I’m jet-lagged and exhausted but nevertheless still beaming from my recent trip to Europe! It was an amazing adventure filled with a lot of sightseeing, eating, and just plain enjoying everything that Europe had to offer.
In the end, I found myself walking through several cities including London, Rome, and Paris; not to mention stop-over flights in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Milan.
I feel so fortunate to have been on this trip and, before I be back to the hustle and bustle of “real-life”, I just wanted to share some of the sights that I saw along the way.
Never in a million years did I think that I would ever see some of these sights in person, so these are definitely images that I will cherish!
London was our first stop on the trip and we stayed in the Portobello Hotel which is right next door to the Notting Hill area made famous by the movie “Notting Hill” starring Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts.
Here’s a pic of our hotel:
This area had a beautiful market that was filled with hundreds of vendors – there were even some great deals that I found but I stayed true to my “no thrifting” rule during my trip.
I even found some thrift stores along the way including a Salvation Army and a local chain called Angel Hospice. I didn’t get a chance to stop by but I already saw a pair of Jordan’s and a Lacoste jacket from the window.
In addition to the movie and this large market, another reason why this area is popular is because it hosts one of the largest events in Europe: the Notting Hill Carnival!
When I heard Carnival I thought it would be filled with rides and cotton candy but it was nothing like the carnivals that I grew up attending. No, this carnival was more of a parade filled with party-loving, inebriated locals celebrating there last days before school and work starts (it was a holiday similar to our Labor Day).
There were millions of people packed along one…yes, ONE, street and it was absolutely one of the wildest things that I have witnessed. There were costumes, dancing, drinking, eating, and even people having sex on the streets – trying to be discreet of course, but failing pretty badly!
Here’s a pic of the event from the “safety” of our hotel balcony. This is just one section of the party and doesn’t even come close to describing just how large this even has become:
A few days in London and a couple of train rides later, we found ourselves on the steps of Rome. This city was filled with tons of well-preserved sites and it really felt like we we’re walking back into time.
I got to see some amazing sights including the Colosseum, the Vatican, and the Pantheon. All the while eating some delicious Gelato ice cream as we walk to these locations!
After gorging on Gelato, we found ourselves on the last leg of our journey: Paris!
Paris, of course, is famous for the Eiffel Tower and we were also able to tour several notable castles as well as take a dinner cruise through the Seine River.
At this point in the trip, I was starting to feel exhausted but that didn’t stop us from enjoying some of these beautiful sights from the city.
The Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower View (2nd floor)
View of the Eiffel Tower from Siene River Dinner Cruise
Back On The Grid: Mission Accomplished
When I decided to stay “Off the grid” during my vacation, I did it to relax, enjoy some undisturbed time with family and friends, and basically re-charge my batteries for the last few months of this year.
After a day of catching up on some much-needed sleep I’m happy to say that I’ve accomplished those goals.
I feel great and ready to hit some thrift stores again! I apologize if I wasn’t able to reply to your messages just yet but I promise I will get to every one of them.
Its going to be a full day of listing items and visiting thrift stores and I can’t wait to get started. Now it’s just a matter of getting back on the grind and there’s no better day to start than on a Monday!
I hope you’re doing well and it feels great to be back home!