Spain Part III: Toledo

Toledo is known as the city of three cultures thanks to the history of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian coexistence (and rivalry). The churches, synagogues, and Mudejar architecture are gorgeous and the city is very well cared for. It is larger than Ávila with more to see and do, very hilly, and very walkable. The Spanish painter El Greco lived here and his pieces pepper the churches and museums. If you're a fan of his this is a great city to visit. 

Spain Part II: Ávila

Ávila is a tiny town only an hour or so from Madrid that was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985. Famous for its towering medieval stone walls, 12th century cathedral, and ties to St. Teresa of Ávila, this was a wonderful place to stay for a night. After massive amounts of walking and exploring in Madrid, I was immediately charmed by the size of the city and solitude of the surrounding countryside.

Spain Roadtrip Part I: Madrid

Madrid is super walkable and we had no trouble covering the central area in two days. Highlights include the Royal Palace with its ornate interior and numerous chandeliers, chocolate con churros at San Gines, beautiful parks, and free entry to world famous art museums!

Affording a European Adventure

Without further ado, let's talk about affording travel in Europe. Why? Because it often feels financially impossible or irresponsible to travel extensively, but I think some of the lessons Connor and I have learned may be helpful for other (non-millionaire) people who want to travel. Secondly, I want to dispel any myths that this stint is being paid for by someone other than yours truly + hubs (it's not), or that we're taking on debt in order to travel (over my dead body). Here's how we're doing it:

Unplugging in Portugal's Algarve

The Algarve is a popular destination for the sun-starved English. We stayed in lovely Quarteira, just west of Faro, easily reachable by taxi from the airport. We swam in the ocean everyday, huddled under a sun umbrella with our books, ate breakfast on our balcony looking out at the water, and enjoyed amazing seafood. Also, Vinho Verde: slightly sparkling, crisp and acidic... I've found my new favorite summer wine.

Paris & a Fab Way to See a Big City in a Weekend

Planning a short trip to a new and epic city is always a bit daunting. NYC, London, Rome... PARIS... I want to see as many of the iconic sites as possible, but also spend time away from tourists, mingling with the locals and experiencing their favorite corners of the busy streets. Finding this balance in a short trip is challenging, and my list of must-sees in Paris was much longer than I could tackle in 2 days. But we managed to see a lot for almost no money thanks to one simple decision.

Quick Trip to Amsterdam

We spent less than 36 hours in Amsterdam and that was all it took for me to fall in love. Such an underrated city!! It felt very residential and neighborhoody, very relaxed. There is a casual atmosphere, but you also pick up on an entrepreneurial vibe. Streets are full of quirky independent shops, and the owners/makers staffing the store are the farthest thing from haughty.

Climbing Kinder Scout from Edale

Sharing some pictures of Kinder Scout in the Peak District today as I recover from a wicked flu. This is one of the highest points in the Peak District and WOW was the scenery gorgeous! The weather was perfect, one of the warmest days yet. I could sit and look at the sprawling views all day. Purple heather was everywhere. Bliss!