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Posts tagged ‘travel’

Attached at the Hip | Cape of Dreams

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Welcome to the most delayed post vaca post ever. That’s because coming back to real life puts the cray into crazy. But our time spent in Cape Cod was gloriously relaxing and everything we hoped it would be. Life is remarkably less stressful when your primary daily undertakings are making coffee, playing tennis and putting on a bathing suit. Oh and thinking of whether or not you want a scoop vanilla gelato in your iced coffee. Details.

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What we learned during this trip:

1. Retirement doesn’t seem like that bad of an idea. In fact, we would be really good at it.
2. Gelato should follow every meal.
3. Freshly made burrata should come before every meal.
4. Wine is really meant to be consumed starting at 2 pm. Maybe 1.
5. iPads should be easier to read when you have to have sunglasses on.
6. We really need to get UV blocking t-shirts to wear while out in the ocean or walking on the beach.

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Less is more – life is substantially easier when it consists of only 4 outfits: tennis gear, beach gear, post-beach loungewear, and pajamas. And one feels so much healthier when they’re not rushing through their breakfast, taking their time throughout the day, having a chance to exercise everyday. Some people just call that life. Bitches. Why couldn’t we spend our lives just focusing on being healthy? Jealousy.

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Enjoy all the pics from our trip… check Magdalena’s Instagram

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Wanderlust | Cuba

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We may be obsessed with majorly luxurious hotels but we have done our share of down and dirty travel. If our parents taught us anything it’s that travel should open your eyes and that it’s purpose is to seek new stories. This was a lesson tirelessly learned marching around Paris, almost dying of heat exhaustion in Washington DC, viewing every painting in the Warsaw National Gallery, and climbing vistas in the Tatra Mountains. We were taught to never seek a “shallow” vacation. Of course that means doing what normal people do and laying on a beach with bevies… Shhhh don’t tell our dad but we love doing that.

That being said there are locations that we would love to see before we die kind of thing. None of them are that outlandish. We’re not determined to climb Mount Kilimanjaro or anything. We’ll settle for a week in Cuba.

When thinking about potentially taking a trip there we realized how little we actually know about Cuba – its history, its culture and anything about what it may be like to live there is somewhat of a mystery. Obviously, it’s not a nation of great wealth or luxury but you see these images of amazing beaches, gorgeous European style stucco buildings, colorfully dressed women dancing and people sitting back enjoying quality time with a beverage (a rum one I would imagine).

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Upon looking into it further we found amazing imagery of a place that appears to for the most part to be held back in time. The classic American cars used as cabs, the old architecture that is in need of some tender loving care are all mixed together with UNESCOs World Heritage Site in Trinidad, which can boast being one of the world’s best preserved examples of Spanish colonial architecture.

What would be our must experience list?
1. An early evening walk along Havana’s Malécon (Havana’s version of a boardwalk)
2. Experiencing a fancy night out at the Tropicana. Apparently if there’s anywhere in the world to smoke a cigar then this is it.
3. Seeing a neighborhood Afro-Cuban dance. I mean maybe we’ll be those cheesy tourists that try to join in.
4. Speaking of music. Cuban reggae or rap at the local clubs. Um hello. Sign us up.
5. For 20 kilometers of white sand and beautiful beach front Varadero Beach is supposed to be the place to go. The fact that every website cautions you of being approached by prostitutes on the beaches is actually kind of fascinating.
6. At least one amazing mojito, it is the national beverage.

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As kids raised in a family that will probably never recover from the mark’s of Eastern European communism we find any place going through the same struggles completely fascinating. What better story to tell then an entire nation that’s stuck in a different era? With a beautiful quasi European feel not yet touched by Facebook? Minus the political leanings maybe they have the right idea… Maybe staying focused on good food, good music and time spent in the sun isn’t that bad of a goal. Makes you wonder how far our “being advanced” has actually gotten us. There is something really refreshing when traveling to places in which you remember that we don’t need all the shit we have to be satisfied.

