My FAV EuroEats…Hello, delicious!

I don’t know about you guys, but one of my favorite things about traveling is having the opportunity to EAT my way through a new country. Who else gets super excited when they think about all of the yumminess they are about to experience before going on vacation, or traveling throughout a new country? Grabbing drinks and bites is the best way to meet new people, and probably one of my favorites. Whether we speak to someone who works in a restaurant, or the table directly besides us, I have found it is one of the best ways to meet new friends, and discover fun things to do in a new area.

SO, without further ado, (this list was very hard to consolidate), my must haves and FAVORITES in EUROPE, in no particular order, as they are all very equal.

#1 PIZZA

These slices are coming to you from Nice, France, and Florence, Italy. We found that pizza changed throughout Europe, and our favorite slices varied greatly.  We were shocked to find the most delicious pizza, and our favorite in Nice. We met many friendly locals in Nice who educated us on “French food.” They told us specifically that there is NO such thing, and the French adopt recipes from their neighboring countries. Naturally, Nice had great pizza, since it boarders the Italian Riviera. We were also told that consuming your own personal pizza is a right of passage in Italy. Families order their own pizzas, rather than share. Seriously?! That is my kind of place! I was in heaven.

3 of the slices are thin & crispy, from Nice, and the other 3 slices are simply perfection from Florence, where the sauce is sweet, and the mozzarella is fresh and decadent.

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My LOVE/HATE relationship with Barcelona, Spain.

There is no doubt that Barcelona is an absolutely gorgeous city! I mean Gaudi did wonders to the culture, look and feel of the city. To be honest, I really did like my time there. However, when you visit so many other gorgeous cities in Europe (like Amsterdam, Paris, Santorini, Venice, for example) Barcelona (to me personally) falls short. Perhaps I would have liked it more if I visited the busy city prior to hitting up so many other places in Europe? In fact, I wouldn’t visit Barcelona again unless I went FOR FREE (if it’s free, it’s for me). It was unfortunately disappointing, and left us underwhelmed beyond belief. There are simply way too many beautiful places in the world I need to visit before I ever even think of going back to Barcelona.

5 things I absolutely LOVED about Barcelona (in no particular order):

1) The ARCHITECTURE

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2) Gaudi Gaudi Gaudi. Did I mention GAUDI? I mean did you see Parc Guell? 

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3. Barceloneta Beach 

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4. La Boqueria 

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5. FC Barcelona Futbol 

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5 things I absolutely HATED about Barcelona (in no particular order): 

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Santorini, Greece

Santorini, Greece, I am almost…not quite…but almost at a loss of words for how unbelievably breathtaking this magical place is. I am NEVER at a loss of words, but when I think of this place I can only think of adjectives that describe its beauty; however, the words gorgeous, beautiful, amazing just don’t seem to do it justice. Everything about Greece is filled with character; however, in Santorini the mass amounts of character that spews from the alley ways and blue, wooden doors is remarkable. Sean and I have said multiple times that we wish we could teleport back. Why can’t I be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz and click my Steve Madden sandals 3 times and be there?  Seriously if only we could! I think the world would take advantage of this however, but if I could only do it once in my lifetime, I would choose to go back to Santorini. Sean and I were lucky enough to meet two photographers on our cruise that were able to get off the cruise ship and take our engagement photos. They were so friendly and talented! We honestly felt like movie stars with their big silver reflector.

Overall, Santorini was just so wonderful. We had so much fun walking around Fira and Oia. From the moment the cruise ship anchored and we stepped out onto the outside terrace and looked up at the mountains formed by lava rock, we were in awe. All you could see were little white buildings spread across the mountains, and it was just so cool! There is no other way to describe it. It was just so much different than absolutely anything we had ever seen traveling. Once you tender ashore, you have the option to either take a donkey ride up the mountain or a cable car. Since we were doing our engagement pictures, we opted for the faster, and nicer smelling cable car ride, although hearing from others the donkey ride up was quite the experience! After the pictures, we explored the towns, had the best frozen mojitos ever, and enjoyed an amazing sunset dinner facing the caldera! Oh what I would do to make my way back there. 8621_Aleman-57 Read more

Venice, Italy: Surprise Engagement!

