Cruising Around Roma In A Vintage Fiat 500!

On my 35th Birthday Trip in Rome, I lived out one of my greatest dreams – cruising around Rome in a vintage Fiat 500!!! Or a small metal death trap, as Dan called it… He hates danger. Our afternoon was absolutely fantastic and a unique way to explore the lovely city of Roma, Italia!

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Happy 35th Birthday to me!!

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Exploring The Heart Of Montmartre With Secret Paris Food Tours

Earlier this year with my mother, Dan’s mother, sister, and aunt, and our friend Pryor (frequently on this blog) and her mother went to Paris over Valentine’s Day.  On this lovely Girls’ Trip, we took a food tour through Montmartre on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon – I’m talking sunny and 60 degrees! It was pretty great and a fun walk to explore a usually too touristy part of Paris!

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Montmartre. You can still see a windmill in the background!

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A Delicious Exploration of Testaccio, Rome: A Culinary Tour With Eating Italy!

As some of you may know, Dan and I spent a fabulous summer in Rome wayyyy back in 2008 (so long ago!). We lived in the very residential part of the Trastevere neighborhood that summer, not too far from the adjacent Testaccio neighborhood. In fact, I have vivid memories of being in Testaccio (and Trastevere!) and thinking that Rome was not at all a touristy city. How wrong was I? Despite Rome being super touristy, certain areas, including parts of Trastevere and Testaccio, remain local and largely devoid of tourists. When we went back over the New Year this past year, I definitely wanted to explore more of these areas.

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Me and Dan our first night in Rome, June 2008! I still drank white wine… #basic

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February In Paris: A Brief Photo Tour.

I spent Valentine’s Day weekend in Paris, France this year, sadly without Dan (SORRY DAN)!  It was a girl’s weekend, and we had the best time. I will be posting more about what we did, where we ate, how Paris is in February (spoiler alert, it was amazing and 60 degrees and sunny!), and how you can recreate our itinerary, but for now, here is a snippet of some of my favorite pictures!

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First up,  la tour Eiffel at sunset. Valentine’s color schemed.

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Macarons at Laduree.

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60 degrees at la tour Eiffel actually on Valentine’s Day.

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Pretty rugs on a private tour at Versailles.

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Le Louvre.

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Truffle cheese, french bread, and wine.

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The little hens on the trip. On top of Galleries Lafayette at the Ice Cube Bar.

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O’Paris Pub in Versailles. A great post-Versailles break with outdoor seating.

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The group at dinner at 58 Tour Eiffel.

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Winged Victory.

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Parisian fried chicken.

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Swoon.

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Les Jardins de Versailles.

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Love an old French advert.

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Cute restaurant that was there when I lived in the 11th!

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Pretty Parisian buildings.

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Another pretty restaurant.

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Le Tabac.

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Notre Dame de Paris.

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View from the top of le Centre Pompidou.

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Midnight at la tour Eiffel. Post dinner, drinks, and a visit to the top!

Paloquemao Market in Bogota, Colombia

As a lot of people say, one of the best ways to see a culture is through visiting a local market and trying the foods that the locals eat on a regular basis.  But that can be very difficult.  Especially in countries without an advanced tourism markets and/or those where you don’t speak the language, like me in Bogota, Colombia.

Bogota’s biggest and most important market is Paloquemao Market, located right in the center of Bogota in the Plaza de Mercado de Paloquemao.  The market is large and from afar and looks more like a big factory than a market.  It is also extremely busy, with very few tourists.

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Yes, We Went to Stockholm in January and Loved It!

Finally, a post about my favorite continent, Europe!

Dan and I wanted to get away for a long weekend in January.  Somewhere new, somewhere not too expensive (this one didn’t exactly pan out) and somewhere that we felt we could experience over a long weekend.  I did some online research and, surprise, Stockholm, Sweden came out as our destination!  Crazy you probably think!  Actually, Stockholm made for a great long weekend and I plan to do something similar next year!

Here are some pictures of the old town, Gamla Stan!  So cute, and very Old Europe!

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Mendoza Part 1: An Introduction

Dan and I visited Mendoza in November on our trip to Argentina! I liked everything about Mendoza, and recommended it as a short getaway to anyone in northern or western Argentina or northern Chile.

Mendoza is in Western Argentina in the Cuyo desert region, and it is the capital of the Mendoza province.  The city is a popular spot for wine production and tourism. While best known for wine, Mendoza has a number of adventures for the outdoorsy. Its near the Andes mountain range, including Aconcagua, the highest mountain outside Asia. There are opportunities to hike, fly fish, partake in extreme sports, etc.  But, we didn’t come to Mendoza to be extreme, we came to drink wine, and drink wine we did! Continue reading

A yummy, independent find in Daytona Beach – Chucherias Hondureñas

Chucherias Hondureñas is an adorable little restaurant in the Holly Hill section of Daytona Beach, Florida, and an excellent find, as many of the restaurants in the area of national chains…

Chucherias Hondureñas is extremely small.  We called and made a reservation the day before and got a table for four at 7:00 with no problem.  While the restaurant is small, it has a lot of charm and feels a world away from Daytona Beach.  The setting is intimate.  The waitstaff was attentive.  A guitarist played during our dinner.  Verrrry charming!  Not the chain restaurants!

