Planning our Christmas Market Extravaganza

With everything going on with the house, this trip has honestly snuck up on us! We have been planning to do this Christmas Market trip for the last 5 years, but we never expected the timing to work out so that we would be moving/renovating a Victorian home in Ventura at the same time! Here are some of the questions people have been asking us.

How are you affording to take this trip with all the house expenses? We did set aside money in the beginning of this process for the trip.  However, we used it all up on unexpected costs on the house.  Shoot man.  So, remember that credit card we talked about a few posts back? We were able to pay for the majority of our hotels with points we earned for signing up! Whew.  There are still going to be things that we cannot use the points for, but we will be putting as much as possible on the credit card because we get triple points back on travel and restaurants. Future Adam and Kristina might have a little debt to pay off next year; you only live once right?!?

How are you going to get moved in and get the house decorated for Christmas before you leave? Sometimes you just can’t do everything. We are going to do our best to get everything unpacked, but this holiday season is going to be different than usual. Normally we would spend the month of December decking the halls, attending holiday parties, counting down the days on our advent calendar, and blasting Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” on replay (this is Kristina speaking – just to be clear). Don’t get me wrong, we are definitely going to be unpacking to Christmas music and sneaking in a showing of the Nutcracker at the Oxnard Performing Arts Center.  But our main focus is going to be getting settled into the house and, of course, getting ready for this trip.

So if you’re not going to be around during the holidays, how are you going to get your Christmas shopping done? At the Christmas markets of course! We are going to be leaving lots of empty spaces in our suitcases so we can bring home special gifts for everyone on our list.  As someone who loves gift giving, this is one of the aspects of this trip I am looking forward to the most.

Besides shopping, I listed some of the Christmas activities we’re looking forward to in each of the cities we’re visiting.  Let us know if there’s anything we’re missing!


New York

  • See all the holiday windows
  • Ice skating in Central Park
  • See the Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall
  • Brunch at the Plaza Hotel
  • See some of the amazing museums New York has to offer
  • Chocolate chip cookies at Levian Bakery
  • Christmas markets at Bryant and Central Park
  • Bagels at Russ and Daughters
  • Walking the high line



  • See all the beautiful lights throughout the city
  • Go to the Christmas market at Champs Ėlysées
  • Climb the steps to the top of the Eiffel tower
  • Drink lots of champagne (not Adam)
  • See the Notre Dame Cathedral
  • Go to the Louvre
  • See the views from the The Big Wheel in the Place de la Concorde
  • Ride a Christmasy carousel or go to the Christmas circus
  • Go out to a fancy french dinner
  • Find a great cafe to sit at and people watch



  • Drink mulled wine while exploring the Christmas market
  • Taste a Trdelnek
  • Play in the snow
  • Take pictures of the city first thing on Christmas morning with no one else out to spoil the freshly fallen snow (or get in our pictures)
  • Go on a food tour
  • Go to midnight mass at Strahov Monastery
  • Breakfast at Cafe Savoy
  • See some of the historic sights of the city



  • Go see Neuschwanstein Castle
  • Go beer tasting
  • Enjoy the Christmas traditions
  • Eat gingerbread
  • Explore Old town
  • Go visit some of the nearby small German towns like Salzburg

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