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What to Know Before Going to Paris

"There are only two places in the world where we can live happy: at home, and in Paris." – Ernest Hemmingway Paris is at the top of many bucket lists – for the culture, the history, the romance and the food. But, there are a few things you should know before packing your beret. People have been drawn to Paris for centuries, and it's easy to see why. The architecture is unique and romantic, the wine is fantastic, and the cafés line the sidewalks from end-to-end. In the fall when temperatures begin to dip, the cafés heat the outdoor tables with heat lamps, so you can enjoy your Croque-Monsieur without sacrificing any people watching. Paris Syndrome is Real The first thing to know before you go to Paris is that it's a big city! Everybody expects the entire city to feel cozy and romantic, like we see in the movies. Sure, there are many neighborhoods [...]

November 6th, 2018|8 Comments

6 Things to Do This Halloween in Chicago

Chicago has a lot to offer during Halloween. There are bar crawls, ballroom costume parties, and family-friendly events all over the city. You can even do a haunted dinner cruise if you want to. Halloween festivities begin early October, and last through Halloween weekend. I've gathered a few of my favorite Chicago Halloween events below: 1. Arts in the Dark Parade – October 20, 2018 (Photo Credit) This is the fourth year for this artsy parade. This year, there is a new parade route. Starting at State and Lake, the parade will continue south down State Street to Van Buren. The parade runs from 6p-8p, and there will be an after party at Millennium Park! The after party takes place by the Bean from 7:30p-9:30p. There will be DJ's, stilt walkers, characters, fortune tellers, and a kids' station. From 8p-10p, you can take your kids to Maggie Daley park for Trick-or-Treating, watch the movie Beetlejuice [...]

October 15th, 2018|0 Comments

3 Haunted Places to Visit in New Orleans

New Orleans is one of my most favorite cities I've ever visited. The food, the music, the architecture, the ghosts – New Orleans has a lot to offer 🙂 If you're planning a visit, you have to do a ghost tour! There are so many ghost tours to choose from – but if you've read my post on How to Plan Your First Trip to Europe, you know I love Viator! Here's a list of all of the New Orleans ghost tours on Viator! There are plenty of haunted places in NOLA, I'm sure you'll get your money's worth with any of them. Below are my top 3 stops on our walking ghost tour! Omni Royal Orleans, French Quarter Photo via Booking.com A Little History: According to the Omni Royal Orleans' website, the hotel (then the Saint Louis), was built in 1838 to be a "Creole palace" – and they say that gumbo was created [...]

October 3rd, 2018|2 Comments

Bucket List: The Lights Fest

What is the last thing you've crossed off your bucket list? Mine was actually last weekend, attending a lantern festival. For my birthday, my amazing husband surprised me with tickets for us and my parents to The Lights Fest in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin. I know you're probably thinking about how bad these are for the environment (I have always wanted to attend a lantern festival, but morally felt like I couldn't). The Lights Fest actually uses custom-made lanterns that don't contain wires, and have a short flight time compared to standard lanterns. This means they fall a short distance from where you light them, designed for easy retrieval. Once all of the lanterns have fallen, volunteers go around collecting them! And the lanterns are biodegradable, just in case a few are missed. Here's a little bit from their website: We have a dedicated cleanup crew, waiting in the landing zone, whose focus is collecting lanterns after the [...]

September 28th, 2018|7 Comments

What to Do in Oia, Santorini

Santorini is one of the most beautiful vacation spots I have ever been to! We made it to Oia, Santorini in 2016, and it was honestly so beautiful, I almost cried! So, here's why you need to add Oia, Santorini to your Bucket List! Where to Stay We had the absolute best airbnb ever! The location was perfect. If you don't know much about the terrain of Oia, it has a lot of layers. The houses can be pretty far from the main streets, and only accessible by hundreds of stairs, but this cave house is literally right along a main street. It can be kind of busy because of this (and because the view from this apartment is actually the same view you see on post cards. See below). But I'd rather have a few tourists stopping outside of the house than to have to take a million stairs. See below "What Not to [...]

July 31st, 2018|10 Comments

Take a Hike Through Cinque Terre

My husband and I took a hike through Cinque Terre in 2016 – and honestly after seeing these photos, I think you're going to want to, too.   This hike is hard, but it was so worth it. We booked our hike ahead of time through Viator (link to our tour is here). The bus picked us up in Florence at 8am, and the trip lasted about 12.5 hours. Take this line seriously: A large amount of walking is involved. You must be of average fitness and be able to keep up with the rest of the group. LOTS OF STAIRS. Seriously, the minimum age is 12. Twelve year olds have done this. <how?> If you're hesitating at all, just really should just book it, though! The views are unbelievable! There's hiking, a boat trip and a train ride to get to all 5 villages of Cinque Terre. If you're unfamiliar, Cinque Terre means "Five [...]

July 11th, 2018|13 Comments
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