I arrived in Paris via bus, and found my first airbnb rather quickly, thanks to the great directions given by my host. I am getting much better at public transportation, which is great since I am getting tired of getting on the wrong bus or train. 🙂

As soon as I got to the airbnb, I met my host (who very kindly brought me a french baguette), threw down my luggage, and sprinted over to the eiffel tower. I arrived just at sunset.

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The pictures don’t even do it justice. Seeing it in real life is just a surreal experience.

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After the excitement of the tower, I wandered back to the airbnb to get a bit of relaxation time. I stopped at a little fruit market and picked up some clementines, grapes, and bananas for my Parisian apartment.

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These little markets are scattered throughout Paris, and I get super excited every time I come across one. I found the cutest little flower shop across from the fruit market.

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And of course, a chocolatiere. 🙂

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The next day, I was able to wander a little further into Paris.

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I made it over the Seine and down Champs-Elysses to the Arc de Triomph. I stopped at the fanciest “drugstore” ever (they were selling iPhones, nice jewelry, and had a full restaurant, but it was called the drugstore), and picked up some snacks. All vegan, of course! Yum.

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Found this little gem of a fountain as I was wandering down to the gardens.

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After walking all day, I went straight back to my apartment, fell asleep, and then proceeded to be sick for the next two days. I realized that I have been traveling for five weeks, and I’ve hardly had any days “off.” Lesson learned – take a break when you need it!

Following my two days of sickness, I switched apartments to a more centrally located place, took some rest time, and also took some more exploring time.

Here is the Notre Dame!

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I switched it up and made a video of this day’s adventures; click here to see it.

Thanks for reading, and stay tuned for Paris: Part 2.

PS. Hi Gpak! Thanks for reading my website!

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Bonjour!

I am working on my post about Paris, but recently I’ve been super busy making VIDEOS. I’ve created a youtube channel – click here to see my videos! I have one from Amsterdam and one from Paris, so far. Please check them out, I’m pretty proud of them. Paris Thumbnail 3.001

Stay tuned for my post about Paris 🙂

 

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I had planned on spending my three days in Belgium all in Bruges. Due to some complications with my host (VERY long story), I ended up spending about one hour in Bruges the first day and then heading to Ostende. The one hour in Bruges was great, but I didn’t get a great feel for the place so I knew I wanted to go back.

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Ostende is a cute little beach town in Northern Belgium. The North Sea comes up to it, which is absolutely stunning. The water is a light blue/cerulean (my favorite color!) and the sand is dark yellow. I can imagine that it is incredible during the summer. I was able to catch a little bit of the sunset, but only on my iPhone camera, which is extremely terrible quality.

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Ostend doesn’t have a ton to offer, but I figured since I was there on accident, I may as well take advantage of it and check it out. I walked along the shops the next day and stopped in a cafe for coffee and soup. I ended up walking through a gorgeous park that was super green. If it hadn’t been raining earlier, I would have stopped and taken a little break here. But I moved on!

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I ended up spending the rest of the afternoon working on my computer and catching up with friends over FaceTime.

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The next day, I headed to Bruges. Bruges is an adorable town, and I would highly recommend visiting if you are in the area. It is commonly described as being like a fairy tale. Being there made me feel like I’d been taken back in time. The streets are all cobblestone, there are horse drawn carriages, and the buildings are all super old, colorful, and wonderfully intact. I can’t even explain how adorable this place is. It would be a great place for a family vacation – there were tons of families there. I had lunch in the main square and admired the architecture until it got dark.

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LOOK AT ALL THAT STONE.

When the sun started to set, I hopped on a train to Brussels. I was staying there for the night before my bus to Paris the next day.

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Too bad I couldn’t drive my shiny new wheels there.

All in all, Belgium is a cute lil country. I definitely liked Bruges the most, it is totally adorable and a really crazy experience. It really feels like you’ve gone back in time. I would definitely recommend Bruges to anyone traveling around the area. If you’ve been to Belgium, let me know your favorite part of the country in the comments!

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On my last day in Amsterdam, Jacky was determined to get everything on my bucket list crossed off. We started off the day with a canal tour.

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The tour went through the canals of Amsterdam, which is especially amazing during the winter time as they have the Amsterdam light festival. There were tons of displays that we got to see up close.

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The bridges, buildings, and houseboats were especially cool to see from water level.

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We had a great time on the tour, basically just laughing hysterically at all of the tourists taking pictures nonstop. Seriously, all you could hear through out the boat was cameras clicking. We watched this one guy a few rows ahead of us take about 566849 selfies, and at one point it looked like he was pointing the camera at us, so we smiled. He noticed what we were doing, thought it was funny, and then took a picture of us.

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After the canal tour, we were starving! Sitting on a boat for an hour really works up an appetite. Jacky found a vegan restaurant close by. Thank god for yelp, because I am not that pleasant when I’m hungry. We were able to get in the restaurant and eat pretty quickly. I had a vegan “chickn” burger, which was really good. I don’t usually eat processed fake meats but I was starving and it sounded good.

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Next, we headed to the Christmas neighborhood market. It was only going on for one weekend, so we had to stop by! There were rumors of lots of vegan food there. I was not disappointed when we arrived! There were lots of vegan options, but I ended up choosing an indian curry with rice. If you know me well, you know I am overly obsessed with rice. I was craving it this day!

 

 

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We found a place that had organic wine also! I tried a glass with my curry. It was great!

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By the time we got out of the neighborhood market, we were exhausted. We had walked a ton. We took a tram back to the apartment and went to sleep early, as I was going to Bruges (Belgium) the next day!

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After a few days of wandering on my own, my host, Jacky, had some time to spend with me! We made some toast and coffee and then headed out toward the museum square for some ice skating.

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On the way to the square, we walked through the market and past some really cute shops. One white shop caught our eye – on the window it said “Vitamin Chocolate.” Sign me up for that! We went inside and talked to the owner. Turns out that all of his chocolates are made from 100% raw vegan cacao and all of the truffles (& everything they make) are vegan. YESSSS

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We bought a date truffle. It was nothing short of life changing. The man selling it to us cut it in half, and we ate it right in the store!

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If I lived in Amsterdam (which I am kind of seriously considering), I would spend all of my money here. JUST TAKE IT ALL AND GIVE ME THE CHOCOLATE.

After that experience, we headed toward the ice skating rink. First things first, correct my picture from the other day. Success! All of “Amsterdam” made it into this picture. Thanks, Jacky!

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Then another nice person offered to take a picture of us!

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She did well! A lot better than the person from before.

Then it was time to get down to business. Did you guys not know I am basically a professional ice skater?

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Well now you know.

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After skating for hours (I never wanted to stop), we waltzed over to the Christmas market right next to the ice arena. And guess what they had?! VEGAN FOOD!

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That sweet little angel baby is all vegan. They usually put a sauce on it, but sadly the sauce was not vegan so it had to go. This was so exciting!

 

After lunch, we headed over to the Bols house. Bols is a company that makes flavored vodkas. We had a tour of the museum, learned about their history, and then we got to pick a cocktail to taste. I had a blood orange thing, which was pretty good! The pictures did not turn out well as it was pretty dark, so you will have to use your imagination for that part.

After the Bols house, we ran into SANTA!! I sat on his lap and told him everything that I wanted for Christmas.

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JK. We actually just said hi and then sprinted off to something a little more important. FOOD.

Or as some would call it, some steamy baskets of goodness.

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DIM SUM

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And it was even better than promised. The place was super cute, the food was amazing, and the atmosphere was great. It was a wonderful ending to the day!

 

 

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