My trip to Prague

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Our trip to Prague was a short-lived. We had two days to explore, and I got the flu the day we were headed there. Because of that, I spent a lot of time in the room instead of exploring the city. And when I did explore I felt like I was in a fog. But what I remember of it I did enjoy and will definitely love to go back one day!

First things first, I had to go exchange my euros for Czech koruna. I definitely felt rich after, this was worth about 37 euro. Needless to say, our money went a long way here. lol!

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The rest of day 1 was mostly food and beer related with a little exploring. Let me just say this is a great place to visit if you want to drink great beer for cheap!

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Prague is a city broken up into districts by numbers. If you plan to travel there and plan to hit the major tourist spots I would recommend to stay in either Prague 1 or Prague 2. Although the public transportation is very convenient and very cheap, so if you stay outside of those districts it still won’t take too long to get to the areas you want to explore.

Day 2 we started off in Prague 2. Prague 2 is more new town with a typical city feel to it. You will find a lot of familiar stores here. I wanted to go all out with the food we ate considering I was sick and didn’t get to join on the night time festivities (which by the way I hear was awesome and quite the experience). So we went to this restaurant at the top of a building that looked really fancy. Our gourmet meal cost us a whopping $15 euro equivalent per plate. I was pretty happy with that!

After lunch we made our way over to Prague 1 which is the old town. OMG was it beautiful! I was so in love with the looks of the old buildings and feel to this area. I seriously felt like I was traveling back in time. We then made the hike to Prague Castle. It is at the top of the hill so be prepared with some good walking shoes! It was so worth it. The castle is absolutely breathtaking. The pictures really don’t do it justice. One of my favorite parts about the castle? Definitely the violent statues at the gates. Where else can you see that?!

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We then went to old town square to see the oldest working clock in the world, the Prague Olaj. It was pretty neat to see and old town square had such a cute feel to it as well. Full of the old buildings I just couldn’t get enough of. And we found this stand with Trdelník. The best way for me to describe Trdelník is to say its like a giant churro with Nutella on the inside. OMG was this good!

 

And that was my experience in Prague. Definitely wasn’t the most exciting part of our trip, but I know it was only because of how sick I was. But for a city I spent most of my time in the room in, I am still pretty happy with what we were able to cover!

Have you been to Prague? What things did you like about it? And since I am DEFINITELY going back one day, what kind of things would you suggest to check out or try?

 

Until next time!

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My Trip to Venice, Italy

Venice is a magical city. Mostly the feeling you get there. This was a city I was most excited about. I had been dreaming of visiting here for as long as I can remember.

The Island has no cars, no bikes, no vespas… to get anywhere you walk. Or if you feel like paying an arm and a leg you can take a water taxi. The water bus is a little cheaper, we took that from the mainland to get to the island.

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This was our view from the boat. Instantly you feel like your in a dream. “Oh My Gosh!! We’re ACTUALLY in Venice! Somebody pinch me so I know this is real!”

We didn’t get a hotel here, instead we booked a room on Airbnb. Which was really great because we got the real local experience. I highly suggest this site next time you travel! (Click this link for $20 off your first stay) Alex got sick so I wen’t off to try and find a restaurant our host recommended for some dinner. Ended up getting lost and passing the place about 7 times before I realized that was the place! lol!!

Venice is a very safe city. Even being lost on my first night in the middle of the night by myself, I did not feel in danger at all. The city is just tons of narrow streets and canals, it would be a little hard for someone to escape unnoticed if they committed a crime. Especially with how many people there are to witness. image

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Our host also let us know about the restaurant trick out here. If you want to save some money, you “do as the locals do” and get all of your food and drinks as “take away”. This doesn’t mean they wrap it all up to go like they do here in the states. This just means you don’t sit. They give you your food on a regular plate, wine in a wine glass and you either eat standing or you find a curb to sit on outside. And if you do this you get your items at about half the cost as you would sitting down. I found a little spot outside on the windowsill. It was an experience for sure.

