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Canada Photo Diary Part 2

July 12, 2017

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If you missed Canada Part 1 go ahead and click here. Some of the other places that we visited was Niagara Falls in Goldstream Provincial Park. It was a super easy walk to the waterfall, and it’s absolutely gorgeous. We stopped there and ate lunch in the park as well.

Another place we visited was the butterfly gardens. This was so incredible. They also had a bug exhibit, which was not even close to as cool as the butterflies. You’re in this huge room and there is butterflies everywhere! They are flying all around you. None of them really landed on you, but there was this cool bird that climbed up and gave us kisses.

One of the last things we did in Canada was visit Hatley Castle. The castle has been used in Xmen and I believe Deadpool. What’s really cool about the castle is that it’s actually a university and theres classrooms. I couldn’t imagine going to school in such a cool building. The bummer was that when classes are in session you can’t tour it. So we didn’t get to go inside :( They do have amazing gardens we got to walk through.

After visiting Canada we took the ferry into Seattle. I didn’t take very many photos from there since we were only in the city for two days. You can check out the video below though!

Travel

Canada Photo Diary Part 1

July 10, 2017

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Hello Friends! It’s been too long. If you follow me on instagram then you know I was in Canada before the fourth. While I totally planned on having posts go up while I was gone I totally slacked and didn’t schedule anything. I know, blogger fail! But here I am back and ready to get things on schedule!

My family vacation this year was to Victoria, Canada and Seattle, Washington. We flew into Vancouver and took a little hopper plane from there to Victoria. This was my first time in Canada and taking a small propeller plane. That is an experience! We spent 5 days in Canada then took the ferry from there to Seattle where we spent about 4 days. I didn’t focus much on blog posts from this vacation, but I did do a mini vlog (similar to my Europe ones) and I think a photo round up is gonna happen.

All of these photos are from our first few days in Victoria, Canada. We visited the Butchart Gardens which was so incredibly beautiful! It’s massive and has been around for about a century. I thought it was also really cool to see actual peony bushes! We can’t really grow them in California and the Butchart Gardens had tons!

Another one of the things we did (which I think was my favorite part of the trip) was whale watching. And not just grey whales that we in So Cal see all the time. We saw Orcas!! It was so cool! One actually swam right toward us and went under our boat. You can see it in the video below. It was so crazy! We were so blessed to get to see two pods that day. If you are visiting Victoria, Canada whale watching is my huge recommendation! We went out on this tiny little blow up zodiac boat. At first I was really nervous, but it honestly wasn’t scary at all and a lot of fun!

Stay tuned for the rest of the photos from the trip this week, and you can watch the vlog below.

Travel

Paris Apartment Airbnb Review

May 17, 2017

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Hello and welcome to another episode of Mariah want’s to go back to Paris…but really can I go back now?

If you’ve been following along with my Europe travel posts than this is no surprise to you. I just fell in love with Paris. The entire trip was just magical. While we were there we gave everyone a little mini snapchat or instagram tour of the airbnb that we stayed in. The apartment was just darling! We totally scored with such a perfect place to stay. The apartment is located in the 15th arrondissement, and is about a ten minute walk to the Eiffel Tower.

When we were trying to decide where we wanted to stay in Paris everyone told us to look in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements. Those locations are most centralized and a lot of tourist attractions are there. However, I knew we only had 2 nights in the city, and I did not want to miss the Eiffel Tower sparkling. I mean I was going to Paris, and the tower was high up on my bucket list of things to see and adore. I did a lot of research to make sure staying over by the tower was still safe, near public transit, and food.

We ended up staying in the most adorable apartment ever! We never met our host, Marie, but her brother-in-law let us in. The check in was super easy, and the apartment was clean, spacious, and comfortable. When I was looking at places to stay I knew I wanted a place with a lift! Climbing up flights of stairs with luggage is never fun. The building had a super small lift, but it worked and that’s really all that mattered. Some other amenities that Marie’s place had were a washer and wifi; two other things that were important to us. Another serious perk was that you could see the top of the Eiffel Tower from the kitchen window. I don’t have a picture to include in the post, but you can see a mini tour in the below video and the view from the kitchen window.

