Wednesday, August 22, 2012

{my trip in photos: italy 2012}

The final installment of my trip to Europe! Boy, it took me a long time to finally get through my photos for this post, I'm behind on so many things! On that note, please forgive me if you are waiting for an email reply from me, I've fallen behind on way to many fronts but I promise I'll get there :)

Italy was amazing, and after coming home and looking through my pics I realized it was all about beautiful history and incredible architecture every which way you turned. We spent most of our time in Rome, plus a day at the Vatican city, and ended off with a day in gorgeous Florence {a definite must-see}.

First Rome; the Colosseum and surrounding ancient ruins are remarkable! I would highly recommend a tour guide, it's a great way to take in the history to the fullest. We learned more about Rome in one day than I probably learned in all my years of schooling!

{35 degrees and sunny every day, just the way I like it!}

{Left: Me at the Trevy Fountain; Right: I wanted to take home those gorgeous trees!}

Florence is truly picturesque, the cobblestone streets, churches and charming shops atop bridges were a sight to drink in.

Oh, and shopping for genuine Italian leather wasn't so bad either! Don't you think the shop owner resembles George Clooney?

Not only in the Vatican city, but everywhere you turned it seemed a glorious intricate church could be found. We got a few great shots so my mind started turning & thinking about creating an oversized version like one of these:

I love the look! Here are a few of our shots I might consider, do you think one of these could work?

What a trip! One I definitely won't soon forget. Thanks to everyone who gave me tips on what to see and do before I left.

And just in case you missed it here are my recaps of London & Paris. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

{my trip in photos: paris}

Finally the second installment of my trip! It's taking me forever to get through all of the photos we took. Here's a look at my first time visiting the city of lights and love {hopefully may more trips to come}. From the cobblestone streets, to the fresh baguettes, the magic and allure of Paris will surely bring me back again and again!

We stayed in the 13th arrondissement, a largely residential area, which was neat because we really got the chance to see how the French live! At only a 5 min walk from the Metro, Villa Lutèce Port Royal was a wonderful boutique hotel. A bonus? The fabulous bakeries along your way to catch the train :)

And what's that in the bathroom ... Fornasetti tiles?? I was in love!

Because this was my first trip, I had to see all the sites and monuments. Seeing them in person was quite surreal! Some of my favorites:  Arc de TriompheEiffel Tower, Eglise de la MadeleineLouvre, Opéra Bastille, & the shops on the Champs-Élysées.

Arc de Triomphe

Eiffel tower at night; Laduree

Had to stop in to a Laduree of course! My macaroons were scrumptious. A shout out to Norma of My Beautiful Paris, her website was so valuable to scour before my trip. She recommended visting the Ladurée Bonaparte on 21 rue Bonaparte in the Saint Germain-des-Prés district which is a lot quieter and less busy than the other two! Do be sure to visit her site and well as this post {via this is glamorous} if you are planning an upcoming trip.

Besides yummy macaroons my favorite thing to eat was the delicious fresh baguette sandwiches. I will probably never forget the buttery brie, cucumber, and tomato delight I had at Le Quasimodo Cafe just outside of Notre Dame Cathedral.

We attended Sunday morning mass at Notre Dame, and though I couldn't understand the French sermon, the music and the atmosphere was heavenly.

I loved to see a touch of my Egyptian heritage in London, Paris and Rome! The gold-capped Luxor Obelisk below was a gift to France in 1829 and dates 3,300 years back.

Getting lost in the Louvre was wonderful! I could spend ages in there. A must see within the museum was the Napolean Apartments, luxury and grandeur at its finest.

Dinner for you and your closest friends, perhaps?

I had the chance to visit the original Chanel at Rue Cambon. Coco Chanel lived at the Ritz in Paris but worked and entertained within walking distance at Rue Cambon. There are four floors: the Chanel store is at street level, haute couture dressing rooms are on the second floor, her apartment is on the third, and her workshop is on the fourth. And there's that famous faceted mirrored staircase where she watched her models flaunt her collections. Maybe a classic 2.55 purchase the next time I'm in town? :)

And my trip ended on a high note, a magical day immersed in the history of Versailles. A definite must! The palace was wonderful, but if I go back I will spend more time in the amazing gardens, and the quarters of Marie Antoinette.

Tips on things to pack: a trench coat {the weather changes every hour, and rain is nearly inevitable at some point}, scarves and more scarves {helps to keep warm and feel chic amongst all those super chic French women}, an adapter for your hairdryer and straightner, & comfy ballet flats.

Now that I've done the tourist route, I'm excited to go back and explore. Please do share your experiences of Paris in the comments, and let me know what I NEED to see the second time around! I already can't wait!

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