Home sweet home for the next 7 days?!?!! 20 of us will be relaxing and unwinding at this amazing Tuscan villa for Mama and Papa's 80th birthday celebration (aka the catalyst for our entire European adventure!)
5 July 2016
Our last stop on this portion of the trip was Venice and we were joined by the one and only Haley!! We had a fun 3 days here and I'm completely obsessed. No cars or bikes allowed on the islands, so the only way to get around is walking or by boat.....it has a Disneyland-esque feel to it 😍 We were typical tourists exploring St. Mark's Square, riding gondolas, exploring the narrow streets of the city and visiting the Murano Glass factory. Venice easily swooped up into the top of my favorite cities list!
3 July 2016
Our next city was Florence, but during our drive there we made a pit stop at a farm house in Chianti that makes their own wine and balsamic vinegar, as well as the most amazing meal EVER. There were 5 mini courses of homemade Italian food (all grandmas recipes!) and endless wine tastings. After about a bottle of wine each and eating ourselves silly, we eventually made it to Florence with enough time to stop in the Academia Gallery to see the original David by Michelangelo!
The next two days were spent museum-ing, climbing towers, eating and admiring Florence's beautiful architecture 😍
1 July 2016
Sorry, been having too much fun, as well as taking too many naps to keep up with social media lately! We finished up our time in Rome visiting St. Peter's Basilica, some beautiful churches, The Pantheon, Jewish Ghetto, Convento dei Frati Cappuccini (a crypt decorated with human bones 😝) and most importantly: celebrating Corndawg's 30th birthday!!
We all agreed Rome was amazing due to the incredible amount of ruins scattered throughout the city and history everywhere you look!
29 June 2016
We arrived in Rome and found some friends!!! We'll be traveling with my parents and grandparents (aka 70% of our Journi audience) for the next 10 days. We've been exploring Rome in the mornings, napping in the afternoons and eating A LOT in the evenings....its been perfect!
So far our main events have been viewing the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, Roman Forum, Vatican and about 5 different variations of Carbonara pasta 😋🍝
26 June 2016
Yesterday we arrived in our first Italian city: Milan! It's a big and beautiful city, which we only have a day and a half in, so we did our best to walk around and see as much as possible! Besides learning that Italy really does have the most amazing pizza and gelato, we also learned that shoulders and legs cannot be visible when visiting a church, which led to me wrapping up in our two travel sheets (which we keep in our day backpack for picnics) to cover what my tank top and shorts would not! Stylin 😎. Great start to Italy, which we'll be calling home for the next 3 weeks!
25 June 2016
We've spent the last 3 days in Interlaken, Switzerland and it has been absolutely amazing! The scenery is completely breathtaking.
We decided to up the adventure level (including staying in our 7 person dorm at a hostel, which ended up only being 7 mattresses squished together 😂....you can see Corey's sleeping neighbors in the last picture of the post), and we kayaked in Lake Brienz, white water rafted down the River Lutschine and went paragliding above Interlaken! The rafting was intense, but perfect for a hot day and the paragliding was completely peaceful....at least until they gave us a bit of a "roller coaster ride" on the way down 😉
When it was time to decompress from our day of adventures we took the funicular up Harder Kulm and ate some delicious cheese fondue at the top!
Interlaken has easily squeezed it's way up into both of our top cities list and was the perfect place to celebrate our 1 year first-date-iversary 😋😍
22 June 2016
We had a fun three nights in Strasbourg, France, a small cobblestoned town with the perfect mixture of German and French architecture! After exploring the extent of the city, we decided to take a day trip to Triberg, Germany to see Germany's largest waterfall. After a minor hiccup of getting off at the wrong train station (only a 50 minute delay 😜) we found the adorable town and beautiful waterfall!
19 June 2016
Yesterday we took a trip to a town called Heidelberg thanks to a recommendation from my friend, Katie! Heidelberg was absolutely picturesque from the castle on a hill to green mountains and the stereotypical German architecture. We went to the Heidelberg Castle for a few hours where we saw the world's largest wine cask 😍 and then walked around Heidelberg's many squares. After kebabs and gelato (our main food groups on this trip), we headed back to Frankfurt and walked around the old town a bit before heading back to our place!
17 June 2016
Soooo we ended our time in Munich by becoming hardcore German football fans (just kidding, we actually had no choice and the guy sitting next to us at the bar swiped the German flag on our cheeks with little warning 😜)!
On Friday we took the train to Nuremberg and were picked up at the train station by a college bestie of mine, Lauren, as well as her little girl, Ariana! We walked around Nuremberg for a little while, but decided to head out once the rain wouldn't give up.
