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Frankenmuth, MI: The Hallmark Town of Your Dreams

About Frankenmuth: Frankenmuth is a small Bavarian Town (3 miles2) located in Michigan, about 1.5 hours northwest of Detroit. Nicknamed "Little Bavaria", Frankenmuth's original settlers were from Franken, Bavaria. Adding the term "muth" (German for courage), the settlers named Frankenmuth after the term "courage of the Franconians." Frankenmuth is home to Bronner's Christmas Wonderland (they say it's the World's Largest Christmas Store!). You'll also find many fudge and cheese shops, a cuckoo clock store, and boutiques. You can read more about their history on the Frankenmuth, MI Wiki page here. What to Eat: Cheese, fudge, fudge cheese, taffy. They also have many restaurants that are known for their chicken dinners and classic Bavarian dishes! What to Drink: There were German and Alsatian wines and beers at stores and restaurants – highly recommend. How to Get Around: For the most part, I say park your car and walk around. To get to Bronner's, you will want [...]

December 6th, 2018|0 Comments

Your Guide to Alsace, France

Why Alsace is famous: Alsace and the Black Forest Region were the inspiration for the infamous Grimm Brothers' Fairytales, as well as the setting for Beauty and the Beast. The houses look like they're straight out of a fairytale. Alsace also has a large stork population, and the story of storks bringing babies to parents originated here. If a stork makes a nest on your house, you have to protect it by placing a metal ring around it, so when the storks return from their migration, they can come home to the same nest. During WWII (and before), Alsace changed hands between the French and German many times, and it's easy to see the influence of both countries. Even the language spoken in the area has both French and German dialects. Although Alsace seems quaint, Strasbourg (the largest city in Alsace) is one of the de facto capitals of the European Union. It's an extremely [...]

November 27th, 2018|7 Comments

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|0 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
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