Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Home From Europe

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Whew! It has been a crazy few days. We returned from our vacation Saturday evening, back to lovely Cleveland. Sunday was the only day I had to prepare and then I started classes yesterday. Life of a college kid. It's busy. At least for a theatre major such as myself. There has already been so much going on and it's only day two! Europe already feels like a distant memory.

I couldn't really figure out how I wanted to get back into my blog, so I think I'll start with a rundown of what we did and saw! With photos, of course. I'll delve a little deeper into the big events over the next few posts, as well as all of the delicious food that we ate!

We started our trip in Belgium, where I had spent a year doing a foreign exchange. It was so great to go back and see all of the familiar sites and even visit with my host families and old friends. We went to Brussels the first day, which is the capitol of Belgium and a huge crossroads for all of Europe. However, it is a not a tourist city. There aren't that many big sites to see or must-do activities. We enjoyed ourselves, though, exploring and easing into our vacation. We also visited another city in Belgium, Liège, where I had spent a lot of time during my exchange. Our last day there was spent in scenic Bruges, which is absolutely charming and perfectly picturesque (my new header photo was taken there).

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Aug 22, 2013

From Belgium, we caught a high-speed train to Paris, where we spent the next three days. Paris is so ornately beautiful. I actually hadn't liked Paris the first time I went, so seeing it in a different light this time was wonderful. We saw all the typical sites, like the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, the Champs Elysées, and we even spent an afternoon at Disneyland Paris! Our hotel was just darling and we could see the Eiffel Tower out our window. It was a pretty busy three days, but totally worth it and completely unforgettable. Climbing the Tower was probably the highlight of that part of the trip for me. Seeing the sweeping views of the city as the sun was setting was incredible. Plus, I get to check it off my bucket list now!

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Aug 22, 20131

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From Paris, we headed to a town called Vaison la Romaine, which is the French region of Provence. Provence is mainly known for growing lavender and making delicious wine. Although we were too late for lavender season, we did taste the wine and let me tell you, it is DELICIOUS. There are also Roman ruins there, so we got a chance to see those. We stayed in the most delightful B&B, owned by the sweetest French couple ever. Our room was huge, with amazing views and a whole private outdoor terrace. Not to mention a yummy complimentary breakfast every morning, complete with jams and croissants. We spent the days exploring the town, shopping in little boutiques, finding good food, and basking in the glorious sun. We even went to a killer farmer's market!

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The last leg of our trip was spent in London. There is so much history in that city, I can't handle it. I am totally enthralled with the stories and histories of the English royalty. Not to mention the beautiful churches. Westminster Abbey exceeded every expectation I could've had. We also saw Big Ben, the London Eye, Buckingham Palace, the Themes river, and countless gardens. We did some shopping (but didn't buy much) and ate authentic fish and chips and drank beer in a real English pub! It was pretty awesome. We stayed in a university dorm, which wasn't particularly nice, but it was easy to get everywhere and we did a TON of walking.

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Overall, the trip was excellent and I was so happy to be back! I enjoy visiting, but I know that I would love to live in one of those big cities one day. I have a serious case of wanderlust. Chronically. At least this trip will hold me over for a little while...

What would you love to see in Europe? Anything on your bucket list?

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