*the dream to travel

Girls my age pin (Pinterest) about babies, I pin about visiting Europe. I even want to live in Europe!

Pregnancy has always frighten me. I find the idea of something living inside me very strange. Daniel went into this relationship knowing I was strongly against having kids. He was ok with that. Sure it wouldn’t be the worse thing in the world to have a child. We love each other so much and to share our world with someone would be great. Plus I could see him being a wonderful father, playing Batman with his child. But in the meantime I will spoil my friends kids!

(below me being silly with a CPR training baby in early 2013)

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But my mind is full of daydreams of all the places I still have to go! I’ve lost count of my mental notes of all the places I’ve said I need to visit. I’ve only been out of the country three times. I still have to visit other parts of the United Kingdom, Germany, Italy, Spain, Hawaii (again), Australia, and show Daniel other parts of France; the list is endless! I would love to go live in France for a few months in my late 30s or early 40s (if we don’t end up having children).

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(pictured above is Rome taken by my friend Emily B)

Indirectly, people make me feel guilty for wanting the life of travel and not the life of babies. I know my parents don’t mind too much, they treat Bruce Wayne (my dog) like their grandson, plus they still have a chance with my sister.I’m excited for my trip to London. Yes, I’m putting some of the trip on my credit card, but I want to live life to the fullest. I wanted to do something crazy and adventurous, and I thought spending the beginning of 2015 in London watching one of the biggest firework shows in the world would be spectacular! I knew I would regret it more if I wasn’t there!

“Having a baby is like getting a tattoo on your face. You really need to be certain it’s what you want before you commit.” ~Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat, Pray, Love 

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*paris in a cup christmas tea

If you ever decide to go to Orange County California during a weekend of December you should see if Paris in a Cup has tickets still available for their Christmas Tea. Paris in a Cup, located in Orange, California, is a little gift shop with plenty of Paris themed gifts and in the back a tea parlor. Their Christmas Tea is very popular, tickets sale out fast! Like their Facebook page to get updates!

In 2012 and 2013 I went with one of my best friends, Jill. The 2012 theme was Believe in the Magic of Christmas. We were impressed by the event as we walked in! A fun place setting with sparkling juice that had a hibiscus flower! To end the event we received a gift of a snowman necklace.

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2012 Menu

First Course: French Vanilla & Pecan Praline Scones with Cream & Marion-berry Jam

Second Course: Roasted Squash with Toasted Ginger Soup

Third Course: Fresh Garden Greens & Cornflower Garnish with Lavender Vinaigrette Dressing

Fourth Course: Chicken Salad, Goat Cheese & Fig, Garden Cucumber; Spiced Apricot with Tea Smoked Turkey; Pear & Brie in Pastry Purse

Dessert: Chocolate Mint Mousse

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2013 the colors were purple, my favorite! That years gift was a neckless of two mini ice skates. The food did not disappoint, either!

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They also have carolers since a few songs to get us in the holiday spirit! I am very bummed that I will not get to go this year. Hopefully I remember to save some money to attend next year to catch up with Jill!

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“Gifts of time and love are surely the basic ingredients of a truly merry Christmas.”  ~Peg Bracken

*france 2006

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I mention in a few postings, I was able to go to France in June of 2006 with my French teacher and a few students. We started our adventure in London on my 18th Birthday and spent two days there. We stopped at Stonehenge our our way to Portsmouth, England for our ferry (a mini cruise ship) ride to Caen, France.

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France 2006

It was a 6 hour journey were I caught up on documenting my trip and writing notes to Daniel (we had been dating almost 8 months at that point). I also tried my first sip of wine, it was gross, but don’t worry red wine is now my drink of choice!

Our first day in France was sad, we visited Omaha Beach, where 61 years prior thousands of men died fighting against the Nazis cause. We saw the Normandy American Cemetery, during a chilly and raining morning. To make the day more reflective we visited Pointe du Hoc, where we explored dark trenches that brave men died in. One tench was pitch black, so we used our camera with flash to see the walls stained brown and red. We were very uncomfortable to say the least.

