• Europe,  France,  Travel

    Day Trip to Medieval Saint-Émilion

    As I mentioned in my previous blog post, Bordeaux is a famous wine-growing region in southwestern France. You can’t visit Bordeaux without sampling some wine!! My friend and I booked a day trip through the Tourist Office to visit a nearby vineyard and the medieval town of Saint-Émilion. The day trip only cost 30€ and included two glasses of wine at the vineyard! Saint-Émilion is a World Heritage Site named after a monk who settled there in the 8th century, though the history of the town goes beyond that. Romans planted vines in this area as far back as the 2nd century!  The city is well worth a visit and I…

  • France,  Travel

    Best of Bordeaux

    Bordeaux is situated in Aquitane, the South-western region of France.  This is a prominent area for the wine industry – the region began producing wine in the 8th Century!  Bordeaux is a beautiful city to visit, with tons of wine-tasting opportunities for my fellow vinos.  This city has the second-highest number of preserved historical buildings of any city in France, behind Paris!  One really cool aspect of the architecture is that there are little faces scuplted into the facade of buildings throughout the city called mascarons. Below are some highlights of the city of Bordeaux.  Keep your eyes peeled for my post next week about visiting nearby vineyards and St. Émilion. La…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Paul Cézanne’s Aix-en-Provence

    Aix-en-Provence is a beautiful town in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region of France. It’s about 20-30 minutes by train from Marseille, with tickets averaging $15 one-way. Aix-en-Provence (or Aix for short) is the home town of Paul Cézanne and offers many attractions relating to the artist and his paintings. Aix-en-provence is incredibly charming with a wonderful small-town feel, very contrasting to the large city of Marseille. The word Aix originates from Aqua + Sextius. Sextius was the name of an important military figure in the area, and water is very important and prevalent in the city. Aix-en-Provence was at one time part of Catalonia, and they still fly the “blood and…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    5 Must See Attractions in Marseille

    Marseille is the oldest city in France and the second largest city, behind Paris!  The city was founded in 600 BC by the Greeks.  This is one of the most stunning coastal cities I have ever visited!  As a port city, Marseille has a bit of a seedy reputation but overall it is a great destination to visit. Here is a list of the five can’t miss attractions in Marseille for first time visitors: Vieux Port The old port is beautiful from all angles!  The marina is very lively with waterfront restaurants, markets, and ferry boats offering rides to nearby destinations.  The large surrounding street became limited to pedestrians starting…

  • Travel,  United States

    Bienvenidos a Miami

    The reputation of Miami definitely precedes itself.  While I was a Teaching Assistant in France, all of my students wanted to know if I had been to Miami or LA. They were very disappointed to hear that I had not!  Last month, I finally took my first trip to Miami with my fiance. I can now understand why Miami is so popular!  It is an expensive destination, but it is well worth the trip.  Between the cuban influence and the glamour, this city is definitely one-of-a-kind! We spent every day relaxing on South Beach, dancing to latin music, and people watching on Ocean Drive. Before leaving, we spent an afternoon…

  • Life,  United States

    Getting Around DC: E-Scooters

    E-Scooters can be found all over Washington, DC (as well as many other urban areas). There are several companies available now throughout the city – so which are the best to use?  DC offers a myriad of public transportation, so it may be surprising for some that e-scooters have become so popular. Some rent them for convenience while some rent them for the fun of it (they are surprisingly fast!).  E-scooters can be great, but also dangerous if not ridden with caution.   I started renting scooters on my way to work when I discovered that I could get to the office in half the time it took me to metro…

  • Europe,  France,  Travel

    Nice, La Belle

    In my recent post about Monaco, I mentioned that it is an easy day-trip from Nice! It only seemed natural then to write about Nice as well.  Nice is a beautiful coastal town in Côte d’Azur, the French Riviera. There is so much to do and see in Nice, from it’s pebbled beach up to the Monastère de Cimiez!   This is the first place that I ever took a solo overnight trip!  There are cheap TGV tickets using Ouigo if booking ahead of time with flexible dates.  Throughout my stay, I met many generous and kind locals who gave me great advice and directions! Here are some of the highlights…

  • Europe,  Travel

    Top Two Can’t-Miss Sites in Monaco

    The Principality of Monaco is the second-smallest country in the world – behind Vatican City!  The country is in the French Riviera, along the Mediterranean Sea.  I popped over to Monaco for a day while spending a long weekend in Nice, France.  Monaco is a very quick (and scenic) train-ride from Nice.  Most people associate Monaco with the Monte Carlo Casino and the Grand Prix, but the destination has a lot more to offer.  It’s like visiting a city, but you get to add a whole new country to your list!  If you’re short on time, I recommend visiting two highlights – Le Palais des Princes and Jardin Exotique de Monaco.…

  • Europe,  Spain,  Travel

    Day Trip to Girona and Figueres, Spain

    I always recommend visiting local Tourist Offices when traveling.  They offer a lot of great resources, including (free!) maps and advice.  I like to take a look at the available tours to nearby destinations for ideas and suggestions.  Sometimes I book day-trips through tourist offices, but a lot of times I use the tours as an idea to plan a trip myself! At the Barcelona Tourist Office, I noticed tours for day-trips to Girona and Figueres.  I took a pamphlet with me, did a little research myself, and I found it was easy to book train tickets and visit the cities by myself.  Figueres is a popular destination due to the Teatre-Museu…

  • Europe,  Spain,  Travel

    Exploring Barcelona in 72 Hours

    Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia, the Northeastern region in Spain.  This city has so much to offer between the art, architecture, delicious food, and the beach!  To this day, Barcelona is one of my top favorite cities that I have visited.  Here are the Can’t Miss spots when visiting Barcelona: Barri Gòtic – Gothic Quarter The Gothic Quarter is incredibly charming.  The narrow streets are filled with cathedrals, restaurants, and clubs.  It is a stark contrast to La Rambla which is quite open.  The roads make up a myriad and it is fun to guess what is waiting around the next corner.  One of my favorite meals was in Barri Gotic. …