Hola hola Coca Cola

Next stop on the trip was Spain! Our first stop in Spain was Barcelona, the land of Gaudi! We got in and immediately went to La Sagrada Familia. Tip: make sure you buy tickets online ahead of time. It always sells out and this will ensure your entry. We opted to also pay a little extra to climb up the steps to see the top. Worth it in my opinion. You can see they’re still finishing the construction on it. The architecture and stained glass were breath taking!

We were pretty hungry after this so we hit up the famous Mercado de la Bouqeria on La Rambla. After the incident on La Rambla and my friend being pick pocketed recently, we were extra careful around that area. We caught the tail end of the market and there was still a ton of delicious fruits/veggies, and food around. They even had fresh pressed juices and smoothies. We decided to eat dinner at one of the stalls and it was pretty tasty. Fresh too!

The second day we got up early and checked out Park Guell before all of the crowds came. It’s located upon a hill and it’s quite convoluted to get there by public transportation so we opted for an Uber.. and they still got lost. It was early, but we got to see all of the mosaic tiles without so many tourists. We also walked by some of the other buildings designed by Gaudi.

After that, we met up with my good friend Angie, to get some grub. We were on the hunt for some paella and the place we found was just okay.. slightly disappointed. We walked along the beach and even up to Montjuic Castle. We also caught the Magic Fountain water show. Quite pretty and nearby to where we had stayed. Worth a visit if you’re nearby.

For dinner, we went to this teeny tiny hole in the wall bar called Quimet y Quimet. I wouldn’t even call it a restaurant because there is no seating and it’s all tapas. It was quite the crowded experience! I enjoyed the food and sangria. They’ve got a ton of tapas and mandaditos (small sandwiches pictured below) to choose from.

Some of the mandaditos we ordered were the salmon, yogurt, & honey; pate, mushroom, onion; mussels, caviar, & red pepper; prawns & red pepper; codfish & liver pate.

PROS:
Everything we wanted to see was pretty much in walking distance minus Park Guell
I love sangria and tapas
Art and architecture
Right by the water
I knew a little Spanish
Stayed in Poble Sec – tons of food everywhere

CONS:
Of course we had to be careful with pickpocketers
Spent about only 2 days there

I really enjoyed Barcelona and people were generally nicer than in France. Wish we had more time in our itinerary to explore more.

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A climber’s playground

After Paris, we rented a car and drove to Fontainebleau, a small city an hour outside of Paris. It’s known to have world class bouldering. There are soo many places within the forest to climb and sadly we only got two days to climb. Even sadder, it rained on our second day so we had to climb as much as we could on the first day. We decided to climb at one of the most dense areas of boulders to maximize our climb time. A really interesting thing to note is that the boulders are painted with numbers that correlate to the book. We got an Airbnb in Milly la Foret, a really cute town right outside Font. It had bakery with fresh baguettes/baked goods and a few restaurants. The reason I chose it was because they offered 2 crash pads with the rental. Perfect for us!

We got rained out the next day so we decided to explore what was nearby. We found this really cool outdoors store and decided to check it out and they actually had a lot of climbing gear. The mall also had a store that seemed like a Fred Meyer on steroids. We decided to go grocery shopping and make dinner… aka lay out some cheese and meats. Baguettes were so cheap and fresh. I think it was 3 for 1 euro. Everything was soo good!

Can’t leave Milly without some breakfast and pastries… Yes the crepe was amazing and such a different style than back home.

Despite it getting rained out, it was an experience to drive and not so scary. I actually really enjoyed being in a smaller town where it’s more low key and chill. Everyone is much nicer and welcoming. It was a nice rest day after all of the fast paced things we did in Paris. After seeing what it’s like, I’d stay for at least a week. Can’t wait to come back and climb.

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Bonjour!

This will be the first post of several about my trip to Europe with my husband. He’s never been to Europe and I haven’t been in over 10 years so we were both super stoked. Our first stop was to France. We stayed in Paris for 3ish days then drove to Fontainebleau, a climbing destination for 2 days.

