Wednesday, November 14, 2012


{The Heineken Experience is a must see}

{traditional danish porcelain was everywhere in the city!}
{one of the coolest places we found for lunch}

{Iamsterdam sculpture in front of the Rijksmuseum}

hello lovlies. yet again, a city took my heart this weekend. elliot & i visited amsterdam, and had absolutely no idea what awaited us. i was delighted to find every building and canal to be postcard-perfect. the trees glowed a vibrant yellow, and the gables on each house resembled gingerbread artwork. with the chilly weather, it was a winter wonderland.

after taking time to explore the city (which was easy to do since it is relatively small and compact), we decided to stop in at the Heineken Experience. for anyone with an interest in beer, the museum was incredible. it was interactive and very hands-on. situated in the old brewery, the museum also detailed the whole history behind the company and its unique origins.

our other stops included the red light district, the Iamsterdam sculpture, and some local restaurants/street stands to try local Danish food. the bitterballen, frittes, and oliebollen were definitely my favorites. i also managed to find my favorite starbucks of all time (which is saying quite a lot). it was the epitome of a dutch coffee shop, with large, rustic wooden furniture, vintage books & boxes, and warm lighting. i never wanted to leave.

after spending the weekend in holland, we left for a school visit to the EU in brussels. i don't have much to say on the subject since the city was my least favorite part of europe. however, it made me very excited to come home to our cozy Torino apartment. 

tomorrow, we are off to the eternal city. yes, we may have just arrived home this afternoon, but we are already off to the great city of rome tomorrow evening (i think this back to back planning may have been a result of over-excited travelers back in september). this will make 11 consecutive days of travel! this should be interesting.

 in case i forgot to mention, the christmas season is coming to europe quickly. though its lovely getting to experience different cultures' decorations and celebrations, i cannot wait to be back in california to celebrate properly at home.

enjoy your week


Thursday, November 8, 2012

{hola españa}

{Sagrada Familia}

{inside Sagrada Familia}

{back side of Sagrada Familia; the crucifixion}

{view from Parc Güell}

{one of Gaudi's "gingerbread" houses}
{famous Park Güell bench}

{Gaudi's House of Bones}
{Barcelona capital}

{Le Sue cathedral}
{sangria, patatas bravas, and flaming chorizo; Barcelona's best!}

{La Boqueria}
{Magic Fountain at sunset}

hello lovlies. as you may be able to tell, our recent trip to Barcelona was packed with incredible cultural experiences. elliot & i took off for spain a few weeks ago to the catalan region, with little knowledge of the culture, food, and atmosphere that awaited us. the trip was incredible. the patatas bravas stole my heart, and so did the amazing views at Parc Güell.

for this trip, elliot & i decided to take a guided weekend tour. i learned the hard way that tours and i aren't exactly made for each other. i am a wanderer. give me a direction, and i will gladly puruse the streets until i find some treasures. tours, on the other hand, are incredibly structured. i am thankful though that we were able to gain such insight into the amazing city of Barcelona. 

our main sights of the weekend included much of Gaudi's amazing architecture, including his famous mosaic bench, House of Bones, and Sagrada Familia. the renowned church was quite a sight. Gaudi's intention for the building was to have a nature-like resemblance (as can be seen from the tree branch supports inside). the rear facade of the church, though constructed recently, eminated Gaudi's original plan for a rough sketch of Jesus' last days on earth.

other than oohing and ahing over Gaudi's incredible work, we also had the opportunity to visit the Magic Fountain. true to its name, the fountain was magical. as the sun went down, the water and light show played to the tune of 40s era music. i was in heaven (it was a tad bit reminiscent of Disney's World of Color, too).

hope your november is going quite delightfully as well darlings. only about five more weeks left in europe. and, i must confess, i am absolutely loving the idea of coming back to beautiful california. although it sounds crazy, traveling week after week is exhausting. and i hate the thought of missing a moment of the christmas season at home!

enjoy your week lovlies.
as always.


