A Trio Abroad

A Trio Abroad



They have always been avid travelers. After the birth of their first child, Ian and Trisha Floyd of Bartow got back into their routines, he with the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and she with CliftonLarsonAllen LLP in Lakeland. They knew it was time to plan a trip, and wanted to include their son.

Chateau Valtice, Czech Republic

“We decided last fall after having Ian Jr. that we wanted to go to Europe,” said Ian. “We ended up settling for the week following Christmas. After taking Ian Jr. on several short flights within the U.S. over the summer and over Thanksgiving, we felt comfortable taking him on a longer flight to Europe.”

They decided on an itinerary that would take them to a few cities. London offered a nonstop flight between Orlando International and London Gatwick. “If we were going to take a seven month old on a long flight, we wanted to do it with as few connections as possible,” Ian said. Having been to London before, the couple wouldn’t feel pressured to overdo it, allowing them to take extra time with Ian Jr.

The Floyds departed Christmas night. They checked into the Strand Palace Hotel, which they chose as their home base because of its great location in the heart of London. It’s also just one block from Waterloo Bridge, which is used as a viewing platform for the spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks.

“We spent our first day in London visiting several of the city’s many attractions – Westminster Abbey, Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, the London Eye, Downing Street and Trafalgar Square,” said Ian. Because they made London their base, there were plenty of opportunities to take short excursions in the region.

Palace outside of Brno

After spending their first day in London, the trio flew to Bratislava, Slovakia. “After landing, we got our car and began checking out several castles in the countryside,” said Ian. “The food in all of the Slovakian villages where we stopped was incredible. All of the mom and pop taverns in the small towns we visited served wonderful Bryndzové halušky (potato dumplings with sheep’s milk cheese) and schnitzel, which we were told are standard Slovakian dishes.”

Next, they headed to Austria. “After spending some time in the Austrian countryside, we made our way to Vienna,” Ian shared. “The city was lavishly decorated for Christmas with all of the central streets beautifully decorated and lighted. Especially breathtaking was St. Stephen’s Cathedral, in the heart of Vienna. During our visit inside of the cathedral the organ was playing Christmas carols. We enjoyed taking a break inside the cathedral and listening to the organist play one Christmas song after another. We were able to take the subway to Schönbrunn Palace and enjoyed walking through the lavish gardens that surround the palace grounds.


“After our day in Vienna, we traveled to the Czech Republic. We had a great time driving from small village to small village checking out the local cuisine and beautiful palaces. In the afternoon, we drove into Brno and walked around visiting the numerous shops and cafes in this beautiful Czech city. We went to Špilberk Castle, which sits on the hill that overlooks the city.”

The next day the Floyds flew back to London from Bratislava. Over the next few days they visited some areas outside of London including Bath, Stonehenge, and Windsor Castle. “We also visited several London Christmas markets, which Ian Jr. really enjoyed,” Ian said. “On New Year’s Eve we braved the crowds and made our way to Waterloo Bridge to watch the fireworks bring in the New Year. Due to our hotel being just a block away, we were able to be back in our hotel room in less than fifteen minutes after the end of the fireworks show. This was one of the highlights of our vacation.”

Their flight home was uneventful, with Ian Jr. quietly sleeping for most of the ride. Ian and Trish were thrilled with the outcome of the trip and the travelling memories they have begun sharing with their son. “We didn’t feel rushed and saw everything we wanted to see and more – and most importantly – at a pace that made it enjoyable for the entire family.”