What do you do on a rainy day? Go to the army base, duh. Once we were in it felt like we had stepped right back in the United States.....especially when we hit the food court 😍 we may have gone through a couple rounds of food including Pizza Hut, Popeyes and Taco Bell. Our last stop on base was the Walmart-esque store where we stocked up on American brand toiletries 😌
The rest of the night was perfectly full of playing with both of the kiddos, eating delicious steak and watching a movie with wine in hand!
14 June 2016
Munich, you're so pretty and so fun!
We took a few tours (one was so bad we actually had to tell the guide we were bailing and would view the site at our own pace!), drank a LOT of beer, ate a ton of carbs...aka a pretzel the size of my face....and saw people surfing on a man-made wave in a river!
13 June 2016
On our last day in Austria we decided to take a day trip to Salzburg and see the gazebo where they filmed the "I am 16 going on 17" song in The Sound of Music (Corey's secret favorite movie)! I have grown up seeing a picture of my parents in this very gazebo from 1980, so we thought it would be fun to try and recreate this picture, but unfortunately on our train ride there we learned the gazebo is now locked, so we had to make due with a picture outside of the gazebo! Regardless of the gazebo being locked, it was a fun and beautiful trip 😍
12 June 2016
Neither of us knew much about Vienna before arriving, so we weren't sure what we wanted to do or see! We decided to do the hop-on hop-off bus to get a complete overview of the city.
We spent the majority of our day on these busses, minus the pit stop at Schönbrunn Palace where we hung out in the rain/thunder for a while (we had to escape our bus that had a nonstop shrieking child on it 🙉) and a walk through the city center checking out all of the amazing architecture. Everything is extremely grand here!
We ended our night making burgers at home and watching some soccer for the Corndawg 🍔⚽️
10 June 2016
We enjoyed our last day in Prague by touring the grounds at Prague Castle and St. Vitus Church, walking through the Rose Garden and picnicking (aka napping) in a park up on Petrin Hill and finally checking out some sights after the sun had set! Prague definitely made it up there on our list of favorite cities :)
We are now in Vienna, Austria and both completely exhausted! Traveling for a month and a half has definitely caught up with us. We'll be doing our normal sightseeing, but also letting ourselves recoup in our Airbnb. Today's events included grocery shopping, pizza, napping & cooking dinner and we're both very pleased with that 😋
9 June 2016
We began our day with a free walking tour to get some history of the city while also being introduced to the areas we haven't yet explored. Neither of us were crazy about our guide, but the pretty sights definitely helped make it entertaining!
After the walking tour we went to the Jewish Quarter to view The Jewish Museum and synagogues. The Pinkas Synagogue has one of the first memorials to the murdered Jews during the holocaust - the names of all 77,000+ victims from Prague are written on the walls in alphabetical order. They also display artwork by children living in the Jewish ghetto during the holocaust, which as you can imagine, was extremely moving. Afterward we walked through the Jewish Cemetery, which was overflowing with tombstones, and our last stop was the beautiful Spanish Synagogue.
We had a fun evening taking a jazz cruise down the Vltava River -- it was a fun night with a delicious dinner and great live music!
8 June 2016
Well, everyone, the rumors are true: Prague is unbelievable. It is absolutely beautiful, beer costs under $1 and the history is fascinating.
We spent our first full day walking and eating all over the place! We climbed a whole lot of stairs, first at the Old Town Hall and then Petrin Tower, an Eiffel Tower replica up on a mountain, which gave us some incredible views. It's a good thing we got our workout in since we also indulged in some Czech cuisine: onion soup, fried cheese with jam and Goulash. Definitely not food we could eat everyday, but fun to try it!
We ended our day by renting a paddle boat, but not just any paddle boat, a goddamn Swan paddle boat. We thought we might as well try it since that was the only one available at the time, but we quickly found out that was a mistake. This thing was huge, so we were never able to ever pick up any speed and it was not the relaxing experience we were going for 😂 never. choose. the. swan.
6 June 2016
Quick catch up of the last few days!
- we did eventually make it to Malmo! It was very pretty, but by the time we got over there and figured out our bearings most tourist attractions were already closing. We did go into St. Patrick's cathedral, which was all white except for one room with beautiful paintings on the wall and ceiling.
- we were PROS at getting off the train during the ferry portion of our trip from Copenhagen to Berlin 😎
- in Berlin we saw a portion of the Berlin Wall, went out on a pub crawl (you can see the remnants of that in picture 6 😉), did a free walking tour and pretty much saw the entirety of Berlin! The Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, Museum Island, etc.. Berlin was a fun city to explore -- you can still see the effects of World War 2, which they use as a constant reminder of their country's not so positive history.