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Unfortunately the food was terrible. And I thought maybe it was just a bad recommendation, but I found out later that there is no GREAT food in Venice. That I had found anyway. We definitely tried. We had some dishes that were Okay. But overall most of it was cold when it should be warm/hot and wasn’t very flavorful. But the wine was good! And I will admit I had a fun time just sitting on the windowsill drinking my wine and watching the other tourists try to find their way around. lol! (I feel your pain!)

The next day Alex was feeling a little better so we did some site seeing. Apparently the thing to do in Venice is get lost and try to stumble upon cool things. So that’s exactly what we did! First we stumbled upon some coffee and pizza to start the day.

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The pizza actually wasn’t too bad. At least compared to the other disappointing food we had. After we found a nice spot for some “take away” wine!

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And then we just explored the city. I’ll let the pictures do the talking…

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The architecture here was something that really impressed me. Like the door above and the walkway below. It was things like this that you just don’t see everyday. Just walking through here you feel the history and Italian culture.

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Later in the afternoon we found our way to St. Marks Square. To my disappointment half of St. Marks Basilica was under construction so I didn’t take any pictures of it. Here is some other parts of the square I did get.

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Gondolas are such an iconic role in Venetian history and culture. We definitely had to go on a ride while we were here. I will give you a little heads up though…. it’s a tourist attraction, so you will pay a hefty price. We paid 80 Euro for a half hour ride. And we didn’t get serenaded. But it was worth every penny!

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This was such a romantic and magical experience. I loved every minute and I was so happy I had someone special to share it with. I think the only thing that could have made it better would have been a glass of wine, or maybe even a bottle of champagne! Ah well maybe next time.

Here is another pic I took of the Gondolas while we were walking around

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Oh did I mention that on our Adventure that day we found a casino? Of course leave it to me and Alex to find a casino on our vacation. But this wasn’t just any casino, this just so happens to be the oldest casino in the world!

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You have to dress up to enter this casino so we made a plan to come back that night. They don’t allow you to take any pictures inside so all I have is this photo outside. It was a pretty fun night though. We came, we gambled, we lost. LOL! But we lost money at the oldest casino, and in Venice so we weren’t even mad. (Sorry Vegas we had to share our losses elsewhere sometime!)

The next day we only had until noon to site see, before heading to the airport for the next stop. We saw everything that we had wanted to so we found our way to get some more coffee and wine.

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It was very interesting to see in Venetian culture as well. Sitting at the wine bar we saw a group of locals walk in, have a glass of wine and then head off to work. We sat and thought about this concept for a bit and realized how great it would be to live that way! Imagine waking up and walking this small island everyday, stop at your favorite wine shop, and head in to work. And these weren’t young people, these were older men who looked like they had been doing this for years. Talk about living the good life!

After our morning wine we still had some time to kill so we walked back to St. Marks Square to hang out for a while.

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And that was our trip to Venice! It was short and sweet. We were told that we could see Venice in about 2 days and it was the best advice. We literally saw everything and felt ready to head to the next city by the time we had to leave.

Some fun little bits/tips about Venice:

1. It is VERY touristy. I think most places you go you wonder who is a tourist… Here I wondered who was a local. There are more tourists versus locals here in Venice on any given day. And I think the ratio was something crazy like a 5 to 1 or 5 to 2 ratio.

2. Despite the beauty of Venice, you can’t help but wonder if Tourism is taking over. I often felt like it was Italy’s Disneyland. There were so many souvenir shops all selling the same thing.

3. Wear COMFORTABLE shoes! You will be walking a ton! And unless you want to pay hefty prices, you won’t have many options on places to sit.

If you ever had an interest in visiting Venice I would definitely recommend going sooner rather than later. There is still so much culture and unique beauty here if you are open to noticing it.

Have you been to Venice? What did you love so much about it? Let me know in the comments below!

And that was our trip to Venice, Italy! It was short and sweet. But Those will be some everlasting memories I am so glad to have! Hope you enjoyed this post! If you enjoy reading, make sure to subscribe by putting in your email address and never miss a post! Ciao Grazie!

My trip to Paris, France

I’m not going to be one of those travel bloggers who reports that everywhere I go is all butterflies and rainbows and the most magical experience of my life. Why? Because that’s all I read about pre my first trip abroad and guess what… It wasn’t my reality.

