And That’s a Wrap

Wow. Thailand’s beauty was absolutely incredible. The best part of Thailand was the fact that I fully got an authentic experience and grew an understanding of the drastically different culture. Not only is the country beautiful but it is also incredibly peaceful and the people are so welcoming. Despite having a language barrier I really felt welcome and comfortable there. 
Some highlights of the trip include experiencing a Thai fusion meal cooked by one of the best chefs, going to a Thai beer garden, going to he markets to experience the culture, visiting the magnificent temples, expanding my palate by trying new foods (including duck beak), and visiting up North to get a real taste of the beautiful nature of Thailand. 

​​​
Wow, how truly blessed I am for the incredible journey I just took. Experiencing so many beautiful places with varying cultures really opened my eyes to the tremendous diversity this world has. 
Not only did this experience enrich my views and respect of other culture but it really allowed me to reflect and be thankful for my own. 
I want to thank everyone who made this dream a reality! I have the best family and friends in the world and I am so thankful. 
Anais, this was absolutely amazing and there is not other person I’d want to have taken this journey with. Thank you for giving me such an amazing taste of your cultures. Your family truly made me feel like family and I am so grateful. 
Missy and Aunt Kathy, thank you so much for making the first part of my journey so incredible. I really couldn’t have asked for a better start. I love you guys and I loved how we got to explore our ancestors home together. 
What a journey it has been. This was my first time going overseas like this, but I can certainly tell you it won’t be my last. I truly understand the meaning of wanderlust. It’s been real!

Advertisements

Vatican City 

Hey everyone! So sorry for the delay the jet lag has been unreal and every free moment I’ve had has been resting. 

So Day 3 of beautiful Roma! What a special day this was for me. After going to Catholic school for 12 years of my life I decided that it was a must to visit the most Catholic location in the world, Vatican City. 

We booked an early morning Vatican tour to ensure we would be able to see everything despite the crowds. Before we set off on our tour we indulged in a cappuccino and Italian pastries. I can honestly say that I can never drink American coffee the same. Cappuccinos in Italy are truly life changing. 

We had an amazing tour guide who really enriched us with the history. The beauty of the Vatican is life changing. My favorite part was the hallways leading up to the Sistine Capel and St. Peter’s Basilica. It was like a build up to even more beauty. 



I was extremely surprised at how small the Sistine Chapel was. My whole life I have envisioned it to be this large room! St. Peter’s was so intricate and honestly majestic. And yes of course I touched the feet for good luck!! 



The most important and satisfying part of this was that I was able to offer prayers for my family and friends in the place I have always dreamed of going. We followed the trip by enjoying paninis!

 

Later that day, after relaxing and taking some time to decompress, we decided that it was about time to eat some amazing gelato. This was the best thing I have eaten on the entire trip. 


I will never eat ice cream the same. Nothing will compare. 

We also spent some time walking around and exploring the city a bit more. We found the most adorable streets on our walk home. I definitely wouldn’t mind living here. 

Lastly, we made our way to a more contemporary Italian restaurant. It was delicious. It was absolutely packed with a mix of younger people as well as older Italians. We knew it had to be good!! 

So grateful for this day and to be in such a beautiful place! Stay in tune for more of our travels!!!

Barca!!!! 

Hola!!!!! 
What a day! Anais and I started off our day by having an amazing breakfast at Brunch & Cake. 


We then made our way to Sagrada Familia to take a tour and learn about some Spanish history. Anais and I have determined that Gaudi is our absolute favorite artist. The beauty of this cathedral cannot be articulated into words. The intricate details that were put into creating and building it are incredible. I have no idea how someone could design and build something like this. 


​After we made our way to Guell Park which was my favorite place in Barcelona. It was gorgeous and we found something unique around every corner. We even made a friend (a very cute dog) who followed us for quite some time. I was quite sad when we had to go our separate ways. 

​​
​We decided to make our way to a little sandwhich shop called Bo Do B after to grab a late lunch. This place is the talk of the town and everyone we know who has been to Barcelona recommended that we get it. It did not disappoint. 


Lastly, we made our to the beach to relax after walking around all day. This experience was absolutely amazing. After being asked to join a beach volleyball game we made friends with a group from Argentina, Barcelona and northern France. The most interesting part of this interaction was that we all spoke very little of each other’s language. We had the absolute best time with each other despite the language barrier. Such a cool traveling experience. 


We finished the day by eating some delicious traditional Spanish paella! Barcelona you are beautiful. 

AMAZING Paris

Well today I finally realized that I am indeed a fan girl. Despite being extremely jet lagged, Anais motivated me to push through. First stop of the day was the iconic Eiffel Tower. Holy smokes….. I was excited to see it. It was one of those things I’ve always seen in movies but could never actually picture myself being in the presence of. 