Exactly 30 days ago the man of my dreams proposed to me in Venice, Italy! I can’t think of a better way to celebrate this than to share our special moment with my followers. Sean is the most handsome, special, and caring soul I have ever come across. He makes me feel so at ease, so incredibly loved, so beautiful, so safe, and so special. I am so thankful God brought him into my life. I thank him everyday because it is truly such a blessing. I promise not to get too sappy in this post, but the love I have for this amazing man is unexplainable. Before meeting Sean, I always use to wonder how and why people would say, “OMG like I’m going to marry my best friend, OMG” Honestly, I thought this comment was kind of annoying because I couldn’t relate. I honestly thought that it was impossible! I have my best girlfriends. How could a guy become a best friend? But falling in love with Sean changed it all. He did not take over my best friends’ role of being my best friends, he became my partner, my confidant, my everything….so much more than a best friend. Anything I could ever want in a best friend, he became, and it is so much better than that because we share a one of a kind love that I get to cherish my entire life until we are old and frail. We know I am a hopeless romantic, this is not new news. I have always been a believer in true love, and I believe everyone will find it. However long it takes. I have finally found my forever love. To say Sean and I are happy is a serious understatement. We laugh in normal conversation because we have fallen more deeply in love since our romantic proposal….in just 30 days.

When my parents renewed their wedding vows on their 25th anniversary in Kauai, they said they loved each other so much more than the day they got married. I wondered again how that could happen when “you are the most in love on your wedding day.” I was wrong again. Love teaches your young soul so many things. In just 30 days, I have loved Sean more than when he proposed to me, and a heck of a lot more than  when I first told him I loved him on January 2, 2012. I can’t wait to love him more and more each day until our hairs turn as grey as our silver fox, Tucker (cue laughter). I love you, Sean. Thank you for changing my life for the better each and every day. Thank you for being mine.

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Split, Croatia: Extreme Canyoning on the Cetina River

Split, Croatia is an adventurer’s dream. Not only does it give you the ability to marvel at nature’s beauty, but you literally have the opportunity to do anything from hiking, zip-lining, kayaking, cliff jumping, rock-climbing to canyoning. Sean and I wanted to do something completely and utterly awesome while in Split…something out of the norm. While researching Trip Advisor and reading reviews, I stumbled across Adventure Omis , and I am so glad that I did. Ivan, our tour guide and one of the owners of the company took very good care of us. He was knowledgeable, down to earth, accommodating, and never once made us feel unsafe. While reading about the activities they had to offer, I knew Extreme Canyoning was for us. We had SOO much fun canyoning on the Cetina River. We swam through crystal clear natural pools and rapids. We cliff jumped into various lakes and waterfalls. We abseiled 164.5 feet along the side of the great Gubavica waterfall. It was fabulous! Words cannot describe the beauty we witnessed, or how crystal clear the water was as it rippled with each step. Pictures simply do not do it justice.  

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Eze, France, our little piece of heaven.

Hi Love Bugs! I am blogging to you from TrentItalia, a fast track train to Venice. This trip has been a complete whirlwind. It has been absolutely amazing at times, yet frustrating at other times as most travels, especially long term, tend to be. Up until our arrival in Florence, everything went perfectly and according to plan. If you know me, you know I am a serious planner, so that was fantastic. However, when we arrived in Florence, Vueling airlines lost our luggage. You would probably think to yourself, why yes that is incredibly annoying, but when you are traveling for 32 days you almost have to expect something like that to happen. While yes, this is true (I guess); however, Vueling airlines not only lost our luggage (2 suitcases), but they lost 75% of the plane’s luggage as well! Let’s do some simple math here…you board 150 passengers, and only 20ish suitcases? Hmm. I think you have a problem, better check your clipboard stat! We eventually got our luggage the next evening with ZERO help from the Florence airport or Vueling airlines because their telecommunication systems are completely shot to hell! Each automated message in Italian stated they were still searching for our luggage (ugh no comprendo?). Anyways, Sean and I went on a whim, drove to the airport, and retrieved our wonderful suitcases! If you saw my face when I laid eyes on my beautiful suitcase, it lit up like a child on Christmas. I could finally have my hair products, underwear, chargers, and clothes back! Oh my goodness, heaven! 🙂

