Playing In the Sun

The other day, my oldest friend from high school and I decided to get together to have a cute little photoshoot. We love photography and I wanted to test my new camera that I got over a year ago and haven’t really used it. So we decided to go to a local park that had a farm and a few cute animals and decided to take rustic pictures.

I suggest if you are trying to catch up with old high school friends, try something that you both enjoy and make a day out of it. No matter how hot it may be outside, you can always end up grabbing some ice cream later to cool down.

Having been home for about 2 months now from South Carolina, I have become a little southern girl with my cowboy boots. I was not expecting to come home with a love for preppy clothes, cowboy boots, and southern hospitality but, apparently, I do. Still not a big fan of Lilly Pulitzer, oops!

Happy Fourth Of July! Stay safe, and enjoy yourself and I will see y’all soon!

Dress: Hollister
Boots: A gift from my roommate

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Feeling like a Princess at Versailles – Paris Day 2

I was put to the test on my trip to Versailles, my French class has told me some of the history about this famous castle and I even did a debate in French (which was the worst), but I had learned more about the ongoings behind gold encrusted fences.

The castle is magnificent with the artwork and the architecture but the gardens were my favorite. I couldn’t explore most of the grounds but it was fun to find hidden gardens that not everyone notices. It was quite a walk around but I thing I wore off my very unhealthy lunch.

Although it may not be ideal to live here back then (my side on the debate) I would sure like to live among the gardens because they are amazing.

We had planned to visit the Eiffel Tower afterwards but because of the Euro and their fans, we couldn’t. But instead we got pictures from across the Seine and it was quite elegant in person.

Due to the trouble with the Eiffel Tower, we walked all the way up of the Arc De Triomphe which has the most beautiful views I have ever seen! Just look at the photo of Paris with the Eiffel Tower in the middle! It gives me chills that I took that picture!

I had two more days left in France and I just wanted to stay longer!

Bonjour Paris – Day 1

Paris is one of the cities that many people hope to visit one day, and I had the pleasure to be able to explore the city that I have been obsessed with since the day I was born. Paris is my middle name and also to honor the later Princess Diana. Growing up reading Eloise and Madeline, Paris has always been on the top of my list. On the first day of our adventure in Paris, we took the Eurostar from London into the city and we had a chance to explore the rainy streets of Sacre-Coeur, one of the most famous cathedral in Paris, other than Notre Dame.

I have always dreamed about walking in the streets of Paris, with a baguette in hand, a scarf wrapped around my neck and wearing a cute striped dress but in that time I had an umbrella, soaked shoes and a chocolate crepe from a restaurant. Despite the rain, I loved the beauty that calls itself the City of Lights. The narrow lanes with cute unique shops, even a Starbucks a friend of mine wanted to stop in, and to my surprise that many Parisians speak English. Out of everyone on my tour group, I knew the most French but thinking of becoming fluent in the language.

This area is known as Montmatre, the neighborhood of Paris that is famous for their artists. I hope to go back one day, when it is not raining and see the up-in-coming painters work on their masterpieces.

London Day 5 & 6

For the longest time, I have always wanted to explore an English village. See how they live and the landscape that reminds me of a story book. Our tour took us to Windsor Castle where the Queen goes during the Summer.

The Castle restricts pictures inside so I took a lot of the gardens outside. I love how the English keep their gardens and the flowers that they bloom, it is quite magical to me. After touring the Castle, I walked around the shopping center that is across the street from the grounds. It is quite the picture perfect English village that I inspires me to move to one day.

After the we arrived back in London, a group of us took a bike tour of Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. I swear, a way to my heart is to take me to explore parks and the beautiful nature that they include, especially the flowers. There is a picture below from Princess Diana’s Memorial that includes Long Lake with the Eye hidden behind the trees that I quite enjoy.

That night, we went to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the West End where I was able to try British candy, they were rather interesting.

The last day in London, we had gone to the British Museum. I did not take many pictures there but videos so they are included in my vlog. Having learned about American history my whole life, because duh I am from America, I had some ideas of British history but not too much. I learned more about the colonies they once had in the East and the wars they have fought and had the final say. I saw the Rosetta Stone and I learned more about Eastern Culture than I have ever did before. I saw the Chess Set that inspired J.K. Rowling for Wizard Chess. The Egyptian jewelry inspired me, I saw a pre-mummfied body which I saw for a second and felt sick and learned many stories behind the golds and silver that are hidden behind the glass cases. The thing I wished I could have witness was the Reading Room, but the thing I did try was eggplant in vegetarian pasta. British food is definitely different from I am used to, even on the plane ride over I had mushroom pasta.

Afterwards, the traveling group created a Spy Walk, pretending we are part of  famous spy group to take us around the city to find clues, gain points and learn more about the history around us. I thought it was fun, I was of course the fastest because I am good with maps but it made others frustrated for going too fast but I got annoyed with people walking too slow. Sadly we didn’t win but I really enjoyed it.

As soon as we got back to the hotel, me and a few friends grabbed a taxi and went up to the infamous Abbey Road, which is rather a busy street. I took their picture of the recreating the famous Beatles cover art, but it took 3 attempts, and 2 of them include almost being hit with a car. It wasn’t part of our tour but when will the next time I be in London so I thought why not visit it.

It was a quiet night, so my Gram and I had gone out to dinner down the street at Portman’s which was small but the atmosphere was comforting.

If you ever have the chance to go to London, I advise you to even if for a short time. I loved the whimsical shops and British lanes that I could spend forever exploring the city.