It was my turn to motivate Anais. Despite being afraid of heights I convinced her to make the journey up the Eiffel Tower. I really don’t want to jinx myself here but the weather on this trip has been incredible. It was almost as if the Eiffel Tower was showing off for us.

 Look at this photo and you be the judge. 


After the Eiffel Tower, we went to grab a crepe! I had to have one before I left and it was “delicious” as my mom would say. 


Next, Anais’ sister Natacha made a plan for us to go to an “escape the room” type of activity at the Lock Academy in Paris. Being extremely competitive people Anais and I decided that is we did not solve the crime the rest of the day would be ruined. Thanks to our brilliant minds we were able to solve the mystery and enjoy the rest of our day. 


We then made our way over to the Louvre because it was absolutely necessary for me to see all this hype about that lady Mona Lisa. It was very cool to be in her presence but I was very shocked at how small the painting actually was. Trying to get to the front of the large group was not an easy task. I was almost taken out. Thanks to Anais’ moms encouragement to push through, I made it. The artwork and design on the Louvre itself was extraordinary. 


We then decided to do some shopping. Sorry Mom and dad, I did some damage. When in Rome, I mean Paris. The shopping here is just too good to resist. 

To conclude the night, Anais, Natacha, and their mom and I made our way to have an authentic French meal. This completely blew me away. Natacha noted that it was so funny how intrigued and excited I am over everything. Like I said I’m a massive fan girl. It was traditional food from a region in France near the Alpes called La Savoie. Since people live in the montains and it gets really cold, the food is particularly heavy. The meal consisted of a lot of cheese, potatoes and meat. We accompanied the meal with a French Cider. 

​​
​What a way to end my trip to Paris. It was AMAZING (sorry guys it’s an inside joke)!!! 

Now off to Barcelona!!!!!!

Kids at Heart ❤️

Sunday was a huge throwback to childhood, or more like the 19th century. 

After picking up Michelle at the airport, we went to this most Amazing private museum called “Musée des Arts Forains.” Translation: Museum of Fairground art. It was absolutely mind blowing. I felt like I was traveling to ‪Alice in Wonderland‬. 

There was all kind of objects, decorations, attractions, and games. There was a totalof 3 rooms, each included a game room and a ball room. Words cannot describe how beautiful and absurd the decor was. We saw it all from unicorns to Thomas Jefferson and carousels.


The best part was that we even got to play and participate in some of the antique games. One of them was a horse race game, which represented the Venice horse race – The Palio di Siena. It is a race with no rules. The goal is to come in first and not second. Each horse represent a neighborhood, and the horse than came is second was considered the looser and had to pay for food and drink to everyone.


We all played, as competitive as we are, you can imagine it was intense. I actually came it first, I knew I should have played a different sport, roll a ball horse race is my calling. And guess who came in second? MY MOM!! We made sure she got us rounds of food and drinks, don’t worry. Rules are rules.

In addition to hoping on two authentic carousels, we got to go on this most amazing 100% mechanical bicycle carousel. We all had to pedal at the same time to make the platform turn. It was so much fun, and we were going pretty fast. I couldn’t keep up. 


It was simply a fun and dreamy place, I loved it.
After a 2 hours visit, we unfortunately had to wake up from this dream. We walked along La Seine river to arrive at the famous Cathedral de Notre Dame. I forgot how big and beautiful is it. The details are incredible. We didn’t stay for too long and our exhaustion made us quickly want to go home. We did make a quick stop at a Jewish factory and “Snacked” on some Latkes, and spinach quiche… it was yummy.


Finally, to end the night, my sister’s friend Brandon managed to convince my mom and us to go out for a drink. We randomly went to this cute bar/restaurant called “Mermaids and Divers.” It was all decorated with wood and ropes. Felt just as if we were on a boat. Had some delicious cocktails, fries and other snacks. By the end of the night, we were absolutely pooped and went home to sleep. It was a great day. 

Un jour ordinaire à Paris

Yesterday was a fun chill day. We made plans to go for a run at “Jardin du Luxembourg” in the morning. It was gorgeous and the weather was great too. Perfect running weather. The park had everything – seating areas, community gardens, tennis courts, basketball courts and even ponies. I would not have minded doing 4 years of conditioning in a park like this. Definitely very motivating. I did only run 2 laps before wanting to stop every 2 minutes to take a picture. 

We then met up with my sister and my mom, who of course, were doing some shopping 🙂 (not judging) and went to lunch a this cute Italian place. 

