LAX – Hong Kong: Welcome to Asia

I cannot believe the trip is finally here.  I am seated in the extended legroom premium economy cabin on Cathay Pacific,  thanks to my amazing Auntie Missy.  It was it’s own class and the seats reclined more than any other airline I have ever been on.  I got a bit nervous when I young boy took the aisle seat next to be but he ended up being quiet and enjoying his video games the entire time,  a perfect airplane companion,  especially since he was half the size of a  normal person.  They even served premium economy champagne and free wine… Night night world!

I did stay up for the lunch service,  as you all know I am never one to miss a meal,  even a crappy airline one!  Then I watched my first screener of the trip, The Butler,  which I thought was a great  movie,  but very strange to see Oprah acting.  Then went to sleep for 4 hours until they served dinner. Thank God for being a vegetarian because the quinoa they served me was far better looking than the beef my seat neighbor was eating. After dinner,  I slept for the remaining of the flight so it went by pretty quickly!

Once I got off my flight,  I found Auntie Missy’s gate to greet her when she walked off the plane.  It felt like the good old days when Gaga or my mom would come to my gate to greet me,  instead of having to stand after security.

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After anxiously waiting with no one to text, she finally walked off the plane.  At least she was the first one off since fancy Auntie Miss flew first class.  Needless to say she certainly got a bit more beauty sleep than I!

Since Auntie Missy got me a new pair of sunglasses for my birthday which I had yet to pick out,  we ventured over to the tax free sunglass hut and found me  a new pair of shades!!  Although the $1,000+ price tags where at first alarming,  have no fear, they were in Hong Kong Dollars! Check em out (ignore the greasy hair and extremely pale post-17 hour flight skin?)
And yes,  of course I am having another glass of pinot at the lounge!
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Disclamer: I only put the sunglasses on at 9:40pm in the Hong Kong airport to show all you lovely people.  I do not think I am that cool to be able to rock sunglasses at night.

Now we are both sitting in the Cathay Pacific Airport lounge for the next two hours… At least this lounge is way nicer than any American lounge.  Not the worst place to be stuck. I am very sleepy and just want to get to Bangkok already,  but our flight is delayed 50 minutes!

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Looking forward to getting to the hotel around 2am and passing out before our first day of adventure in Bangkok.  Goodnight!  Or should I say good morning since you are all waking up! Xo

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Dublin, Ireland -> Boston, MA USA

Here we are at the Dublin airport once again! This time, we are heading back to Boston, Massachusetts, USA!! I can’t believe it has been 36 days since we left for Europe. During that short time I have visited 10 different countries and seen 19 different cities. The trip has finally come to an end and I am so grateful for having this amazing opportunity. It was great seeing cities such as Barcelona, Amsterdam and Prague again while also exploring new cities like Geneva, Berlin and Florence. Of course the only thing I can think about is my next adventure, although I know the time has come for me to settle into the “Real World” and start my career. (Auntie Missy and I will be planning a new adventure in the next 2-4 years so I have something to look forward to!!)

Thank you to all my family and friends who supported my adventurous spirit as I begged my Mom and Michael to go on this trip. It was worth every minute!

My blog will now go on hold until the next adventure… (T.B.D)

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The Final Destination: Paris

We arrived in Paris on Sunday night and wanted to get right to the sightseeing since we knew we had way too little time to see everything Paris has to offer. That night we got off the metro by the Eiffel tower and of course enjoyed delicious crepes then got to see the Eiffel Towel lit up at night. It was so beautiful to see!

The next morning we woke up early to make sure we could see as much as possible. We grabbed some lunch then headed to the Louve. The outside of the Louve was very cool to see!

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Honestly I was very unimpressed with the Mona Lisa. That was really the only painting we wanted to see with the minimal time we had. The painting wasn’t that great and it was even smaller than I had imagined. The Louve was also poorly air conditioned and so overcrowded. Obviously we had to go but it was definitely not my favorite stop on our trip.

After the Louve we walked through Notre Dame. Notre Dame has some of the most beautiful stained glass I have ever seen. I wish Jews had more synagogues like that! Afterwards we took a silly little bicycle taxi to the Luxembourg gardens and then walked through them. After we stopped for another savory crepe but it was a buckwheat crepe which we decided was too authentic and not yummy enough for us Americans. We ate outside right next to the Pantheon so we could catch one more sight before the day ended!

The final day we woke up and got on a train to Versailles. Everyone said that Versailles would be a one day trip but we made it an efficient one and did it in a half day! We had way too much to see in 2 days to make an entire day out of it. Versailles was beautiful. The palace was so enormous and the grounds were even more spectacular.

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Our trip to Versailles did take slightly longer than planned but we went straight to the Eiffel Tower after. We wanted to take the lift up to the top but instead we opted to buy tickets to the second level and whether take the lift up, saving us a ton of time and money! I definitely got a huge leg and butt work out walking up all of those stairs though! It was totally worth every minute. The views from the top were unbelievable and I am so glad we made time for it!

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After the Eiffel Tower we headed to the Arc de Triomphe to see our final major landmark in Paris before sundown. The arc was massive and definitely a must-see in Paris!

