Why do you travel? To see? To learn? To escape? To find yourself?
Tell me 🙂
When I started this blog I said adventure does not have to be crazy & dangerous. Adventure is the everyday challenged we take. That is why I’m sharing my 44 French Meals challenge on this blog too!
Link to my other blog to read all about it ❤️
The Huntington Library & Hanging my travel photographs::
There are a few reasons Titanic is one of my favorite movies. It is a story of stepping outside the boxes, letting life change us, trusting the unknown, the crazy, that which sets our soul on fire.
Two scenes stand out to me often. And they have in some sorts inspired the way I live my life.
1. Jack’s speech at the dinner table
2. The collection of photographs on old Rose’s bureau. They show her riding horses, boarding a plane, doing things that link back to one conversation she had with Jack.
Now why do I say they’ve inspired me? I try to make each day count.
Today for example I took a day trip to the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens. It was breathtaking. The gardens themselves dripped with tranquility and peace. My favorite was the Japanese Garden:
It was however the art galleries that left me in awe and instilled a few audible gasps.
The main house where the Huntingtons lived not only housed impressive portraits by painters of the time it also had one of my favorite pieces by Joshua Reynolds
” Sarah siddons as the tragic muse”
And a temporary exhibit on Van Goh & Monet [convenient for our Titac theme ]
But the real magic was the books.
Books at a library? How naive of me!
These two libraries made my eyes gloss over with sheer joy. They certainly transport you to a different world.
: The house library has a rolling staircase. What the? Did I fall into Belle’s library or what?
1. The smell of books was amazing
2. The semi dark and two stories .. on point
3. They had original manuscripts (pieces) of Emerson, Thoreau, Twain & others. Again. What? Belle would be jealous.
The second part of the Titanic legacy is the pictures. I too have things I want to do. Trips, experiences, bucket lists. Some to prove a point, others missions or self promises. My proof to myself is pictures. Today I am almost done with my picture wall.
” To Making it Count” ~
Las Vegas has been called many things from Fabulous to Sinful, my favorite however is “The Lady” ~ Reference to Sinatra’s Luck be a Lady Tonight song.
The Lady seems such a fitting name for a city that can be so many things, and just like a lady its beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
My Top 5 in Vegas
1. Start your stay with one of the amazing desserts at Buddy’s or the across the hall Carlos bakery.
2. Walk the strip & shop
Walking in Vegas beats walking anywhere. You can stop, walk the over the top hotels, ear or drink and shop.
3. Watch a Cirque du Soleil show
4. Take a day trip
Vegas is great and all but we all need some distraction to our distractions.
Hoover Dam is the closests day trip out there. If you’re up for some dessert dust and history get up early & go.
5. Dress up, unwind and enjoy dinner
If you only do one thing in Vegas is to go dine. With a myraid of retaurants, from famous chefs to old Vegas staples try one out!
Enoteca from Mario Battali has great pizza and killer Martinis
In an interview once a reporter told Edith Piaf that it was rare to see her ‘far from Paris’.
Edith responded, ” I’m never far from Paris”
Her response was metaphorical of course saying that her heart never strayed far from Paris.
Edith Piaf was the ultimate Parisian in the legacy she left and the way she lived. In the way that even though it’s been a few years since I visited Paris her music always brings me back. It makes you love and dream and cry.
So naturally I always jump at the chance to go eat anywhere that has a french flair and Edith Piaf in the background.
The window displays Eiffel Towers of every size and photographs of Paris. Once inside the tea house ( for which I recomend reservations) it spills with classic charm. The booths are stripped black and white, large photos of Paris and old vintage glamour cover the walls and chandeliers that make my old soul feel at home for a second.
We ordered Marie Antoinette’s tea and scones, followed by Croque Madames and oranginas. It can’t get more French than that.
When it was over we took tea home from their charming store and drove 10 minutes to another type of culture. 10 minutes away in Bowers Museum they had an exhibit on Mexico’s ultimate symbol : La Virgen de Guadalupe.
Mariachis and margaritas? Why yes please!
