In travel on
December 18, 2017

winter in paris: day three

On Monday, I woke up at 6am for my 9am flight like a good little traveler. I made my buses on time and was feeling pretty darn pleased with myself. At the same time, I really was devastated to leave. I decided to start looking at photos of Paris on Pinterest the night before and I kept seeing places and things I was so sad I didn’t get to do or didn’t even know existed. Two days in Paris just felt so short. So I was so excited to see my flight had been pushed back a few hours. I would still definitely make it on time to my class but that gave me time to go to Angelina, a tea house known for wonderful hot chocolate and crazy long lines. They opened at 7:30 and I was there on the dot! I was one of the few people inside which was so nice. The hot chocolate was amazing, though a bit over priced but that’s to be expected in Paris. So afterward, I decided to walk to Notre Dame to see the outside and take photos of Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole, one of my Pinterest finds. As I was walking around, my plane got delayed another hour! “Oh well”, I thought, I can go to Shakespeare and Co Cafe, a new cafe that opened next to my favorite bookstore (I did a post on it here). I got a smoothie and sipped and people watched. It started drizzling and I was truly the perfect Parisian morning. Then I went to the Metro to catch my train, I got a few stops in and bam! Flight canceled!

At first, I was stressed out but they were putting us on a new flight so I could focus on the next thing at hand: what to do with the rest of my new found time in Paris. It was sad to find out the famous Colette store was closing in a week on December 20th and devastated when I tried to go the day before just to learn it was closed on Sundays. I met up with my friend Alyssa, who had a later flight than me and we went over to Colette. It was so cool and I can see how the store was the tastemaker for Parisian fashion for the past 20 years. It has so many claims to fame like being the only store Carl Lagerfield has ever said by name to shop at and for influencing Yves Saint Laurent to keep the Yves in its name. I got a mini Diptyque candle, which I know you can buy anywhere but I really wanted the Colette bag and everything was so expensive for this poor college students budget. After walking around the streets around the Lourve, we decided to use our student privilege and hang out at the Lourve because it was free and not cold and wet inside. And obviously because it’s the Lourve! I’m gonna do another post on that but it was definitely a good decision. My flight got pushed back again to 9pm, making it a whole 12 hours different so I had hours in the Lourve. Eventually, I made the long trip to the airport, feeling flu-like with exhaustion and made it on my flight, only a cool 12 hours late. Next, I’ll be posting about the Lourve, which at acres, definitely warrants it’s own post.



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In travel on
December 16, 2017

winter in paris: day two

We started our second day in Paris in the best way possible: at Ten Belles, my favorite coffee shop in the whole world. I actually chose our airbnb based on it’s proximity to Ten Belles. It was as wonderful as I remembered and such a great way to start another day of exploring. After some coffee and pastries and wandering around the 10th arrondissement, we made our way to Notre Dame. Alyssa and I split ways for bit and I was off to Shakespeare and Co. I was pleasantly surprised to see the bookshop had opened a cafe next door, though I didn’t get to try it. After looking at books and petting the adorable cat, I started doing my favorite thing: aimlessly wandering and taking photos. I didn’t really have a plan, I just wanted to take in as much of Paris’s beauty as possible.

Eventually, I made my way to the 4th arrondissement to retrace the steps Celine and Jesse in Before Sunset, the second film in my favorite movie series. I stumbled on a little Christmas market and bought some more macaroons. After doing some shopping, I met back up with Alyssa and we went to the Musee D’Orsay. I love the Lourve but the D’Orsay will always have a special place in my heart. They were also doing an exhibit on Degas’s ballerinas which, as a former ballerina, was a definite highlight of my whole trip. After the museum, we met up with our friend Dan from DAAP who is studying in Paris and we had an amazing dinner at Rainette, a restaurant known for it’s cute decor and French delicacies like frog legs and escargot (snails). I got the asian frog legs, which were amazing but a bit strange to eat with all the tiny bones. After hours of conversation, good drinks and good food, we said our goodbyes and made our way back to our apartment.




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In travel on
December 14, 2017

winter in paris: day one

This past week, I visited Paris with my friend Alyssa. I’ve been to Paris in the spring, summer and fall, all of which were wonderful, so I was a bit hesitant about going in the winter because I didn’t want it to taint my perfect view of Paris. But I can honestly say, thru every season, Paris is always a good idea! It was so beautiful, abet a bit cold, but I was so busy falling in love with Paris again, I didn’t really notice, which is saying a lot for this Californian whose always cold. I took sooo many photos so I’m going to split it up into three days. My trip was only supposed to be two days but because of fun stuff like bad weather and canceled flights, I got a wonderful surprise third day as well!

Our first day in Paris, we got a late start but we eventually made it over to the Eiffel Tower. Under the Eiffel Tower was blocked off and there were fences everywhere. On top of that, there was definitely a down vibe everywhere we went. It put me a bit on edge to be honest but I later learned Johnny Hallyday, a legendary French rockstar, had died and there was a memorial concert and casket processional around Paris, the closures and lingering sadness made more sense. After a lovely meal of Beef Bourgeon (fyi for those who have followed me for a while, I eat meat now because I was found to be very iron deficient and my body doesn’t like iron pills), we went to Laduree and Pierre Herme and did a mini macaron sampling like I posted about a few years back when I was in Paris last. Pierre Herme is still my absolute favorite and I found out, after we bought them from Publicis Drugstore, the world’s fanciest drugstore, that they opened a store on the Champs Elysée! I guess next time I’m in Paris, I’ll buy them from there. After our macaroon adventure, we walked around a lot and visited an adorable Christmas market near Les Halles. The Christmas market on the Champs Elysée is not happening this year because of high terror alerts (felt real good reading that…) but the Les Halles market was cute and intimate. After the Christmas market, we got reservations for Il Etait Un Square, which is known for its 5 star rating on Trip Advisor with 1,500 ratings, which is basically unheard of and amazing burgers! The burger truly was so yummy and I would highly recommend the restaurant, even though it’s a bit out of the way. We sat and chatted until the restaurant closed and eventually found our way home to rest up for an eventful day on Sunday. Stay tuned for my next blog about day two in Paris.








