Five cities, three countries, twelve days, my mom, and me. All mashed together because I know no one is going to click through an entire photo album of this stuff. Blink and you may miss something, but that's kind of what it was like being there too. It was a very efficient trip.

7/7: SFO --> ORD
Our original itinerary did not include Chicago. There was a crash at SFO the day before we left, so our flight was delayed at origin and we missed our connection from ORD.

7/7 - 7/8: Chicago, ORD --> AMS
The next direct flight from O'Hare to Schiphol (Amsterdam) was a full 24 hours later, so we decided to make the best of it by exploring the cultural splendors of Chicago. In the morning, we took the 'L' downtown to the Chicago Art Institute. Sooo much famous stuff there. On our way back, we stopped by Cloud Gate ("the bean!") at Millennium Park.

7/9 - 7/10: Amsterdam
By the time we got to Amsterdam, we had been traveling on and off for about 40 hours. We were exhausted, but forced ourselves to stay awake in order to avoid jet lag. We accidentally ordered a really fancy lunch at the hotel, ate it, and then set off for the Van Gogh Museum. After I took a quick power nap (my mom claims she abstained), we met up with our tour guide and the rest of our group for dinner and a walking tour of the Red Light District. No pictures of the last part though, sorry.

7/10: Amsterdam --> Brussels
Our time in Brussels was pretty much just a lunchtime pitstop. Bogdan, our tour guide made sure we hit up the Atomium (statue of giant silver balls) and the Manneken Pis aka "Little Man Pee" aka little peepee man. The rest of the time we meandered and marveled at the beautiful architecture.

7/10 - 7/11: Bruges
Bruges is super old, super beautiful and super small. It's a canal city with horse-drawn carriages and a lake literally called "Love" that is home to a bunch of swans. We spent a night here before heading to Paris. But before taking off, we visited an old church that holds the only statue by Michelangelo that ever left Italy during his lifetime. It's called the "Madonna of Bruges," and you can see it at 1:35-1:36.

7/11 - 7/17: Paris
July is a great time to visit Paris if you want to be surrounded by people that aren't from there. Our tour with Gate1 ended here after three days, but my mom and I stayed three more on our own. Here's a loose outline of where we went and what we did:
⁃ Day 1: Visit Galleries at Lafayette (gigantic, gorgeous mall filled with high-end stores). Dinner with tour group, night bus tour (Arc du Triomphe, Tuileries, Champs Elysees)
⁃ Day 2: By bus - Champs Elysees, Eiffel Tower from afar, Latin Quarter, Napoleon's tomb (I think?), Versailles, boat cruise on La Seine, Eiffel Tower summit. Exhausting day, but well worth it!
⁃ Day 3: Louvre, Notre Dame.
⁃ Day 4: La Basilique du Sacre Coeur, Montmartre. This was also France's National Day aka Le Quatorze Juillet aka Bastille Day. We watched parades and fireworks on TV because I was too scared and tired to go outside.
⁃ Day 5: Le Marais, Tuileries, L'Orangerie, L'as Fallafel, Palais de Tokyo.
⁃ Day 6: Musee D'Orsay, Paris MoMA, rooftop of Galleries at Lafayette.

7/17 - 7/18: CDG --> SFO
Home, sweet home!

Music is "Walk in the Park" by Beach House.

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