I'm going to Zurich and Brussels over New Year's, with my family.
Here is a photo of Zurich in winter. My brother and I fear the cold, but we couldn't agree on a warm place to go. I suggested Mexico City, which he vetoed due to drug wars. I suggested Sydney, which my dad vetoed due to cost. Finally we all agreed on Zurich.
Despite being 8 hours to the north, Brussels is supposed to be 10 degrees warmer than Zurich.
The last time that all of us traveled together was Madrid and Paris in 2007. I hardly remember going to Versailles and the Champ-Elyssee and all that, but the most vivid memory is that my brother's hotel bed had a broken leg, which would collapse during his sleep every night. Then the bed would tilt at a 20-degree angle. He told the hotel front desk, but they refused to act. So, every morning, the maid would prop the bed back up, and every night during his sleep, it would tilt over again.
We ate at a little chinese restaurant in a Parisian avenue near the hotel. The proprietors told us that the French have many government benefits when they have a kid. My parents decided that if they had immigrated to Paris instead of the US, they probably would've had a third kid. That was very strange for Tom and I to consider.
The first morning in Paris, I convinced my family to eat at a breakfast place nearby for 8 euros each. My dad was dismayed at the price. Thereafter, he found a pastry shop that sold four croissants for two euro, and he would go out every day for a morning walk and bring back four croissants. Then he would cheerfully invite my brother and I to eat at "Wang's Breakfast Shop".
On the train from Paris to Rome, my dad met a math professor who teaches in Rome. They bonded by complaining that their students are becoming lazier. This Italian professor asked my dad, "What is the biggest culture shock for you in Paris?" My dad said it was that the coffee cups in France are so tiny. He made a circle with his hands. The Italian guy said, "The cups in Italy are even smaller."
It's interesting how the things that my dad remembers are these daily occurrences with the hotels, the food, the coffee.
Anyhow, since I have a few days in each city, what are the most interesting things I should see in these places?