Keep Calm and Go to London

POSTED BY: GINA

Although I’ve connected through Heathrow on several occasions, my FIRST time actually visiting England was this year. I felt all over the place and as if I lived on trains, so I didn’t get to take many pictures, but I got a ton of experience. 


I flew from Dallas to Chicago to Manchester, took the train from Manchester to Leeds, and walked from the station to my hotel. On Monday I took the train to work, and the following day, I took the train from Leeds to London (let’s not discuss the many changes/connections that I had to make with luggage).


While I was in London, I would catch trains to work; however, I loved riding the tube to various stops while I wasn’t on the clock. I think I mastered the London train system after three days of running through the stations. A special shout out to the handsome gentleman who helped carry my luggage all the way up two flights of stairs! 


Even after a few travel woes, I would love to go back to London. Plus, I have to go back since I put a ton of pounds on my Oyster card!

Smooches!

Paris, je t’aime (again)!

POSTED BY: GINA

I was recently blessed to return to some countries in Europe. I was exhausted from the direct flight to London. Hopping on, off, in and out of trains, planes, and automobiles. Jumping from hotel to hotel. I was also mentally exhausted from worrying about pick-pocketers at every turn, BUT I still had a wonderful time and wouldn’t trade the experiences for anything.

One exciting venture was what I called my “return to Paris”.  My first international trip traveling by myself was to Paris exactly 5 years ago. I truly call it my “growing experience”, and it was the trip where I not only fell in love with Paris, but I also fell in love with traveling. To anyone wanting to see the world but afraid to travel alone, trust me when I say it can be intimidating at first, but it is a wonderful experience!  
On this trip I first spent a few days in London, and instead of flying to Paris as I did before, I decided to take the Channel Tunnel (the chunnel). Though I wished that I’d booked my ticket in advance and upgraded the class of my ticket, I still loved the experience of riding on the train.
So on to Paris. I’ve made up in my mind that I’m either meant to move to Paris, meant to visit Paris often, or will fall in love while in Paris, because that darned city just does something to me. I stayed at a hotel by Gare de Lyon station, which allowed me easy access to the city, but it is so much more beautiful to walk around as much as possible. I trekked from my hotel to “La Seine” and then on to Notre Dame. I had just missed mass; however, I was lucky to attend an organ concert that was going on at the time.  It was an amazing experience. Speaking of “love” I did meet my future husband who goes by the name of “Tiramisu au Caramel, beurre salé” (caramel tiramisu with salted butter)!!! Back off ladies, he’s all mine!

It was amazing to walk down some of the same paths as I did before and to still feel love for this city. I stopped at a park area along the Seine, kicked up my feet, and just enjoyed the sights and sounds of everything around me. Also, the Louisiana girl in me became overly excited when I saw a magnolia beginning to bloom! 

While crossing over the Seine, I took a shot of some “cadenas d’amour” (lovers padlocks). Couples write their names on a padlock and connect it to a bridge to symbolize their everlasting love. If I had a padlock, I would have definitely written my name along with Mr. Caramel Tiramisu and attached it to that bridge!

It was a wonderful journey, and I absolutely cannot wait until I return there again. Paris, à la prochaine (see you again)!


Smooches!

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