We are now in Prague 😍😍😍
3 June 2016
Travel tip: you need your passport when trying to go into a different country.
About 40 mins into our journey to Malmo, Sweden we realized neither of us even thought about bringing passports! Turned right around, went home, grabbed them and now we're officially on our way to Sweden.....only about 3 hours after we initially wanted to arrive 😜
2 June 2016
We had a busy first and only full day in Copenhagen! We started with an hourlong canal cruise to give us a little bit of the city's history, which was a nice ride, but HOT. It is officially summer here!
After the canal cruise we walked to Copenhagen Street Food, which was a giant food hall with about 50 different vendor booths full of all types of food. Corey went with a surf & turf burger and I had a Moroccan sandwich.
Afterwards we wandered through the neighborhood Christiania, which has a very grungy, artistic vibe....so much so that we stumbled upon the "Green Light District" where weed was sold in about 20 booths by completely masked and gloved men to keep their identities hidden😱
We ended the day at Tivoli Gardens, the 2nd oldest amusement park in the world! We went on swings that went up 210 feet in the air, which we immediately regretted once we were up there & barely strapped in while whipping around in the sky 😩😭
1 June 2016
We figured missing our train would be the main excitement of the day, but no one could have prepared us for the confusion that happened on the train from Hamburg to Copenhagen. We lucked out and had our own little 4 seat "cabin" and both of us passed out right away. Fast forward 2 hours and we are woken up by the conductor telling us to grab our stuff and get off the train. We look around and realize the train car is completely empty and we are in a garage next to a 16 wheeler truck 😳
We grab our smaller belongings, neither of us having any idea of what's happening and as the train door is closing on us we shout out to the conductor "wait! where are we??!!" His reply: "on a boat"
Once we figure out how to get into the stairwell, we climb 3 floors and enter a fancy lobby bustling with people enjoying their time on the ferry! It was the weirdest feeling waking up to an empty world...felt like we were in a different universe 😂 So in case you're wondering, trains take ferries, too.
These are the faces of two people who missed their train connection by 30 seconds 🙄 we may have gotten off at the wrong train station in Hamburg, Germany. Let's make that 11 hour journey a 13 hour journey ;)
31 May 2016
We had a nice and relaxing last day in Amsterdam -- we wandered around the whole city with various pit stops to eat, drink & shop! Amsterdam has been so much fun and we'll have plenty of time to relive the memories tomorrow on our 11 hour train journey to Copenhagen, Denmark! Choo choo.
30 May 2016
Amsterdam was immediately off to a great start! We've had fun walking around, enjoying some local specialties 😉 and eating lots of yummy food! We went to an ice bar where the temperature is -9.4 degrees Celsius & the entire bar is made of ice (the cups included!). It was a cool first time experience for us, but you don't last too long in there even with the provided jackets and gloves.
Today we toured the Van Gogh museum, which was great! We also rented a boat to take through the Amsterdam canals :) it was a little chilly, but a great way to see the city from a different perspective. We spent 3 hours out in the canals and only once did Corey have to go shoulder deep in the gross canal water to free our propeller from plastic 🙈.
Another fantastic day and now we're in bed at 8 pm eating wok takeout food because nights like this are needed even when on an European adventure 😆
27 May 2016
After an unexpected love affair with Ghent, we were excited to see what Brussels had to offer, but were unfortunately a bit disappointed with it. There wasn't one specific reason why, but the overrated (and overly expensive) waffle making class, seeing people smoking crack in the subway and Corey getting flicked off by a 10 year old Belgian boy riding by on the subway didn't really help 😂 (just kidding the last part was my favorite).
That being said, there were still some high points! The Grand Place had beautiful gilded buildings on all sides, which we selfied from all angles 💁🏻 and MUSSELS IN BRUSSELS, which were absolutely amazing! I'd say we're doing pretty well if it took until our 11th city to have an iffy experience in a place :)
Off to Amsterdam today! 🌿
26 May 2016
Our first stop after Ireland was Ghent, Belgium and we were absolutely blown away! Walking around this town feels like you're in the middle of a fairytale 👸🏻. We unfortunately only booked one night here, so Corey's planning skills came into play when he mapped out a route for us to see the entire city in less than 24 hours!
We didn't check into our hostel until 7:00 pm, but luckily it doesn't get dark until extremely late (the pic in the 2nd collage top right was taken at 10:08 pm!). We walked by all of the fairytale-like buildings, ate Belgium fries and popped in..... and sometimes quickly out of a few recommended bars. We accidentally walked into a bar in the middle of the quietest jazz performance ever and received the evil eye from all 4 musicians on stage 😳. We hightailed it right out of there.
