traveling to europe // dos & don’ts

i feel like recently i’ve seen a lot of people who are either going to europe or have just gotten back. although i wouldn’t call myself an expert, i do have some advice for those planning a trip across the pond!

1. DO bring converters for the countries you’re going to. in this day and age our phones are everything, but they’re useless if they’re dead.

2. DONT bring a million things that require converters. if you have a camera, ipad, laptop, phone, kindle and basically every electronic known to man (like me), bringing your bare minimum is best so when you sleep at night you are not picking and choosing what to plug in. (this of course depends on your job, but if you must bring every electronic device you own i recommend bringing a power strip)

3. DO make reservations for things you want to do. although it may feel like you’re thinking way too far in advance, some things you want to do may be a popular thing other people want to do! in this case making a reservation for a popular restaurant, play, or tea room may be a good idea.

4. DONT plan out every single day to the hour. this may seem difficult because leading up to your trip all you’re doing is anticipating it. but by creating loose plans you give yourself more opportunity to find things you didn’t know about! it also helps relieve stress because you aren’t rushing from activity to activity.

5. DO take a hop on hop off tour in the larger cities. it may seem sketchy when you’re being haggled on the street to buy a tour but a day pass for a hop on hop off tour in a city you’ve never been is the most efficient way to see all the major cites! (it also saves you money on a tube ticket. knowledge and transportation all in one!)

6. DONT waste your money on cabs. coming from america this may seem like an odd piece of advice, but a lot of european cities (if not all) have AMAZING public transit. so unless you’re carrying a giant suitcase (or something of the same nature) skip the cab and try to navigate public transit, it makes for a fun adventure!

7. DO call your bank and let them know you’ll be out of the country. money is important and you’ll be stranded if all of your cards stop working.

8. DONT take anything people hand you on the street. they will expect money and they will not let you leave until you have paid them. this is an easy mistake to make your first time in europe but that man at the eiffel tower handing your a rose will make you pay for it.

9. DO get cash in foreign currency before you leave. although it may seem scary to carry large amounts of money across the pond, it is the most efficient way to insure you won’t be stuck a) with large bank conversion fees or b) without money because no one will take your card.

10. DONT sweat the small stuff. for a lot of people going to england (or anywhere in europe) from north america is a big deal. it is really expensive and you’ve been waiting years to get this much time off work, but if you spend the whole trip frustrated about what went wrong (and things will go wrong) you won’t enjoy everything that did go right (and things will go right).

 

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laguna beach // 4th of july

hello blog friends. yet again i have left phoenix and i have to tell you ALL about it!

this trip started because jeff (read about how i know jeff in this post) randomly messaged me on facebook because he was doing an internship in california! little did he know that by messaging me on a tuesday that myself and tori would be on his door step that sunday.

tori was already going to be in california for a tournament and i was able to fly into john wayne airport on sunday! (side note: god bless tori for picking me up @ 9am after a long night out! you da bomb ❤ )

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we left the house to find the pacific marine mammal center which was just down the road from jeff’s place which was perfection. the volunteers were awesome and the seals were adorable! if you’re in laguna go check out this place and donate as they are trying to raise money for food and to build water tanks!

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then we just started wandering around (and of course i made these babes model for me)

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we then did our best to find food and stumbled to urth caffe. the food was SO good and the lemonade was on point.

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we finished this night at the beach

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the next day we drove ourselves down to balboa park in san diego. i’d been here once before  but when you add amazing people to the mix it makes everything better.

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we found the homeland

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we started with some food at the cafe outside the japanese friendship garden. jeff’s salad was the prettiest so thats why it got a feature!

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by far my favorite place in the park was the green house (not sure thats what it is called, but that is what it is) and we had a little model sesh again (because why not).

the best part of the day was renting one of the basket things that we got to drive around the park!

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moments before i offered to someone’s picture and tori+jeff drove off without me

the final day in laguna was the 4th of july. although i’ve lived in the states for over 10 years i’ve never been able to properly celebrate the 4th because no one wants to hang out with a canadian on the most american holiday of the year… was needless to say i was ECSTATIC to learn all about it.

we got a stellar deal on groupon to go whale watching in newport so that is exactly what we did. after having an adventure with parking we had a grand old time on the boat! (i felt rather ill, so shout out to matt and jeff for most of these pictures!)

