La Vie en rose

Ah Paris – la ciudad de amor.

Lol, I understand why people are so obsessed with this city. I went in thinking it was completely overrated, but I was more than happy to be proven wrong. We spent 3 glorious days in this beautiful city, but as with most places I visited, it wasn’t enough time. If it were up to me, I might still be in Paris, sipping espressos and people watching in the Place de la Nation.

One thing worth noting about Europe, but Paris especially, is that fewer people speak English than you think. I got around by putting my five years of Spanish class to use, but otherwise, English speakers are few and far between, and I don’t speak a lick of French.

However, that could not deter me from having the most incredible and unique experiences each day. I’m confident that some of the things I did were a once in a lifetime opportunity.

So, what was it about Paris that was so magical? First, the bread. Second, the architecture. Third, all the other food groups.

I had a religious experience – not at Notre Dame, but with a Spaghetti Bolognese. I didn’t know that such a common dish could taste like the food of the gods. But here I am, with this dish ruined for me forever. I can’t say I mind because it was incredible.

We didn’t do as much sightseeing as we had planned on account of… the jetlag… but we did manage to spend an entire afternoon at The Louvre (still not enough time.) Mona Lisa is housed here, but the highlight of this day was seeing “The wedding at Cana” by Veronese, a painting I studied in high school. It faces Mona Lisa and receives a fraction of the attention. The irony is that people line up in front of da Vinci’s legendary painting, not necessarily to appreciate it or marvel at its craftsmanship, but rather to take a quick selfie, then leave, never once setting eyes upon it. Whatever, I sound like a snob, but I was entertained by the fact that so much security goes toward protecting this small painting simply because society has made it popular throughout history. Okay I’m dropping it.

Two nights in a row, we ventured to Bastille to check out the nightlife. And two nights in a row, we ended up at Iguana. And that’s all I’m going to say about that. (And if you happen to stop by at any point, don’t listen to them about us, they’re all a bunch of liars.) Lol

Oh, and what would a trip to Paris be without a stop at the Tour Eiffel? My sister’s biggest dream for the past 10 years has been to visit this magnificent structure, and though I’m sure she never expected her little sister to be the one accompanying her, we shared a moment. At the top of every hour, the tower sparkles with brilliant lights for five minutes, unbeknownst to us, of course. We were sitting under the tower, sharing a beignet and an espresso, when we heard church bells in the distance marking 10 p.m., and the tower began to dance. I may or may not have shed a tear; she may or may not have shed several…


Well, there you have it, folks. Paris is not as great as they say – it’s better. The croissants are fluffier, the wine is fresher and the Bolognese is otherworldly. The landmarks are cool too.

Special shout out to the owner of Niño for letting me play and cuddle with him. If I go too long without petting a dog, I really lose myself.


Niño, a beagle puppy and my new best friend

Thank you for reading, and until next time!



33 days until peanut and sis take europe!

hi, everyone!

i hope you all had a fun-filled holiday and new year. i have very exciting news today! my sister, jessica, and i have just booked our flights and trains for the two and a half weeks we are spending together in europe next month!

we found some great hacker fares on Kayak for the flights, and booked through RailEurope for the Thalys trains. i’m so excited to have concrete plans (finally!), but it still feels so surreal! here’s our itinerary:screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-5-50-36-pm

in case you’re not a visual spreadsheet-loving psychopath like me, here’s our itinerary again, but with less going on:

  • London, U.K. – Feb. 6-9
  • Dublin, Ireland – Feb. 9-11
  • Paris, France – Feb. 11-14
  • Brussels, Belgium – Feb. 14-15
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands – Feb. 15-17
  • Munich, Germany – Feb. 17-20

we also got matching patagonia backpacks (because we are extra, don’t ask) and i bought a 35mm film slr camera to document my trip. a lot of people seem genuinely worried that my sister (aka sis) and i (aka peanut) are backpacking through europe together, but i assure you, she will make it home…i cannot guarantee that i won’t fall in love with deutschland and stay forever.

just kidding, mom! i’ll be back to finish my degree, but who knows after graduation??? lol

there are 33 DAYS LEFT UNTIL WE LEAVE FOR LONDON, and i cannot wrap my head around it. i promise much more scintillating content in the coming weeks, such as how to pack everything you would need for five months in europe into a 28L backpack and carry on-sized luggage (spoiler alert: it probably cannot be done, but i digress), or how to encourage your sister that she doesn’t really need to bring those extra 16 pairs of shoes “just in case.”

don’t forget that i will also be publishing content for the SDSU Be International Blog starting in February! i’ll announce it all here, of course.

until next time & thanks for reading!