Paris

We got to Paris around 8pm after leaving Barcelona earlier in the day. We checked into our hotel and got some dinner and called it a night.

Our first full day in Paris. We got some breakfast (delicious orange jelly filled croissant) at a little bakery by our hotel.  We made our way over to the Eiffle Tower went up into it and then sat at the Champ de Mars park for a bit and got a Nutella crepe.

Walked over to the Arc de Triomphe and got a Lemon Sugar Crepe.

Tried to go to the Pantheon but it was closed and under construction.

We went and found a dinner and had ham and cheese crepe.

We wanted to see the Eiffle Tower at night and since we were already out and somewhat close we decided to wait it out. It didn’t get dark until well after 10pm and the lights on the Eiffle Tower didn’t come until 11pm. Since we had some time we stopped at a pub and watched some soccer (the world cup was going on so they had games all the time). Donny got a beer and then we headed back to the Champ de Mars park to see the Eiffle Tower at night. We took the french version of Uber back to our hotel.

The second day we went to the Louvre. We saw the Mona Lisa painting and lots of other stuff. The Louvre was a former royal palace and was huge. We walked around what seemed like forever and decided we had seen enough art.

Had some lunch at a super cute cafe we found on the way back to our hotel. We took a midday break and watched some soccer and napped. Ended the day getting some dinner near our hotel.

The third day we went to the Norte-Dame Cathedral. Walked around the Luxembourg Gardens and found a Starbucks to get our Paris coffee cup.

Our last day in Paris we did a bike tour in the morning…which was a super fun way to see and learn about stuff around Paris. After the bike tour we went and got dessert at Les Duex Abeilles cafe that a friend had recommend to us. I had the most delicious chocolate orange ice cream and ginger lemonade. Donny got a slice of lemon meringue pie and espresso.

We decided to go see the bridge where people put locks along it. To get there we used the city bikes which was way better than walking. Turns out the chain link along the bridge has been removed but people still put locks up on the light polls.

On our way back to the hotel…walking. We found a macaroon shop Laduree got four flavors to try; lavender, pistachio, lemon and orange blossom.

We watched a world cup game and got some salads the grocery store to use up the Euros we still had. Packed everything up for our super early (leave the hotel at 5am) flight the next morning.

Got up at 4:30 am to start our travel day home. We had a small crisis in the morning…the ticket machine for the metro was not working with cards and we used all our cash last night thinking we wouldn’t need any. Everything was just fine after we got some cash and we were on our way. Had a 12 hour flight from Paris to San Francisco and a 7 hour layover before getting back to Denver at 12:20am (we are now in the next day) which would have been 8:20 am in Paris.

During our 7 hour San Francisco layover we took advantage and left the airport and got some In-N-out burgers and Ghiradelli ice cream.

Paris was so fun. Seeing the Eiffle Tower was probably my favorite. It’s a typical big city where things can be far apart but public transportation was good and easy to use. Google maps pretty much told us what to take and how to get there. One thing we didn’t expect was how hard it would be to find coffee and when we did it was expensive. I think we could have easily done Paris is one or two less days and still had a great time. Maybe a little less napping and World Cup watching but you don’t get the World Cup every year.

Barcelona

We had so much fun on our trip to Barcelona and Paris. Here’s some of what we did in Barcelona which was definitely the favorite part of our trip. We had so much fun sightseeing and spending time on the beach. Meeting Clara and Anna there was awesome. We all had so much fun and I can’t wait until our next adventure.

We left the US on a Friday afternoon and flew into Zurich for a long layover then over to Paris where we spent the night and the next day flew to Barcelona. We booked flights in and out of Paris because it saved us a lot of money. Travel days would have been less long if we had gotten one way tickets to Barcelona and then out of Paris but it was worth it to save the money for a little extra crazy. All in all it wasn’t that bad since we got to Paris and pretty much went to bed. Got up the next morning and flew to Barcelona. With time change it was actually day 3 of our trip.

We got to Barcelona around lunch time checked into our hotel and meet Clara and Anna for lunch and a walked around a bit. Made our way to the beach (just checked it out today), had delicious coffee, went to dinner. After dinner we meet up with one of Clara’s co-workers who was also vacationing in Barcelona for drinks.

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona.

Coffee from Double B. I got a Lavender Raf. Raf coffee is when the milk and cream are whipped together with the espresso making the drink thick. So good.

The first full day in Barcelona we had delicious breakfast at a cafe near our hotel and then meet Clara and Anna at the Picasso Museum and went to the Cathedral of Barcelona. Went and had tapas for lunch then spent a few hours on the beach. After the beach we got some coffee at the same place as yesterday. It was already almost 8pm…we had coffee that late. It’s okay when your dinner isn’t until 9:30pm.

Dinner at La Tinaja Bodega.

The second day we did the Hop-on-Hop-off bus tour and saw the city without having to walk a billion miles….it was great and highly recommended. We saw the La Sagrada Famila church which is still being constructed decades later. It was massive and pictures do not do it justice. At the end of the bus tour we walked around La Ramaba which is a shopping area and market. We had a delicious Kiwi Coconut smoothie and some empanadas. After touring and getting lunch we went back down to the beach for a bit before going to dinner.

La Sagrada Familia

The third day was a full beach day. Before going to the beach we had a yummy breakfast and did a little shopping (I got a new swimsuit). On our walk to the beach we got some drinks and snacks for our day there and for lunch we walked to a little sandwich shop close by. We stayed at the beach until 7:30pm and then all had dinner which we finished at 12am.

We had dinner at Sensi Mezzanine and was probably my favorite restaurant we went to.