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we finished the night was fireworks and the next morning followed with saddening goodbyes.

 

cannot wait for our next adventure ❤

 

check out the video I made:

shopping in halifax // caught in canada

what surprised me about halifax this trip was actually the shopping. i’ve found myself drawn to local boutiques over larger chains and i didn’t think halifax had anything like we had in phoenix but i was very, very wrong. if you have been to Halifax chances are you have heard of jennifer’s which is the most touristy local shop in all of province. although nothing is wrong with this, here are a few more places to add to your shopping list when you visit.

1. The Black Market

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the ring i bought from this trip is the circle ring on my pointer finger!

the black market has been a must visit location for me since i can remember becoming aware that shopping was a thing (it’s funny because we could never remember where it was, but if you need a point, it’s basically on pizza corner and if you ask anyone in halifax they’ll probably know where that is). it is filled with all kinds imported goods that range from clothing to home decor but my favorite thing to buy from here is jewelry. they have an amazing selection of silver rings. i already wear two of their rings every single day and i bought a new daily wearer while i was there this trip!

2. Vintage Shops on Queens Street

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this pick is a little more broad but stay with me. at the intersection of spring garden and queens street is a beautiful street of colored buildings that are the home of some really cool vintage shops and have a lot to choose from! you could easily spend in afternoon looking through these shops.

3. Made in the Maritimes Artisan BoutiqueKAW_0460

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this is the place that i bought the most stuff this trip! I would say that made in the maritimes is a more “hip” version of jennifer’s and from what I’ve heard there is more than one location. the particular one we visited was at the hydrostone which turned out to be a cool location i didn’t know about! i bought a few candles and soap for my friends at work and they were a big hit! the fresh flowers candle is for sure on my birthday list.

4. Earth GoddessKAW_0464

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this is another shop we stumbled across while at the hydrostone. it is right next to a waffle shop (yup, a waffle shop!) and across the street from made in the maritimes. the women in the shop was super nice and conversational and everything in the shop was BEAUTIFUL! although not everything was made in halifax i am pretty sure everything is made in canada. i bought this adorable card wallet for another friend at work and it says “take more detours” which just fit her perfectly!

5. Lost and Found Vintage

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i didn’t take any pictures outside or inside this shop but i bought this print that i am OBSESSED with. i literally have shown this to everyone because i think it just explains me like too perfectly. good humor and start and finish with coffee. so i’m adding this super cute shop in there! go go go! lost and found

do you have any secret cool shops in your city??

 

eating in halifax // caught in canada

halifax has many different amazing places to eat all across the province! today i wanted to talk about the places i went during my past trip because they were all places i’d never been to but absolutely adored.

1. Le Bistro By Liz

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first off is le bistro by liz. tucked at the bottom of an apartment building it may be easy to miss if you don’t know what you’re looking for, le bistro is an adorable french cafe with amazing food. myself and my two grandma’s all went for different salads and a cup of their soup of the day which happened to be mushroom rosemary. the food was crazy good and the atmosphere of the restaurant mimicked a small french bistro perfectly.

2. Tin Pan AlleyKAW_0211KAW_0216

although i didn’t personally partake in this meal I HAD to include it in this post. these wonderful french fry creations are courtesy of tin pan alley, a food truck that has come inside at scotia square. my grandma had the butter chicken and my aunt had one of their steak offerings. growing up Scotia square would not have been my first choice for cool food but i would make a stop in next time you’re in town!

3. The Dairy Bar

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finally, the shop that inspired this whole post: the diary bar. when looking for cool places to check out in halifax this was the first place i found! the dairy bar is just off spring garden road and is a hip new take on classic ice cream treats. my grandma got the rhubarb and strawberry creampuff sandwich and I got the cheat day sundae ( vanilla soft serve topped with pretzels, potatoes chips, chocolate sauce and a malteser). this place is absolutely adorable and has the best ice cream i’ve had in halifax! this is my #1 must visit place on your next trip 🙂

 

where are your favorite places to eat??