Airbnb was the first place I looked when trying to find a place to stay. My family has stayed in them before in New York as well as Boston so the concept wasn’t foreign to me. I knew it would be different since I was going overseas this time, but I wasn’t too worried. Here are a few tips to consider when looking for an airbnb to stay in:

Look for a place with multiple reviews.

Some really great places may be new listings, but I always feel more comfortable when I know other people have stayed there and had good experiences.

Stay in places where you have the whole apartment or house to yourself.

This is a personal preference, but a safer option. I think it would be so weird to stay in someone’s house you don’t know with the person there. Plus for this vacation it was just me and my other girl friend who were traveling. There was no way we, as two girls, were going to share an apartment with anyone we didn’t know!

Know what amenities you need.

Like I mentioned above I knew I preferred a place with a lift, and there was no way I could do without wifi. The washer was an added plus, but we could have cared less about the tv. Airbnb makes it really easy to see what a place has and doesn’t have. Just make sure you thoroughly check it out before you rent.

Overall, I love airbnb and would totally recommend it to anyone! We totally fell in love with Marie’s apartment and we even considered extending our time there because we loved it so much. If you’re visiting Paris anytime soon you should definitely stay in her place!

Travel

Palace of Versailles

May 2, 2017

palace of versailles palace of versailles moos musing gingham layered sweater palace of versailles palace of versailles trip moos musing gingham palace of versaillesOh, the Palace of Versailles. This was our last day in France, and really the only day that things did not go smoothly. Getting to Versailles was a pain, and the train station people were not very helpful. We were also dead tired by this point. Like dead tired…like I fell asleep sitting in the gardens tired… The Palace was beautiful, but we didn’t have a whole lot of time to spend there since we needed to be back by a certain time for the people who’s house we were staying at. I didn’t really feel like we got to see a whole lot of the Palace.

I’ve started to see people’s photos who have visited the Palace of Versailles now, and the gardens are wayyy more beautiful now that there are leaves on the trees and everything is blooming. I think that is something I have to go back and see next time. Everything in bloom, and everything so green.

25 by 25, Travel

Turning 23 in Paris

April 25, 2017

zara stripe scallop top IMG_3646 Moo's Musing Seine River Louvre Musuem Siene River Laduree Birthday Lovure Musuem scallop bell sleeve zara Louvre zara scallop top outfit tuileries garden Moo's musing Laduree Paris Laduree Paris Birthday Paris streets Bell sleeve blouse outfit orangerie museum Laduree Macarons Moo's Musing Zara outfitOur third day in Paris was my birthday!! Literally could not think of a better place to turn 23 in than Paris. I mean it’s Paris! This Europe trip wasn’t planned to be a birthday trip, it just seems that I travel on my birthday a lot. Last year I was in Seattle, and now this year Paris! I definitely am not going to complain about traveling for my birthday though! It’s seriously just so fun!

We started our day a little late, but it was enjoyable to sleep in and take our time to get ready. Our first stop was the Saint Chappelle since we didn’t have time to see if the day before. It’s right across the way from Notre Dame and it is so amazing! The entire room is covered in stain glass windows and all the colorful light coming in is just magical. It’s amazing to me how old and beautiful churches are overseas. In Southern California it’s very rare to find a church with such amazing architecture.

We then took the trek up past the Louvre to Ladurée Paris au Printemps de la Mode for my birthday lunch. Ladurée is one of my favorite places, and I’ve visited both of the ones we have in New York. Visiting one in Paris was seriously on my bucket list, and I was not missing out! It was such a perfect birthday lunch. I felt like I was living in a dream. Tori and I split a sandwhich, we had wine, and ended the meal with desert and tea. It was so cute, they even put a candle in a macaron for my birthday! You can bet I save that little ribbon too!