With that being said….I LOVED Paris. Okay, let me back up… I ended up loving Paris. The first couple days I was still in shock. It wasn’t this picture perfect french paradise everyone makes it out to be. Its dirty, and a little run down and guess what.. its just another city. But once you get past the shock of all of that, you see it is full of beautiful historical and breathtaking culture. No really it is! The touristy areas are a bit dumpy. But I think its because there are just masses of people who just leave their trash (this really made me mad) and Gypsies on every corner hassling you. But if you ignore that you appreciate how beautiful those landmarks are and then you move onto the not so touristy areas, where you see the real Parisian beauty.

The night we got there we were pretty tired from traveling. Our hotel was right next to the Eiffel Tower so we walked around for a bit and then grabbed some dinner at Le Bailli de SuffrenIMG_6940 IMG_6941 IMG_6942

I thought the food was pretty good. Although from the Tripadvisor reviews it says this place can be a hit or miss. All I know is that the chicken was so moist and delicious especially compared to other places we went to. I also tried Croque-monsieur (the dish with the egg on it) which was really yummy and of course “Frites”. It’s not the high end french cuisine but all in all I left happy and thought it was pretty good.

Our first day we decided to wake up early to go to the Louvre. We got there right when it opened and there was already a good amount of people in line, luckily it didn’t take too long. (When we left the line was crazy long so I was glad we got there early.) I hear there is another entrance that is quicker… but the courtyard is really beautiful. I really love the glass pyramids and the sky was helping with a nice beautiful cloudy background. I would love to come back one day and just sit and people watch in the courtyard and take pictures of those beautiful iconic pyramids. Maybe during a nice sunset!

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This place is HUGE! I mean you can easily spend a whole day here. But after a while of looking around I was getting hot and irritated from the mass crowd of people so we looked for the Mona Lisa and left.

It was so much smaller than I thought. But it was really cool to see it in person after seeing it in History books your whole life. Just prepare to fight the crowd of people to get a close up.

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One item on my france bucket list was to get a crepe so we found a little stand… it was soooo good!! If you are going to Paris… a crepe is a must! I mean… just look how good it looks! And as an American we aren’t too familiar with Nutella. Europeans LOVE their Nutella, now I see why and its my new favorite thing! lol!

After lunch we found our way to Notre Dame. This Cathedral is Breathtaking! The pictures really don’t do it justice. But once again… mass crowds of people. (I just wanted 1 photo! lol!)

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The detail on this cathedral is just mind blowing. Every little piece… every little arch… every statue… its really amazing to see.

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Here is a picture of some of the saints… I thought it was interesting that one of them is holding his head. lol.

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What made this church the most exciting though was the inside. We didn’t even realize we were there on a sunday and they would be in the middle of mass. Words can’t even describe the feeling you get when your inside and the choir is singing. They really knew what they were doing when they built this. And there are chandeliers lining the halls lit by candle and beautiful tall arches.

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You can’t help but feel closer to God walking through this place. It literally takes your breath away.

Another Item on my list was to see the Bridges with all of the “Lovers Locks”. Shortly before our trip they had announced they will be removing all of the locks so I was pretty bummed about it. But we walked over there anyway and to my surprise they still had some up!! While I was busy snapping pictures of it, Alex was super sweet and surprised me with our own lock!

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As busy as this day was already, we wanted to trek to 1 more spot before dinner which was the Arc de Triomphe. We got there just before the sun was setting and it was the PERFECT spot to be.

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How is that for a nice sunset?! (If you remember from this summer I was trying to capture the perfect sunset).

For dinner that night we walked around and found Bistrot Le Champ de Mars

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Alex was really wanting some French Onion Soup. I wanted to try what he had the night before which was the chicken and frites. The soup was better though. The chicken here was very dry.

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But you just can’t beat a night of drinking wine and soaking up the streets of Paris. This is when the magic starting happening for me. This moment right here.

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Another item on my Paris bucket list was to get a good picture of the Eiffel tower. One at night when it sparkled and one in the day time. Here is what I got!

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The next day we tried to get up to go see the Catacombs, but to our surprise they are closed on Mondays! Go figure. lol! So we enjoyed some Cafe Lattes while figuring out what to do next.

