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!

Guest Blogger: Gina Travels to Spain!

I’m so excited to have my good friend, Gina of banafritdécor as a guest blogger. I vicariously live through Gina and her adventures traveling around the world. I thought it would be great to have her share some of her travels with my followers. You are going to love her stories and fabulous photos! She is the most cosmopolitan chica I’ve ever met and I hope to be like her when I grow up. 🙂 Enjoy!


Hi Guys!  I’m Gina, the creator and owner of banafritdécor.  Banafrit is an Egyptian name meaning “beautiful soul” and through banafritdécor I specialize in gifts and social events. To me it’s not just an event or a gift: it’s a reflection of you. I enjoy adding a personal touch to ensure one’s “beautiful soul” is exemplified and I use my travel experiences as inspiration. Over the Summer I was able to spend some time in Europe. I was so excited to hang out with my good friend, Belén, who lives in Madrid. The time I spent there was amazing! Here are some sights and tastes I experienced. Enjoy…

After I arrived Belén and her sweetheart, Carlos, and I started out with dinner. It was excellent! We walked through various spots of the city and had a few drinks at Del Diego Cocktail Bar. Props to the mixologists! Check out our fun camera phone photos!

The next day Belén’s mother treated us to authentic paella de marisco (seafood paella). Looking at these photos always makes me hungry. Let’s hope (and pray) that after a few or many attempts, I can eventually come close to how good hers was.

On Sunday Carlos took me to el Rastro, Madrid’s largest flea market. The market is open every Sunday and on some public holidays. I saw a variety of items, such as jewelry, vintage cameras and unique mortar and pestles. I was really drawn to the indoor specialty shops and Del Gallo was one of my favorites. Carlos said that many shop owners in the area are friends and swap items to create or sell a product they’ve refurbished or repurposed. I loved the way some vintage items were updated with modern fabrics, prints and colors.

Mercado de San Miguel is a huge covered market in Madrid and was definitely worth the visit. Tapas, sangria, desserts and beyond can be found here. I was very adventurous by trying some “percebes”, an expensive delicacy in Spain, which are goose barnacles boiled in sea or salt water. Of course, the Louisiana girl in me had to dip them in hot sauce first!

I hope you’ve enjoyed my stories and photos from Madrid. If you haven’t been there, you should definitely add it to the list. I’ll be back with more of my travel adventures very soon.
Smooches!
Gina

HAPPY FRIDAY: Finally…Vacation Photos!!!

I’ve been a serious slacker since I returned from my mini-vacay in Savannah! It’s a week later and I’m FINALLY posting pics. Forgive me but I really needed the break and relaxation. It did wonders! I’m not posting all of the photos because this would turn into the longest post ever but here are a few of the highlights. Enjoy!

We happened upon the Back In The Day Bakery during a very long walk around the historic district. What a great surprise! This bakery is lovely and to our delight is known for their award winning cupcakes. Yay! We totally needed a sugar break after hours of walking.

Red Clover, Red Clover…oh how you took so much of our money!! This store rocks! Super cute clothing, great accessories and fab shoes. We went there twice! We couldn’t get enough. 

PS…check out my super cute friends! Aren’t they just fabulous?!!

Here are some other wonderful places we enjoyed. Definitely add these to your to-do list the next time you visit! 
Well that’s it lovelies! Have a GREAT weekend and I promise to return to the regular scheduled program starting Monday. 🙂 
Angela 
hugs ‘n kisses
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