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Kathie & Cheryl plan our 2016 trip to Europe

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We are at the beginning of planning our 2016 trip to Europe. We had originally intended to go to Italy, but that trip has been put on hold (long story). We plan a 3-4 week trip in May-June or Sept-Oct. We want to avoid July/August. Recommendations for one time period over the other?

We want to return to Paris and make a return trip to London, those are the anchors in the plan. We want enough time in each city to settle in and enjoy and to make a day trip or two - maybe 10 days in each city. We have a good idea of things we want to do in each city (of course our lists are too long, they will do for a couple more trips as well!) We also would like to spend a few days in Amsterdam to see the new installation of the Van Gogh Museum and the branch of the Hermitage that wasn't there my last trip to Amsterdam.

So here are my questions: route? London-Paris-Amsterdam or London-Amsterdam-Paris? (We will fly into our first city and out of the last one)

Day trips: From London, we definitely want to go to Oxford for a day, but will consider another day trip as well - recommendations for art lovers, garden-lovers?

From Paris, we know we want to do a champagne tour - maybe Salmon-Billecort. We may also decide to go to Chartes, especially if we can get a tour by Malcolm Miller.

We have also discussed cutting short our Paris and/or London time and visiting another city in France, maybe Lyon.

We would be interested in any thoughts or recommendations you have for us.

Thanks!

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