Weekend in Paris

Saturday:

Early morning

Train to Pisa

Wandered around Pisa & checked out the leaning tower

Took the next train to Pisa Airport

Flew to Paris!

The bus into the city took much longer than planned – Traffic!

We got a taxi to take us to our evening in Paris tour

And I fell in love with all the Christmas lights and sparkling city of Paris

But with the crazy traffic we missed our meeting time for the tour we paid for…

Luckily Tia called & found out the address of the boat dock for our dinner ride

Somehow WE MADE IT before they left!

The taxi driver was sweet enough to walk us (run with us) to the find the right boat!

Once we settled down, appetizers and wine was served and the ride began

We enjoyed a three-course meal as the boat toured Paris on the river.

After the boat ride we jumped on a bus to go see the Eiffel Tower!

We to the second floor and viewed the beautiful city

The tower sparkled

Got back on the bus

Went to the Moulin Rouge

Drank champagne and watched an amazing show, called ‘Feerie’

It was delightful!

After the bus dropped us off right by our hostel

We got our room and fell asleep around 3am!

 

Sunday:

Woke up around 9am

Free breakfast was served at the hostel

Then we ventured out into Paris

Took the metro downtown

Walked from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower, absorbing every beautiful moment

We saw lots of gorgeous buildings and statues including the Opera House and the Louvre.

Even left a lock on one of the lock bridges

After lunch we hopped back on the metro to our hostel

Grabbed our bags and headed to the bus station

Took the bus to the airport and barely made our flight

We arrived safely back in Italy and ended the night with a delicious dinner of spaghetti & ravioli & wine!

 

I love Paris!

I love Italy!

What an eventful weekend!?

 

Today we wandered around Florence once more

Grabbed a cup of espresso and gelato

Now to finish up packing and call a ride to the airport!

What an eventful trip!!?

I am so grateful for every experience, but I am very excited to go home!

 

An Italian Thanksgiving

Yesterday, Tia and I spent most of the day baking a nice sized turkey breast, a small chicken, an apple pie, and sauteed green beans with caramelized onions (the replacement for my green bean casserole). Then we heading to her friend’s thanksgiving dinner party. It was actually pretty wonderful. Everybody brought a different dish; they had a mix of appetizers, stuffing, potatoes, cooked veggies, sushi (yes, sushi), pasta, pumpkin pie, chocolate balls, cheesecake and lots of wine! We all gathered in the quaint and warm apartment covered in cute Christmas lights and decorations, held hands around the huge dinner table and said what we were thankful for and the feast began. Lots of eating, drinking, dancing & talking…it was a good night.

This morning I slept most of the day away. Turkey-coma. When I finally awoke, pizza was for breakfast. The apartment was freezing because the heat was out (no hot water either) but I filled the time with packing, doing some yoga, dancing around until Tia returned home from pastry class. We went out for aperitivo (drinks & all the appetizers you can eat). It was delish and cheap!

Tomorrow we venture to Paris, France!! So it’s time for bed, we leave early to take a train to Pisa and then our flight from there to Paris! Here’s to my last weekend in Europe ~ I’m literally raising my glass of wine ~ until next time ;) Buonanotte!

~A

Dolce Far Niente

"The sweetness of doing nothing" ~ Simply enjoying the ordinary. I’m sitting near the window, listening to the Italian chatter and church bells outside, playing some soft music, and being thankful for all the simple things. Although this week rushed by, today has been a nice, calm day for the most part.

Recap: Coming into Florence late Monday night, after a very long journey from India, I found my hostel & met up with Tia for gelato and a quick catch-up. Throughout the rest of the week we devoured some great food, did a little shopping, and viewed some of the beautiful churches and museums in Florence. After thoroughly re-organizing my budget again, I realized that I need to be much more conservative on this trip. Europe is expensive. Quite different from the India currency I was getting used to. But I’m here and I can’t worry too much about it. So many things have changed since I originally planned out this trip ~ just need to accept it and I know I will make it somehow. Oh life and your surprises!

Anyway, back to Italy: On Friday Tia & I went out with her roommate, Joanne. We hit up the best Margarita place in town, after that, an Aperitivo (very common thing in Florence where you go, pay for one drink and can have endless amounts of appetizers ~ perfect for living on a budget), and we ended the night at ‘Friends’ pub sharing some delicious hard cider. It was a great night out in the lovely city of Florence!

Yesterday we took a trip to Verona with Tia’s coordinator, Olivia, and her coordinator’s mama which was a nice change of scenery. We took the train up north and when we arrived in Verona, the biggest Christmas tree was right there to greet us! It was beautiful (you can see it in my pictures I posted earlier). There was also an adorable Christmas fair going on and all the shops were decorated. We also saw Juliet’s Balcony and enjoyed some lunch and snacks…many snacks including this hot chocolate pudding treat called ‘ciocolata.’ It rained most of the day, but the city was very charming.

Today was much simpler than the previous week. Sleeping in, woke up to my own alarm (still early around 9am), unrolled my mat and practiced yoga, had some simple scrambled eggs with cherry tomatoes for breakfast. Once Tia was awake we got ready and went out for a Gustapizza! Mio favorito pizza! And we were off to check out a gelato specialty: Affogato al Caffe (yummy cream gelato with espresso on top). It was fantastic. As we fought through the crowds of people watching the Firenze Marathon happening amongst us, we made it to the market where we found some beautiful pashmina scarfs for a steal! Heading back to Tia’s, we picked up some groceries for the next couple meals (also part of being budget friendly). Italian pasta, olive oil & wine is cheap!!

Spending the last few hours chilling out has been luscious, and now its time to make some dinner! Ciao!
~A