H did a great job journaling while we were overseas so that we don't forget what we did on this trip. For the purposes of this blog, though, I thought I'd give you some of my brief highlights and lessons learned off the top of my head (cuz I know you're all dying to hear them!)...
- Incredible hotel right next to the Tower Bridge.
- Tower of London. Awesome.
- St. Paul's Cathedral is breathtaking.
- Wicked in the "West End" was phenomenal.
- Go Ahead British tour director insanely knowledgeable. (Looked and talked a lot like our friend Bob.)
- Fish 'n chips and mushy peas are a better option than whole fish specials.
- Can't believe we were so close to the Queen at Windsor Castle!
- Brick Lane - the hipster hot-spot alley - was so cool.
London overall: So much better than I ever imagined. LOVED learning about the history. Can't wait to get my paws on some more books about its monarchy.
- Everything I ever imagined. And so much more.
- LOVED the Louvre, the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame.
- Montmartre (Painter's Square) was one of my favorite spots.
- Saw a show at The Moulin Rouge. SO random. SO beautiful. Didn't want it to end.
- Versailles was amazing. Can't believe people actually lived that way. (French tour director told us all to see Sophia Coppolla's "Marie Antoinette" as it was a great depiction of how the French see Versailles and the ill-fated queen. A and I watched it this weekend!)
- Cafes open until the wee hours serving delicious crepes and wine. Mmmm.
Paris overall: I could live in Paris. In a heartbeat. Really. There's just something about it.
- Stood in the Coliseum in sheer amazement.
- So many ancient ruins.
- Food here was absolutely INCREDIBLE.
- How on earth is the Pantheon still around with that gigantic hole in the ceiling, constantly letting rain in?
- Trevi Fountain was breathtakingly beautiful.
- H and I couldn't finish our wine here (which was spectacular) on multiple occasions... too full from the food!
- Perhaps if I were Catholic I would have loved Vatican City a bit more? (Still very beautiful...)
Rome overall: Rome was incredible. Very different than London or Paris. We were warned about it's uncleanliness before we got there. If you look past that, though, you can truly appreciate the rich history and culture.
- One of the most (if not the most) beautiful places I've ever seen.
- Canals and mini-bridges around every corner.
- Hotel Marin was so cute. Quaint.
- Food was, again, AMAZING.
- 100 euros for a ride in a gondola. (We took a water taxi instead.)
- Got to see my cousin and her boys who live about an hour north of Venice.
- Could spend days here shopping at all the little shops and markets.
- Way too many pigeons in St. Mark's Square (which was so gorgeous!).
- Millions of alleys and NO cars.
Venice overall: I look at the pictures and hardly believe they're real. Honestly. They look like we placed ourselves in front of some beautiful backdrop that doesn't really exist. I would go back to Venice in a heartbeat.