Later in the evening/early night, we went to grab what French people call “apéro” at a cafe/restaurant called “Les Tanneurs”. Un Apéro is basically snaking and drinking before dinner. Well, ours turned into many drinks, with my mom constantly ordering a new drink for me, and 2 plates of tapas. It was delicious. It was good to sit a table and spend time with the family. We talked a lot and it made me realize that sometimes it’s very hard to live far away from them. As close as we are, the distance does make it harder to understand each other’s life, and how much we’ve changed over the years. 

To end the night, I, of course went out to meet up with my friend Marie in a bar call “Chez Bouboule”. The bar was small and funny. They had a pétanque (a French sport where you play on sand and the goal is to throw a heavy metal ball closest possible to a smaller one). I had a great time and met awesome people. 

I’m now on my way to the airport to meet up with Meesh, who’s landing soon. I cannot wait to see her and continue our adventure together!!

Goodbye Ireland 

Well I have officially completed my final day in Ireland. What an experience it has been! I cannot express how thankful I am that both my cousin Missy and Aunt Kathy have made this journey such a great one. I have been able to see so much this past week and I am so grateful. Leaving Ireland is so bittersweet especially when I’m leaving behind Missy and my new little sisters. 
I had a feeling this last day would be a good one when I walked out of my room to find this…. 

I’ve had this weird connection with butterflies the past year so seeing this extraordinary one really hit me. When we showed the owner of the bed and breakfast she claimed that she had never seen a butterfly quite like this in Ireland. This truly warmed my heart, I believe that my Irish ancestors were looking down on me.  
I also knew it was gonna be a lucky day when this happen… 

We spent the final day exploring the Cliffs of Moher, feeding some local animals and visiting a surfing village. It is so incredible how I have experienced something unique each day I have been here. This country has endless beauty. 


Despite the incredible views, the highlight of my day was budging infront of little kids to hold a 7 day old rabbit and seeing a 2 day old pony. 

​​
This goat even stuck his tongue out for my selfie! 

Missy thank you for showing me around your home. I cannot thank you and Aunt Kathy enough for your generosity. There was never a dull moment and never a time where we didn’t have fun. To my girls, you guys are everything and leaving you is so hard. I love all of you guys so much. 

Learning about one of my homelands was one of the most fulfilling experiences I’ve had thus far. I don’t think I could possibly put into words what this past week has meant to me. Ireland I love you with all my heart and I will be back. 


I mean how cliche is this?!?!

Pit Stop to Doolin

The past two days have brought even more incredible experiences. One of the most special aspects of this trip is that I get to experience both the local way of life with Missy, as well as the tourist way by visiting all of the popular sites. Thursday morning we spent time relaxing at home and spending some much needed family time.  
I spent a lot of time with my new 4-legged bestfriend Zoe…. 


We then went to Kyra’s play at her school which was absolutely adorable. She is by far the best one!! Next we took a ride out West to get a little taste of Doolin. Someone was very sleepy in the car. 

​​​
Despite being a 3 hour car ride, it flew by considering the beautiful sea of green we were surrounded by. We are staying at the cutest bed and breakfast at Doolin and have some furry neighbors: cows and beans the dog. 

​​​

Not to mention the food here is absolutely incredible. 
After settling in the B&B we decided to chill out for a bit and of course have some ice cream and beer while we listened to traditional Irish music!! 

​​​

Friday was another amazing day filled with learning about the local culture of the Aren Islands. To start off we had the most unforgettable ferry ride. 

​​​
​​
The Aran island’s scenery was absolutely breath taking and the history was even better. These people live such a simple and happy lifestyle. 

​​

​​​​
​​​​
Favorite part of the day was when a local man played the guitar while Kyra Irish danced. 

​​​
​​

Howth Stole My Heart

Another amazing day in Ireland. I cannot stand talking to people here because the more I talk to them the more I never want to leave. I am truly amazed by how incredibly nice these people are. 
Fist stop today was the most adorable little coffee shop. Best scone I have ever come in contact with. The coffee is strong but it puts American coffee to shame. 


We then attended “sports day” also know as field day “in the states”. It was so cute to see how intense these kids were. It was even funnier to see how intense the parents were. Not gonna lie, I got pretty into it as well. The lack of competition made me very eager to compete and really came out as I cheered for Kyra. Favorite event hands down was tug of war.


Mom…. they have Mister Softee here…..
Next we made our way over to Howth. This town was adorable and my favorite part of Ireland so far. We ate at a seafood place where I had my first fish and chips! 


We decided to go on a spontaneous boat ride on a small wooden fishing boat. It was the best decision of the day. The beauty of Howth is unreal. 


Oh also happy my family could make it!!