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The trip started looking back on the bright side by visiting Mont Saint Michel and celebrating my French teacher, Mrs. Pea’s birthday! We had lunch at Creperie la Sirene our our walk up to the Abbey. Of course we went French classic and had crepes; mine were apple & cinnamon. If you go in the St Michel area and you drive by Biscuitterie De la Baie du Mont St Michel, you must stop! I bought premade crepes that I was going to bring home as a gift, on one of the bus rides, I got hungry. Needless to say they were gone shortly after Paris. They were incredible, I still dream of them!

France 2006

Before arriving in Paris we visited Chateau de Chenonceau and Chateau Chambord in the Loire Valley. Chambord had a fancy roof and a large spiral staircase, but the inside felt cold, explains why it was a hunting lodge. In the gorgeous gardens of Chenonceau, I felt like I had walked into a fairytale, it definitely my favorite chateau of France!

France 2006

Chambord

France 2006

Chenoncaue

France 2006

Eiffel Tower

We drove through Paris to get to our hotel, which was located across the Opera Bastille. Which looking back was a great location to stay at. The first day we had a bus tour, visited the Notre Dame, and only were allowed 2 hours in the Louvre! We were literally running around so we could see the highlights. I was lucky to see the Mona Lisa without an outrageous crowd. I was extremely disappointed in the size of the painting. I’m more interested in how humans made beautiful sculptures thousands of years ago. On our run out we saw three little girls copying a statue, so we made time to do the same! I took time to revisit the statue during my trip in November 2013!

France 2006

Louvre

France 2006

Louvre

I don’t remember much of Versailles, to name it my favorite, but if you go you must rent a bike to explore the grounds! It was one my favorite highlights of the trip! I will definitely go back to Versailles the next time I’m in France!

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After Versailles is when we were able to go to the Eiffel Tower. I recommend you go before sunset, that way you can see the city in all its glory, but also see it as it turns into the City of Lights! Beware the elevator is very old and makes unsettling sounds, it terrified me! We only went up to the second level, which is still very high, you can see a lot of the city from there! I wore Daniel’s shirt to be nostalgic (Risk Productions is how he signed all of his films during high school). The best part was I called my family and Daniel from the Eiffel Tower, I had to rub in my excitement!

France 2006

Eiffel Tower, second level

The next morning we woke up early to take the TGV to Southern France. Unfortunately, I was so exhausted that as soon as we left the station I closed my eyes and didn’t wake up until the ride was coming to an end. The good news is, TGV ride is incredibly smooth; bad news is, I didn’t get to see any of the country side. Our first stop was in Avion. It was a quaint little town. I then got some exercise by kayaking 2 hours (around 5 kilometers) on the Gardon. It was hard, but beautiful, we went under a Roman aqueduct. Our trip finished in Nice with an afternoon trip to Monaco. What an amazing little country, if only if I could afford to live there!

I recently read my journal from the trip and I had a lot of complaints and missing Daniel way too much. It’s funny how you don’t remember the bad things. I look back often at that trip, all the amazing places I saw, and I only think happy thoughts! I can’t believe how many times I wrote how I missed Daniel. I guess that was the teenager in me thinking life revolved around boys.

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France 2006

Monaco

 

“A walk in Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and in the point of life.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

*paris love

A year ago Daniel and I were in my favorite city, Paris! I had been there in June of 2006 for a few days while I traveled through France with my high school French teacher and a few students. It was a city I was in love with prior to and a place I still love today!

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I convinced Daniel that 2013 was the year to visit France on our flight back to Southern California after attending his grandmother’s funeral. She was born in France and had always had a love for Paris. When Daniel and I became serious just after high school his grandma was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I wish I would have heard her stories and her reason for loving Paris. I was blessed to receive a few of her Parisian items from her house years before, that I happily placed in my home.

