Sunday, July 24, 2016

England/France Trip: Part 5

The day after our Wales trip, we got up bright and early to catch the Eurostar to Paris. And I mean early, the sun wasn't even up yet. We managed to sleep the whole 2 and a half hour train trip, never even noticing the 22 minutes we spent in the underwater tunnel. 

To be honest, both Adam and I had a little anxiety about our trip to Paris. Some were normal traveling fears about not speaking the language, etc. But I had also heard that Paris was dirty and that the French were rude.

I'm here to tell you none of this is true. I don't know if it is because we've lived in a metropolitan area, but it was no worse than L.A., (probably cleaner than Southern Cali to be honest) or any other big city I've visited. And I met not one rude person. I don't know if that was because we always tried to use our horrid French before launching into English. Never assuming that everyone spoke English (although most did). 

But they treated us with total kindness.

After we got checked into our hotel, we headed back out on the Paris Metro to the Pantheon. I had booked us a walking tour of the Latin Quarter, that began there. The tour ended up being just us, one other lady, and the guide. Which made it very intimate, and it felt more like just walking and talking with friends. 

What ended up being really cool was our tour guide was a National Hackey sack champion, who knew there was such a thing?

One of the things that blew me away on the tour & about Paris, was just how simple and beautiful all the buildings were. I would round the corner, and the sights would blow me away. I loved those wrought iron balconies most of all. 

One of our stops on the tour was the Jardin (Garden) du Luxembourg. There really are not any words that could describe how truly breathtaking that garden was. Just everywhere you looked there was something to see! And this shot of us is my favorite from the entire trip.

Arthur also pointed out so much Paris street art. He said there is one unknown artist who is leaving Mario/Video game related art all over. It became fun to spot those pieces throughout the rest of our trip. And also look at that little Ratatouille, so cute!

We also had a few treats a long the way. We had almond kouignettes from the famed Maison Georges Larnicol, and we also stopped at a cafe for Camembert fondue. Yummy!

I ate my way through Paris, especially in sweets.  

We were tired after the tour, due to lots of walking and an early morning (plus time change). But that didn't keep me from stopping by a local pastry shop for a Lemon tart, before we settled in for the night and ordered room service!

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Saturday, July 9, 2016

England/France Trip: Part 4

We got up bright and early on our last full day in England, in order to get out of the city (but not the country) for the day. When planning our trip, Adam and I really wanted to geek out over one of our favorite British shows, Dr. Who. It is filmed in Cardiff. So we took a 2 hour train ride from Paddington Station to Wales. 

The whole excursion was for the sole purpose of going to the Dr. Who Experience, which has an interactive  part (where you get to be the companion), followed by a trip through their museum. 

We couldn't take pictures in the experience, but it was soo much fun. We got to drive the tardis, be "insulted" by the doctor, face off with daleks, and run from the weeping angels.  But we probably spent the most time in the museum. They had actual props from the show, and not to mention entire wardrobes. Adam forced me into taking a million pictures, lucky for you I'm only sharing a handful. 

They also had a fun CGI photo experience with clothing props, and we had to try those out! Such fun. 

We had some time to kill before jumping back on the train to London. So we headed into the main center of Cardiff to shop at some of the Arcades. I loved the shops in Cardiff. They were filled with  boutiques and cute, little stationary stores. 

We ended our day in Cardiff by having dinner at The Yard. I loved how this pub was decorated, so homey. We both had a plate of Fish n' Chips before boarding the train.

We got back to the hotel and packed up everything, because the next day we were off to Paris. 

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Tuesday, July 5, 2016

One Wicked Weeked

Summer is rough on me. I work a lot this time of year, and I swear I'm always tired. But I try to squeeze in a little fun here and there, so the season doesn't just pass me by.

Going to see Wicked with my friends this weekend in Birmingham was one of my planned getaways. My love of musicals is well-documented on this blog, and Wicked, of course, is one of the best. I first saw it 10 years ago in Hollywood. Adam and I were in the nose bleed seats at the Pantages. I loved every minute of it. We paid so much for those tickets, when we had so little money, it was a real luxury at the time.

Our seats were a little better this time around. 

My college friend Lark and I left for Birmingham Sunday morning, meeting up with our other friend Anna for the matinee. We were so excited! We each got a different themed drink from the bar pre-show. They were called Ruby Red Slippers, The Wicked Witch, and the Yellow Brick Road. So fun!

The play was excellent, and we ended up singing the songs all weekend long!

We stayed the night in Birmingham, so after our matinee, we headed out to dinner at Todd English's P.U.B. It was sooo good. I had my first ever Moscow Mule. We each ordered an appetizer (Fried Pickles, Pimento Cheese Dip, & Pretzel Sticks). That cheese sauce was to die for.

I ended up ordering the Bangers and Mash, which were good, but I was just about too full to eat any of it. And I finished the meal with one the best Creme Brulees I've ever had. 

I had a wonderful weekend with some of my best girls, and it was a perfect way to spend the holiday.

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