We had an early start to the next day and walked 13 miles around this tiny city! From climbing a bell tower to exploring a castle it was the perfect day :) everyone go to Ghent.
24 May 2016
Saying goodbye to Ireland today ☘ Thank you, Dublin, for your breweries and distilleries, yummy food, amazing music and perfect weather!
23 May 2016
Laundry day in Dublin. I may have stuck my brand new purple towel in with all of our clothes......and in case your wondering, colors bleed in Ireland just like they do in the states. Corey's surprisingly not too pleased with his new and improved purple-ish grey socks 🤔
22 May 2016
Beautiful (and slightly rainy) drive from Wexford to Dublin 😍
21 May 2016
After crawling out of our lofted bed, we headed out to the Irish Heritage National Park for a few hours, which was beautiful and interesting! We learned all about the early settlers of Ireland and even saw recreations of their dwellings and towns. Best of all, we both tried archery for the first time! Corey's target was on the left, mine on the right. I swear I'm not a sore loser, but ugh 🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄🙄
After lunch in Wexford, we headed home to our chalet and went up to the main house to take showers, but at the door we were greeted by a goose. A hissing, squawking, demonic goose, which was absolutely terrifying. Who knew people used geese as guard pets??? And let me tell you, after a first hand experience we can say it's actually quite effective 😂
Later on we calmed our goose nerves with puppies and wine & cheese 👼🏼
20 May 2016
This morning we walked from the bed and breakfast down to the harbor to catch our ferry to Ireland -- we had a few hours to kill, so we meandered through the town of Fishguard and took our time making the 2.5 mile walk.
After our 3.5 hour ferry ride on the cruise ship-esque boat, we got to meet our new travel companion for the next few days 🚗.....Corey nailed it driving (and shifting) on the opposite side of the road. And best of all we made it through that experience with zero bickering, so let's all call that a win 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
We're spending the next 2 nights in a chalet on an Irish farm complete with wood stoves, an outhouse and long dirt road, so Corndawg's basically reliving his childhood 😀 tonight's cold, rainy and windy weather really completes this whole experience!
19 May 2016
Took a baby train (only 2 little cars!) to Wales! We somehow convinced the owner of the bed and breakfast we're staying at to pick us up at the train, which is a good thing because that hilly 1.5 mile walk didn't sound very appealing 💁🏻
The bed and breakfast is tucked behind the town of Fishguard and is absolutely beautiful. We even got some tea and a piece of cake once we checked in! The mooing from the cows outside our room adds a nice touch, too 😏
17 May 2016
Guards were changed, sights were seen, m&ms were eaten, sushi was....overpriced, and Wicked was watched! Tip top day in London Town ✌🏼️
15 May 2016
On our last day in Paris we drank wine along The Seine and had a picnic under the Eiffel Tower 🍾🍷🍕🍪🍓
14 May 2016
Busy and freezing cold day in Paris! Can't type much as my fingers are still trying to defrost, but today included the Eiffel Tower, Notre Dame, city of lights night tour and best of all watching our badass lady bus driver bitch out a crazy Parisian driver that side swiped our bus 😱😜
13 May 2016
✔️ embarrass Corndawg by taking the most cliche picture at The Louvre
️✔️ check out the Mona Lisa with the masses
✔️ have panic attacks while lost in The Louvre
✔️ sit on the top of the bus during a rainstorm
️✔️ be cheesy at the Arc de Triumph
Successful first full day in Paris 🍾❤️
12 May 2016
Reason #2947 it would be helpful if either of us spoke a lick of French: we wouldn't have stood like dummies at the tram stop in Nice when come to find out the whole metro system was on strike 😅. Luckily 20 mins later a lovely British woman took pity on us and gave us walking directions to the train station. At least we're getting pretty good at walking with our backpacks for long periods of time!
Our train ride from Nice to Paris was beautiful and delicious -- Corey's new specialty "leftover pasta and sauce in a ziploc" was a hit with both of us, and who can deny a chocolate cream filled beignet 😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍😍
Arrived to a rainy, but beautiful Paris and put our selfie stick straight to work. Also enjoyed a yummy meal at Cafe Le Bosquet thanks to a recommendation from Sarah! Clearly we didn't like the artichoke at all.
10 May 2016
Our Airbnb is home to the most frightening stairs....ever. 😂
Well, Nice really is as beautiful as those pictures we saw on Google! Such an unbelievable view no matter where you're looking.
