August 2011 archive

London’s Top Pubs

England’s public houses have been a part of the country for centuries. Some of the oldest have a rich history, dating back to the tenth century! Thinking of a London without pubs is like trying to imagine Barcelona without tapas bars, Athens without tavernas or Rome without enotecas. For purely cultural and historic reasons, a visit to several pubs while in London is absolutely necessary. We’ve picked the best of around 7,000 in the city but this is by no means an exhaustive list. If you run out of time to visit as many as you would like, you’ll just have to return to London. The great news is that with multi trip travel insurance it won’t cost you the earth in travel insurance if you make the trip a few of times in a year!

Princess Louise, Holborn
For an authentic Victorian London experience, a drink in the Princess Louise is a must. The interior – think etched glass, beautiful tiles, bar lamps, wood paneling and lots of mahogany and brass – is so well preserved that even the toilets are listed (although sadly only for the gents). Its brewery is the excellent Sam Smith’s, another English institution which keeps its beers reasonably priced despite how bad the recession.

Greenwich Union, Greenwich
Pubs pack tourist-central Greenwich (a World Heritage Site thanks to being the home of Greenwich Mean Time and the Meridian Line) but wander up pretty wisteria-clad Royal Hill and you’ll find a relaxed pub filled with young locals. Try a pint of chocolate beer from the Meantime Brewery and, if it’s nice, sit out in the sunny beer garden.

The Earl Ferrers, Streatham
As well as some superb real ale, this tiny local pub offers some top-class wines and a menu that will be hard to pass up. A gigantic antipasto platter for two, traditional Sunday roast and rhubarb and ginger syllabub? Yes please! It’s also a great place to come for a late breakfast/early lunch – brunch gets its own menu – and it has a large cocktail menu. What more could you want?

The Mayflower, Rotherhithe
For a real sense of history, have a drink in this pub on the banks of the River Thames. In 1620 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail for America in their very own Mayflower from the nearby landing steps. Then called the Shippe, the current Mayflower stands on the same site, though in a building that dates from the 18th century. With oak beams and wooden paneling, it is a wonderfully traditional English pub with a great link to history and fantastic views of the Thames to boot.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post

My Travel Itinerary (So Far)

DRUMROLL PLEASE!

The moment has arrived. Johnny and I have finalized our travel plans (so far). We managed to narrow it down to 5 countries; sadly Greece didn’t make the cut because the plane tickets from Athens were insanely expensive. I’m proud of Johnny and I for making compromises, for working together as a team and not losing it during this whole process. There were plenty of times I just wanted to scream, especially when trying to find an apartment in Paris (more on this later). But I’ve held it together. Thank God for wine.

I mentioned it in my post on Friday just how crazy planning a trip like this is. There’s so much to think about. I’m the type that has to have everything planned, all our accommodations booked, our plane tickets ready. Thank goodness I’ve got all of that major stuff out of the way. I’ve already printed out all of our confirmations and organized it in a folder according to date. It’s all slowly starting to become real now. Insanity!

So, on November 15, Johnny and I have a one way ticket leaving Los Angeles to London. We arrive in London November 16. From there:

Rome.
Paris. (for a month and a half! eeeeeeeeee!!)
Venice.
Barcelona.
Lisbon.
Madeira, Portugal (one of my dream destinations!)
Porto.

I’ll be in Paris for my birthday, Christmas and New Years! I seriously cannot deal with the fact that I’m going to be in Paris for the holidays. It’s a complete dream come true.

After Porto, we’re debating on heading on over to the lovely Bangkok, Thailand. We’ve been monitoring tickets and it’s actually cheaper to go to Thailand for a month (ticket, food, accommodations included) than to fly back to LA or Buenos Aires. At this point it’s almost silly to not go. Johnny’s secretly been looking at Muay Thai camps to go to, and I’ve been fantasizing about beach bungalows. After spending winter in Europe, I’m already dreaming of heading to warmer weather.

I think it’s funny after all of this time I’ll probably end up going to Thailand after all. Life works in mysterious ways.

I can’t believe this is happening. Each time I printed a ticket confirmation, it was a testament to how truly blessed I am. I’m finally following my dreams. And I’m not doing it alone. I’ve realized just how lucky I am to have a boyfriend who not only supports me, but actually shares the same dreams that I do. It’s going to be incredible to experience all of this with him. After 5 1/2 years of being together, I’m looking forward to really taking our relationship in a completely different direction.

I couldn’t ask for a better life right now.

Lusting Over Travel Accessories + Updates

While planning my trip, I’ve also been taking breaks to find travel accessories I must get my hands on before I leave. I’ve been steady bookmarking items on Etsy, mostly because Etsy is the best thing to ever happen to the world, but also because I love the idea of having something handmade with love.

1. Leather travel backpack

I’ve realized that I’m going to need a backpack. I just cannot imagine having to roll my giant suitcase across Europe over cobblestone streets. But you know me…I don’t want just any normal backpack. I’m imagining a huge leather one like the one I found Etsy…or maybe a vintage military style backpack with leather embellishments. I have my eyes the one above (you can fnd it here), but it’s just not big enough. Maybe I’ll put in a special request ;).

2. Vintage Style Travel Journal

I obviously plan on blogging while on my trip, but since I can’t lug my laptop with me everywhere, I plan on carrying a journal with my to capture my most awesome moments. One look at this journal on etsy and I completely fell in love. Charms? Vintage style envelope inserts? Stamped luggage tags? Just give them my debit card now!

3. Personalized leather luggage tags and passport holder

I kind of don’t care what I have to do to own these two items, but I will have them. How incredibly luxe and beautiful! I love the small details on the luggage tags: the gold buckle, the hand stitching, the color of the leather, just EVERYTHING. The passport case is just as awesome. If you haven’t noticed by now, I’m slightly obsessed with leather. Give me leather everything!

