Edinburgh, Scotland

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We left Dublin on a prop plane, and 45 minutes later we landed in Scotland!

Edinburgh Castle

You can’t go to Edinburgh without seeing the Castle.  Actually, that will won’t be an issue – its the first thing you see when entering the city! There is no way of missing it.  The castle sits high up on a hill and lights up at night.    Continue reading “Edinburgh, Scotland”

Ireland: Sleep, Eat, and Play

The Dean Hotel

We stayed at the Dean Hotel, a boutique hotel located in City Centre.  Its a trendy, fun and comfortable establishment that served every purpose – sleep. eat. and entertainment.  To set the scene – the lobby had a DJ set up along with a bar and lounge area.  It didn’t stop there, the rooftop had a fabulous bar, restaurant and lounge area.  We stayed in the SupeRoom, which was the perfect amount of space for us.   Continue reading “Ireland: Sleep, Eat, and Play”

Dublin, Ireland

AND WE ARE OFF TO IRELAND!!!!

Continue reading “Dublin, Ireland”

Barcelona – El Born/ La Ribera Districts

 

Two years ago when we were in Barcelona we learned that El Born/ La Ribera was transforming into the new happening district. Having stayed in this area we got to explore and found it to be one of our favorite spots to dine, wine and play! This past trip we stayed at the W Barcelona for the night on our way back from Mallorca and spent most of our time in El Born/ La Ribera after a hot lap through the Mercat de La Boqueria. Continue reading “Barcelona – El Born/ La Ribera Districts”

Mallorca

So why did we pick Mallorca – why not? Mallorca is part of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean known for its beach resorts and protected coves. The island sits off the coast of Spain (a 30 minute flight from Barcelona) and is a popular holiday destination for Europeans. Yes Europeans – not Americans…which makes it that much better! The island is actually bigger than we expected and has very different terrain. Flat land, mountains and fertile plains. If this place isn’t on your list of travel destinations…it will be after this post! (We hope!) Continue reading “Mallorca”

Day Trip to Cascais, Portugal

While in Lisbon, we decided to take a day trip to Cascais. Cascais is a small beach town that used to be the former residence of the royal family. It took about 40 minutes by train, from Cais do Sodre station and costs under €10 round-trip. Well worth it! The train ride reminded us of the train from Orange County, CA to San Diego, CA because you are traveling along the coast the entire journey. Continue reading “Day Trip to Cascais, Portugal”

Being a Tourist In Lisbon, Portugal

A glimpse of some neighborhoods of Lisbon:

Bairro Alto
This is a picturesque working class quarter dating from the 16th century that has traditionally been the city’s bohemian haunt of artists and writers. During the day, the streets are less crowded, but once night fall hits the Fado Houses are packed and restaurants filled with hungry people. Continue reading “Being a Tourist In Lisbon, Portugal”

Out & About in Amsterdam

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T.W.O. continues their trip exploring Amsterdam.  Check out how we filled our Dutch days with fun activities….

Video Highlights: HERE

Flower Market

This is the only floating flower market in the world, and one of the most fragrant places of interest of Amsterdam – in all seasons. The flower stalls stand on the houseboats. You will find there all sorts of tulips, narcissus and other bulbs and flowers. The bulbs are ready for export, so you can enjoy them at home too. In December the market also sells Christmas trees.

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Amsterdam Bike Tour

If you haven’t already noticed, T.W.O. likes to take in cities as the locals do so we decided to be Dutch for the day and rent bikes.  We rented from Green Budget Bikes which was near our apartment.  The rates were reasonable and the staff was very helpful showing us the best spots to see.  We rode the perimeter of the city through the Vondelpark, passed the Heineken Experience and to the Brouwerij ‘t IJ Windmill Brewery. Its the perfect stop to grab a beer halfway through your ride.  After we went towards Central Station where were spotted the second ‘I Amsterdam sign’.  Riding bikes through the city was a must do and we can’t wait to do it again.  Please note – riding bikes can be a little nerve racking especially if you are not comfortable on a bike.  You share the lane with vespas and have to dodge other bicyclists.  That didn’t stop us though, it was a fun adventure!!

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Rijksmuseum

Though we enjoyed the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijks Museum was our favorite Museum in Amsterdam.  It’s a Netherlands national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is spacious and has various types of art from antique furniture to war cannons to the famous  painting by Rembrandt Night Watch.  Get your tickets HERE and you will be able to walk right in without waiting in the ticket line.  Note – photography is permitted.image image

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Canal Tour on The Tourist

The last night of our stay in Amsterdam, we stayed at the Pulitzer Hotel in Amsterdam.  It is a beautiful  hotel in the Jordaan area right on the canal.  We loved staying here and maybe part of it was that one of our favorite films was located in this hotel…Oceans 12 or maybe it was because we had an amazing night on The Tourist!!! Its the same boat that has toured Winston Churchill through the canals along with the Queen.  T.W.O. suggests taking this tour at night so you can appreciate all the lights on the canals and buildings.  We were lucky too since we were there during the Festival of Lights.  There were different parts of the city that had ‘exhibit’s.  Check them out below…

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IT DOESN’T GET ANY BETTER THAN  SHARING AN AMAZING TRIP WITH YOUR SISTER!
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Hallo Amsterdam

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LONDON -> AMS

From London to Amsterdam we go!. You can’t go around it, got to go through it….Yes indeed our train took us underneath the English Channel to France and then to Brussels  on EuroStar and then changed trains (Thalys) to get to our final destination.  (No need to book tickets separately…the EuroStar site does it for you.) The train ride was great – we enjoyed the countryside and our cabin company for a total ride of 4 hours.  The 21 minutes underneath the English Channel wasn’t a big deal…a couple ear pops and loss of cell phone reception and we made it to the other side! In typical T.W.O. fashion… we brought snacks for the train ride – sandwiches + salads + rosé!

