Memorable Weekend Trips from Frankfurt in Germany

During our time in Frankfurt, we were able to jump on the train and enjoy many different weekend trips to various cities around Germany. We also took several trips outside of Germany, but Frankfurt was a great hub to explore Germany itself from as well. We would often sit at our favorite little restaurant on a Thursday night and pull up the Deutsche Bahn app and just look at what places we could get to within a few hour train ride and just pick one as our destination. Often times the time on the train was as interesting as the destination because we could sit in our compartment, have a glass of wine, and watch the scenery as we traveled through the German countryside. These are a few of the places that we were able to visit by taking a quick trip out of Frankfurt.

Crowds Enjoying the Markets in Würzburg
The Residenz in Würzburg

Würzburg – One of the weekend trips that we took when we were in Frankfurt was to Würzburg. Although we had only been living in Germany for a little over a month, this particularly getaway made us feel as though we were becoming locals. It is a short train ride from Frankfurt to Würzburg and we arrived right around lunchtime. We found a tiny little restaurant that obviously catered to several regulars who were chatting with one another, reading newspapers, and simply relaxing. The owner offered us a seasonal beer, which of course we had to try, and we had an appetizer platter with blood sausage, potatoes, and cheese.

Heidelberg Castle Entrance
Walking Through the Old Town District

Heidelberg – One of our first weekend getaway from Frankfurt was to visit Heidelberg. Heidelberg is the location of the oldest university in Germany and has a wonderful old town area. Because the Heidelberg University has been considered one of the finest universities in Europe since it was built in the 14th century, it has attracted scientists, philosophers, and literary figures throughout its history. Located on the Neckar River, the scenery is absolutely stunning, especially in October, which is when we visited.

Church and Vineyard in Hochheim
Entrance to Hochheim

Hochheim – Located just couple of hours outside of Frankfurt, we visited Hochheim for a quick day trip from the city. It is a small town surrounded by vineyards and still retains its medieval charm. It was early November and the town was holding its annual festival and market, so it was a lot busier than it normally would have been, but that also made it fun for us. It was a quick train ride from Frankfurt and since we had monthly passes for the train, we simply had to pay a little extra to get to the nearby town.

The German Corner Where the Rivers Meet in Koblenz
Walking Around Schloss Stolzenfels Outside of Koblenz

Koblenz – Taking a train from Frankfurt to Koblenz was one of the most memorable trips during our time in Germany. The city spans both sides of the Rhine River and is situated where the Rhine meets the Moselle River. There are many sights to see when visiting Koblenz, but the highlights are the Ehrenbreitstein Fortress, the German Corner, and Schloss Stolzenfels. There is also an interesting statue that depicts the 2000 year history of the city, but even without all of these places, just walking along the Rhine would make visiting Koblenz worthwhile.

Looking Up Towards Nuremberg Castle
Enjoying Looking Over the City

Nuremberg – We took the train from Frankfurt to Nuremberg during the first week of January during our time in Germany. It was more or less a spur of the moment trip, so we hadn’t researched anything about Nuremberg before deciding to go there. We loved living in Germany as we would pull up the train app on a Thursday and book a trip for Friday and away we would go. It was a quick trip and very cold at the time, but we had a wonderful time there. As with any trip, just relaxing and enjoying the atmosphere of the city is the most important thing, but there are a few places that should not be missed when visiting.

View Along the Rhine
Views of the Neckar River in Heidelberg

Each of these trips were very memorable in their own ways. Germany has so many interesting locations to visit that these are just a few. We would love to go back soon and see even more of the places that we didn’t have time to get to. Between the architecture, culture, and food, it is certainly one of the places that we could go back and visit many times.

Countdown to the African Adventure

We are officially 14 days away from our trip to Kenya and Tanzania. We have to admit that we are sitting on pins and needles as the days go by and we keep our fingers crossed that nothing happens to interrupt this incredible trip. It has been over a year and a half since our last meaningful trip and there have been so many changes over that period of time. We still have to get a COVID test within 72 hours of traveling, but otherwise we have all of the vaccinations necessary. We also have to fill out a travel surveillance form, which is specific to Kenya, and provides evidence that we travelled directly from the United States to Kenya.

We Even Have a Countdown App Counting Down for the Trip
Colorado Sunset

Even though our trip hasn’t even begun yet, it has already been an adventure. We originally booked our flights with British Airways who partners with American Airlines. Since our original booking, we had different legs of the flight cancelled causing us to rearrange the entire itinerary twice. Then, a week ago, all but one leg of the flight was cancelled, leaving us no choice but to cancel the flights and request a refund. We then booked flights with United who partners with Lufthansa. All we can do now is wait and hope that we have no new surprises.

Sunset Over the Nile River
Birds on the Treetops Watching the Sunset

In addition to all of the wildlife that we’re expecting to see, food that we hoping to try, and people that we looking forward to meeting, we know that we are going to see some wonderful sunrises and sunsets. We have seen many pictures taken from safaris and almost every one of them has a beautiful sunset, so we are definitely looking forward to capturing some of our own. As we have sat at home, waiting for our trip, we have seen a few colorful sunsets here as well, which just wets our appetite for our upcoming trip. To say that we are excited would be an extreme understatement.