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A hop, skip and a 6-hour jump

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This is how San Francisco makes you feel… like jumping for joy. It’s gorgeous, the winter is like spring, and my best friends live there – what a combination. I just wish the jump to get there didn’t take quite as long. Five or six hours on the plane is totally do-able, but it’s a rather long trip to have between you and your bestest friends. Bygones. So we relived college together for an amazing four days and discovered we’re – gasp – getting kind of old. When a group of six 20-somethings agree, with a sigh of relief, that ordering Chinese and playing games until midnight on a Saturday is what they collectively would like to do, you know the times, they are a-changin’. Here are some (other) highlights from the trip:

Travel musts: Blow-out (it’s a religion) and gel mani (got my first one – it’s a marvel).

Runaway hit: Kamei, insane Asian restaurant supply/import store in the Inner Richmond. I went to town on patterned Japanese soup bowls, but if you need any plastic display sushi, you can get that too.

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Celebrity spotting: Met Monelle Totah, proprietress of the lovely new boutique Hudson Grace on Sacramento St. in Pacific Heights. The former Williams-Sonoma design guru put together a beautiful tabletop store that I read about in the March issue of Elle Décor. Discovered Cire Trudon while there, which are these absurdly expensive French candles (but for good reason… and not just because they’re French), that smell incredible and have been made the same way, including the glass jar, since the time of the kings. When you have enough spare bundles of $80 that splurging it on a candle seems like a logical expense, I highly recommend these. I’m tired of seeing bloggers using those Diptyque candle jars as their pencil holders on their desks. B-O-R-I-N-G.

Best chai (and delicious brunch): Ella’s in Lower Pacific Heights.

For a bit of pomp: Tal-Y-Tara Tea & Polo Shoppe in the Outer Richmond. That crazy cart is actually a coffee machine. And the scones from Sarah’s Scones… there are no words to describe.

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Saturday night’s new BFF: Cards Against Humanity. Raunchy Apples to Apples. So good.

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Dream homes: Plenty afoot (Seacliff is real estate heaven and the Richmond has such classy entrances).

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Worst decision(s): 24-hour donut shops

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Best view: Lands End looking toward the Golden Gate, with a sprinkling of sailboat.

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All photos courtesy of my Instagram and my friends’ Instagrams. That’s very unofficial. But they know who they are. 

All the ways to love Praha

I spent a wonderful few days discovering Praha, as the Czechs lovingly pronounce their stunning capital city. Prague was picturesque and storybook-like. Very few places actually look like a postcard when you get there. Every which way you turned there was beautiful architecture and everyone we encountered was completely laid-back and friendly. They also spoke English which was extremely helpful…Nemluvím česky… that’s Google Translate for “I don’t speak Czech”. Wandering around all the little medieval streets felt like a dream. I wonder what it must be like to grow up somewhere like that.

When visiting Prague, there are must-dos, those tourist rights of passage…
1. The Old Town Square is a beautiful spot both during the day and in the evening.
2. Crossing the Charles Bridge and climbing up to Pražský hrad (Prague Castle). By the time you climb up and view the entire castle complex, you’ll have earned a crêpe or two at one of the many cafés on the way back down. That and maybe an Sbucks… Yes, they have them there too.
3. Walking through the Old Town late at night when people are coming out of pubs singing, jazz fills the air and you can take in the wonderful love of life (and alcohol) that is everywhere.
4. Strolling up Pařížská ulice (Paris Street) is both filled with beautiful Art Nouveau architecture and insane shopping.
5. There wasn’t a wide variety of food, but the local specialties are to die for. Definitely enjoy a tastings dinner at one of the many the degustation restaurants throughout the city.

Observations I made…
1. No wonder Czech chicks have amazing trunks. They do nothing but walk up and down hills all day long, all day strong.
2. I had no idea there were so many ways to prepare duck and loved every single one.
3. Cobblestones are an obstacle course for heels. And they’re everywhere.
4. Never have I seen a crowd of tourists as packed together as the one found on the Charles Bridge at 2pm on a sunny afternoon.
5. I loved Istanbul because it was where Asia meets Europe and I loved Prague because it felt like it was where Eastern Europe meets Western Europe.

Now on a more serious note… it is one of those cities that makes you realize how old it is and how many people must have lived there generation by generation to make it into the place that it is. Not to get emo on you all, but I felt so humbled by being there – very few places remind you that your lifetime will be a blink of an eye for a place that’s existed for centuries. Better live with no regrets because it will go by quick.

For all my trips pics check out my Instagram.

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