Category Archives: Europe

Seeing London for the first time

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

For years London had been on the top 3 destinations I have wanted to visit the most. I don’t know why, but I always suspected it would be a place I would love. I also wanted to visit on my own – not for work or while on a press trip, but with my family, which is honestly my preferred way of traveling.

So when my husband had a work trip there, we took advantage of a few extra days after to join him and see some of the best London has to offer.

Maybe it was all the British movies and shows that influenced my expectations of what London would be, but what I immediately found interesting about this great city is how incredibly diverse it is. I found it to be this wonderful melting pot of cultures and religions and ethnicities and styles and lifestyles. I soon discovered that London is a lot more colorful than I expected.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Travel through Turkey in Photos

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

I arrived to Istanbul with eyes wide open, eager to learn its history and hear the stories of those I met along the way. I found out almost immediately that the Turkish people are very aware of the preconceptions that they thought I, as an American, might have of them. They wanted to make sure that I walked away from every experience with a deeper understanding of their culture, religions, and people. This made me feel ashamed, and yet grateful for the opportunity they extended to me at every turn. What would follow then would be the welcoming of everyone I would meet, whether it was through the generosity of food or offering of cultural knowledge.

As I wondered around I found people fascinated by the fact that I was from America. I often found myself approached by teens and kids wanting to practice their English with me, locals curious about where I was from. I found this warm reception humbling. I also was embarrassed that we Americans rarely extend this kind of warmth to them in our own country.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Highlights of Dijon, France

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

It was a beautiful summer day when I arrived to Dijon, France. I quickly dropped off my bags in my hotel room at the trendy, Michelin rated Le Chapeau Rouge, slipped into some comfortable walking shoes and headed out. I hadn’t been to this beautiful city in two years but I remembered how much I enjoyed walking through it. I also noticed how much it had changed during that time.

Trams were now operating across the city and more areas had been renovated and designated as pedestrian-only. It felt airy and open.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Two beautiful days at Lake Como, Italy

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

One of the highlights of our road trip through northern Italy was our stay in Lake Como. Most of our stops were in the Lombardy region, where there are lakes galore. Lake Como, the third largest lake in Italy and one of the deepest, is heavily visited by locals and tourists alike, especially during the summer months. Finding a place to stay can be difficult, and though parking is difficult, finding a home rental – our choice for this stay – was even more so.

We lucked out because we arrived just before the travel season had really kicked-off. We also arrived on a weekend, finding a parking spot just down the hill from our apartment rental that didn’t need us having to pay or move our car during our entire stay.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

A day in The City of Love, Verona, Italy

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Two hours from Milan and Venice, and only a little more than an hour from Brescia, where we were staying, is the city of Verona, best known for being the home of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Juliet’s House will be the place you will want to visit first upon arrival (though doors to the museum don’t typically open till mid-morning). Even when we arrived to the city early on a weekday morning, a mop of tourists had already gathered in the courtyard of where the real-life Cappello family once lived. There’s a statue of Juliet at the foreground where people wait in line to grab her bronze breast because supposedly it makes the one doing so lucky in love. My husband and I passed on this chance, confident that we were going to be OK either way. Watching people anxiously line up to do so, with women as well as men happily posing for photos with the boob of a statue in their hand was, however, the comical introduction to our day in Italy’s City of Love.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Three beautiful days in Brescia, Italy

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

One of the greatest gifts I received as a young traveler to Italy was the opportunity to learn about Brescia. Brescia is about an hour and a half from Milan, in the region of Lombardy. Not many people I have spoken to about my time there as a young adult know where Brescia is, much less even heard of it. It has always been for me, especially as my intro to Italy, a secret paradise, my own little haven. Though the distance from Milan is short, it feels like it is worlds away. Brescia, considered one of the most ancient cities in Italy, is a favorite just as Northern Italy remains my favorite area of the entire country to visit.

I also have family there, which might influence it all a bit too, and it was a wonderful experience for me to return to such a special place in my heart with a husband and kids in tow. I spent the first few hours in complete awe of the fact that this was a moment when my past and present were coming together in the most beautiful way possible. 

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

The road to Seville in photos

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

I kicked off my road to Seville from the beautiful city of Lisbon and from where my journey through rich culture, colors, and food would continue.

On the day I headed out it was raining and it would rain throughout most of my Iberian road trip with Insight Vacations, but the chilly air, foggy mornings, and rainy days didn’t damper the beauty of all that I saw an experienced. Here is that journey in photo.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Rhone Valley, France: Road Maps and Photo Tour

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Every time I visit a new destination in France I think that I have seen the one that beats them all, until I visit another. I’m learning that it’s difficult to compare regions with each other because they are all so different and each have something beautiful to offer. I am also learning that it is incredibly easy to make room in my heart for many parts of France.

What I most loved about the Rhone Valley, besides its fabulous wine, is the sweetness of its fruits and the smell of lavender and herbs in the summer breeze. If you are a food lover this area along with cities like Avignon and Lyon are an absolute must visit.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Electric Bike Tour through the TerraVentoux Winery

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

There are so many fun ways to experience a winery. Tasting the wine, is of course, top of the list. But how about a bit of easy bike riding through the vineyards as well?

Now, before the shock of “drinking and riding” hits you, let me know that the riding is on an electric bike (minimal effort) through the mainly dirt roads of the beautiful Mont-Ventoux valley with a wonderful guide and some, very light tastings of the best TerraVentoux wine.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

24 Wonderful Hours in Paris

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share

Last year, when I visited Paris on vacation with my family, it rained every single day we were here…except for the day we were heading home.

Despite this, my family and I had the best time. We visited the Louvre, climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, and the Champs Élysées. We toured Sacre Coeur and Montmartre. We visited cafes and brasseries, stayed in a fabulous HomeAway apartment and sailed the Seine. It was magical and fun, rain and all.

I didn’t expect was that I would have the opportunity to return so soon.

Use Facebook to Comment on this Post

Enjoyed this post? Give it some love and share!
Share