1. My Week in Pictures #5

    April 9, 2013




    I can’t believe all the traveling I’ve been doing lately! Sometimes it’s hard to believe that this has been my life for the past year. I’m headed back home in a week and a half and I’m torn– on the one hand, I can’t wait to see my family again, but I’m really going to miss Europe. My life is going to become far more boring, though!

    I went back to Amsterdam for the weekend and had the most wonderful time. It felt like I had never left. I really enjoyed showing my friend around, it definitely made me feel like a local. On Friday we wandered the city, popping in and out of boutiques and cafes. In the evening, we saw Wild Belle at Paradiso. They’re this really fun band from Chicago– I’m kind of obsessed with the girls voice.




    On Saturday, we headed outside of the city to visit Keukenhof, the tulip gardens. Unfortunately, not all of the fields were in bloom as this spring has been so cold, but I still had a lovely time looking at all the different types of tulips that were in the greenhouses. It was sunny out, so we spent ages wandering through the park and even made some friends at the petting zoo ;)

    It’s funny how different both Amsterdam and London are, but I love them each so much. London is so much more fast paced and busy, while the vibe in Amsterdam is so much more relaxed. But I wouldn’t trade my time in either place for anything.



  2. Easter in Edinburgh

    April 3, 2013





    I hope everyone had a lovely Easter! I headed to Edinburgh for the holiday weekend and had the most amazing time. The city itself was absolutely charming. I spent a couple of days just wandering the streets, poking my head into all the cute little boutiques around Grass Market, and climbing far more stairs than I can count. The architecture was stunning and the castle that overlooked the city made for an imposing skyline. We stayed at Garfield Guest House, a lovely B&B about a 10 minute drive outside the city center. The owner was so sweet and the Scottish breakfast they prepared for us was delicious. They even offered everyone some Haggis, which I respectfully declined ;)



    When a friend of mine told me that the cafe where JK Rowling wrote Harry Potter was in Edinburgh, I had to check it out. While the cafe was rather touristy and not as cosy as I had expected, it was fun to visit. And I had to try my hand at reading my tea leaves, of course. I was seeing an old lady walking with a cane– a good omen? Professor Trewlaney would be proud.

    My favorite part of the trip was definitely a tour of the Highlands that I took with Rabbies (my tour guide was Audrey & she was fantastic!). We headed off bright and early on Saturday for a 12 hour whirlwind tour of the countryside. I’m not normally one for bus rides, as I do get a touch motion sick, but I was so captivated by the scenery to mind. I loved getting to hear some Scottish history on the tour as well. Oh Robert the Bruce, such an interesting fellow! The landscape was so stark and awe-inspiring that I sometimes felt like I was on another planet. The vast distances we drove without seeing anybody else certainly added to this. The mountains were stunning, covered in heather that blooms purple in August and the lochs were so still and glassy that they were practically mirrors. Loch Ness was magnificent, I’m just disappointed that I didn’t get a shot of Nessie herself. Oh well, next time for sure!



    Where are you Nessie?




  3. Left my Heart in Montmartre

    March 27, 2013






    Is the title too cheesy? I just couldn’t help myself, I do love a good rhyme. I’ve just got a final few pictures from my weekend in Paris. I hope you’re not getting too tired of them (or of my hat! I swear I don’t wear it everyday, I just feel so much more myself with a chapeau). I think my favorite neighborhood in Paris has got to be Montmartre. It’s a bit out of the way from the heart of the Paris, at the top of a hill that offers the most amazing views of the city. Montmartre is the old artistic district of Paris, where Dali, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh all lived and worked for a while. It’s still populated by artists, and the main square is full of elderly painters sitting beside their art and caricaturists offering to sketch a quick portrait. Every turn offers up picturesque alleyways and charming cafes. I honestly could have spent all day wandering the streets. But I had one more stop to make in the Left Bank: Shakespeare & Company, my absolute favorite bookstore I’ve ever been to. The walls are covered with books and the floor is cluttered with overstuffed armchairs, inviting you to stay and read for a while. A dream of mine is to live and work in Shakespeare & Company at some point, as they let artists and writers sleep in the attic in exchange for working at the register.




  4. My Week in Pictures #3

    March 24, 2013




    I turned 21 earlier this week! Ahh, I feel so old! It’s hard to believe I’m officially an adult, I certainly don’t feel like it. I had the most lovely day– after waking up nice and late, I opened the package I had gotten from my family. My mom had scoured the vintage stores in Hawaii and sent me a bunch of earrings– she knows me so well! That afternoon, my friends treated me to tea at the Laduree at Harrods. We were the ridiculous group of girls artfully arranging our desserts to get pictures! And in the evening, I went to see The Phantom of the Opera with a friend from school. It was ridiculously cheesy, but so much fun. I haven’t seen the movie in ages and had forgotten how bizarre the story is. My 13 year old self somehow thought that the Phantom was the ideal man. While I now realize how creepy he actually is, I feel like this explains so much about my taste in guys…

    On Saturday, I went on a little daytrip to Wales with a couple of friends. We had planned this ages ago, thinking that Wales would be lovely in the springtime. Unfortunately, we woke up to a layer of snow covering the ground and gusting wind! Nevertheless, we had a lovely time. The highlight of the trip was definitely visiting the ruins of Tintern Abbey. They were just so magical. I couldn’t help but come up with an idea for a photoshoot, it would make such a gorgeous background for something very 1800s via 1930s mysticism. Too many ideas and not enough time!


  5. Prancing through Paris

    March 21, 2013




    I’m still in a daze from last weekend in Paris. I had such a lovely time– it’s hard to believe that a city like that can exist. Wandering through the Tuileries and window shopping on the Champs-Elysees, I truly felt like I was in a movie. It didn’t help that I watched as many films set in Paris as I could get a hold of before I left! When I packed my suitcase on Thursday night, I was on a sixties movie kick, so I must say, my clothing choices were rather inspired by Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face. Hopefully I managed to convey a bit of Audrey and not merely a foreigner trying to look as stereotypically French as possible! At least I didn’t wear a beret ;-)

    My friend and I took the eurostar from London first thing Friday morning. It was quite an ordeal, actually! I had gotten so used to flitting about between countries without problems while in Amsterdam last semester that I forgot how long going through security can take. We just had time to grab a coffee to keep us going and hopped on the train. Two and a half hours later and we were in Paris! After settling in to our hostel (we stayed at St. Christopher’s Inn– I’d definitely recommend it!), we went out to explore the city. Since the sun was shining, we decided to head straight to the Eiffel tower. I always contemplate going up it, but never manage to work up the courage. Some day! From there, we walked up to the Arc de Triomphe, along the Champs-Elysees, and through the Tuileries. I absolutely adore the Tuileries, the gardens feel so quintessentially french with children sailing toy boats in fountains and elderly couples sipping coffee among the trees. Had it been a bit warmer, I would have gladly people watched there all day. But, as always, the weather had other plans for me! To warm up a bit, we headed onwards to the Louvre. I had always been told that it was a massive museum, but had never realized how large it actually is. I’m a pretty hardcore museum goer, but even I had to quit early! We hit the main attractions on our abbreviated tour– the Mona Lisa was lovely, but so hard to actually see through the layers of glass and barricades. My favorite had to be the room full of Botticelli’s though. We had great plans for the evening, but we ended up back at the hostel and fell asleep the moment our heads touched the pillow!