The return of the wanderlust

Well, ya’ll, I am back. Where do I even start?

The trip was so amazing. Each city was so different and lovely that as hard as I try, I can’t even begin to pick a favorite. And trust me, since that is the question that everyone asks, I’ve definitely given it some thought.

Rick Steves. Is a travel God among us simple tourists. He walked us through the Vatican City, all of Rome, and nooks and crannies of Paris. He provided things to look at, to take note of and then let you know why what you were looking at was so amazing. We didn’t always follow him word for word, but it was great to have him in our pockets as a reference. We love him. Like really. We love him.

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Everything in Paris. The two main meals I had in Paris were both so perfect and so French. Going of the beaten path served us so well. One night we had dinner with a friend who lives in Paris and she brought us to a little place where the waitresses don’t speak very much English (i.e. not a tourist spot – a sign we looked for throughout the trip for good food) – it was entirely perfect. The other night we just followed our hearts off main road and found this small little alley way with super small French restaurants. Both meals were so delicious! It’s also important to note that macaroons were just as delicious and classy as I dreamed they would be. I also died over the Pompidou Museum. It’s the Modern Art museum in Paris and it was so sick. The museum itself was artwork. OH and the lover’s locks. I’m a sucker for a lover’s lock. Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 12.45.59 PM Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 12.46.22 PM Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 12.46.38 PM Screen shot 2013-04-05 at 12.46.52 PM

Friends in Sevilla. First off, I got my wallet stollen in Sevilla. That’s literally all I’m going to say about that because I’m trying to pretend it didn’t happen. On a positive note, this is where my best friend lives. We all hung out, ate, drank and danced with her friends. I can’t even express how much I enjoyed this. They were all so nice and friendly..not that Dallas doesn’t have some great people but I noticed in my travels that people who live abroad are so much more open to meeting people and making new friends. We had group dinners and lunches involving a ton of tapas to share.

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That one night in Roma. One night in Rome we camped out on the Spanish Steps and a modpodge of a meal of baguette, brei, jamon, Prosecco, and a few other European sides. We just hung out for a while people watching, reading Rick Steves (our savior) info on the steps and getting a happy Prosecco buzz going. Afterwards we met up with a group of Italian grad student men and we all bonded over a mutual interest in hanging out. So with Italians in tow, we wandered to the almost deserted Trevi Fountain around midnight and mosied the streets of Rome until the wee hours of the morning. There’s nothing like seeing iconic historical sights in the middle of the night with no one around. It was simply magical.

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Fairytale land in Prague. Prague looks like you stepped into Anastasia. No joke. The cobblestone roads, the castle in the background, stunning bridges – oh and shots of liquor that greeted us at our hostel. We really took it easy in Prague. We went on a brief free walking tour, the notorious tourst dance club, and really just kinda existed in Prague for a few days. It was  a great break from the busyness of Rome and the busyness that was to come in Berlin. Many say that Prague is a tourist spot, and I don’t disagree. But I had some amazing food, fun, and delicious hot wine so I’m not complaining.

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Berlin living. By the time we got to Berlin, we were pretty exhausted and pretty jaded. We had trouble mustering the strength to even step foot in one of the hundreds of museums and couldn’t read another word from Rick. Luckily our hostel was another wicked amazing choice and we attended a free guided tour. It ended up taking us to all the major sights and even gave us a great breakdown of Berlin history (including book recommendations – how divine!). It wasn’t till a long run I went on my last day that Berlin really won me over. I’ve come to the conclusion that, among the cities we visited, this is the city I can most see myself living in. I’d love to live amongst the street art, the history, the beauty and most importantly the making of history that is happening right now in the reconstruction of the city. (PS. Is anyone else aware they are tearing down the East Side Gallery? I’m upset. Where do I write my letter of complaint?)

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So that’s just a brief summary of some of the things that I loved on my travels. It was a complete exhausting, eye opening, amazing trip that is totally worth the credit card debt and lack of vacation days. My wonderlust yearning has subsided for now, but that is likely due to the issues getting new credit cards, my slight credit card debt and the mound of laundry I have yet to look at. Plus, it was a dream come true to reunite with my soul sista best friend after all this time!

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