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In lists on
December 5, 2017

grateful for…

It’s been such a long time since I’ve done an thankfulness post on my blog but today, it really hit me how much I have to be thankful for. I feel like there have been a lot of loose ends in my life that have been tied up very recently and things God has totally worked out and I’m left feeling so grateful. Here are a few things, big and small, I am thankful for lately.

1. my dog, Colette
This past weekend, Colette started acting strange and not wanting to eat and drinking way too much, both signs of some really bad things, so I spent most of my weekend in and out of the vet, which is a very cold 30 minute walk down the river. It turns out she has a liver problem but with medication, it’s easy to clear up. There are so many worse things it could have been so I’m feeling really blessed it’s something easily treatable. Besides that, she got a clean bill of health!

2. getting a coop for this next spring
I’ll be honest, this semester has been really rough at times. Long story short, some things didn’t work out and I found myself without a coop for this next semester a few months into searching. Every other time I’ve looked for a coop, I had secured a job within a week or two but this time was more complicated and stressful. But after many prayers, I got a fantastic internship doing interface design for Motorola in Fort Lauderdale, Florida that I couldn’t be more thrilled about. So look forward to lots of pictures of beaches and palm trees coming your way.

3. my boyfriend, Brendan
I’m always thankful for Brendan but lately, I’ve been so grateful for all the ways he’s stepped up for me when things get hard. He’s the hardest working and more focused person I’ve ever met and though working almost full time and going to a very difficult school with a full load of credits, he still finds time to be great!

4. heating
I haven’t had heating since I moved in but instead of telling my landlord, I thought I would try to stick it out (so dumb, Hayley, so dumb). But these past couple of weeks, it became really unbearable so my landlord finally came over and it got fixed! I never realized how much I take for granted heating in the winter but wow is it fantastic! And I also have a heated towel rack in my bathroom that I didn’t know about so that’s been a nice surprise.

5. my mom
I never really wrote about it on here but my mom passed away from cancer almost two years ago. She was truly my best friend and being here in Florence, her favorite city, I feel ever more grateful and connected to her. She left such a lovely legacy and I see so much of her in myself, from silly saying I use to the way I view life. I am so blessed to have had such a wonderful mom.

6. traveling
I have been so blessed to get to travel so much this semester! I have been to 6 countries while being here and had so many wonderful adventures. I’ve been fixing my blog archives after evil Photobucket held all my linked photos for ransom (still so mad) but looking thru all my old posts has really made me appreciate all the places I’ve been in my life and all the people I’ve met along the way.

7. my dad
My dad and I have always been on good terms but since my mom’s passing, we’ve really gotten close (it also helps he got his first cellphone and learned to text). He works so hard to provide for me and to do the right thing and I really appreciate his persistence and love. Recently, he has taken up ballroom dancing, a huge surprise to everyone and really excels at it! I’m so grateful that he is in my life and that he is my dad.

what are you grateful for?
photo by me taken in riomaggiore, italy

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In travel on
December 4, 2017

the vatican

The highlight of my brief trip to Rome was visiting the Vatican. The Vatican is located just outside central Rome in Vatican City, which I learned is actually considered a different country! I really wanted to visit in Saint Peter’s Basilica but the line was crazy so we just admired it from the outside. We did do the Vatican museum, which we had already bought tickets for, which I highly recommend doing if you are planning on visiting. The museum was wonderful and there were so many pieces of art I’ve studied in my art history courses that were fun to see in person. The Sistine Chapel was by far the highlight of my Vatican experience. It was so beautiful and awe-inspiring but the part I liked the most was people watching. There are no photos allowed in the Chapel so a docent, who looked a little like Santa Claus, would yell as loud and as sternly as possible “no photo” to unsuspecting people taking pictures. Seeing their reactions was priceless and after every person he scared, the docent would chuckle a little then be off to find his next victim. Here’s a few sneaky photos of the Sistine Chapel I got away with, as well as some other pictures from the Vatican Museum.



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In travel on
December 3, 2017

a roman holiday

For some reason, Rome was never at the top of my list of places to visit. Sure, I thought it would be fun to see the Sistine Chapel and the Coliseum but when it came to places I dreamt of traveling, Rome never made the cut. But when my friend Ellie came to visit and we had an extra day to spend somewhere, Rome seemed like the logical choice. From the moment we arrived, I fell in love! Most of the touristy sites exceeded my expectations but the best part of the trip for me was the little side streets and places we unexpectedly stumbled on. We stayed in an Airbnb in a very cute, bohemian area with lots of coffee shops and art galleries. Our neighborhood didn’t feel like a big city at all but more like a small town, with it’s narrow streets and cafes at every turn. We spent the day exploring the different neighborhoods of Rome and seeing the sites and taking photos, which I especially enjoyed. After having my Nikon since high school, I bought a leica q the day before leaving for Rome. I felt like a appreciated the sites even more after seeing them thru such a beautiful piece of equipment. Here are some of the photos I took of our adventures in Rome. And stay tuned for a post about Vatican City tomorrow!

// wonderful breakfast at La Casetta a Monti //






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