Recent Posts

Getting Lost At the Musée du Louvre

Getting Lost At the Musée du Louvre

The Louvre is one of the most popular museums in the world. Those who don’t know it by name are sure at least to recognize the iconic and controversial glass pyramid that sits in the middle of the courtyard and houses the main entry point for […]

Strolling Around the Colosseum

Strolling Around the Colosseum

Sometimes in life and in travel, things don’t go as planned. Trains are missed, bags are left behind, and wallets are stolen. And in my case, blog schedules are scrapped to make way for some exciting new life events. Today’s post (or let’s be honest, […]

Behind the Lens: What’s it Really Like to Visit the Most Popular Sights in the World?

Behind the Lens: What’s it Really Like to Visit the Most Popular Sights in the World?

Disappointment is bound to happen at some point when traveling, especially in this media-dominated age. We build these places up in our minds, liking and pinning impossibly beautiful photos as the big departure date gets closer. It’s no wonder that sometimes reality just doesn’t live up to those Insta-perfect expectations. The real world is not carefully filtered for optimal lighting and edited to neatly hide any blemishes in the scene. In Rome, for example, I was shocked to realize that there were probably more tourists than locals in 75% of the places we visited. The ancient, beautiful, historic city of Rome was there, but it was hidden behind hordes of tourists, obnoxious hawkers, and the ever-present click of cameras all around us. In the interest of showing these big name attractions as they truly are, I invited several bloggers from the travel community to share the reality of visiting some of the most popular places around the world. (more…)

The Paris Museum Pass: Is It Worth It?

The Paris Museum Pass: Is It Worth It?

Anyone who has visited Paris can tell you: it’s not necessarily cheap. Many of the big attractions have an entry fee, with the option to spend plenty more on special exhibits, onsite restaurants and all the souvenirs your little heart can handle. Sightseeing in Paris […]

Parisian Glitz & Glamour at the Palais Garnier

Parisian Glitz & Glamour at the Palais Garnier

Imagine a place steeped in Parisian history, the former playground of kings and noblemen and the home of stunning frescoes and architecture. I’ll bet you thought of the Château de Versailles, the famed royal residence of King Louis XIV and later Marie Antoinette. While Versailles […]

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG: The Perfect Airport Hotel

Hotel Ibis Styles Paris CDG: The Perfect Airport Hotel

I used to be very against airport hotels. After shelling out all that money to visit a given destination, I never understood why anyone would want to spend their final night of vacation in a bland hotel away from all the action. When I visited Los Angeles, for example, I wanted to be close to restaurants and big sightseeing attractions, rather than cooped up in the boring strip of big-name airport hotels near LAX. Why waste that last evening rotting away and wishing to be somewhere else? (more…)

Rome Day 3: Visiting the Roman Forum & Colosseum

Rome Day 3: Visiting the Roman Forum & Colosseum

First-time visitors to Rome usually have one common goal: to see the Colosseum. The epic monument is recognized across the world; the place of ancient bloody battles and screaming crowds of spectators. Think of it as the original sports stadium. Dan and I visited the […]

Rome Day 2

Rome Day 2

Well, I suppose it was inevitable to have a few bad hours at some point during our European adventure. That moment came near the end of our two week trip, on the day we were supposed to visit the Vatican City. We woke up early […]

Rome Day 1

Rome Day 1

When I think back on our time in Rome, I remember the warm weather, the colorful buildings, the dark cobbled streets, and the happiness I felt at being there with Dan.

On our first night in Rome, however, we were feeling a bit jaded and less than charmed by the city. It probably didn’t help that we had just flown in from Paris, where we had spent the last five days being swept off our feet. Not wanting to repeat the dreadful experience of dragging our luggage through trains and along tiny streets, we opted to take a cab from the airport directly to our hotel near Piazza Navona. The cab ride took us past some pretty seedy-looking areas, with graffiti covering crumbling walls and what essentially looked like a series of American strip malls. It was not the glorious, brightly lit Rome I’d coveted in other people’s vacation photos, and I started to wonder if we should have just spent our last vacation days in Paris after all. (more…)

Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City

Rome: First Impressions of the Eternal City

In the interest of moving things along, I wanted to go ahead and share how Dan and I spent the final leg of our Euro Trip in Rome. There will be three more posts in this series, one for each day, and then it’s back […]