After seeing instagram photos of Banff by friends and bloggers, I was determined to visit Banff National Park and witness the winter wonderland in person. I chose to visit in March to have the winter experience without freezing my toes off. On the drive into the park, I was like a child pressed up against the car window. I couldn’t get enough of the snowcapped mountains and towering evergreen trees along the route. What made me really fall in love with Banff was the frozen falls at Johnston Canyon. I loved visiting in winter but I can’t wait to visit again in the summer to get a different side of this experience.
With only a day’s worth of time in London, I knew I wanted to do two things – afternoon tea and shopping. There’s no one better to do this with than my bestie, a fellow shopaholic. This was a “treat yourself” kind of day and we definitely shopped till our feet were sore.
Living in Northern California, Los Angeles is not new territory for me. Yet, I can’t wait to go back! Don’t get me wrong, the Bay Area is still far better than SoCal. But as a foodie, I do love trying new restaurants. And this time around, I found a few new favorites that might just be worth driving 6 hours on I-5 (and I hate I-5). I was sadly sick during this weekend so it was a struggle at times… but overall, it was a great way to spend the 4th of July weekend!
To continue our romantic getaway, my boyfriend and I chose the unique city of Venice. This was our first time in Venice and with only two days, we made sure to pack in all the main tourist attractions. We even crossed off “gondola ride” from our bucket list! No cars are allowed on Venice Proper so get your walking shoes ready! I do think the best way to explore is to walk aimlessly around the city, passing by all the shops and crossing over numerous canals. I would absolutely visit Venice again because two days is just not enough!
Of all the European cities that I have visited so far, Paris is in my top three. I absolutely loved it! I fell in love with the apartment buildings and their artistic balconies. I loved wandering the small streets and crossing the bridges along the Seine. I can’t get over the endless number of parks where someone can just sit or wander. And who wouldn’t love watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle every night! It was such a romantic place to be and the best spot to kick off my weeklong romantic getaway with the boyfriend.
On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, I took a quick Dart ride to Malahide to explore the small town and visit one of the oldest castles in Ireland. I wasn’t blown away by the town, but my experience at the castle was well worth the visit.
Lisbon wasn’t originally on my list of cities to visit during my time in Europe, but my coworker wanted to go for the beautiful weather. The best part about Lisbon for me was the food – the fresh fish and the delicious pastries! I also appreciated Lisbon’s unique charm as I walked around the city. The tourist spots might be cheap to visit, but the lines were long and operations inefficient (one of my biggest pet peeves). It wasn’t one of my favorite European cities but I would still go back for the food alone.
There is a calming charm to Copenhagen and for such a beautiful city, it’s not overly packed with tourists. This made it easy to explore the small city quickly because we didn’t waste any time in long lines. I was a bit surprised at how expensive everything in Copenhagen is, especially the food, but the beautiful attractions make it worth every penny.