I was able to use miles to get me a cheap flight to Paris and I was currently working at Marriott’s Newport Coast Villas in Newport Beach, CA so I was able to use my discount to stay at a nice hotel. Our biggest price was Daniel’s plane ticket and it was only $1,200 round trip! It was our first international trip together.

We flew with Delta Airlines. I highly recommend paying the extra hundred dollars to upgrade to economy comfort! On international flights it definitely makes a difference, when first class is very expensive! A taxi ride from the Charles de Gaulle airport to Paris can be pricey, so for the same cost I used a black car service. I recommend Blacklane  , we were in a Mercedes. They were professional and on time! You sign up on their website where you also put your method of payment, so they will just charge you after your ride!

We stayed at the Renaissance Paris Vendome Hotel, a few blocks away from the Louvre! I don’t work for Marriott anymore, but I still highly recommend their hotels! Daniel’s aunt and uncle ending up staying there this past summer, without realizing that’s where we had stayed!

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I did a lot of research prior to our trip, I didn’t want to arrive unprepared in a country that I don’t speak the language. Of course we didn’t follow the itinerary to a “T”, but I knew where places were and when they were open. Some nights we didn’t feel up to a meal that I had planned so I had back ups. While working at the villas, I was annoyed with customers’ lack of knowledge of where they were spending their vacation. I didn’t mind some questions prior to their arrival, it showed they were concerned. It was when they tried to blame me for their ignorance, when they didn’t plan prior!

The week we were in Paris we had one good day of weather, the rest of the days were very cold. Luckily we were prepared without looking like tourist! We had two different couples ask us for directions; thats when I truly felt Parisian! Of course I said I was just a visitor, although I probably could have gave them correct information, I didn’t want to be the one to get them lost! With it being off season we were able to enjoy a lot of museums without the crowds!

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The day we went to the Louvre we went to see Mona Lisa first. There was maybe 10 other people looking at her at the same time we were! No lines or crowd made for perfect picture opportunities! We didn’t spend the entire day at the Louvre, as much as we loved it, it became exhausting! I did see the statues and paintings that I wanted to see. I found the statue that my two friends and I modeled for when we were there in 2006! Daniel was so impressed my the entire museum, it was his favorite place in Paris!

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Paris is famous for their food and dessert! We tried Au Pied de Cochon, it was one of Julia Child’s favorite restaurants. Their menu is very limited with pig dishes. I started with the onion soup, since it was her favorite. It was very tasty, unfortunately our entrees were not. Daniel was trying to be adventurous by ordering the sausage, which was really pig stomach. Trust us, it looked and smelled like pig stomach too (Pictured Below)! For lunch the next day we ate a cheeseburger at Hard Rock Cafe to get our tummy back on track!

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My favorite dinner was at Le Procope, the atmosphere and menu was perfect! The history drew me in; George Washington, Voltaire, Victor Hugo, and Oscar Wilde are a few that have ate there! I enjoyed a traditional dish of Coq Au Vin, it was incredible! I recommend this restaurant to everyone who visits Paris!

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If you wish you wore born in the 1920s, then I recommend Julien. The decor transports you to the fun times of flapper dresses and jazz dancing, right out of the Great Gatsby! My husband and I put a bottle of wine to toast to a fabulous week together. I recommend the Roasted Scallops on Risotto, it completely hit the spot! We finished our meal with the dessert Louise Babe cake topped with rum. I promise they did not skimp on the rum; they brought the bottle of rum to the table and drowned the cake! To say the least Daniel and I were very tipsy on the ride back to our hotel, where we drank more with his uncle!

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As cold as it was, I was completely in love with my trip. I got to show my husband of three years my favorite city. My love for my husband grew as we took our first international trip together! We even left a lock on the small bridge behind the Notre Dame (side closet to Shakespeare & Co), one key is in the Seine, the other is framed in our home. We have to decided to spend our 5th Wedding Anniversary (18 months away) in Paris and other parts of France!

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See our pictures on my Facebook!

“Wanna know what Heaven is? Feeling the sun shine on you…….. In Paris” ~Rachel Zoe

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