Travel

I just got back from Greece

It’s really bittersweet coming back from vacation. One part of you is SO sad that you’re leaving such a beautiful place, but the other part of you is glad to have your routine back. Okay, I’m not really a “routine” person, so it’s mostly bitter, rather than sweet, for me. I’m actually vehemently against a routine and I am so glad that I have a job where every day is a little bit different, but if I could get paid to travel and experience the world I 100% would. In a heartbeat.

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Christie, me, and Amanda at the Acropolis

 

So back in December, my two friends and I decided to book a round trip flight to Athens. That’s all we did. We figured we would fill in the rest later. And that we did. Here’s how we did it.

STEP 1: Decide where you’re going within the country

  1. Santorini from June 25-28
  2. Mykonos from Jule 28-July 1
  3. Athens from July 1-4

STEP 2: Book transit from place to place

We used SeaJets for the fast ferries from Santorini to Mykonos (2.5 hrs) and Mykonos to Athens (just about 4 hrs).

We also decided to just get all the flights out of the way on day 1 so we flew from NYC to London to Athens to Santorini. And a fun-filled day it was.

STEP 3: Decide where to stay in each place

Since our friend, Christie, had done a study abroad in Greece four years ago, she had a pretty good idea of where to stay. Since she spent the majority of her time in Santorini in Kamari Beach, we decided to stay in Fira. More on that later.

When it came to Mykonos, we decided to stay in the party-centric Paradise Beach. Didn’t do a ton of research on this one, but again more on that later.

In Athens we weren’t picky. We just wanted to be within walking distance to the major tourist attractions. We ended up staying in a really nice Home Away right in the city center.

STEP 4: Don’t overthink it

That’s pretty much all we did. The few excursions we did we decided to just play by ear when we got there. We would have all driven each other crazy over-planning and over-booking. I’m glad we did it that way.

We ended up having a f*cking awesome trip. More on that later. Any questions?

Always,

Allie

P.S. Follow me on Twittah. Ya won’t regret it.

 

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Jersey Shore

Sandy can’t wipe out my memories

This weekend, the New Jersey Shore was completely obliterated by Hurricane Sandy. The photos are absolutely astonishing and unbelievable:

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But regardless of the condition, Hurricane Sandy will never take away my memories at the Jersey Shore. This first picture here seems like it is from a different lifetime. It was

only 2008. Thanks to my best friend, Aly, I got to go down the shore whenever we wanted. She had a car and her family friend, Don, had a house. We pretty much went down whenever we could…after Aly learned to be OK with highway driving. That was probably the most hilarious trip ever. She wasn’t used to driving on the highway (and was really terrified of it) but she did it anyway so that we could hang out in Lavallette for the weekend. It started raining and she started crying. We pulled over on the side of the highway for about an hour just

watching the rain and waiting for it to let up a bit. This was just the beginning of our times down the shore together…

This next photo is us during either Memorial Day Weekend (MDW) or Labor Day Weekend (LDW) of 2009. I was fresh out of high school and obviously a lot thinner than I am now. Although I can’t believe back then I thought I was overweight. I feel like I’m doing a chronicle of my life with Aly but this is more about my memories of the beach.

This place is the first place I ever got drunk (silly memory?) and would later be the first place I ever went to a bar. Those times down the shore meeting random people, hooking up on the beach at night and getting drunk with total strangers kind of made me the person I am today. I don’t think I would be as outgoing or confident as I am without getting these experiences. And without the Jersey Shore, I would have never had the

setting for these experiences to take place. I met two prom dates down the shore and even more summer flings…

Speaking of flings, there was a very notorious hookup I had thanks to the bar in this picture (left). This was the night I met Mo. He was about 6’7 and African American. One of those guys that should be in the NFL or NBA or something. Anyway, we made out on the sandy shores of Seaside Heights and then I went home. Nothing came of it even though I’m pretty sure my friends wanted something to come of it – especially if it meant making fun of me for my ridiculous underage behavior.

Right now I sit here and wonder what has happened to the lovely Spicy’s, (the bar in this picture) especially since they just remodeled it. I just love when trashy bars try to be classy, which is basically every single establishment in Seaside Heights.

Speaking of trashy establishments of Seaside, The Hershey Motel is one of the trashiest. The model of choice for Prom Weekends of high schools all over the state, every inch of the rooms have been corrupted. We decided to get a room there for old times sake this past LDW. I’m pretty sure we got the room that I was actually in during my prom weekend. What are the odds? Seriously can someone tell me?

Anyway, this past summer was no exception to the “get drunk, get crunk, get fucked up” rule that we usually abide by in Seaside…the only difference was that Aly and I are currently in long-term and loving relationships. That’s just not an idea situation at the Jersey Shore. You dont want to be in one and you certainly don’t want to start one down the Shore. As the very knowledgable Sammi Sweetheart said,

“Don’t fall in love at the Jersey Shore.”