The menu is small and heavily seafood based, but there were meat and vegetarian options, as well.  There was a lengthy special-of-the-day menu.

In addition, the restaurant has a fancy cocktail list, which we started with.  Loving the straw-wrapped detail!

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Dan and I started by splitting the curry conch soup, and it was so delicious!  The “serving size” is plenty to split between two people.  They will even put it in two separate bowls.  The soup-base was very flavorful and there was plenty of conch.

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Next, we ordered the ham croquettes.  Also excellent!  The croquettes came with a yummy spicy mustard sauce.  Call me plain, but these were my favorite!

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For mains, I ordered El Cubano – or the cuban sandwich, which I had read about online.  The reviews were correct – it was so, so, so good!  The cuban is made with seasoned roast pork, sliced ham, swiss cheese and an amazing garlic sauce.  It was also huge, and I ate almost the entire sandwich!  It came with a side salad and a few fried plantains.  Plenty of food.  While it was not the most exciting thing on the menu, I would absolutely order this again!

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Dan ordered a shrimp dish, but for the life of me, I cannot remember its name.  He really enjoyed it and it was made with coconut milk.  Dan’s plate was also large and he loved it!

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We finished with the Crema Catalana.  A delicious creme brûlée-type dish made with spanish custard, caramelized sugar and fresh fruit.  This was similar to creme brûlée, but decidedly different.  Much smoother and not as heavy.  Dan’s aunt and I loved it!

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In sum, I absolutely loved this restaurant!  The food was high quality and it was nice to find a non-chain restaurant in Daytona Beach.  Recommended!

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Chucherias Hondureñas

The Market, 101 2nd Street, Holly Hill, FL 32117

Note – While the address states “Holly Hill,” this is right in Daytona Beach.

A Weekend in Salzburg, Austria – September 2014

The last stop of Eurotrip2014 was Salzburg, Austria! Salzburg has long been on my travel wish list, and I was very happy to travel here!

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We rented an apartment in Apartment City, which was a great location just off the Getreidegasse, between the Altstadt and the University area.  Gorgeous views from the apartment!  In addition to the views, there was a beautiful old church that turned into what appeared to be a drug-fuled, underage rave on Friday…luckily it stopped at midnight, and went right back to a church on Sunday morning!  #clubchurch

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We arrived on a Friday night, and our first stop was Augustiner Bräu Mülln – also long on my wish list!  Augustiner Bräu is a brewery and beer hall, serving delicious, delicious beer and housing a variety of stalls selling food.

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On our first full day, we toured all of Salzburg’s best sites, including the Mirabell Palace Gardens, Mozart Square and residences, the Salzburg Cathedral and the Festung Hohensalzburg.

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We also stopped for coffee, breakfast and the famous Sacher Torte at Cafe Sacher.  The cake was decadent!  Bucketlist  – check!

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After hitting the “must see” list, it was finally time for shopping on the Getreidegasse!  The Getreidegasse is a pedestrian-only shopping street abounding with international chain stores, restaurants and tourist shops selling Mozart balls and countless other Mozart paraphernalia. In addition, to shopping, Getreidegasses is quite picturesque, as all of the stores, including the McDonalds, have metal signs displaying a picture of their wares, harking back to the time when the masses were illerate.  The street was so picturesque, I returned early Sunday morning to take pictures without the crowds.

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My favorite shop on Getreidegasse was a small shop called Spirtuosen Sporer.  Sporer is a family-owned liquer store, selling countless varieties of flavored brandy and schnapps – from pine to edelweiss to blackberry – since 1903.  We tried a variety of samples and all bought bottles to take home.  Plan accordingly, Sporer is closed on Sunday and closes at 5 on Saturday.

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Later that evening, we dined at a delicious restaurant – Bärenwirt.  his may have been the best schnitzel I had on the trip (close with my Hallstatt schnitzel), and this was certainly our best meal in Salzburg.  Our waitress spoke perfect English and was extremely friendly.  The mean ended with a complementary bowl of gummy bears!

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Our final day (SAD), began with a stroll down an empty Getreidegasse for pictures and then a visit to the famous Cafe Tomaselli for some truly delicious coffee!

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After, we set out for what was one of the most fun events of the trip!  We walked about 30 minutes to the Stiegl-Brauwelt, or the Stiegl brewery, for a brewery tour!  This is truly a great brewery tour and it is one of the best I have ever taken.  The brewery also has a restaurant, beer garden and a fabulous giftshop!

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We ended the trip on a touristy note by a Mozart dinner concert at the Restaurant St. Peter Stiftskeller.  The performance was very good and the location was gorgeous.  A good way to end the trip!

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I was very sad to leave, but we had a great time in Salzburg!