We climbed a hill to the site of an old castle overlooking the city where we found waterfalls, church ruins and a Jewish cemetery. Then we hopped a bus to Monaco and walked around while Corey drooled over every $100k car that drove by. He's asking for a Maserati for his 30th birthday present 🙄😉
It only took me two weeks of talking about going for a run in Europe to actually go, but I'd say Nice was the perfect place to start 😍
9 May 2016
Rainy first night in Nice, France = home cooked meal by Chef Corey!
8 May 2016
Went to the Barcelona vs. Espanyol game last night. Unbelievable experience! Dare I say I may become a soccer fan?!
7 May 2016
Hostel lyfe = smoking out the kitchen while trying to reheat McDonald's chicken nuggets in a sauce pan 🍟🌫🚒
6 May 2016
Dreams do come true 🙌🏼⚽️
Corey in Camp Nou was like watching a kid in a candy store!
5 May 2016
Typical first day in a new city -- tour bus to get our bearings, as well as the perfect overview of the city! Our verdict: Barcelona is amazing.
It was quite a hilly walk up to Park Güell, but that view 😍😍
4 May 2016
Horrible picture quality, but some of the views on the train from Valencia to Barcelona were amazing! We checked into our hostel (private room this time 😉) and set out to walk and look through all of the shops along La Rambla, as well as meander down the coastline.
We're currently ending our day with beers at an Irish pub while watching the Champions League soccer...I mean futbol...game. Goooooaaaaaaal. Just kidding I don't know what's going on.
Off to Barcelona 🎒🚌🚂
3 May 2016
Flashback to this past weekend when we took a day trip from Madrid to Segovia, Spain! I spent a few weeks here about 10 years ago and hadn't been back since -- it was even more beautiful than I remembered. The snow capped mountains in the last picture 👌🏼👌🏼👌🏼
We like lunch on the Mediterranean.
2 May 2016
We woke up this morning and while admiring the view from our bedroom in the Airbnb, things got extremely exciting when we learned the bakery in the 2nd picture is DIRECTLY across the street from us. Croissants, cookies, donuts... basically all of my major food groups.
For lunch Corey had his first experience with paella (traditional Spanish rice dish) and gave it two thumbs up & I had my 5th jamon and cheese sandwich in the last 3 days. Three thumbs up.
Besides the important stuff like food, we explored Plaza de la Virgin, rode the hop-on hop-off tour bus, ate gelato in the sun, rode our bikes all around the city and ate a family meal at KFC 😅 just the epitome of health.
Valencia has been a blast to explore -- both old and new architecture make a fun combination and the palm trees all around definitely remind us of home :)
One more day in Valencia & then it's off to Barcelona!
1 May 2016
We have learned the Spanish rails and metro systems can be tricky.....especially when you don't speak Spanish.....and when you arrive in Valencia on a national holiday. That being said we walked around with these on our backs for a good 2 hours 😝
29 April 2016
Corndawg down 🤒! Poor guy is sick with a nasty cold, but being such a trooper. Despite feeling awful, he still managed to go all around Madrid! We finally went inside of Palacio de Real Madrid and rode the second leg of the hop-on hop-off tour bus.
Also, we have some big news: thanks to some amazing recommendations from my lovely cousin, Alyssa, we finally ate some Spanish cuisine that we both loved! The tapas and (ginormous) mojito were delicious at El Tigre & we ended our day with churros con chocolate at Chocolateria San Gines (eat your heart out, dad!).
P.s. Our hostel room is now full 🙄
28 April 2016
You can take the Americans out of the US, but you can't take the US out of the Americans. Spanish cuisine isn't a big hit for either of us, so today's meals included burgers and only burgers. Well, minus my dinner of mint chip gelato 😏
Today we went rowing in Parque de el Retiro, rode the hop-on hop-off tour bus and caught the sunset (at 9:15pm!) by Palacio de Real Madrid!
Well, we are officially in full tourist mode: a selfie stick has been purchased.
27 April 2016
First day exploring Madrid included a little bit of jet lag, a delicious pitcher of sangria and some interesting lunch choices of calamari and potatoes with mayo 😝. Corey is in front of a palace that I cannot remember the name of, but I'm ready to move in ;)
Home sweet home, y'all. Our first hostel experience is underway! It's currently 8:30 pm and there is still no sign of any roommates tonight. I don't hate it 😏
Last night's dinner on the plane was deeelish! Crab salad, kale soup, poppy seed salad, teriyaki chicken and a hot fudge sundae 😍🍦
26 April 2016
Toby hooked us up! Flying pretty in first class before living that hostel life. Corndawg had his American Airlines provided PJs on within 5 minutes of boarding 😜
Backpacks are on..... off to the airport and ready for our adventure!