Planes, Trains, and Automobiles ~ Weekly Wrap ~ September 23, 2018

I haven’t posted in a bit, which is not to say I haven’t been busy! My husband and I flew to Europe on Wednesday, September 12th, arriving in Berlin on Thursday, September 13th. Our itinerary includes Berlin, followed by Prague, followed by Vienna, and then finally Kraków before returning home on Friday, September 28th. I write this as we are preparing to fly to Kraków for our last leg of this trip.

As most of you know, I ran (ran/walked/walked/walked/walked) the Berlin Marathon on September 16th. We’ve been so occupied touring Europe, I haven’t yet had (or taken) the time to post a recap. That will hopefully come some time in the next week.

For now, here’s a recap of our trip  (including miles covered) thus far for today’s weekly wrap:

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been traveling like crazy for my business. I typically travel on average, once a month, but I have been traveling almost weekly since mid-summer, which has really thrown a wrench into my ability to train for my fall marathons. Here’s a brief overview of what went down since arriving in Europe:

Remnants of the Berlin Wall

Wednesday, September 12th through Monday, September 17th:  We left Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on the 12th and flew to London’s Heathrow Airport on American points. We had just a two hour layover (which was barely enough time to deplane, change terminals, and board our second flight on another airline) before our flight to Berlin using Chase points. While a direct flight would have been preferred, using points we were able to fly free, so it was well worth a little bit of inconvenience. We arrived in Berlin at around 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, and were able to check in to our hotel right away. We headed straight for the BMW Berlin Marathon Expo, which lived up to its expectation of being crowded and a bit overwhelming with people going crazy buying marathon gear. More on that when I post my race recap later. Besides the marathon (of course), trip highlights included visiting the Reichstag/Government Quarter, Brandenburg Gate, the Holocaust Memorial, remnants of the Berlin Wall, and Checkpoint Charlie. Including the marathon, I ran/walked 48.3 miles while in Berlin.

Carb-Loading (? Replenishing) on the Train to Prague

Monday, September 17th through Thursday, September 20th:  We arrived in Prague on Monday morning and once again, hit the ground running. Prague is absolutely beautiful and very easy to navigate. I am half Czechoslavakian, so visiting Prague had special meaning for me. Highlights of the trip included visiting Old Town and Wenceslas Squares, Charles Bridge, the Jewish Quarter, and Prague Castle. We met a very nice couple from Houston en route to the Strahov Monastery Brewery and enjoyed a nice drink (or two) with them before heading to an awesome place called Wine O’Clock, which was recommended to me by one of my recent students.  We walked a total of 19.4 miles in three days.

Drinks Along the Danube River in Vienna

Thursday, September 20th through Sunday, September 23rd:  We arrived in Vienna at around noon on Thursday, and were again able to check in to our hotel early. We headed out the door for a whirlwind few days which included trips to Shönbrunn Palace, the Hofburg Apartments, and St. Stephen’s Cathedral, to name a few. Total miles walked:  22.7.

Tomorrow we fly to Kraków for the last leg of our European adventure. The Chicago Marathon is in just two weeks, and while I haven’t technically been training, I sure have been putting in the miles! With all the walking I’ve done in the past two weeks, I have surpassed my usual monthly mileage by a bunch. While I would love to run Chicago and blow away my PR, I at least know I will get it done and look forward to another awesome race!


How was your week? Have you ever traveled internationally for a race? I’m linking up with Wendy over at Taking the Long way Home and Holly at HoHo Runs for this week’s wrap-up. Be sure to visit their blogs, and check out a few of the other linkers while you’re there. You may just find a few new friends!


  1. Fantastic job on the marathon, Linda! Enjoy the rest of your vacation. Looks like you are having a great time. Prost!

    1. Author

      Thanks, Cindy. We just got home yesterday evening. I posted a few (mostly food) pics in the family group on Facebook. Once I sort through everything, I will send a few. It’s so easy to just keep snapping with digital cameras – we literally took about thousand photos! Of every place we visited, Krakow was my favorite. Such a beautiful and friendly city!

  2. That trip sounds amazing! You have so much going on no wonder marathon training isn’t your priority. And I think you’ve got your priorities straight. 😉
    I would love to visit Eastern Europe— Prague sounds great.

    1. Author

      It was a fantastic trip. I won’t say once in a lifetime – but it will be a good few years before we can think about another trip like this!

