Blogaversary Round Two: Looking Back on a Year of Travel & Storytelling

Today, Adventuring the Great Wide Somewhere turns two years old! A small part of me can’t believe it’s been two years already. As a part-time traveler with a full-time job and minimal spending money, two years is a long time to continue finding ways to travel and make time for the hours of writing, editing and the dozens of little side projects that go into blogging.

But if I’m being completely honest, a much bigger part of me is surprised that it’s only been two years. I had to double check before writing this post that it has, in fact, been just two years since I published my first ever blog post. Continue reading “Blogaversary Round Two: Looking Back on a Year of Travel & Storytelling”

Getting Lost At the Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is one of the most popular museums in the world. Those who don’t know it by name are sure at least to recognize the iconic and controversial glass pyramid that sits in the middle of the courtyard and houses the main entry point for the museum. In 2015 alone, the Louvre attracted nearly 9 million annual visitors, more than any other museum in the world. Continue reading “Getting Lost At the Musée du Louvre”

Behind the Lens

What’s it really like to visit the most popular sights in the world?

Disappointment is bound to happen at some point when traveling, especially in this media-dominated age.

We build these places up in our minds, liking and pinning impossibly beautiful photos as the big departure date gets closer. It’s no wonder that sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to those Insta-perfect expectations. The real world is not carefully filtered for optimal lighting and edited to neatly hide any blemishes in the scene. In Rome, for example, I was shocked to realize that there were probably more tourists than locals in 75% of the places we visited. The ancient, beautiful, historic city of Rome was there, but it was hidden behind hordes of tourists, obnoxious hawkers, and the ever-present click of cameras all around us.

In the interest of showing these big name attractions as they truly are, I invited several bloggers from the travel community to share the places that have surprised them along the way. Continue reading “Behind the Lens”

Parisian Glitz & Glamour at the Palais Garnier

Imagine a place steeped in Parisian history, the former playground of kings and noblemen and the home of stunning frescoes and architecture. I’ll bet you thought of the Château de Versailles, the famed royal residence of King Louis XIV and later Marie Antoinette.

While Versailles is worth a trip out of Paris any day, this French gem is located right in the heart of Paris. The Palais Garnier, or Opera Garnier, gives the ninth arrondissement its name, and is located just a smidge outside of the centrally-located second arrondissement. Designed to be the crown jewel at the end of the Avenue de l’Opéra, the Opera Garnier is one of the most beautiful buildings in Paris. Continue reading “Parisian Glitz & Glamour at the Palais Garnier”

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG: The Perfect Airport Hotel

I used to be very against airport hotels. After shelling out all that money to visit a given destination, I never understood why anyone would want to spend their final night of vacation in a bland hotel away from all the action. When I visited Los Angeles, for example, I wanted to be close to restaurants and big sightseeing attractions, rather than cooped up in the boring strip of big-name airport hotels near LAX. Why waste that last evening rotting away and wishing to be somewhere else? Continue reading “Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG: The Perfect Airport Hotel”

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”

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”

La Vie Parisienne – Partie Deux

We awoke on our second day in Paris, showered from the night before and ready this time for the barrage of construction noise outside our window. We strolled through our adopted neighborhood, marveling at every perfect little detail, and stopped for breakfast at a little cafe on the way to Notre Dame. Croissants and espresso at a corner sidewalk cafe? Day two was off to a strong start. Continue reading “La Vie Parisienne – Partie Deux”

La Vie Parisienne – Partie Un

We made it. Paris, the city of lights, the city of love, whatever you want to call it. We’d made it at last, and nothing could bring us down.

Dan and I had arrived in the city the night before, done a tiny bit of sightseeing around Notre Dame, and gone to bed, happy, exhausted, and ready for more.

We awoke to the sound of a jackhammer right outside our window. Yep. Turns out, our Airbnb rental included free admission to the construction concerto next door. Continue reading “La Vie Parisienne – Partie Un”