Browsing Category Paris

2012: A Photo Essay


2013 is almost here! I started the year in Paris, and I’m ending it in Seoul. I wanted to share with you some never before seen photos from my travels this year. Featured will be Paris, Barcelona, Lisbon, Madeira, the US, China and Korea. I hope you enjoy! Here’s to 2013, and many more years of travel!

Continue Reading

My Three Favorite Travel Moments – The Travel Blogger Relay

If you didn’t now already, there’s a cool travel blogger relay race going on, hosted by LowCostHolidays. The general idea is that each blogger that is tagged in the relay blogs about their 3 Favorite Travel Moments. The lovely Audrey from That Backpacker passed me the baton, and I’m officially part of Team Green, headed by my favorite people at Over Yonderlust.

The wonderful thing about this post is that it gave me the chance to revisit my European travels from this past year. After I came back from Europe, everything was full speed ahead for my move to Korea, so I feel like I never really got to sit and process everything that happened. I’m thankful to be able to relive the memories and share with you today!

Conquering my fear of heights in Madeira, Portugal

I am deathly afraid of heights. I hate them. I frequently have ruined others travel plans by refusing to go on top/inside/near tall buildings (Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, etc). When Johnny and I went to Madeira, Portugal, we decided to take a trip to the beach near our apartment. Looking over the gorgeous cliffs and down to the crystal clear blue water, I felt a pang of dread.

We were high up. REALLY high up. TOO high up. Huge gusts of wind threatened to knock me off balance and send me tumbling down the mountain to my untimely death (overdramatic much?) When Johnny suggested that we take a CABLE CAR down the mountain, I looked at him like he was insane. There was no way in hell I was going to be in a little capsule, riding down a mountain with the wind blowing all crazy. Nope. No way. But as I watched the cable car slowly ascend up the mountain, something in me changed. I glanced down at the gorgeous, rocky, beach below me and took a deep breath. I was going to conquer my fear of heights once and for all.

So I did it. And I survived (even if I did freak out). And I was rewarded with the most gorgeous beach I’ve ever set foot on.

Ringing in the New Year in Paris

New Years Eve. Johnny and ran to our local Carrefour to grab some champagne, plastic champagne flutes, cheese, and sausage for our trek to the Eiffel Tower to ring in New Years Eve. The buzzing excitement was almost tangible. We made our way to the iconic landmark, gasping in awe at all of the Parisians (and tourists) who flocked to the champagne stands to buy their last minute bottles, or even opting to buy them from street vendors selling their bottles on thin, flannel, blankets. I marveled at the scene: Lovers making out, groups of stylish girls wearing giant 2012 glasses and taking pictures of themselves, children setting off sparklers. It was magical. Even though the weather was cold and rainy, it didn’t seem to stop anyone from the celebrations.

As the countdown began, I closed my eyes and remembered where I had come from. At that time the last year I was depressed, angry, fat, and miserable at my job. And now I was in Paris, celebrating the start of the New Year, new beginnings. At precisely midnight, the Eiffel Tower began to sparkle and twinkle. The crowds roared and I gave Johnny a huge kiss. As Johnny picked me up and twirled me, life was the best it had ever been.

Drinking Local Wine on the Canals of Venice

Venice is trés expensive. I’d been warned numerous times, but couldn’t imagine the prices once I got here. 1.50 Euro just to use the public bathroom! Yikes. But, as I used that expensive ass bathroom, a cute little wine shop caught my eye. Or more specifically, the sign that said”4 Euro 1L Local Wine!”, caught my eye. When a bottle of wine in a restaurant is running about 50EUR or more at the cheapest, you take advantage. To seal the deal, Johnny and I bought 2 pizzas from a local pizzaria and settled down to eat alongside on the canals. It was breathtaking. Although the weather was frigid (the coldest weather we’d experienced our entire time in Europe), being in the sun warmed us up instantly. It was surreal. Seeing the gondolas pass us by, watching the tourists try and get the perfect shot, drinking from a liter water bottle filled with wine…it was the perfect day. I just kept exclaiming to Johnny, “I CAN’T BELIEVE WE ARE DOING THIS!” It was the simplest moment, but sometimes the simplest moments are the best memories.

I now pass on the baton to the lovely Amanda from Farsickness. Can’t wait to read about your three favorite travel moments! Hell Yeah for Team Green!