The combination of sightseeing and beach was amazing. You didn’t feel like you had to wear yourself down everyday walking from get up to go to sleep. I would highly recommend Barcelona! We had an awesome first half of our trip. The 4 days we where there was a good amount of time I think we could have even done another day (or two) and spent more time on the beach!

We had a half day in the morning before we had to go the the airport. We got a yummy breakfast again and then walked around near our hotel and where we needed to catch the bus to the airport.

Italy Vacation Outfits

We went to Italy for 10 days (2 of the days being travel days) and here’s what I brought. I tried to keep it simple and not pack to much but still feel like I had enough outfit choices. We where in Italy at the end of July and the weather was quiet hot. We decided to bring one big bag and one carry on bag. It worked out but next time I think we would just bring two carry on size bags.

Due to a flight delay and airplane change we didn’t get our checked bag for several days. Fortunately we put some backup clothes in our carry on bag so wasn’t too big of a deal.

Here’s everything I brought. I didn’t wear the pants it was way to hot. The only pair of shoes I wore were my Birkenstock. I did not need any fancy clothes so I didn’t wear the Amelia dress, the coral lace shirt or the sandal heels. We left our hotel room in the morning didn’t come back until after dinner so there wasn’t any outfit changes during the day.

I would recommend bring dresses and shirts that have sleeves and that cover your knees because many of the churches and religious buildings don’t allow your shoulders or knees being exposed. I carried a light scarf in my purse so that I would have something to cover my shoulders when I did wear a tank top.

Travel Day Outfit: Chambray button down from Target. Gray shirt from Target. Olive green shorts from Target.

Venice

Day 1: Travel day outfit since we arrived around 12pm Italy time

Day2: Polka Dot shirt–thrifted and olive green shorts from Target

Florence (we didn’t get our bag the afternoon of day 2)

Day 1: Navy tank top form Target and maxi shirt thrifted.

Day 2: Polka Dot shirt–thrifted and olive green shorts from Target

Day 3: Stripped dress form Target

Rome

Day 1: T-shirt dress from Target

Day 2: Thrifted shirt and olive green shorts from Target

Day 3: Lularoe Carly

Travel Day: I wore my black dress from Old Navy that is just like the gray striped one with my chambray button down from Target and my Birkenstock

Rome

Day 1: We took the train from Florence to Rome…it was running 2.5 hours late. Good thing we didn’t have any set plans this day. Our hotel was about a mile from the train station, which was a long walk with our bags. After we got settled in our hotel we walked around the city seeing the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. The metro made it quiet easy to get around from our hotel. Walked 16,141. 2 espressos. 1 gelato.

Day 2: We had our ancient Rome tour in the afternoon which was very hot. Even our guide was hot. We went inside the Colosseum, walked around Palantino, and saw the Roman Forum. Unfortunate part of the metro was closed so we had to do some extra walking. Walked 24,568 steps. 2 espressos. 1 gelato.

Tip: Get water at the markets or bring a water bottle to fill up from the fountains around the city. Don’t buy water from street vendors…they refill bottles they collect from trash.

Day 3: We went to the Vatican City. Toured the church in St. Peters Square, walked through the Vatican museum, saw the Sistine chapel with Michelangelo art on the ceiling (you aren’t allowed to take pictures). After the Vatican City we went back to the hotel to rest and get ready for our Rome at Night tour. We saw the Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, St. Peter’s basilica, Presidential Palace, and several popular restaurant and shop areas of the city. Great way to end our Italy trip. Walked 26,441 steps. 2 espressos. 2 gelatos.

Travel Day: Going home. We got up at 6am Italy time and arrived home 4am Italy time. After our 9 hour flight from Rome to Dulles and our 3.5 hour flight from Dulles to Denver we got home and went straight to bed. We had an amazing trip and can’t wait for the next one.

We booked out trip through Gate 1 Travel and would highly recommend using them. We choose the Independent package where they booked the flights, hotels and travel between cities which was super nice that I didn’t have to figure out how to plan all that and try to figure out what hotels to choose in each of the cities. Along with the things they book you have optional guided tours you can do and having those options were amazing because it gave us something to do in each city with out having to plan everything or have everything planned for us.

Florence

Day 1: We rode the train from Venice to Florence. Walked around the city a bit taking it all in. Didn’t have any set plans this day. Walked 16,332 steps. 2 espressos. 2 gelatos. No Bag.

Day 2: Walking tour in the morning where we went to the Piazzale Michelangelo which has amazing views of the city, dell’accademia art gallery where Michelangelo’s original David statue is and walked around the Piazza del Duomo learning about some of the church’s history. After the walking tour we went to the Duomo museum, inside the church and baptistry, and climbed to the top of the bell tower. We also went and saw Ponte Vecchio which is where houses were build on a bridge. Now there are shops there.           Walked 17,856 steps. 1 espresso. 1 gelato. Our bag arrived! Sometime in the afternoon after we had left the hotel for the day.

View from Piazzale Michelangelo

Michelangelo’s original David statue

The Duomo

Ceiling inside the baptistry

View from the bell tower

Ponte Vecchio

Our bag arrived! There were so many tags on it.

Day 3: We took the train from Florence to Pisa which was about an hour away. We saw the Leaning Tower of Pisa and had lunch in the town before heading back to Florence. We went to the Boboli Garden, had delicious chocolate cake for snack and went to a tiny wine shop where we ended up buying olive oil and a bottle of wine to bring home. For dinner we ate at a little cafe that had happy hour which, started at 6pm, and included a drink and snack tray….super yummy. Walked 23,309. 4 espresso. 2 gelatos.

Chocolate cake snack

Boboli Garden

Wine Shop.

Happy Hour dinner. We got a ravioli dish too.