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.