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Zachary Stories

European Family Reunion

Destination: Germany, Paris (France), and Austria

Dates of Travel: June 21 – July 4, 2023

Travelers: Kristi & Kyle Watson, twin daughters Lyla and Gracie, Kristi’s parents Gary & Elke Mitchell, Aunt Beate & Uncle Michael Propp (in Germany), cousin Sarina Propp (in Paris), and cousin Larissa Propp (in Bavaria)

Choosing the Destination

The Watsons traveled to Frickenhausen, Germany to visit family. Kristi’s mother, Elke is from Germany and her brothers, sisters, and cousins still live there. “It has been a very long time since I have been to visit my family in Germany. After my Oma died, a few of them visited here instead,” says Kristi. “My aunt planned every part of the trip for us down to the hour.”

A group of 9 traveled by train to Paris and stayed there for 3 days. The group then returned to Frickenhausen and headed out early the next morning on a bus trip to Bavaria. The days in between were spent visiting with family, going to Legoland with Filipino, Swiss and French cousins, and celebrating Elke’s birthday together.












Exceeding Expectations

“When driving from Schloss Neuschwanstein to Berchtesgaden, we stumbled across the most beautiful church in this tiny town called Pilgrimage Church of the Scourged Savior. It took your breath away!”









Words of Wisdom 

  • Consider purchasing a hop-on-hop-off tour in Paris to explore the city, especially with a larger group and children.
  • Carry a backpack with an anti-theft pocket, especially when traveling on the Metro in Paris.
  • If you are planning to visit the top of the Eiffel Tower, plan to wait in line for a few hours for the elevators.
  • Research and book tickets in advance for popular attractions to avoid disappointment and long lines. Arrive early at popular destinations. For example, at the Eagle’s Nest it was important to catch one of the first bus rides up the mountain to avoid crowds.
  • While it’s tempting to create a packed itinerary, leave some extra time to explore. There are so many beautiful and interesting places that you will stumble across.

Kristi would recommend this European adventure for families, especially history buffs. For her and her family, the time spent with their German relatives was the best part.

“I was taken aback by how well our family get togethers went with us being from 5 different countries and 5 different languages being spoken amongst us. We had the best time thanks to Google translate and family members who were multilingual being interpreters. The children played well together. I left with a full heart from the family time together.”


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