral. Which they wouldn’t let anyone into for some reason.

More playgrounds and gardens before we grabbed some bratwurst and corn on the cob for lunch.

Oh the emotions of a 7 year old!

We all crashed back at the hotel for a nap before attempting to see the Switzerland National Circus. Unfortunately they were sold out for the day and that put everyone in a bit of a funk.

We rode back to an American bbq place we saw for dinner, Brisket. I won’t say it’s the best bbq we’ve ever had but they did a decent job. They Mac n cheese was amazing, however we’ve found European portions to be quite small. #fatamericans #supersizeme 😆

We managed to keep everyone up till 8pm tonight. So hopefully we can get our bodies back on track and tomorrow won’t be such an early morning. 🤞🏻

Anchorage, Ak to Zürich, Switzerland: Travel Day

So we’re headed off again for another bike adventure! Three weeks cycling the Euro Velo 15 from Switzerland to the Netherlands via Liechtenstein, Germany and France. 🤪

Ty assures me that this ride is flat and mostly on bike paths. So avoiding everything that made Hawaii, hard. Thank goodness!!

We left Anchorage at a delightful 2:30 in the afternoon. Seems like leaving out of Anchorage is always at some awful hours. This was a nice change of pace.

Just checking two bike boxes and a small boy please. 😁

We flew Iceland Air and paid for the bike boxes but our paneers and the stroller were free.

Our family of four fit all our gear into the two large black paneers and one large brown dry bag.

The plane was pretty empty so we switched to the second to last row and got both sides to ourselves! So nice to have that extra room for a 7 hour flight.

See you in a few weeks Anchorage!

The flight was fine, no issues. A few movies later and we were landing in Reykjavik, Iceland.

We checked out their lounge, thanks so Ak Airlines Gold status and enjoyed some food for an hour.

Our flight to Zürich was three hours and again wonderfully uneventful.

We got the stroller and the bike boxes and started schlepping our way towards to subway. It takes Ty about an hour to put all three bikes together so it’s not really feasible to do immediately upon landing. Ty figured out the best way to transport everything was to load one side of the bike boxes into the chariot and use it to hold most of the weight as we push them along from the other end.

It’s totally awkward and not very easy. But much easier than him and I each trying to carry a 60 pound giant box. The subway was a short ride and thankfully our hotel was a five minute walk from the station.

Ty got to work building the bikes in front of the hotel while the kids and I explored a nearby playground.

Their pants were totally soaked!

Ty got the bikes together and we got into our room. Didn’t stay long though otherwise we would have passed out. It was 4:30 local time and we’d been up almost 24 hours. Our goal was an early dinner followed by bed. We found an Asian restaurant that was open for dinner, Nooch. It was good but we also realized that Zürich is one of the most expensive cities in Europe.

Back to the hotel and the kids and I were asleep by 6!

Captain Cook to Hilo: Bike Adventure Day 7

We had a decent night sleep but since most of the windows didn’t have blinds we woke up with the sun. Thankfully the host agreed to help us get back up the hill. Otherwise it would have taken us a few hours and multiple trips to walk all our stuff up.

The kids and I, the chariot, trail-a-bike, and bags were one trip. The host tried to ratchet strap our bikes onto the back of his Jeep but Ty put a halt to that idea.

It was 9am and so hot while we waited for Ty and the bikes at the top of the hill.

The first part of the road was still super narrow shoulders and cars going way too fast. Again we had someone yell at us to, get our kids off the road. Which ok, they may be concerned about our safety but yelling at us as we’re riding on a dangerous road doesn’t exactly help the situation. It really just freaked R out. So we had a great discussion about not letting other people affect our emotions.

We did about 1,000 feet of climbing but knowing it was our last day made it easier.

Then we get to the biggest downhill ever! I swear Hawaii was all uphill or all downhill. Makes sense being Volcano country and all.

My hands were actually sore by the end of these downhills.

We rode through the coast of Kona into the tourist district and got yelled at one more time just before we saw the hotel. 🤷🏻‍♀️

I will say today though, we had quite a few people actually cheering us on as well. That was really nice.

WE DID IT!!! Give or take 240 miles and around the entire big island of Hawaii!!

Ty was a trooper and started breaking the bikes down while the kids and I schlepped suitcases and bike boxes around the hotel. It took a few hours of work before we could enjoy the pool but it was so nice when we finally did!

Followed by a little predinner craziness.

It was a fun adventure but gosh it feels so good to be done!

Naahelu to Captain Cook, HI: Bike Adventure Day 6

Well today was not my favorite. It started off nicely. The bed and breakfast we stayed at was so beautiful and peaceful. The kids loved playing ping pong and air hockey. The host showed us some home footage of the volcano eruption last year.

Then we took off about 10am and it immediately sucked. As we were leaving the driveway a car zooms past and starts honking at Ty and flips him the bird. Following that, we rode uphill for an hour straight.

At several points one or both the kids were walking. It just alleviated so much weight to get the kid off the bikes.

After we finally get off the hill, we get to the road with virtually no shoulder.

It was just scary and I spent the next few hours just focused on that white line.

Lunch break! We then rode across the street to pick up pizza for dinner. R had to carry it on her lap for the next 20 miles since there were no restaurants close to where we were staying.

The other thing that freaked me out about this road was that there were a ton of memorials on the side of the road. I had really only seen one or two before this. We passed at least 5 or 6 just in a few hour bike ride!

We were finally starting to get close to the house when L’s shoelace wrapped around the peddle. Then about ten minutes later the peddle fell off! As I was going back to get it, a truck passed and yelled at us to watch out for the cars. I get it, it’s not a safe road but what were we supposed to do?!

After I fixed his peddle it started to rain on us. Poor L just kept telling me he was cold and there was nothing I could do but keep riding.

We finally make it to the road the house is on and we have to stop and wait there. This road is so steep, the home owners claim its the steepest in Hawaii. Ty thankfully knew about this ahead of time and had arranged for the homeowner to pick us up. Or at least our kids and our gear.

Ty also spies this dead gem.

The owner can’t fit our bikes in his car with everything else so we attempt to ride our bikes down the hill. Forgetting that my bike seat was attached to the trail-a-bike. We started off and it seemed doable.

But after the first little bit I’m breaking and my tires just start sliding. I have no control over my bike and the road is wet! Freaked me out so I hop off and start walking my bike down. Ty’s not having any issues so on a straight away I hop back on and try again. Well I completely lose control of my bike. It’s sliding all over because even with front and back breaks the weight of it is just pulling it down the hill. I’m all out screaming in terror. Thankfully I manage to slow my bike down enough to stop. That’s it though I just walk it down the hill the rest of the mile to the house. Even my shoes felt slippery and the bike kept wanting to slide away from me. It was crazy!

That was after my first slide. No way was I going to smile!

The house was comfortable. However, both kids managed to slam their faces into the sliding glass door. 🤦🏻‍♀️ R’s got a shiner and L has a goose egg on his forehead.

It was just not our day!