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imageNew Years Eve

We arrived to Amsterdam on New Years Eve.  After checking in at our Airbnb apartment, we walked around before we got ready for the big night.  We stumbled upon a cheese shop and a bakery that sold oliebollens (delicious round doughnuts coated with icing sugar) and ‘appelflappen’ (tasty apple fritters). And they sure were good-good-good!!  After cruising a couple of The Nine Streets we headed home to get ready for our NYE out! We had dinner (will discuss in  Amsterdam Eats post) and then headed to a local pub where we watched the fireworks. Oh and ‘minor’ detail….Trigere did the NYE countdown for the entire audience present in the pub! haha.. IN ENGLISH!! Needless to say we danced the night away and had fun with our new Dutch Friends.

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Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is a must see in Amsterdam….get your tickets before hand though.  The lines are long and not worth it if you don’t get your tickets HERE.  Arrive on time and you will be let in a side door where you can immediately start your tour.  It’s a very interesting tour about Anne and her family during 1925-1947.  Being in the same house that was their hideout was pretty incredible and unnerving at the same time.  This is a MUST see while in Amsterdam. Please note – there is no photography allowed in the museum.

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imageVan Gogh Museum

Van Gogh …the post-Impressionist Dutch painter whose work was notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty who was a big part of 20th century art. While in Amsterdam we had to stop in the Van Gogh Museum which houses the most prestigious paintings and drawings from Vincent along with his artist friends.  Before you go, make sure to get your tickets HERE, so you avoid the long lines.  After visiting the museum you can take pictures in front of one of the three “I amsterdam” sign.  (Pictures were not allowed in this museum, expect for designated areas.)image

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VondelPark

The VondelPark is the Central Park of Amsterdam.  Its where people have picnics, take walks, ride bikes, run and kick a soccer ball around.  We enjoyed strolling around this park after a couple hours in the museum.  Take note of the lost and founds that are around the park…you never know what you are going to see hanging on them!

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Canal Walks

T.W.O. enjoyed walking around The Nine Streets popping into stores and pubs occasionally.  The Nine Streets is home to many restaurants, pubs, cafes and boutiques.  It was the area we stayed and would suggest staying here to any one….Jordaan region.   There is no place in this city that has a bad view.image

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Tot ziens,

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The Sites of London (Part 2)

imageAnother beautiful day was spent in London, England.  Hope you don’t get too exhausted from our tour around the city on Day #2…the key is knowing your Underground route prior to leaving! Mind the Gap!!!

Big Ben + House of Parliament + The London Eye

“The name Big Ben is often used to describe the tower, the clock and the bell but the name was first given to the Great Bell.The Elizabeth Tower, which stands at the north end of the Houses of Parliament, was completed in 1859 and the Great Clock started on 31 May, with the Great Bell’s strikes heard for the first time on 11 July and the quarter bells first chimed on 7 September.”

“The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of the House of Commons and the House of Lords, the two houses of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. Commonly known as the Houses of Parliament after its tenants, the Palace lies on the Middlesex bank of the River Thames in the City of Westminster.”

“The London Eye is a giant Ferris wheel on the South Bank of the River Thames in London. The 32 air-conditioned capsules can each hold up to 25 people.  The wheel rotates at 26 cm (10 in) per second (about 0.9 km/h or 0.6 mph) so that one revolution takes about 30 minutes. It does not usually stop to take on passengers; the rotation rate is slow enough to allow passengers to walk on and off the moving capsules at ground level.”

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Westminister Abbey

KATE, KATE!!!  We were a couple years late, but we made it to the Church that Kate Middleton became a Duchess and married her Prince Charming! The line was really long to get in and the tickets were about 18 pounds, so we opted to just walk around the grounds and visit the gift shop.  Loved this Church and maybe next time we visit, we will be walking down that aisle…oh hey Harry!!!! haha!

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Churchill War Rooms

This is an absolute MUST see and one of our favorite tourist sites we visited.  It was interesting seeing the perspective of the British and how they made out during the way.  We experienced the secret history underground that was lead by Churchill.  Well worth the money and the best part….hardly any lines!!!

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Covent Gardens

“Covent Garden is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane.  It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as “Covent Garden”. ”  It was the perfect place to stop for lunch and walk around on our way to Notting Hill.  Mind the Gap!

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Underground Fun

Some favorite memories from the Underground….  “MIND THE GAP” + “This is the Piccadilly line to Cockfosters.”

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Notting Hill

Confirmed…it’s like what you see in the movie, but BETTER!  We had so much fun walking down the street and can’t wait to go back and visit some boutiques and cafes! Bumpkin maybe??

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Kensington Palace

From Notting Hill we walked through the Kensington Palace Gates down the street that was home to many international embassies.  We wouldn’t mind living on this block – oh hey Kate, can i borrow some sugar?  We were able to walk the grounds of the Palace and feel like we were residence.  No Kate or George sightings, but that didn’t ruin our visit.  The garden behind the Palace reminded me of Central Park.  It was a beautiful setting!  We left the Palace and walked down Queen’s Gate back to South Kensington.  Loved that street – it was more residential and didn’t have the hustle and bustle the city centre had – nice break!

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TRAILER VIDEO HERE

Cheerio,

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