I can safely say that this is a lesson that I still apply to my everyday life.

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Recap

29/07/2012

I can’t believe we are leaving our home of Lyon today. This is so surreal. The memories I’ve made here are definitely some of the greatest in my life and I swear that I will never forget everything I’ve learned about people, the world and myself.

The people in Lyon are not 100% tourist lovers, but I liked that. I don’t want to be treated like a tourist – I want to blend in to the culture. I can see why some tourists would think that the French are rude; but really, don’t go to a place that you’re not willing to adapt to.

Learn a few quick French phrases before you leave and talk to people! The best advice I can give to people travelling to a location is to go out to places that locals go (clubs, bars, etc.) and just start up a conversation. Nine times out of 10 they will want to practice their English on you and will want you to practice your French on them. No matter how broken it is. No matter how many times they have to hear you say, “Comment dit on en francais ___?” 

I learned that lesson from doing just that. I met countless random twenty-something year old guys walking home from the discotech at the same time as me who would help with my French while I helped with their English (in a huge group of us of course).

Au Revior, Lyon!

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Le Beaujolais

28/07/2012

How is it that this is our last full day in Lyon already?

I got some silly souvenirs (shot glasses, more post cards, basically all stuff I don’t need) and then we went on the most phenomenal day trip. Le Beaujolais is basically wine country. There are vineyards everywhere and all you can see for miles is hilly green rows of plants growing the grapes to make their famous Beaujolais wine. 

It was raining so some of the photos aren’t so great but check them out anyway:

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Then we went to a little wine cellar to do a wine tasting. They paired their rose wines with some sausages and the red wine with some cheeses. It was so delicious and I wish cheeses and sausages were even remotely the same in the USA. 

Update: I saw brie cheese in the supermarket and it said “product of France” and so I tried it. Definitely not as good as the French cheese.

Au revior (for now)

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Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Parc de la Tete d’Or

27/07/2012

Class today was pretty much just pointless. Actually, it was not. Thanks to Chelsea trying to make out with our professor yesterday, he wasn’t any fun. She definitely sucked all the fun out of him, dementor-style. Connell and I shit on her about that for a while.

Although we did watch a pretty good movie, The Untouchables, which I would have liked more if it didn’t extend our class an extra 15 minutes.

I forgot to mention that we went to an amazing zoo too! It was totally free (awesome) and some of the animals weren’t in cages (they had natural walls – also awesome).

Deer!

But I got other great pictures too!

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It was so great and free!! Parc de la Tete d’Or. GO THERE!

Au revoir (for now)

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26/07/2012

We graduated today!! But we still have class tomorrow, which is weird. I guess that’s how they do shit here?

My diploma

During graduation, we obviously had to do the cheek kisses (or for those of you that are cultures: faire la bise, bisous or bisou) with our professors, which is something that I personally always stress out about. Which way do you go first? What if they go the same way as you? What if you unintentionally make out with the person on the other end of the kiss?

Thank God I had Chelsea to answer that question for me.

Chelsea had a very interesting experience during this. Not only did Connell and I go before her so she could watch which way was acceptable to lean first, but many other members of our class did as well. But for some reason, Seb flustered her and she almost made out with him. I’m pretty sure someone, somewhere has it on video. That could probably make a baller YouTube video.

For those of you still confused about this gesture, click here.

Au revoir (for now)

Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Faire la bise

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Fashion, Lyon, Travel

Lyon: Camieu

25/07/2012

Well, I went shopping again. (Click here for the online store!) But in my defense, I got the most adorable four dresses for only 45€. I really love the sales (soldes) here. I just want to come back every January and July with an empty suitcase and fill it up with pretty things. Is that weird?

Here are the dresses I got:

  1. Strapless floral dress: This one has a great waistline. It slims to just the right spot and then knows just where to get into that A-line skirt. Pair it with a teal cardigan.
  2. White shift dress: SUCH a classic. Add some rose gold accessories to this and you’ve got a winner. Plus a neutral and neon accessory and you’ll be the most talked about girl in the room.
  3. Lilly Pulitzer-esque floral dress: Once someone said to me that “it looked like Lilly” I had to buy it! Not only that, but it has an adorable cut out and a bow on the back!
  4. Red shift dress: This one looks so cute in a nautical theme. Add in a navy and white striped cardigan, a gold belt, the Lilly Pulitzer shell yeah necklace and these Sperry wedge sandals.

I also got a pink one identical to the red and white shift dresses because I’m obsessive.

Then we went to go see The Dark Knight Rises. IT WAS AMAZING. Seriously go see it. First of all, in French movie theatres, they take their concession stands seriously. They had not only salted popcorn, they also had kettle corn. And they do ice cream there too. I’m so into that.

Me at the theatre

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