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Tonight, our last night in Europe, we went to see a show at the famous Moulin Rouge. It was like nothing I have ever seen before! There was amazing dancing, lots of amazing sets, costumes and sparkles everywhere. We even got a free bottle and a half of champagne! My one complaint was the number of “ta-ta’s” I saw. I guess it is to be expected but it was as if every female costume had holes cut out for their breasts, a bit strange! The show was amazing regardless, even though I couldn’t understand a word of the French!

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No Such Thing as the Dollar Menu in Switzerland

Flying into Geneva was absolutely amazing. Our plane flew into to this beautiful green city surrounded by mountain tops. We checked into our hotel, which luckily we found last minute (apparently some European allergy conference is going on, who knew!)

Our first mission was to find Swiss chocolate and go to see the United Nations building. Apparently Trip Advisor lied because our hotel staff were slightly incompetent. They gave us a chocolate place that was closed, gave us incorrect directions and told us the UN was closed on Sundays, it’s not. Anyway, we took some photos outside the UN but planned on returning Sunday for a full tour.

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Afterwards, we went back to the hotel to change for dinner. We wanted to eat along the lakefront but apparently the Swiss are the wealthiest people on the planet and a typical appetizer costs 25 Swiss Francs. I guess that’s why they kept off the Euro, out of the European Union and why everyone keeps their money in Swiss bank accounts! We finally found a lovely little tapas place in as park that had great food.

Here is a view from the restaurant with the lake and the fountain in the distance:

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The next day was our big day of sightseeing. We started our day at the United Nations in Geneva. The main headquarters of the UN are in New York City because they make all political decisions and house the UN Security Council, although the UN in Geneva houses the humanitarian, human rights and disarmament units of the UN. It is almost like the house of peace for the world! It was so great touring the rooms where all the recognized nations of the world (except the Vatican City!) come to discuss humanitarian rights. The building also holds a piece of artwork from every member nation which was really beautiful to see. This was probably one of my favorite tours in Europe so far!

After the UN, we went for lunch at an Indian food restaurant. We thought it was a cheap place but I think Switzerland is the most expensive place I have ever been. I think the Swiss Franc is even stronger than the UK Pound! Even a Happy Meal at McDonalds costs 7 Francs and a water at Starbucks was 5 Francs!!!

Following our “cheap” Indian lunch we got on a Lake Geneva boat tour. It was so beautiful to cruise around the lake and see the different sights along the coastline. It was so cool to see the French and Swiss alps along the coast of the lake!

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After getting off our one hour tour we took a walk through a famous garden and saw the flower clock. The clock wasn’t very impressive but the park overall was gorgeous, as was all of Switzerland! I definitely want to come back to Switzerland when I’m really rich and see the Alps in the wintertime.

Less than 12 Hours in Madrid

Unfortunately, our flight from Ibiza to Madrid was delayed a few hours which really cut into our time in Madrid. We got to our hostel, ran into some guys from BU that we met in Barcelona then grabbed a bite to eat. We went with our hostel to a bar then to a huge club called Kapital. Our flight left early in the morning so we had to get up and go to Geneva, Switzerland! Good thing I have already visited Madrid.

Biggest Party Island in the World

This is a short post because of our minimal time in Ibiza. We arrived in Ibiza then went to dinner along the waterfront to watch the sunset. Ibiza is definitely pretty but nothing compared the the water in Greece.

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Afterwards we prepared for our long night at the world famous club Amnesia for their Cream Opening Party featuring famous DJ’s such as Deadmau5. We somehow got selected to go up to the VIP rooftop upon getting to the club so we got to party with the DJ’s girlfriend, the singer in one of his songs, Sofi and a bunch of his good friends. It was a great time!

Here is a photo of Deadmau5 from the club:

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We had a great night in the largest party island in the world! Now we are off to Madrid for a short overnight trip.

Barcelona +1 Day

Tuesday in Barcelona was a slightly different day. Roxy has some stomach issues so she had to go to the hospital to have a doctor check her out. Don’t worry because she is fine but we definitely took it easy on this day.

Alana and I went to this awesome mall near her brother’s apartment that used to be a bull fighting arena. We stopped for a yummy lunch at a wok bar in the mall then ran into an odd stand at the mall. This was no ordinary stand but a place to put your feet in a tub with fish that suck the dead skin off of your feet. I cannot believe I agreed to do this. At first I was really edited until I placed my feet into the tub. It was like a vibrating sensation all over. I finally got the courage to keep my feet in for more than a second and it actually felt great (if I didn’t look at the tub and realize tiny fish were eating my feet!) My feet actually felt great after! I think this was scarier than sky diving and bungee jumping, no joke.

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After we returned to the hospital to get Roxy. Since we wanted to take it easy we went to get the best sandwiches in the city at Bo De Bi. I had an omelette sandwich that was literally to die for! I think it was the best sandwich I’ve ever had! Since we were tired and because of Roxy’s stomach we changed our flights to Ibiza to a day later, leaving us an extra night in Barcelona in a hotel so we could relax a bit.

Tuesday, (our actual last day in Barcelona) we woke up to go grab lunch at the famous market off La Rambla, Boqueria. The market is awesome and we got to enjoy delicious fish at a tiny bar at one of the shops.

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The rest of the day was filled with shopping and manicures! We got sushi dinner with Alana’s brother and his friends then went back to our hotel. Now off to Ibiza, the best party island in the world!