After getting back to the hotel, we got ready for the evening, and that is when I started to feel sick. I caught a 24 hour flu bug. It was horrible. Anything and everything associated with the flu you can think of, I got. Let’s not go into details here because it was quite disgusting, but it was not pretty. I felt weak, had no appetite, and was completely miserable. It gets better, the day I got sick (yesterday), was Sean’s birthday and we had a beautiful day planned in Tuscany, Siena, and Pisa. 😦 We unfortunately did not make it to any of those wonderful places, and made the bus driver pull over so I could get off the bus, sick. I felt horrible. We had been looking forward to this forever, and the flu bug had to ruin it for us. I am finally feeling better after forcing myself to eat Saltines and stay hydrated. We will continue the birthday celebrations today in Venice, and as we board our cruise around the Mediterranean. A good friend/mentor once told me bad things happen in 3s, so (1)getting our luggage lost, (2)me getting sick, and (3)canceling our Tuscany trip should be enough. Let’s hope the next 15 days go wonderfully as we are now in the middle of our Eurotrip. Here’s to another great half of the trip.

Now don’t think I was only going to rant and rave on this post, Europe has been amazing. Since last posting Sean and I have had a great time in Nice where we took day trips to Eze and Monte Carlo, went to Barcelona with a day trip to the mountains of Montserrat, and ate our way through Florence, EATaly (before my getting sick of course). Eze is an amazing mid-evil village perched up on top of the mountains overlooking the sea. It is absolutely gorgeous, and I am completely in love with this little town. Eze is about 29 minutes by bus from Nice.DSC_1067 Read more

Je’taime Paris

Can I just start off by saying, I love Paris! Like, I seriously love Paris. I know, I know, everyone says they love Paris; however, recently before leaving, I had multiple people tell me they were disappointed by Paris, they had bad experiences, the Parisians were not helpful, they hate Americans, blah blah. The list goes on. I just want to take a second to thank everyone who told me this because I went to Paris with an open mind, and because of this my expectations were not outrageously high like others might have been. I think this actually made Paris better for me. The city is so perfect with its wonderfully decorated Parisian style, its buttery and extremely flakey croissants, and don’t even get me started on the macaroons and baguettes. Almost every single person (besides 2 🙂 ) that Sean and I crossed paths with were extremely nice and helpful. We even had someone in the subway completely stop what they were doing, take off their headphones, and ask us if we needed help. I guess the extremely perplexed looks on our faces staring at the daunting subway map not only made us anxious, but made others around us anxious as well! lol. This really nice guy went out of his way to speak to us in broken English. He asked us-not the other way around. He ended up saving us 20 minutes, and a bunch of frustration by notifying us the line we wanted to take to Notre Dame stopped running at 5:00pm. It was then 6:30pm. Overall, we met really great people who gave us wonderful suggestions.

Sean and I did so many things in Paris. We were non-stop from the second we got there, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. On our first night out in Paris, we did a Viator Tour that took us to the Eiffel Tower for dinner, than an evening 1-hour Seine River Cruise tour, than tickets to the Moulin Rouge with complimentary champagne, which was amazing. Sean and I are STILL talking about that night. It was a little over 5 1/2 hours, and we were exhausted after, but it checked everything off our list. It also included transportation, and we got to chat with other couples around the world. We met a couple from Australia and a couple from Scotland, and both were wonderful! All in all it made for a great Parisian night out.DSC_0235 Read more