Looking back on the Big Trip….
As of August 9, 2016 our nine-month adventure has come to an end. Our family is safely back at home, returning to our “old normal” (Don’t get the reference?) The kids will soon be back in school, Joe back at Microsoft, and Kristina back to Rainier Scholars and everything else she does for our family. Here’s a bit of wrap-up
- Stats Page: Big Trip by the Numbers Barfcon final count.. check.
- The Dark Side .. Lice, raw meat, caterpillar attack… it wasn’t all sunshine and roses out there!
- The Voyage Ends: Back from the Sea. … our post on leaving the ship.
- World-schooling our kids… a collection of posts related to our homeschooling.
- One-Year-Later Blog Posts… Looking Back
And for those of you looking to understand what we DID, start below at the “It begins” and click the links to see the blog posts both about our adventure and all about
Thanks so much to everyone who visited, commented, made travel suggestions, sent us questions and every other form of support during our big trip!
We took our three kids out of school for most of the 2015-2016 school-year and embarked on a family adventure, including travelling all the way around the world. We started in November 2015 and we’ll finish up in Summer 2016.
- Here’s how it all started, including our initial plan/itinerary as of January 2016 when we left on the ship but before we had planned the post-ship travels.
- Want to learn more? Read our FAQ
Part 1: US Cities
November 2015 – December 2015
We knew we’d be travelling far and wide.. but our kids had never visited New York or Washington or any of the other great cities in the US. So… we decided we’d start our trip close to home. The kids switched to our local public schools in September for the year, and on November 12 we left…
- Atlanta: Historic, Yummy and Fun by Joe
- Alabama: Birmingham & Montgomery historic spots by Joe
- Theme Parks and Thanksgiving by Joe
- Sydney’s Notes from the South by Sydney
- Our Big Car Ride: To Charleston! by Piper
- Day 18: Colonial Williamsburg by Alexander
- Alexander on D.C.: Favorite Smithsonian museums by Alexander
- Sydney’s favorite things in D.C. by Sydney
- Washington (the summary)! by Joe
New York City
- New York City Shows by Sydney
- NYC… All About Skyscrapers by Piper
- Alexander on NYC: Iconic Sights by Alexander
Part 2: Semester at Sea
January – April 2016
On January 5 we left Ensenada, Mexico aboard the MV World Odyssey as part of a floating college campus called “Semester at Sea”. We were 5 of the 25 “Lifelong Learner” passengers who were travelling with about 550 college students and about 25 faculty and staff. Our kids were 3 of the ~20 kids aboard the ship.
We had an amazing time travelling aboard the ship … not just seeing the incredible cities and countries, but getting to know a wonderful group of people.
Life at Sea
- Bon Voyage by Joe
- Shipboard Life – 1 week in by Kristina
- ⭐ Alexander’s Journal: Kid’s view of the Ship by Alexander
- ⭐⭐ Halfway done: “We have a new normal”
- ⭐ 🎬 The Voyage Ends: Au Revoir, Life at Sea by the Whole Family
- Tokyo!!! by Alexander
- Tokyo DisneySea… by Sydney
- Tokyo Disneyland… by Piper
- Central Japan: Matsumoto & our Ryokan stay by Kristina
- ⭐⭐ Japan Alps: Shirakawa-Go by Joe
- Susono with friends by Kristina
- Kyoto & Hiroshima (Goodbye, Japan) by Alexander
- ⭐ China! Suzhou Factories, Shanghai Skyline, Hong Kong Lights by Joe
- ⭐ Twins talk China: We Ate Chicken Feet! by Sydney & Piper
- India! 5 Cities in 6 Days… by Joe
- ⭐ A Taj Mahal Gallery.. India Part 2 by Joe
- Girls talk India… Interview time! by Piper & Sydney
- ⭐⭐ Maldives! The country I’d been waiting for… by Alexander
United Arab Emirates
- A Sprinkle of Dubai by Alexander
- ⭐⭐ Sabi Sabi Safari… African animals attack! by Joe
- Twins Interview: Alexander, the Safari Target by Sydney, Piper & Alexander
- Capetown… The Twin View by Sydney & Piper
- (video) ⭐⭐ So… this happened in Cape Town. by Joe
- Ghana (part 1): Villages, Cities, Rainforest… and Awesome People by Joe
- Ghana (part 2): Slave Castles 😦 by Joe
- Alexander’s Journal: Casablanca & the Morocco Desert Camp by Alexander
- Marrakech! by Joe
Southampton, England: The Voyage Ends
- ⭐⭐ The Voyage Ends: Au Revoir, Life at Sea by the Whole Family
Part 3: Europe Solo
May – August 2016
After the ship disembarked in Southampton in late April, our family began another 4 months of travel on our own, through Europe. As we started this last-leg, we had a lot of planning to do! We didn’t know everywhere we’d go .. and we didn’t even have our flight home booked.
- Europe begins in… LONDON. by Kristina
- Rain in Spain! Caballos y Siestas en Sevilla… by Sydney
- Rain in Spain 2: Moorish Castle, Nose Flaring and a Beach! by Piper
- Spain 3: Z loves Barcelona! by Alexander
- ⭐ Spain 4: Madrid! Blood, guts, and.. great foo.. by Joe
- Goodbye Spain! Segovia and San Sebastian by Joe
- Puy Du Fou, France: Horses, Vultures, and Lions. Oh yeah. I forgot about blood. by Alexander
- What to do in Paris when it rains. A LOT. by Joe
- Kid Video: A Tour of our Paris Apartment by Sydney and Piper
- ⭐ Our Paris Favorites: from Euro Cup to the Parisian Dead by the Whole Family
- Twins blog: Paris Disneyland! by Sydney and Piper
- Guest Post! The Tippett family meets us in Provence by John, Teresa, Mia & Sam Tippett
- ⭐ Croatian Cities: Yes, Dad. I know they’re Beautiful! by Alexander
- Would YOU spend 6 Nights on a Croatian Sailboat with the Belfiores? They did… by Joe
- Guest post: A Croatian Folktale by Evan Carr Guest post! by Evan Carr
Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary
- Danube River Cruise Part 1: Piper covers Germany and Austria by Piper
- Danube River Cruise Part 2: Sydney on Slovakia Twins’ Birthday! by Sydney
- ⭐ Budapest: Yes, yes. I was Hungary for the duck too. by Alexander
- Berlin: Still Crazy After All These Years by Joe
- ⭐ (video) The Game of “Whale, Horse or Puffin” by Joe
- ⭐ Iceland Part 1: Volcanoes, Geysers, Waterfalls by Joe
- Iceland 2: The End. by Joe