Thursday, September 24, 2015

A Quick Guide to Navigating Paris

Hello friends!

Last weekend I went to Paris. 

That sentence still seems absolutely surreal. 

With very little planning, my roommate Kara and I decided on two things: to go to Paris for 3 days and to visit Disneyland Paris while we were there. And that's exactly what we did! 

Here's a quick, crash course guide based on our experience, on getting around Paris.

1. Learn some key phrases in French. Some people speak English, but most don't. Thank goodness Kara took French in school, otherwise we would have been very confused! However there's a still a few things we wish we learned, so make sure to brush up on things that will help you if you happened to be lost or are looking for something in particular!

2.Invest in a Batobus ticket. I cannot thank an old co worker enough for telling me about this! The Batobus is a 9 stop water taxi on the Seine river. It stops at Paris' biggest attractions and you can go to these places as much as your heart desires! Every 15- 30 minutes (depending on the day) you can hop on and off the boat to get to your next desired spot.

 You can get a two day pass  and if you're a student you get a DISCOUNT (what a beautiful word) All you have to do is show your student ID. It was definitely worth it. My wallet was happy, my feet were happy and my heart was full!

3. Download the City Maps 2Go App. (free) This app has saved me so much stress this semester and I have only been abroad for a month! On wifi you can download  tons of different maps. Without wifi, you can still access the map you've downloaded and search for places on the map.  You can star these places and create lists to keep track of them.This is a gem for people, like myself, who don't have an international phone plan! While you can't track your location real time and figure out how to get from point a to point b- it is a great way to stay organized and see the city before you even arrive there for your trip.

Something to note: the Google Maps app is the way to go if you're feeling lost. As long as you start a route on wifi, the app will still track where you are until you've reached your destination!

4. If you happen to fancy a trip to Disneyland Paris, I strongly recommend a two park ticket. The Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park are right next to each other and it is fairly easy to go back forth between the parks. It's also definitely manageable to do both in one day.  

Also, it must be known that the Walt Disney Studios Park has the Ratatouille ride and it was fantastic. It makes me want to watch the movie again! 

5. Paris' train system is called the RER. It was one of the easiest forms of public transportation I've come across! It's made up 5 different lines, although I only used two during my trip: the blue line and the red line.

 The RER Blue Line goes to and from the Charles de Gaulle airport which makes finding your way to city center/ your hotel or hostel so much easier! 

 The last stop on the RER Red Line is, you guessed it, the most magical place on earth.

I'm currently working on a post all about what to wear when you visit Paris so stay tuned!
Paris was absolutely wonderful and I can't wait to visit again sometime in the future.

With love,

Monday, September 14, 2015

Two Girls and Their Groceries

Hello friends!

Every day I fall more and more in love with Ireland. Everyday I also learn to accept that things I may have once viewed as oddities are now a part of my new daily routine. Sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Exhibit A:

Two girls walk into a bar...

Scratch that.

Two American girls walk into a bar grocery store. In Ireland.

The 'in Ireland'  is essential here. When going to the store, there are two things that will shock Americans. One being that food goes bad so quickly. This is because there are no preservatives in food here which is great.

The second thing that is surprising is that one will actually be charged for needing plastic bags to tote their groceries. Yes, you essentially get rewarded for bringing your backpack to the store. It's quite a fantastic set up if you ask me. Reusable bags are lightly pushed in the states- so  it's time to step your game up, America! Ireland is way ahead of us in the grocery game.

Even with both these awesome things, one can still get a bit frazzled when going up and down the grocery aisles. Instead of making one grocery list for the week, the norm in Ireland is to shop a few times a week. However, my determined three roommates and I try to only go once and only once. That never happens.

Every Monday, my roommate Nicole and I go out with our handy shopping list to get all of our food essentials. Today were felt determined to get all that we needed in one trip...

This morning it took two backpacks, a reusable shopping bag and the dreaded plastic bag to get all our goodies home.  Fun fact: cashiers don't have to bag your items since you aren't relying on their plastic bags. 

We both decided to get things for ourselves on top of our communal grocery list. We tried our best to split things up, ultimately leaving with three transactions.  Nicole and I scrambled to pay for our things and also sort them accordingly. Our cashiers waited and waited- and waited for us to get out of the way to move the line along. Even with all their "It's ok, loves" as reassurance, I was convinced they were thinking  "Get the feck out of here already!"

Nicole and I  sat on the floor and hurriedly tried to pile all our things into our bags. I'm sure-actually I know for a fact- that we looked absolutely crazy. Two American girls trying to figure out how to lug all of our crap home, sitting on the dirtiest of floors as people walked in and out with all their groceries like pros.

What a fun way to start off the week. But hey, when your weekly groceries come out to be around 30 euro, who cares about dirty floors and all the people around you experiencing second hand embarrassment?

I hope your Monday was wonderful.

With love,

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Monday Musings

Hello friends! Happy Monday.

Maybe it's my new surroundings, maybe it's my deep rooted love for Pinterest- but I've been feeling mighty inspired recently!

This being said, here are some quotes that have resonated with me the past few days. I hope they strike a chord with you as well and help you feel empowered as you embark a new week.

Like these quotes? Great! Let's be friends on Pinterest so you can see even more inspirational things. Follow me here.

Have a wonderful week, beautiful!

With love,