  3. Sounds like a wonderful trip so far! It’s been years since I’ve been to Vienna, but I remember it being lovely. I have always wanted to see Prague – you’re hitting some great cities!

    1. Author

      Every place was so beautiful. My son spent a semester in Vienna and we didn’t have the chance to visit him there, so it was nice to see where he called home for a bit. Prague is beautiful, but I think I liked Krakow the best.

  4. Wow, that’s a lot of walking! I also think it’s amazing that you were able to fly for free! Way to work those credit card and airline points!

    I’m really looking forward to your recap.

    1. Author

      I was just telling my mom I need to tally up all of our expenditures. I’m sure we spent way more money on this trip than I care to admit, but it was definitely a huge help being able to use points for the travel!

    1. Author

      It was such an amazing trip! We literally had no down time. We arrived home yesterday evening and I am trying to catch up on a million things, including getting my race recap done!

  5. You are a dynamo! I can’t believe that you’re going to run Chicago when you get home from this trip. Looks like an amazing vaca. I’ll be at the marathon cheering the runners on–I’ll let you know where to look for me!

    1. Author

      It’s funny, I first looked at Chicago as being three weeks after Berlin, but once I realized Chicago was 9 days after we return home from Europe, I really had to question my sanity!

  6. What an exciting trip! I’m excited to hear more about the marathon! You are walking tons (and tons) of miles….practically walking a marathon each day LOL

    1. Author

      It is amazing how much walking we did in the past few weeks. I don’t think I would have been putting as many miles in at home, but of course there are those pesky little distractions like work getting in the way!

  7. Hope you enjoyed Berlin, my running club friends got round safe and well, which was a relief. What lovely pictures. I really like Prague: I went there on valentine’s day for work about 17 years ago and have never quite been forgiven by my husband, so I must go back!

    My first marathon was Reykjavik, chosen so no one would see me (not sure who I thought would see me if I’d done a small UK one!) and because I knew the city already, so that was great, I just want to go and do it again one year.

    1. Author

      I did enjoy the race overall. Some of the logistics made it a little nerve-wracking for me, but I am so glad to have taken the leap. A race in Iceland would be so amazing! My goal right now is to try to get all the Majors done, but I would love to travel the globe picking beautiful venues for races along the way!

  8. I have never traveled internationally for a race but would love to! You are getting in so much awesome walking and I am sure seeing so many amazing sites!

    1. Author

      Europe is so beautiful. We were fortunate to have good weather pretty much the entire time. I have to admit, it was a little intimidating traveling so far for a race, but now that I have done it, I will feel much more at ease in the future.

  9. I did a similar trip 12 years ago! Although, we started in Warsaw, then Krakow, Prague, and Vienna last. My favorite place was Prague!! I hope to make it back there some day!!

    Angela Cardamone
    1. Author

      We also loved Prague – it’s so beautiful. I liked Krakow the best. To me it was much like Prague in its beauty, but on a much smaller scale and much more quaint.

  10. Could this be any more incredible? I think not! What an amazing experience for you guys. I know you are enjoying every single second of it.

    I did a 5K in the Bahamas, but I don’t even know if that counts LOL! It was an international race, though, and I’m sticking to that.

    1. Author

      It’s definitely been a great and a whirlwind trip! I think a Bahamian race sounds fantastic, and that definitely counts as international!

  11. You’ve had an incredible European adventure thus far and have spent so much time on your feet that I’m sure that you’ll have no problem in Chicago in 10 days. Maybe I’ll see you there!

    1. Author

      We just arrived home from Europe yesterday and I’m not sure I’ll run at all this week leading up to Chicago! I definitely got a lot of miles in these past few weeks! Good luck at Chicago. I’m sure you will be busy between family and your RMCH group – but it would be great to get together just to say hi!

  12. I’ve never traveled internationally for a race but that sounds like a great excuse to travel! 😛 Love that you got to do so much exploring!

    + that is a lottttttt of walking/running! Major props to you!

  13. I hope you are still enjoying your two week European vacation! I can’t wait to hear about the Berlin marathon. I’d absolutely use my travel points, even if it adds travel time. No, I haven’t travelled abroad for a race although I’ve looked into races in Scotland. My hubs has always wanted to go there. Thanks for linking!

    1. Author

      Scotland would be amazing! We were definitely able to take advantage of points – both for flights and hotels. I’ll be tallying up the credit card charges this weekend. I hate to even look, but I know we saved a bunch on travel and lodging!

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