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Thursday, June 26, 2014

Where am I?

Over and Underwhelmed...
Where Am I??

Now there is certainly something to be said for peace and quiet. I have been to Maine before love the coastal regions and the rugged beauty it has to offer is amazing. I recently started my summer healthcare job up there. After driving what seemed like hours I finally reached my destination. I honestly didn't think I could get anymore in the woods than I already had been the last couple of hours.
Arriving at 10pm is also not a great plan. Probably something more out of my nightmares. Finding an empty, dark cabin I am suppose to walk into. All i have to say is hell-no! I found myself some people to bring me to where I needed to go. 

Number one rule in the woods, wear you bug spray like perfume! It will keep you from getting nasty bites. 

Second dress warmly because Maine nights are nothing like being back home where I need a fan at night. I am no morning person and every morning I was waking up at 6am because I was freezing. 

Once everything was situated I could dive right in. The fresh air is great and it satisfies my need to be by the water. It always makes me wonder how people like living so far away from certain amenities. For me I don't mind it in small doses but it wouldn't be something I could do long term. 

Everyone should try something rustic once in a while and see how few things one actually needs. 
by acadiamagic.com

On my list of to do while I am up in Maine is to see what Bar Harbor and Acadia National Park is all about. Keep you posted.

~Happy Travels!

Comment: Have you ever been to a place that was in the middle of no where and what did you think of it?

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

California Dreamin'

Where I thought the sun was warm and the temps high

One thing I learned when flying into San Francisco is the weather is certainly not warmer there because it is the west coast. I flew from the North East where the temps were in the 80's and I thought all would be the same in San Francisco. But once I stepped outside the airport doors a cold wind threw me for a loop. All week it was in the high 50's- low 60's in the beginning of July! I actually saw people in winter parkas

Golden Gate Bridge
 I thought I was seeing things! One way to warm up is climbing the city's hills! My butt never got a better work out. Walking around the city made me think of the show Full House (any one remember?). 
Making it up the hills!

San Francisco was jam packed with places to see from the city itself to a little day tripping to other areas. My week looked a little like this San Fran>Sausilito>Sonoma>Yosemite>Monterray Bay>Carmel by the Sea, but hey when you're over somewhere you may as well see as much as you can!

I would have to say my favorite places were Yosemite because of how amazingly beautiful it is out there. I would highly recommend to anyone to go see a United States National Park the scenery is breath taking.

Then of course there was Carmel by the Sea, a quaint seaside community filled with architecturally different homes from spanish style to craftsman to an almost hobbit looking home. If you're into arts/crafts boutiques you can certainly find it here. Clint Eastwood was once the mayor of the town; if you don't know who he is look him up!
do you see him? The one lonely sea lion

One of my goals while on the trip was to see a sea lion but as the sign said on the wharf "Where have all the sea lions gone?". I was pretty bummed to see only one lazy sea lion basking in the sun on a raft. 

For anyone coming to the San Francisco area do go to Pier 39 down by the Wharf. There is plenty to see from the aquarium to restaurant/bars, bike tours and Ghirardelli Square. Alcatraz can be seen right from from the pier! The hop on hop off bus will also pick you up there for a drive through different neighborhoods.

What are your thoughts on California, did you see any sea lions?

~Happy Travels!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Oo La La...Kisses From France


Svelte bodies, scarfed necks and skinny jeans is what I saw in France. Everyone looked so put together. Even my best outfit was nothing compared to their stylish ways. 

Making my rounds from the big city to the country side is a great way to get perspective on different areas. Arriving with friends into Marseille in the middle of the night and then rolling our luggage along the cobbled streets was a night I won't soon forget. It actually made me decide never to travel again with a suitcase but to carry a backpack. Much more portable, at least I hope so. So there we were in the middle of the night, and by the way, cities are a whole different creature in the middle of the night. After successfully snagging a cab and stuffing ourselves into the tiny vehicle we tried finding our hotel. And try we did, even our cab driver couldn't find it. Lucky for us it was of course snuggled up between two buildings away from everything. It was a great hotel once we got our weary bodies inside.
google image

Rise and shine- Marseille in the day light was a great old port city.
With all terra cotta colored roofs and old architecture. If you needed soap there were boutiques selling it on every corner. They smelled amazing! I was quite surprised with how many different types of food they offered from pizza places, indian, mediterranean, crepes and a whole host of other delicious finds. Like all my favorite places it is near the water. Take a bus tour and it will bring you around to favorite sights. When you're on a strict time frame like we were only a day and a half to sight see this was the way to go for us.
Count of Monte Cristo (the prison)
After seeing what the city had to offer it was time for some countryside tranquility. The way to go is by bus it is cheap and effective. Their form of bus is comfy and air conditioned which was awesome because it was in the heat of summer. We decided to see what Aix en Provence had to offer.
Unfortunately, the season for lavender fields were over but I could picture what the purple lush fields would have looked like in the sprawling valleys. There were certainly many a vineyard to be seen. Aix en Provence was my type of city. 
Aix en Provense seemed something out of a fairy tale with it's boutiques both modern and old all in small stone shops. There was even an open air market. Let me tell you I picked up many scarves that day! They have great embroidery too along with soap.
Check out an open air market the next time you're about. It is a great way to practice talking to locals even if you know only a few words. It is always meaningful when you put out some effort.After Ax en Provence, it was back on the bus to get ready for a wedding we were about to go attend. The wine at the wedding was phenomenal, I know  because I woke up smelling of wine, I think it was coming out of my pores! But it was great nonetheless. The bride and groom looked amazing and it was a fun time to be had by all. 