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London Day 3 & 4

On the 3rd day, we decided to check out the Changing of the Guards because we were not going to be able to see it on our tour. Although it was not the most exciting thing ever, I kind of got a upfront view of the inside gate. Waiting for that day that I marry royalty.

My tour officially started that day and we took a bus around the city especially the main tourist landmarks. I swear I love this city and hope one day (when this whole Brexit fixes itself) that I might live there.

The next day we went to the Tower of London, I realized that the history that occurred in the city was far cruel than I knew. After exploring the Crown Jewels and hearing the stories of the two princes, we took a speed boat down the Thames which was absolute best thing ever! And seeing my favorite blogger, Eleanor Calder, on the same boat a few weeks later made me excited.

We went on the London Eye and I do not think I will ever go on it again. Being in a small pod, high in the air, there is not much of an escape route and feeling it abruptly start again and nearing knocking me over ended with me sitting on the bench and gripping the side.

Afterwards we walked towards the Covent Gardens but first finding a Carousel and a hidden skate park, like this city has hidden beauty. We had gone to the Charles Dicken’s Cafe for some food and went down towards the market. I swear every time I start to head back where he had came from, I find a cute street that I have to go down to visit!

I love London.

London Day 1 & 2

On June 13th, my grandma and I took an overnight flight to London, England! Having felt anxious for the 7 hour flight, we made it around 6 am London time and as soon as I got there, I felt refreshed. The airport even had cute coffee shops that I would see in vlogs. FYI they offered me a drink on the flight, I am 18 so it is considered legal in England, but I opted for tea.

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After an insane drive and a 2 hour nap, we had tea planned at the restaurant in our hotel. To my surprise, it was one of those fancy hotels, because I am so used to Holiday Inns that I never knew what it was like to stay at a very fancy hotel. This hotel is thanks to the tour company that we used, Tauck, and they treated us like royalty.

It was rather weird being an American and viewing England’s very proper attitude and that such being a customer they literally treated like I was the Queen, only I can wish. The food is so different that I ate about 3 cucumber and cream cheese sandwich slices, I am at least trying. I got the Hibiscus Tea which was not too strong or bitter for my liking so I quite enjoyed it. I especially loved the centerpieces, especially the flowers and I have also learned that I am not a big fan of jelly. The dress I wore to tea if from Free People.

Our hotel was in the Marble Arch neighborhood so we decided to find it and we did not realize how close we were to Hyde Park! So our effort to stay awake was to walk walk around the city so we, I mean I, came with the idea to go to Madame Tussaud’s . I had to see the Zalfie wax figures of course! I texted my mom the picture and she actually thought that I had met them, sadly I did not 😦 .

We headed back for the hotel so my grandma fell asleep while I watched the people from out hotel window. Other than having a cereal bar for dinner, I really enjoyed the first night in London because it was so magical to me.

DAY 2

The second day started bright and early because we had to catch a bus to head to Harry Potter Studios of course! I am a huge Harry Potter fan and a movie fan so going there was a complete dream! I might move to England to work for a film company, but that is just an idea for now.

Here are the few of many photos I took and I highly suggest going even if you are not a Harry Potter fan, it was so cool to see how everything was created. I even rode a broom in the green screen room which I am not to sure if I am allowed to upload but if I am, it will possibly be up on a vlog. Ravenclaw for life!

After we left, we took a walk through Hyde Park and towards Harrods, legit the biggest place I have ever seen. Instead of buying anything, we ended having the most delicious ice cream in the cutest shop that gave me an idea to having my own ice cream shop.

Just look how yummy the ice cream looks! I do not really count my steps, but in total we walked 7 miles, gotta keep up my summer bod!

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Summer Packing List

Every summer my family and I go to the beach for a few days to relax from our crazy schedules. Each year I always try to figure out to pack such as different outfits and little extra materials that I could possibly need, but there are always a few things that I always take with me.

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Sunglasses are an outfit essential in the summer time as the sun gets brighter, the harder it is to see. Squinting is an option but it hurts after a while and can also cause wrinkles. It protects eyes from getting a sunburn, yes it does happen, and it also quite stylish because I am always pretending to be Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Every time I go to the beach, I am always trying to finish my reading list for school. After a few hours in the water, it is nice to sit underneath a beach umbrella and get absorbed into a book. Being a book nerd, it is nice to hear the sounds of the ocean that make me relax and enjoy my book so much more.

In the summer, flip flops are my go to shoe because they are so easy to just slip on and go. Feet can finally breathe and can help make the sock tan line go away. Flip flops do not always have to be boring, there are all types of styles. I currently own a black pair I got from Target because they go with everything, especially my black bathing suit. There are platform flip flops and some with jewels on the straps, they are literally something that can fit everyone’s unique styles.

Many people would not think to bring money to the beach. There might be an ice cream man passing by or a cute store on the boardwalk, it is always better to carry a few bills in case of an emergency such as seeing a cute pair of earrings or an ice cream on a hot day.

Going on vacation may seem relaxing but it can be stressful with family and activities that calm is much needed. The beach also is not always relaxing when there is sand flying everywhere and sea gulls attacking. I love listening to soft tunes that can help me  playlist includes Cody Simpson, Jack Johnson, Elvis Presley and John Mayer, also possibly the Beach Boys.

Although staying in a hotel is convenient because you have someone to clean up after you, I think renting a house makes the experience much more fun. Staying in a house rather than a hotel makes someone less of a tourist and more of a traveler as they try to discover more than the main attraction, it is like creating a more personal relationship with an adventure.

If you are in need for a little inspiration for a getaway, make sure to check out articles about best summer vacations. Also make sure to check out HomeAway for cool places to stay!