Rome Day 2

Well, I suppose it was inevitable to have a few bad hours at some point during our European adventure. That moment came near the end of our two week trip, on the day we were suppose to visit the Vatican City.

We woke up early that day and picked up pastries and espresso on our walk to St. Peter’s Square. The sun was shining, we got our first glimpse of the River Tiber and its many gorgeous bridges, and we hadn’t gained a single pound despite two weeks of nonstop gorging. What could go wrong? Continue reading “Rome Day 2”

Rome Day 1

When I think back on our time in Rome, I remember the warm weather, the colorful buildings, the dark cobbled streets, and the happiness I felt at being there with Dan.

On our first night in Rome, however, we were feeling a bit jaded and less than charmed by the city. It probably didn’t help that we had just flown in from Paris, where we had spent the last five days being swept off our feet. Not wanting to repeat the dreadful experience of dragging our luggage through trains and along tiny streets, we opted to take a cab from the airport directly to our hotel near Piazza Navona. The cab ride took us past some pretty seedy-looking areas, with graffiti covering crumbling walls and what essentially looked like a series of American strip malls. It was not the glorious, brightly lit Rome I’d coveted in other people’s vacation photos, and I started to wonder if we should have just spent our last vacation days in Paris after all. Continue reading “Rome Day 1”

Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City

In the interest of moving things along, I wanted to go ahead and share how Dan and I spent the final leg of our Euro Trip in Rome. There will be three more posts in this series, one for each day, and then it’s back to our regularly-scheduled programming. Lord knows I’m not done writing about Paris or sharing the hundreds of photos we took while abroad!

When Dan and I first began planning our spring trip to France, we knew we wanted to tack on a quick visit to Italy. Neither of us had been to the country before, but we were drawn to the beautiful scenery, the rich history, and the idea of eating real Italian food. Our initial wish list included stops in Rome, Venice and Capri, but in the end, we only had the time and budget to visit one of our top picks. Continue reading “Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City”

The Beauty of Notre Dame de Paris

August 2014: The wind whipped through our hair as we emerged onto the first level of Notre Dame Cathedral, stinging our eyes and soothing our overworked bodies. The climb to the Chimera Gallery, the walkway connecting the two towers of the cathedral, had left us hot, sweaty and gasping for air. And as we stepped out onto the walkway, hair flying everywhere and partially obscuring our view over the city of Paris, it was all worth it. Continue reading “The Beauty of Notre Dame de Paris”

A Romantic Evening on the Seine with Bateaux Mouches

When Dan and I booked our tickets to Paris, I immediately set to work planning activities that would make the most of our romantic getaway. It wasn’t hard. After all, I’d been daydreaming of this trip for years…long before I even met Dan! We’d have champagne beneath the Eiffel Tower, catch the sunset on the Seine, go for leisurely strolls in the rain…and while we did all of that and more, the thing that made the biggest impression was our evening cruising the Seine on the Bateaux Mouches dinner cruise. Continue reading “A Romantic Evening on the Seine with Bateaux Mouches”

Perplexed in Paris: Impressions of a First Time Airbnb User

Before you begin, now is a good time to grab a glass of wine and get comfortable. This post details my first time using Airbnb, and I have plenty to say, both good and bad.

Paris, it has been said, is not a cheap city to visit. I happen to disagree with that statement. As long as you keep the big-ticket sightseeing and fancy dinners to a minimum, Paris can actually be very affordable. A picnic at the Tuileries, a stroll through Notre Dame, sandwiches eaten along the Seine… Continue reading “Perplexed in Paris: Impressions of a First Time Airbnb User”

Why I Can’t Wait to Give Versailles a Second Chance

Is there a traveler alive who has not heard of Versailles? The word alone conjures up images of opulent feasts and parties, a gathering place for French nobility since its became the seat of the French monarchy in 1682. Originally the hunting lodge of King Louis XVII, the chateau is now a museum of French history and a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It was not the art collections which lured Dan and I to Versailles on a rainy spring day, however. Like so many visitors before us, we came to get a taste of life at court in 17th-19th century France. What was it like to walk and even live in such a grand and beautiful building, with handmaidens to cater to your every need? Continue reading “Why I Can’t Wait to Give Versailles a Second Chance”

Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival

Hey all! Today I want to take a break from writing about my recent trip to Paris and Rome, and share a peek of what I’ve been up to since returning stateside. Blog-wise, it looks like I’ll be in Europe through the end of the year, and I’m in no hurry to stop writing about my favorite place in the world!

That doesn’t mean I’ve stopped adventuring around my adopted hometown of Orlando, however! September was a very busy, very exciting month, both in my blogging and in my personal life. It started off with the wedding of a good friend, quickly followed by Dan’s birthday weekend, and finally a visit from my younger brother Jared. September also marked the beginning of two of my favorite seasonal theme park events: Halloween Horror Nights at Universal Orlando, and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival at Walt Disney World! Because these events have a limited run, I wanted to jump right in and share them while they are still going strong. First up is the 2016 Epcot Food and Wine Festival! Continue reading “Eating Around the World at the 2016 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival”

La Vie Parisienne – Partie Quatre

I can’t believe we are on day four of my Paris recap already. We packed so much into our first three days, and by the time I awoke on day four, I felt satisfied that we had seen and done most of the things we wanted to fit in. Add in plenty of time lingering over meals, relaxing in our apartment, and revisiting favorite spots, and we were very content with the way everything was going.

There was still one thing missing, however, something that was repeatedly pushed back by late starts, long lines, and the assurance that we could always return later. Continue reading “La Vie Parisienne – Partie Quatre”

La Vie Parisienne – Partie Trois

Our third day in Paris can be summed up in one word: opulent. It started with a day trip to Versailles and ended with dinner and champagne on a Seine river cruise. I mean. It doesn’t get much fancier than that, does it? Continue reading “La Vie Parisienne – Partie Trois”