Wednesday, October 31, 2012

{weekend in tuscany}

{first stop, pisa!}

{il duomo}

{our lunch on the steps of the duomo}
{piazza vecchio and a view from ponte vecchio}

{mercato centrale}
{river at sunset}
{specialities of tuscany: zuppa di cipolla & homemade pasta}

{view from piazza michelangelo}

well hello there lovelies, and happy halloween! here in torino, it doesn't quite feel like the same holiday, so i am pining for home a bit today. how is your october wrapping up? it's beginning to feel a lot like winter here. the rain has been coming down all day, and the temperature has dropped to the low 40s. a little bit colder than what this so cal girl is accustomed to. 

now, i am back to share with you our recent trip to tuscany. a few weekends ago, elliot & i took a train south to explore pisa, florence, and lucca. 

our first stop landed us in the quaint town of pisa. we made a bee line for the tower, snapped a few pictures, and headed back to the train for florence. while pisa is a cute city, it is very small and has little draw other than the leaning tower.

florence was gorgeous. the architecture and views of the city were breathtaking. however, we were shocked to see how overly touristy the city was. over the course of our three day stay, we barely heard a word of italian. it was almost disappointing, because we were unable to use an ounce of our italian. every restaurant we passed by asked us to see their english menu (which you must be wary of, since they will sometimes raise the prices on the tourist menus).

aside from the initial shock, the rest of our stay was beautiful. on saturday, we climbed up to piazza michelangelo in order to see a birds eye view of florence. 
we explored mercato centrale as well , which is a large food market in the center of the city. after, we wandered outside to florence's infamous leather market. 

on sunday, elliot & i stopped in lucca on our way home. this tuscan hill town is still encircled by its original medieval wall. once inside the wall, we discovered the best antique market. every street was filled with vendors selling items from vintage tablecloths to antique furniture. it was a dream!

the trip was enjoyable, but we were glad to make it back to familiar torino on sunday evening. sometimes it gets a little tiring always being on the go!

this weekend, elliot & i will be making a return trip to.... you guessed it.. london! we will be in our favorite place in the world in less than 48 hours. and, to make it even better, my dear mom & dad will be there as well. can't wait!

keep a look out for a post from last weekend's adventure to barcelona. 

enjoy your week

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

{oh britannia}


{Big Ben}

{Westminster Abbey}

{the streets of Notting Hill & the London Eye}

jacket {Kenneth Cole}  top  {nordstroms} jeans {a&f} boots {steve madden} scarf {gifted}

{Parliament at sunset}

{only the greatest store of all time}
{Tower Bridge}

{Borough Market}

{St. James Park}
{celebrating fall}

{Hyde Park}

hello lovelies. time seems to be going by much too quickly these days. it always seems to be a weekend, which means setting off to a new destination. i am so glad i get to share London, which was  the trip that has been the nearest and dearest to me so far. 

i don't know if there is any other place i have visited that quite compares to london. it was an unexpected surprise; i was solely excited to visit a country that spoke the same language {and had starbucks!}.little did i know, the beautiful city would run away with my heart. it felt like the perfect merging of both new york and boston, which were previously my favorite spots. 
however, nothing beats london's history, marvelous architecture, cozy pubs, and pristine parks. 

although the tube system was easy to handle, elliot & i adored the city so much that we usually chose to walk the city blocks. at one point, we found that we had wandered all the way from Notting Hill to the other side of Hyde park. it was only because of our stroll, however, that we came upon Harrod's. this wonderland, my darlings, was not only the grandest department store i have set foot in, but it had an entire level dedicated to "Christmas Land" {it looked like the set of Elf!}.

our leisurely strolls took us down to the Tower Bridge, along the Thames at night, and to the Notting Hill market. though it was incredibly crowded, this market had such an assortment of vintage treasures that made it worth the effort. furs, vintage brooches, clothing, & british antiques lined the streets. it was a sight to be seen. 

Borough Market was another of my favorite finds. this expansive market sold all sorts of english goodies, from fresh produce to meat pies. we grabbed a cup of mulled wine and wandered through the mesmerizing market before heading off to explore the rest of the city.

it is my hope that we make it back to regal London in a few weeks. the city was made for me... they love seasons & holidays, you have the ability to walk everywhere, and the weather is brisk & sweater worthy. i am already missing the mulled wine, cottage pie, and sticky toffee pudding {its back to pizza and pasta here}.

last weekend's trip to the Tuscan region will be posted shortly. i don't want to get too behind, especially since we are off to Barcelona on thursday! 

hope your daily travels are going splendidly.