Adieu for now!

~Happy Travels                                                   

Paella,Gaudi, Flamenco..oh my!


Where to go and what to do in Barcelona. It is very large city with plenty to see and do. For a first time visit, I stuck to the places I had heard much about.

My hotel was located diagonal from La Rambla which is a main street in Barcelona. On one end of the street there is a city center which is where I picked up the hop on hop off bus. For some this is a great way to learn about the different sections of Barcelona which you might not otherwise get to and you can get off any where you want to explore and hop back on the bus when you're done. It is also air conditioned which is a bonus! 

Take in the colors and smells in St.Josep's Boqueria where you can get fresh fruit and vegetables along with meats. There was no shortage of yummy food there. When you meander you way down the street there will be plenty of souvenir shops if that is what you are into or small kiosks selling more local wares. Street performers there are a plenty along with outdoor cafes! Don't leave Spain without eating and drinking in one of the plenty cafes. 
La Sagrada Familia

St.Josep's Boqueria

My friends and I made sure to try every paella and sangria that we could find and it never disappointed! Just thinking about it makes me long for some paella with its saffron rice and steaming vegetables.

If you are into architecture there is much to see with Gaudi's different structures. Gaudi was a well known Catalan architect. Along with interesting architecture is the Sagrada Familia which seems like it will never be finished.

Be sure to check out the traditional Flamenco dancers. At the hotel I was staying at there was a special we were able to get and it was definitely a treat to see and not something I have ever seen in the states. 

I am always a sucker for being by the water so continue your walk down La Rambla and there are signs leading you down to different ports. Follow where ever your heart desires and you will be more food and craft stands along with beaches, and out doors bars. 

If you want to try a different type of bar go to ICE bar. It isn't a place to have a leisurely drink but more of an experience. You are bundled up in huge parka's and served at a legit ice bar. Go see it for yourself!

I hope you have as much fun in Barcelona as I did.

~Happy Travels! 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Place

Where's your happy place?

Happiness is defined in the dictionary as "the state of being happy". Sounds pretty simply stated but what is that? For all of us happiness is an elixir of many different things. For some, happiness can be seeking an adrenaline rush or joining crowds in the latest festival and for some a quiet hideaway somewhere away from others. It's all in the perspective. 

When I think of being Happy I think of these:
  • calm
  • new
  • old
Now you may be wondering, well what the heck do those words even mean. Well, to me happiness can come from something that is old. Meaning I have places I go to with friends all the time and it is a place that it is known and it is always a good time. Then there is the new which holds a bit of mystery which may be something I have dreamt of doing for years and makes me smile when I think of all the adventure it will bring.

If you ever get a chance to visit Fort Independence in Boston that is one of my happy places. Grab a seat anywhere and watch the sun sparkle on the water or see the waves crashing on the rocks. It also a very active place where people go to walk, jog or do water sports. 

Calm. It is a feeling hard to come by sometimes. But I've learned over time that basically in life you sometimes have to just "Let it Be" because there are times many in fact where you can't change an outcome. 

I hope you find your happy place!

Happy Travels~

Saturday, June 14, 2014


Welcome to Barcelona!

Sweating in the sweet summer sun that was Barcelona. We stepped off the plane and there we were in a whole new country. My first time completely over the Atlantic. I loved reading the spanish signs trying to see if my seven years of spanish did me any good, and I actually was pleasantly surprised to have remembered quite a few things. But so many things were new to me...
  • Everything and I mean everything is pretty much closed on Sundays and holidays (we were lucky enough to be there on both a Sunday and a holiday.
  • The euro has a lot of coins for whole dollars
  • Barcelona had quite an array of different nationalities in their city (which was great!)
  • Everyone is up late (I knew this but was strike by how many people were out in cafe's at 10pm on weeknight)

Our hotel was right next to Las Ramblas as seen in the picture above. I loved throwing open the shutters to see the people walking down below. Maybe it is because it seems in America the hotel windows never seem to be allowed to be open especially in the city. Maybe jet lag won't affect you but I was certainly feeling it. Many of my friends and I had a tough first afternoon after being up for almost 24 hours.

Living Out Loud

Right around the Corner

Do you ever feel like you aren't sure what you're suppose to be doing? There is the twenty-something's which appear to tell you to live it up and be free before responsibility takes over. I'm not sure about you but I feel like I always had something I needed to be responsible for. I do think there is something to be said for starting to travel early, there is so much to see in the world. I think I also wasn't comfortable going out into the world alone, but after I grew up and experienced things I felt more comfortable being on my own. Not having to wait for others to do things with me. 

Around the corner is the inevitable "turning 30", I'm not afraid of it but more so looking at it with fresh eyes at least for now. I'm seeing this as a new chapter of my life to grab on to. I don't feel like I could ever indefinitely travel the world, but I love reading blogs about solo females that do. It all seems very much like an Indiana Jones adventure. I don't want to believe that it has to be all or nothing. Either you have to settle down or live a life outside the box. Why can't it be both? 

So instead of dwelling on what society thinks people should be doing, I say live out loud! Do something amazing! Travel, learn a language, join a sports league or completely move yourself to a new location. Step out of your comfort zone no matter how small. 

Looking ahead for my big year. I will be in my 3+ years working in healthcare and still enjoying it and lucky enough to have the time to pursue my other interests. I'm planning to spend next summer overseas and to brush up on my spanish.