After our perfect little lunch we headed to the Tuileries Garden and sat and watched the boats for a little bit. That’s also where we took the outfit photos which are seriously some of my favorites from Paris! I think I need Tori to just always be my photographer. From there we headed to Musée de l’Orangerie which is just on the opposite side of the gardens. The people we stayed with told us all about this museum, and I’m a Monet fan so I was really looking forward to it. The Orangerie totally lived up to expectations too! I absolutely loved sitting in the oval room, and learning more about the water lilies painting.

To end my Parisian birthday we also met two different cats on our walk home. They just made my birthday that much better!

Top: Zara

 

Travel

A Sunday In Paris

April 17, 2017

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Our second day in Paris was a Sunday. We started the day off by visiting a church service. While it was amazing to see a church service in Paris everything was in French so ya know we didn’t understand very much of it!

After that we started the day at the Musée d’Orsay. I had read a lot about how beautiful this museum was, and it did not disappoint. We ate a small meal there in the same room as the world famous clock. I was bummed we didn’t get a picture in front of it because there was a lady with a stroller who literally left the stroller there for the full time of our meal. Come on lady! It’s a famous instagramable spot!

The museum itself was really incredible though. I can’t believe that I walked through and saw Van Gough’s! We study so many things being an art major, but to think that I actually traveled to the museums that hold these famous works of art and saw them in person rather than just in a school textbook is incredible. People go their entire lives not even knowing about art, or studying it but never seeing it. Yet, I was so blessed to travel and see it! My brain is still blown!

One item that I absolutely knew I wanted to bring home from Paris was perfume. Your sense of smell if really strong, and the memories that attach to smell is incredible. So buying perfume and wearing it while in Paris was something I wanted to associate with my trip. We happened to stumble into this shop while exploring, and I fell in love with their perfume. It is meant to be layered so rather than just a bottle you can buy multiple and layer them in different ways to create different smells. I bought Immortelle, and Bigarade. You can see the little shop in the video below.

We happened upon the shop on our way to Luxembourg Palace. I think that this was one of my favorite places in Paris. The gardens are huge and amazing. The little pond/lake thing in the front with all the boats was so cute! I loved how a ton of Parisians just sat around the gardens, hung out, read, or watched their children play. It was just such a lovely outdoor spot. This is one of the places I would just love to go back to and see all in bloom and leaves on the trees!

From there we headed to the Pantheon which was pretty cool. I love physics so the whole pendulum thing was fascinating to me! After that we went to Shakespeare and Company. Now this is literally just a book store…I’m not sure what made me think it was going to be something else, but nope just a book store. Right across the way is Notre Dame. Again with the perfect timing, we headed there just as it chimed! I’m telling you, us and timing really got along this vacation!

There ya have it for Day 2 in Paris! Watch the vlog and let me know what you think!

25 by 25, Style, Travel

Paris Sunrise

April 13, 2017

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This moment, this glorious and perfect moment. The city was fairly quiet, not quite awake yet. Very few people were out and about; the photographers, the runners. Just enough to know the city had life, but not ready for the busyness of the day. There were a few car engines, but no honking. The tourists were not awake. It was simple and peaceful.

This moment when the sun was barely peeking over the rooftops, this moment when the light was not yet harsh but rather soft and warm, this moment of a golden hour morning. This moment is just another moment where Paris stole a little bit more of my heart. It will forever be engrained in my mind how even on a cool morning I felt warm. How in a boisterous and busy city I felt the calm. How in a city with a language gap I still felt like I belonged.

It was a small piece of heaven to sit and watch the city wake up. Slowly, more cars joined the road, slowly the streets became more crowded. Just another tourist on the streets. Yet, it felt like I had seen a secret part of Paris. A part that not everyone gets to see. Where she is shining and calm and just so close to perfection.

Sweater: LOFT
Jeans: Hollister
Boots: Saint James Bay from JC Penney
Necklace: J Crew

To see more from this day in Paris check out this blog post.