Tips for Traveling to Las Vegas

Millions of people travel to Sin City every year with the slogan of “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” fresh on their lips. We have been to Las Vegas at least a half-dozen times over the years and we have some great and some not so great experiences while we were there. Obviously, the city is known for its over-the-top casinos, star headlining shows, and celebrity chef restaurants. If you decide to make the trip to Las Vegas, here are a few suggestions that we have to hopefully make your trip a better one.

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Fountains at the Bellagio
  1. Don’t Bring Children to the Strip – Before everyone with children gets upset with us, let us explain. There was a time when Las Vegas tried to cater to families, adding rollercoasters and themed hotels like Excalibur. Those days are gone. Unless you really want to stroll the streets where strip club representatives constantly hand out cards with nude women and men, dancers and show girls wearing almost nothing stand on the street ready to take pictures with tourists and encourage them to attend their shows, and rolling billboards with half-naked people are at every intersection, the strip is not kid-friendly. Las Vegas is an adult playground, people wander the streets with drinks in hand at every hour of the day and the activities are designed for adults out to have a good time and let loose. There is nothing wrong with that, but in our opinion it not a place to bring children. There are places in Las Vegas that you can take the kids, it just shouldn’t be the strip.
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New York, New York and Excalibur
  • If You are Going to Gamble, Give Yourself a Budget – Not everyone who goes to Las Vegas gambles as there are plenty of other things to do other than play one of the many games of chance that are available. Gambling can be fun, but for some people it can also be a little addictive as it seems like the big win is one hand or spin away. Set yourself an absolute limit of what you are willing to lose and don’t exceed it. If and when you have spent that amount, you are done, no matter how lucky you might feel about the next big chance.
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    Giving it a Spin
  • Go During the Off-Season – At popular times of the year, Las Vegas can be extremely busy. There are conventions with business travelers, bachelor and bachelorette excursions, international tourists, as well as your typical vacationers. If you want to get the best prices on hotels, shows, and other entertainment, consider going in October through the end of December, before Christmas as Christmas through New Year’s Eve is quite popular. There might not be as many headliners with shows during the off-season, but most of the year-round shows are all still running and you can get better seats at better prices. You might even be able to take advantage of the half-price, last-minute, show tickets and actually get seats that are worth the price.
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    Even Las Vegas does Christmas, Somewhat
  • Don’t Take Pictures with the Costumed People on the Street – In our opinion, this is true around the world, not just in Las Vegas, but these people wearing tattered costumes that look similar to popular characters and otherwise dress up to entice tourists to take photos and then demand money are con-artists. If less people would pay to have their photo taken, or worse yet, pose their children with them, and then give them money, then less of them would be on the streets. If you want pictures with costumed characters, go to Disney World where they are actual actors.
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    Characters in the Foreground
  • Take Advantage of Free Activities – These days there aren’t too many of them to be found, but there are some free things to see and do when you are in Las Vegas. There is the fountain at the Bellagio, the volcano eruption at the Mirage, and the Fall of Atlantis at the Caesars Forum Shops. The casinos themselves have elaborate displays that are well worth taking the time to see and some of them change from year to year. Even walking the high-end shops between the casinos like the Forum Shops or the Grand Canal Shops in the Venetian are truly spectacular. And then, since Las Vegas attracts such a wide variety of visitors, there is always people watching.
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    Volcano Eruption at the Mirage
  • Pace Yourself – Not to sound like your parents, but we too often see people that are inebriated or fighting heat exhaustion. We get it, people go to Las Vegas to let loose, have some fun, and sometimes push their boundaries. Not every night in Las Vegas should end up like the movie The Hangover. We aren’t saying don’t have a good time, but perhaps you shouldn’t start with a cocktail in two-foot glass at one-o-clock in the afternoon. Also, remember that Las Vegas is in the desert, that means that it gets hot, really hot. It also means that the air is very dry and it is easy to become dehydrated and alcohol does not provide hydration. What happens might truly stay in Vegas, but it is better if you at least remember it.
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    Walking the Shops
  • Book Popular Shows in Advance – Many of the really popular shows either sell-out, or at least the desirable seats do, weeks in advance during the busy times of the year. If there are particular shows that you want to see during your visit to Las Vegas, go online and book them prior to your arrival. Nothing would be more disappointing than arriving for a special weekend only to find out that you can’t get tickets to that one show you’ve always dreamed of seeing. Obviously that means paying full price for your tickets, but if you want the most memorable Vegas experience, it will be well worth it.
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    Show Signs Everywhere
  • Be Prepared for the Cost – With more and more millennials visiting Las Vegas who are less inclined to throwing their money away by gambling, the town has responded to the changing culture by seemingly raising the prices on everything. The food is more expensive, drinks are more expensive, shows are more expensive, activities like the CSI Experience and the Mob Museum are more expensive. By now you get the theme, Las Vegas is expensive. If you take the time to look around, you can find some deals, some happy hour food and drink options, and don’t be afraid to get off of the strip. Most importantly, just know that things will cost more than a lot of other places, so prepare your trip budget accordingly so that your wonderful dinner out doesn’t end with stress over the final bill.
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    Rack of Lamb
  • Tell Your Taxi Driver Not to Take the Highway – There are two ways for the taxis to get you from the airport to the strip. One is the overland streets and the other is the highway. They claim that the highway is faster, but we have not found that to be the case. Taking the highway and going through the tunnel will cost you more, regardless of whether it truly saves you a few minutes or not. It can as much as twice the price, so if you have the patience and time, tell the driver not to go through the tunnel or take the highway.
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    oLight Traffic on the Strip, Very Unusual