Waltzing & Whirling Through Vienna

I never thought I would ring in the new year in Vienna, Austria.  Vienna was the last leg in our holiday before returning to New York (technically, Vienna to Prague to London to New was a busy couple of days).  Similarly to Munich, I didn't expect it to be such a modern bustling city.  It was great to spend another holiday in Eastern Europe and learn about the culture surrounding it.

The hotel we booked in Vienna was actually a fully furnished apartment.  It was in a ritzy neighborhood north of the center of the city, about a 30 minute walk.  The second we stepped foot over the river, I was stunned by the old-world beauty of Vienna.  Like Munich, we somehow found the street full of luxury shopping.  All the brand names shouted out at me: Louis!  Chanel!  Prada!  All above us were many long strands of fairy lights that gave the whole shopping street a beautiful starry quality.  We walked along here to the stunning opera house, but our final destination was actually a lar…


From Prague, we caught a train to Munich, Germany.  Our primary interest in visiting Munich actually comes from a 2,000 piece puzzle that we constructed over about four years.  The end result was of Neuschwanstein Castle, nestled in the Alps between Germany and Austria.  The nearest main Germany city was Munich, so we decided to make that our base and travel to Neuschwanstein on a day trip.

When we got off the train in Munich and checked into our hotel, I was uber-hangry.  We walked to a market called Victuals Market and I ordered a sausage sandwich from the first vendor I saw.  Not sure if it was the hunger talking, but it was one of the most delicious sausages I've ever tasted.  It was really juicy, super salty, and the crusty bread was perfect to sop up the sausage fat.  Still hungry, I zipped across the market to a stall where they made chopped roast pork sandwiches topped with a generous chunk of pork crackling.  Wow!  My brain was like, "no girl you are eating pure pork…

Czech Out Praha

Have you ever heard the old quip that beer is cheaper than water in Prague?  Well, it's true.

We visited Eastern Europe last winter and I found Prague to be the most charming and lovely city of all.  Other than drinking inordinate amounts of cheap beer, I wasn't sure what to expect from Prague.  I learned so much, fell in love, and ate some incredible food along the way.
Prague at Christmastime is cold.  A lot of the food and customs are designed to keep you and your belly warm and full, so after this trip I definitely gained a few inches around the waistline.  So worth it though!  I really enjoyed experiencing the holiday culture of Eastern Europe.

The first morning in Prague, we came upon a Christmas market in Wenceslas Square.  Here, I laid eyes for the first time on trdelnik, a regional sweet snack.  All the surrounding countries have different recipes and appearances, but Czech trdelnik was my favorite.  A lot of the fun was watching the vendors make the trdelnik to orde…

Nice To Meat You

After several trips to Paris over the years, I was eager to see more of France so one weekend in early December, we planned a very last-minute low-key trip to Nice.  It was so brief (arrived Saturday, departed Sunday) that I just brought my Jansport with one change of clothes (if at all).
When we first got to Nice from the airport, our destination became...Monaco.  The tiny principality of Monaco is just a handful of miles away from Nice, and even uses Nice's airport/helipad since it doesn't have its own.  High rollers of course go to Monaco by helicopter from the Nice Airport and head to the Monte Carlo casino, luxury shopping, and Formula One racing.  Alex and I went to Monaco on a public bus.
As cheap as that sounds, the bus ride was one of the most amazing experiences.  The water on the Riviera was a gorgeous cerulean blue and the mountainous land rises steeply up from the coast, where terra cotta-tiled houses are studded into the landscape.  If we had more than just a we…