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Yum! I tell you sitting on the outside of these little cafe’s never gets old. Especially if you love to people watch. Or if you are like me and just love to sit and soak in the atmosphere and the memory of the moment.

We decided to go look for a market next. We ended up in this beautiful area of Paris and boom… we got stormed on. Literally stormed on! I’m not talking a little rain, I’m talking about it raining so hard that the umbrella wasn’t keeping us dry, and the wind blowing so hard that it ended up breaking our umbrella in half!! lol!!! But when the storm let up a little I got this shot that I am absolutely in love with.

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To make the day that much better…. we walked all that way in the storm to find out the market wasn’t even there. (thanks internet tippers) But the adventure was still totally worth it. We of course had to stop and get lunch since we were in a new area.

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We found this little spot called La Fontaine. I couldn’t find it online to share the link, but it wasn’t the greatest spot anyway. It was good just not great. Not like you’re missing out on anything spectacular if you don’t go. The cheese plate was a plus though and of course the wine was great!

After our adventure in the storm we took the metro to Champs-Élysées. Incase you don’t know, that’s a famous street for shopping. We didn’t really care to shop much, but we found this interesting store that had this GIANT slide! Which we of course had to ride.

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LOL! This was so fun! We had a blast riding the slide and had a very interesting experience with their “race car simulator” Although that was probably just a be there kind of moment. If you go there I would recommend getting 2 slide tickets and skipping the simulator. Just trust me on this one. lol!!

Now I’m sure you have heard of the french dessert called macaroons right? We went to the store called Ladurée which is said to be the first bakery to create the yummy dessert. They were delicious by the way. We had to go in and buy some.

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Put this place on your Paris bucket list! Seriously!

Ok now if you want to know a place to eat in Paris that is an ABSOLUTE MUST get excited because here it is. It’s this little spot called La Jacobine. This place was AMAZING!

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The service here was fantastic, which if you have been to Europe you know that’s pretty rare in itself. The food tasted so fresh and flavorful. I had to try escargot at least once. How often am I in France? So I got that as my starter and Alex got the French Onion Soup. Both were Excellent by the way! I never thought I would find snails tasty. lol!!

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I can’t remember the names of our dishes but I ordered whatever sounded really french and tasty and just went with it. lol.

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If you think this looks delicious? It tastes even better! So rich, so flavorful, meat cooked to perfection. It really felt like we were spoiling ourselves to some fancy french cuisine without spending a fortune. I Definitely recommend this place! But wait one more thing… We had to have dessert.

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We had the Tiramisu. BEST…. TIRAMISU…. I… HAVE… EVER… HAD! Not even joking. And of course I had to throw in a latte.

That was such a crazy day, 2 spots being closed… getting stormed on. But it made for great memories. Just goes to show that even when things don’t go as planned you can still have a great time. (Or at least look back on it as a messy adventure). LOL!

Our last day in Paris was a shorter one. We only had the morning to early afternoon to get in what we could that was left. Going to the top of the Eiffel Tower of course was a must and since the lines get insanely long (especially in the summer) we decided to hit that as soon as they opened in the morning. We actually got there 30 mins before they opened… I highly suggest this if going in the summer.

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Look at that view!!

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As someone who is very scared of heights…. it was totally worth it! And here is a view from the other side.

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We attempted one more time to see the catacombs but the line was already at a 4 hour wait so we didn’t make it to see that. So we browsed around the shops and found this awesome market with crazy cheese!

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And that was our trip to Paris! At first it was a little shaky. It was the first city outside of the states for me, which gave me a little anxiety. Navigating a new country was a bit nerve-racking too. But it all wore off and the city is definitely a city I would love to return to one day.

Have you been to Paris? How did you like it? What recommendations would you give? I would LOVE to hear about it so comment below!

And here I leave you all with some little randoms about Paris:

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  1. I loved the walk signs! Most people might not even notice but they are different than here in the states and I thought they looked cool. haha!

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2. I saw these posters plastered everywhere. Its photos of the Kennedy’s. I still don’t know why these were there but I thought it was neat. If anyone knows why please share!

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3. McDonnalds in Paris has a dessert and cafe counter where they have macaroons!

Hope you all enjoyed this post! Au Revoir!