Who says we can’t travel around the world in one day?~
It starts early… the sun rising over the skyscrapers; there is a momentary peace as you see how breathtakingly beautiful that sight is, the sun glinting off the mirrored buildings, a momentary silence as you step outside with a scalding hot café de olla and you inhale the city, just a moment before the hustle and bustle of Mexico’s magapolis wraps you up.
If you only have a day in Mexico City or ‘el DF’ as locals call it or a string of days to explore here are three perfect itineraries direct from a local.
Day 1: Historic Mexico
Start the day at one of Mexico’s most beloved & recognized historic restaurants ‘ The House of the Blue Tiles’ is the flagship store and restaurant for one of Mexicos famous department stores Samborns. The house has a history dating to 1773 originally belonging to The Count of Orizaba, it is a beautiful historic site. Here you will get breakfast along with a history lesson and if you feel like early shopping they also have a bookstore. La Casa de Los Azulejos
After breakfast you can walk off the calories by heading down to the main plaza square. El Zocalo is Mexicos most historic downtown. Here you will find The main Cathedral, the National Palace where the senate meets, the Federal Buildings, the main post office (also house in a beautiful palace) and blocks and blocks of stores of everything you can imagine.
To complete a historic Mexico walk you can walk back down Avenida Reforma which will take you the Angel de la Independencia. The Angel was built in 1910 and it resembles the July Column in Paris, which is only nessary since Avenida Paseo de la Reforma is Mexico’s answer to Champs Elysesses and was design by Ferdinand Rosenzweig von Drauwehr to resemble the French boulevards.
On the way, since it is a somewhat long walk I would recomend a stop at a hidden museum gem.
El museo Franz Mayer is a quiet art museum. It houses various collecions of European Art, Photography pieces of Franz Mayer, as well as being an active space for conventions, photography contests and art involvement.
And if by the time you’re done with the art exhbits you’ve racked up an appetite they have a wonderful al fresco cafe where the it’s so peaceful you will hardly believe you’re in Mexico City!
After finishing your walk and admiring the Angel take a cab down to the National Auditorium where you can take a guided tour of Mexicos historic cantinas for a night of safe fun, traditional drinks and the legends that go along with them. Touribus Mexico
Day 2: Posh Mexico
To ease up from all the walking and discovering an all food & shopping day is always necessary in Mexico.
Start with sweet bread, nata and hot chocolate at El Cardenal in Mexicos upscale San Angel neighboorhood. El Cardenal
After breakfast and before any shopping starts a visit to Mexico’s art diva Frida Kahlo’s home is a must.
Once done you can head over to another of Mexico’s chic neighboorhoods Polanco. Polanco has long been a business hub and place for both politicians and enterntaiment personalities to stay and play.
Here you will find all the major designers from Hermès to Tiffanys, if you want something more authentic to Mexico, many famous Mexican designers are also located here from Sergio Bustamante (sculptures), Pineda Covalin ( scarves and dresses in colorful prints) and Daniel Espinosa ( jewelry).
Wheather you window shop or shop till you drop you can end the day with a late dinner at the famous Hotel Presidente’s restaurat El Balmoral famous for home made pastries and aged steaks.El Balmoral
Day 3: The Views
Mexico City is all about perception, about the sweeping views, the contradictions and the history after all the Aztecs built the ‘Great Tenochtitlan’ believing it was the center of the universe.
What better place to see that than the Pyramids of Teotihuacan. Only about an hour from the city and a wonder to see and ponder it is a must in Mexico. http://www.teotihuacan.inah.gob.mx
Option two is the Castillo de Chapultepec hiddend in the Chapultepec forest. It is a beautiful building, dating back to Spanish Colonia times, now converted into a museum and smack in the middle of Mexico City.
Here you also get mesmerizing city views and quiet to wonder why you have leave Mexico.
Castillo de Chapultepec
Whichever option you choose you won’t be dissapointed and you’ll make plans to come back and finish exploring the city.
Fiish your trip with dinner at Mexicos only rotatory restaurant Bellini 50 floors avobe the city at the World Trade Center Tower. ( Reservations Highly Recommended)