A Little Bit of France in Seoul: Seorae Village

If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’d know that France (and more specifically, Paris), is EVERYTHING to me. Johnny and I still can’t stop talking about our time there. So we were pleasantly surprised (and shocked) to find out that there is actually a small French village in Seoul called Seorae Village. This weekend, Johnny and I ventured out of Yongin to check it out.

According to Wikipedia, Seorae Village is home to about 560 French people, or roughly 40% of the French population in Seoul. It’s located on top of a hill, so the village is appropriately nicknamed Montmartre.

Upon first glance, Seorae Village may not seem terribly French, but there are a few French wine bars, bakeries, restaurants and stores. Paris Croissant (not to be confused with Paris Baguette), is a French style bakery that serves pretty authentic French baguettes and pastries. I was told that the owner imports his flour from France, so it’s pretty legit! I even heard a few people speaking French, which was pretty fucking awesome.

Gotta love the Konglish!

Seorae Village is full of little markers letting you know you’re in the French village. Even the sidewalks are tri–color like the French flag!

Glorious, glorious cheese. In the land of basically NO cheese, I almost cried at the sight of brie, camembert, and even goat cheese! It’s obviously trés expensive, but I think I just may have to splurge one of these days.

There was even a Cajun restaurant!
Apparently many people are hesitant about the jambalaya.

Seorae Village is also home to the only French international school in Seoul.

After walking around for an hour or so, Johnny and I decided to stop inside one of the really cute themed cafes to rest our feet and get a drink. I’ll seriously never get over how adorable the cafes are here.

In the end, Johnny and I decided to go to the above cafe because it looked really cool. I was not disappointed!

My cherry limeade was to die for, especially on the unusually warm spring day on Saturday. They were also playing Karate Kid on the TV, so Johnny and I got sucked into the story line for a minute. It was such a lovely ending to a pretty awesome Saturday afternoon.

To get to Seorae Village, take line 3 to the Express Bus Terminal. Take Exit 5 out of the station (very important!) Once you’ve left the subway station, walk down a street (path) that looks like this….:

…towards the walking overpass. Once you near the overpass, you’ll see the big signs for Seorae Village to the left.

Seorae Village is pretty small, and is easily manageable to check out in a few hours. I highly recommend it, especially if you’re looking for a cheese, wine and baguette fix!


Shakespeare and Company Stole My Heart

*sigh* Oh Shakespeare and Company. What can I say about the bookstore that completely stole my heart?

So a little history. The first Shakespeare and Co. was opened in 1919 by Sylvia Beach and was frequented by many famous writers such as Ezra Pound, James Joyce, and Earnest Hemingway. It was closed in 1941 due to the German occupation of Paris and was never reopened. Then, in 1951, George Whitman opened a bookstore called Le Mistral, and in 1964 when Sylvia Beach passed away, he named his bookstore Shakespeare and Company in memorial of her famous bookstore. It’s now a badass English language bookstore, library, and sleeping quarters (13 beds apparently!), and it’s EVERYFUCKINGTHING.

I’m the biggest book nerd of life, I think I get giddy walking into a regular ol’ Barnes and Noble. But Shakespeare and Co.?! DREAMY. Think rows and rows of beautiful vintage books, a typewriter to write poems, old couches, exposed wooden beams, creaky floorboards, and just…charming. They only allow pictures upstairs in the ‘library’, but downstairs you can find all of the new books that are available for purchase. When you buy a book, they even put a stamp on the inside for you! It’s the best. place. ever.

Yup, Shakespeare and Co. is everything. It’s easily one of my favorite places in Paris, and that’s saying something. The library upstairs is super quiet, and perfect for settling in for a classic book. It’s across the river from Notre Dame, so if you’re in Paris…just go. If you’ve already been to Paris and gone to Shakespeare and Co., go again for me.

I seriously dream of Paris daily. That city changed both Johnny and I. I was talking to him last night on gchat and he is already trying to figure out how we can get there after our year in Korea. And hey, I’m not complaining!


9 Hours in Le Louvre

Yup, you read that right. Johnny and I spent 9 hours in Le Louvre (with a break for a long lunch and shopping in the Carrousel du Louvre). While Musée d’Orsay is still my favorite, no trip to Paris is complete without a trip to the most famous museum in the world.

And even if you only have a few hours to spend to see the famous things (Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, Winged Victory of Samothrace, the whole Egypt wing), make sure to see the Napoleon Apartments. Located in the Richelieu wing, it was hands down my favorite thing in the Louvre. I’m pretty sure Johnny and I spent an hour there alone, gawking at everything. It was breathtaking!