4. Sleep Mask


I don’t know about you, but there is one thing I absolutely cannot travel without  and that’s a sleep mask. I’m the kind of person that has to have complete darkness to sleep. Airports, hotels, hostels, bus rides, train rides… sleep masks are essential for getting a rest anywhere. Of course, I love anything super glam, and this boudoir style sleep mask is just the thing I need. It also comes in handy when I might need a blindfold. Bowchikawowow!

These are just a few of the things I’ve been lusting over in between almost driving myself crazy planning this trip. I always thought trip planning would be easy and fun…and while it’s been fun (in between the moments of hot mess craziness), it’s definitely hasn’t been easy. The element of having a boyfriend traveling with me adds a whole different perspective. Making decisions together, trying to decide what apartment to rent, what time our flights should leave, how long in each country. It’s daunting. But I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world.

We’ve finally finalized our European leg of the trip (so far). On Monday I’ll announce our official itinerary. Now we’re basically just trying to figure out where to go from there. Bangkok? Costa Rica? Buenos Aires? The possibilities are endless!

100 Posts Later

Thank You.

Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart.

It all started December 30, 2010, with my first post. I bought this domain about a month prior, but could never find the words to start. I was afraid. Afraid of the unknown. Afraid that people would be mean or malicious. Afraid that I wouldn’t be able to keep up with it. Then one faithful day in December, I just said fuck it. I started writing and I haven’t looked back since.

I started writing as an outlet for my depression and anxiety. I really had no idea it would turn into…this. Into actually writing 100 posts. Into fulfilling my dreams. Into meeting incredibly amazing people from all over the world. Into buying a one way ticket to London. It’s all still a little overwhelming at times. But I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

I remember pressing ‘publish’ for my first blog post. I remember when I got my first blog comment. I remember when I first got 20 unique views in a day. Johnny and I popped open a bottle of champagne and celebrated. But it wasn’t about the numbers. It was about overcoming my fear and doing something positive for myself. This blog was born from the deepest, grayest parts of my depression. Looking back on my life a mere 9 months ago, it’s almost as if I am a completely different person now. And I guess in a few ways I am.

I have my life back.

And I’ve grown.

I’ve laughed.

I’ve cried.

I’ve overcome.

I’ve come so far. I’ve become a woman who isn’t afraid. Who isn’t scared of taking chances. Who isn’t depressed. And it’s been with the help of all of you who read. Those who comment. Those you write me on twitter, like my FB page, send me emails. You’ve made this journey so much more meaningful. Some of you say I’ve touched you, inspired you…but really it’s the other way around. I wouldn’t have been able to keep going with all of this if it wasn’t for your support, your laughs, your words of encouragement.  Just when I thought I couldn’t do it anymore, I’d get an email or a tweet from someone that made everything worthwhile. Thank you.

I’m just a 24 year old girl named Sheryll that lives in LA and loves tequila, shoes, drag queens and booty dancing. Thank you for allowing me to share my story with you. Thank you for allowing me to be completely open and candid. You’re all now a huge part of my life, my journey, my growth. And for that, I cannot thank you enough.

I hope you’ll continue to hang with me through another 100 posts. There are many more stories to be told…and the most exciting one hasn’t even started.

85 days.

That’s Amore – The Top 5 Most Romantic Places in Rome

We take a break from our regularly scheduled programming to bring you a word from our sponsors.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

It is impossible not to fall in love with the Eternal City, and just as impossible not to fall in love while there. Rome has got to be one of the most romantic places on earth – the views, the architecture, the food, the wine, and of course the hotels in Rome, are all made for lovers. Here’s a shortlist of our favorite romantic spots in the city of love.

View – Gianicolo
While overlooking the Pantheon, you see the monument to Vittorio Emanuele in Piazza Venezia and many other top sights. The stunning vista that unfolds as you walk up this hill is simply breath-taking. Ancient Rome in all its glory lies before you and if that doesn’t fill you with love, you may just be a lost cause.

Park – Pincio Gardens
Historically a place to stroll, to see and be seen, Pincio Gardens on the western edge of Villa Borghese (Rome’s central park) offers lots of hand-holding, wandering potential. You can stroll past marble busts of Italian heroes and artists, walk beside ancient walls with sweet-smelling flowers and wander along a balustrade terrace which is a perfect setting to watch the sun set over the city.

Restaurant – Sapori del Lord Byron
Apart from the fact that it serves some of the finest Italian cuisine in the city, the Sapori del Lord Byron is possibly the most romantic restaurant in the world. Located in the Hotel Lord Byron, a stunning art deco villa on a quiet hilltop, it sits amidst regal townhouses on the edge of the Villa Borghese. Filled with huge displays of fresh flowers and with a classically elegant décor, this restaurant is made for long conversations while staring into each others eyes over a candlelit table.

Hotel – San Anselmo
A seductive hideaway on Aventine Hill, this romantic retreat is far enough away from the bustling center to feel removed from it all, yet close enough to wander past parks, villas and fabulous views to reach the main sights in no time at all. With four-poster beds, jacuzzi baths and private balconies, it would be dangerously easy to shut yourself away in your room throughout your stay. The terrace and garden areas offer an oasis of calm, just the way to start your day over a café and pastry or to end with a chilled glass of Prosecco.

Bar – Caffè della Pace
Walls trailing with ivy, a 1920s jazz bar styled interior, and vintage sofas tucked away in cosy nooks and crannies give Caffè della Pace a wonderfully romantic vibe. If the weather’s nice, sit on the outdoor terrace by the cobblestone street next to the gorgeous Donanto Bramante-designed 16th century cloister. Perfect for sharing a bottle of wine before or after dinner while engaging in a little tête-à-tête.

Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.

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