New York, I love you

It’s raining. Horns are honking. Billie Holiday is playing over the speakers. I’m living a cliché. I’m making homemade croutons for a salad that will accompany pesto pasta that I picked up from a local gourmet grocer, to surprise my boyfriend with after he returns from his PhD program. My kitten is laying next to me. Life is pretty good. It’s even better because I’m doing it all in New York. A city I’ve loved and admired for years. My childhood self would be giving me a high five for actually making it here.

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Life since I got to New York has been a spectacle. The air smells fresher (is that possible!?), the coffee taste better and my heart beats a little faster.

I leapt at the chance to make it here and I don’t think I’ve ever been more confident with a decision. This city has me hooked.

Cheers to accomplishing dreams and doing things that scare you. Make your childhood self proud.

XC

La Vie en Rose

My days of croissants for breakfast, lunches in Luxembourg gardens, cocktails in the Saint Germain des près, and dinners in Madames house are coming to an end. I haven’t been updating my blog as frequently because I’ve really been trying to absorb as much as I can as my great experience comes to an end. My friends that I have met abroad are all on their way back to the states, and I will soon be joining them after a final two week trip to Italy and Greece.

I have been asked the question many times, “are you ready to go home”? The answer: no. Paris is a captivating city; it’s dynamic, it’s romantic, it’s intense, it’s charming, and it’s uniquely mine. The monuments, the limestone apartment buildings, the cobblestone streets and cafe crèmes are all seen differently through different people’s eyes.

It really is the little things that made me fall in love with Paris: the same old man setting up his book stand on my walk to school, how no dogs walk on leashes and follow their owners loyally through the city streets, children scootering down the sidewalks, sitting down and enjoying a small café-instead of rushing around with a massive to-go cup. It is the small details that I will miss most.

This is not goodbye though. This has only fueled my fire for my love of travel, wanderlust and Paris.

Lisbon, PT

I have a love affair with Lisbon. I’m cheating on Paris. There isn’t one thing that made me fall in love with Lisbon; it’s the little details that make this city so irreplaceable. From the cream colored taxis zooming by the mosaic walls to the friendly faces boasting from a small cafe about their special dishes.

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The sidewalks throughout Lisbon are black and white mosaic, otherwise known as “Portuguese Pavement”

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When we arrived, it was free museum day—even though we slept in the Madrid airport the previous night, we dropped our coats at the hostel and made our way via tram to Belem, a neighborhood that houses many museums.

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The tomb of Vasco de Gama

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Manueline style architecture found in the Cloister of Jerónimos Monastery

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At the Modern Art museum, there was a fabulous craft festival going on. I tried traditional pastries, picked up and marveled at antiques and even bought a few things for my friends and family.

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Across the street, still in Belem is the statue of Cristo Rei. It was the last thing that sailors saw when they left home, and the first thing they saw when they returned to Lisbon.

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Designed by same architect of Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco 

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An amazing salad made in an instant, costing under 5 euro, with a line out the door to match.

You can’t go to Lisbon without noticing a particular pastry in every bakeries window. It is the portuguese baguette. A staple for every trip to Portugal, the Pastel de nata. It is a flaky pastry with a warm custard inside. Don’t forget to sprinkle the cinnamon and powdered sugar on top.

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Details that made me fall in love with Lisbon:

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Notice the couple dining on the roof

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When in Portugal, you must treat yourself to a Fado experience. Think listening to a woman singing Portuguese love ballads, with old men hunched over their beloved guitars against a tile backsplash.

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My initials 

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I can’t wait for my next trip to Lisbon.  I heard marvelous things about Portugal, and I can’t wait to explore the entire country.

South of France

France holds a true treasure in its southern region. Avenues lined with palm trees, the South of France is a paradise for all; offering mountain views, ocean breeze, city amenities with a small town vibe. 

Dress made completely of waterbottles

It was rainy on my first full day, so my friends and I started off our day by walking through the markets consisting of dried fruit stands and soaps made in Provence, making our way towards the Nice Modern Museum of Art. I loved the layout of the museum, and thought it was conceptually beautiful because of the way they would mix pieces by different artists contrasted by windows showing off the colorful city. 

Obsession with rose gelato

The next day was beautiful. With clear sunny skies, we put on our dresses and headed to the beach. Being Easter Sunday, there were many people out dressed in bright colors and cheerful. We basked in the sun and planned our trip to Monte Carlo. 

Reddest strawberries I have ever seen 

We took a train 30 minute train to Monaco (which by the way is its own country) to visit Monte Carlo. Other than the crystal blue water (after all, it is the Côte D’Azur) and the casino, nice cars and luxe shops—that was pretty much all Monte Carlo had to offer. 

After Monte Carlo, we took the train to Beaulieu (meaning “beautiful place”) and walked through the antique market and then headed back to Nice.

 Our last day, Brigitte and I woke up early and took a train to Antibes. We went to see the Picasso museum, and unfortunately it wasn’t open! So, we walked around the town, through the markets and had a nice lunch. It was then back to Nice until the six hour train ride back to Paris!