Posts Written On November 2011

Things I have Learned in the Past 2 Weeks

So, It’s been two weeks since I’ve started my European adventures, and it was been an AMAZING time. There’s so many times I have to take a minute and just sit and remind myself that I’m really doing this. Just tonight, as Johnny and I were walking home in Rome, he looked over to me and said:

“Hey…Sheryll. We’re in Rome, eating gelato on our walk home, and there’s a huge castle to our right. How is this our lives?” And I’d have to agree. It’s sort of crazy.

But as I’ve now been gone for 2 weeks, there are things I’m learning every single day, and I thought I’d share.

Bring Comfortable Underwear
Yeah. I said it. I’m traveling with Johnny, so I bought a bunch of really cute, lacy, underwear. Cute for the bedroom, but completely impractical for walking around for 9 hours. It rides up, the lace is itchy, etc. etc. Cotton boy shorts all the way from now on.

Don’t rely on your hostel’s/apartment’s/hotel’s directions
Yeah. When we got to Rome, we got on the wrong train (twice), and then we were going to get on a third wrong train before I saw the one we were finally supposed to be on. Then, the directions the owner of the apartment we were staying in were completely vague. As in, “the apartment is 200 meters from the train station”. Um….what? And yes, it’s my fault for not looking up directions myself and not having a map. So…don’t do what I did.

Learn a few key phrases in each language
This is a no brainer, but I saw so many other tourists that were just completely rude to people in Rome because they don’t speak English. Well of course they don’t speak fucking English, they’re Italian! So don’t be an asshole, learn how to say things like Thank You, Please, Excuse Me, Do you speak English?, Where is the bathroom?, numbers, etc. It’ll help a TON. Trust me.

Don’t Stick to the Schedule
Everyone has a different travel style. Some people make a schedule, and make sure to stick to it completely. I thought I would be that way when I came to Europe, but I’ve found that when you let yourself just wander, you end up finding the most awesome places ever. That’s just how I found the Basement Tea Room in Camden, and the best cannoli I’ve ever had in my entire life in Rome. Let life surprise you!

Looks can be deceiving....

Mexican Food Just Isn’t The Same
And yes, I know I’m in freaking Europe, so I’m not expecting the Mexican food here to be good, but damn. It’s actually somewhat tragic. And yes, I know there’s a million different types of food to try, but damnit… I miss tacos already. And it’s just not the same.

Always Know Where the Closest Laundry is Located
This is a BIGGIE for me. I’m pretty grossed out by dirty clothes, and I made sure to bring enough for 1 week without having to wear the same thing twice (except jeans). We were lucky in London to have a laundry right across the street from our apartment, but in Rome we had to walk about 1.5km to the closest one. You never want to be stuck on the day when you don’t have any clean clothes left, trying to google a place that’s open late nights (like I did). Find out the first day you get to your location. (Unless you’re lucky and the place you are staying as a laundry room…then ignore all of this.)

Wear the right shoes
So…those cute shoes I brought? I want to throw them in a river. I mean…they are comfortable, not I definitely did not bring shoes that I can use to see the ruins in Rome, or maybe hiking when I go to Madeira. I’m thinking I may have to go shopping in Paris for a pair of comfortable boots that are more multi-functional.

Johnny is Awesome (like…really awesome)
Traveling with Johnny has just been the most amazing experience. He and I have been getting along wonderfully (for the most part), and we actually work together great as a traveling team. He’s gotten along with all of the other awesome bloggers I’ve met, and he’s always there for a massage at the end of the night when my feet are about to fall off because they hurt so bad.

Life is seriously too short to be stressed. Enjoy that you are traveling, indulge in all the awesome food, and order dessert. Nine times out of 10, it’s always worth it. And when you get lost, know that everything will ALWAYS work out. Trust me.



Hidden Gems in London: The Basement Tea Room in Camden

Well, my computer still isn’t working, but I managed to upload all of my pictures to Johnny’s computer, so we are back in business! Still keep your fingers crossed that I can get my computer fixed in Paris!

So, Camden is hands down my favorite part of London. Cheap food, inexpensive clothes, awesome people…it was heaven for me.

Camden is full of unique little nooks and corners. Every turn you take, there was something new to see. Go down a set of stairs and you might find a vintage luggage boutique, or on the canal, a boat bookstore. The Basement Tea Room is no different.

To get to The Basement Tea room, you must first find the Camden Horse Stables. From there, find the set of stairs that go to the toilets, and then follow the signs. You’ll find a magical little vintage trove full of teas, cupcakes, cakes, and other treats.

While we were there, Johnny and I settled for a pot of tea, since we had already stuffed ourselves full of cheap Chinese and Mexican food (more on this later). It was only 2 pounds for an ADORABLE tea setting, and the ambiance to match. Harry, the owner, played Christmas music on an old piano while we sat and chatted. So. freaking. cute.

There’s also an awesome selection of books to choose from, as well as a vintage store that Harry owns as well. It was basically my heaven. If you’re ever in the London area and have a chance to go to Camden, visit The Basement Tea Room!

The Basement Tea Room doesn’t have an official website, but you can check out their Facebook page here.



A Quick Update

Hi Everyone!

Sorry for the lack of posts. My poor computer has crashed. AGAIN.

My¬† computer crashed before I left for Europe, and I bought a completely new hard drive. Everything seemed to be working perfectly until 2 nights ago when it started making a crazy whirring noise before completely freezing. I didn’t think anything about it, so I turned it off. When I turned it back on, the dreaded gray screen of death came up.

I tried to make Genius bar appointment while I’m here in Rome, but the Apple store is 18km away from where I’m staying, and the next appointment is on WEDNESDAY. So, I made an appointment first thing when I get to Paris on Thursday at the Louvre Apple store. (I also can’t believe there’s an Apple store in the Louvre).

So hold tight sweets. I’m trying to figure out how to upload pictures to Johnny’s computer, and we should be back in business.

In the meantime, I’m going to enjoy a coffee on the patio of my apartment in Rome, and try not to focus on the bad things (my computer), and focus on the fact I’m in the most beautiful city ever. Rome is incredible and I cannot wait to tell you all about it.

Thanks again for your patience!


A Stroll through Notting Hill and Portobello Market

London has been nothing short of amazing. I cannot believe the awesome weather we’ve had the whole time we’ve been here. It’s been sunny, bright, and gorgeous the entire time. No rain! It’s a miracle.

We’ve been spending our days walking around without any type of strict agenda, allowing the narrow streets to take us through the city. It’s amazing to just wake up, get dressed, and see where the day takes us. It’s the best way to travel in my opinion. I’m in awe of every little thing: the architecture, the way that bathrooms have full sized doors, the fact there is a pub pretty much on every street, and the amount of different languages you can hear on one corner. At night, after we’ve walked around all day, we usually settle into a cozy pub booth, beers in hand, and reflect over what we’ve seen that day. It’s just been awesome.

In a way, it feels like I haven’t really started traveling yet. Since I lived in London for almost 6 months, it kind of feels like I’m back home. I’m still finding places I’ve never been before though, like Notting Hill and Portobello Market.

But let me tell you, Johnny had to DRAG me out of Portobello Market. Stalls of gorgeous leather bags, antique keys, clocks, vintage books and paintings. My wallet and backpack are thanking me for not buying everything in sight. If you’re ever in London, Portobello Market is a MUST see! I could have seriously spent all day there. Just when you think there isn’t more to see, you turn a corner, and there are even MORE stalls. It was magic. If you love pretty vintage things, you have to go, ASAP. I’m already planning my trip back.