In Paris, we stayed between the 10th and 11th quarters near a subway station and found it pretty central to get around and find some delicious foods. During our stay, we saw the glorious Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triumphe, Notre Dame (just the outside, heard it wasn’t worth it to go in), Eiffel Tower (loved seeing it sparkle at night), Pantheon, Montparnasse tower at sunset (get there early), and walked around Luxembourg Gardens. We also went to some museums as well including the Louvre, Orangie (where Monet’s Water Lilies are), Centre Pompidou and d’Orsay museum. We bought the Paris Pass and found it quite worth it as most of these attractions were on there. We also made use of the hop on/off bus tour and river cruise. TBH, the bus and cruise were okay. Both are highly crowded and the wait for the cruise was about an hour. We were pretty much falling asleep on the cruise because we did it at night. Man I can’t believe we did this much in 3 days!

Yes, I did have pastries for breakfast every morning. We got to dine at Septime, our first Michelin star restaurant! It was amazing and I had the best asparagus of my life. We also went to this really cool restaurant that was pretty much only had standing room at the bar and all the food was served there. We had this delicious, tender fish with cream sauce, soup, and clams. There was a huge block of butter (also the best butter of my life). We also went to this famous restaurant that only served steak and frites. Not pictured – we went to this classic French restaurant where we had snails, charcuterie, etc. but they had sold out of the onion soup! It was definitely a sad moment.

PROS:
It was very easy to use the subway
Cute boutique shops everywhere
Easy to navigate our way around using Google Maps
Pastries
Architecture
Gardens and lots of space to make it not feel so city like
Art and history

CONS:
People can be a little snobbish towards Americans especially if you didn’t try speaking any French
Pick pocket paradise. We were super careful and stayed aware in crowded places and nothing happened
Still pretty crowded even during the off season
People dress really nice! We tried our best but only packed a bag of clothes but still stuck out
Coffee actually wasn’t that great

Nonetheless, we enjoyed ourselves and all the butter in the food.

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Hello 2019!

Happy New Year!

Okay okay it’s been a really long time since I’ve posted anything, but I’m going to try to make a conscious effort to keep it up this year. Really. Instead of being more focused on food, I’m going to branch out and add in some travel, Seattle, and random rants. Kind of a catch all of thoughts! A lot of things have happened in 2018 so I think it’s time to catch up. Some major life events happened:

-Got married
-Quit my job of 8 years
-Got a new job
-Traveled abroad to Portugal, France, Spain, Poland, Australia, and New Zealand

I’ll go more into these in the next few posts! I just wanted to say that I’m alive and well and a lot of things are happening. Stay tuned.

-M

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The mile high city

Over the summer, I went to visit my good friend in Denver. Denver is a beautiful place known for their weather, landscape, and mountains. We spent a lot of time outside as well as at some of my friend’s favorite eats! Enjoy this compilation 🙂

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We went to a Mexican restaurant that’s a little nicer than your casual street tacos and boy was my belly happy! This was at Machete Tequila and Tacos located in Cherry Creek Denver. Top two tacos were the halibut tacos on squid ink tortillas, right two were fried lobster tail with smoked avocado, middle two were grilled shrimp with avocado, bottom left was al pastor with pineapple and bottom right was I believe the hanger steak. I ate probably only 3 of the seafood tacos and they were excellent!!! That aioli is amazing. Would recommend!

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Of course I had to have ice cream! I went to High Point Creamery and went for the sampler. I don’t exactly remember what was what but we had tin cup whiskey and pistachio brittle, early grey shortbread, spumoni, dark chocolate and fudge pieces, and rose gold (last two were pretty obvious). The rose gold was a little overhyped but I really enjoyed the first three flavors I listed. Yummmm.

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Who would have thought there would be New York Style bagels here?! This is called Rosenberg’s Bagels. Got the classic salmon lox, onion, capers and cream cheese. Delicious! Went with the sesame bagel. They have some pretty intense bagels like a french toast bagel with eggs and everything.

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Okay I know, another ice cream spot. This place gives you the best bang for the buck! This place is called Little Man Ice Cream. There is always a line that goes around the block, but they also have another line for express. The express lane has only 6 flavors compared to the 14 at the regular stand. This scoop is also a split kids scoop. WHAT. Totally nuts. I had a lot of trouble finishing it. I think I got the vegan chocolate and the space cow (marshmallow, white and dark chocolate chips, with a black raspberry ice cream).

Just some of the best eats I had in Denver! What are your favorites? I mostly came for friends and mountains 🙂

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