Pompeii, Italy

Pompeii really blew my mind. I’ve been a lot of places, and I’ve seen a lot of things, but this was the first time I’ve ever walked along a path that was built so long ago – the area was first settled around 800 BC by wealthy Greeks attracted to the sunshine and scenery in the Bay of Naples. The city of Pompeii was first mentioned in written history in 300 BC, about 400 years before its destruction and 300 years before Christ would even walk the earth. If you’re not familiar with the very true tale, at the time of its demise, Pompeii was a thriving community in the Roman Colony. Continue reading

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A Weekend in Berlin, Part 2

So let me tell you about my party experience in Berlin. Amie and I have caused midnight mayhem in many European cities. We’ve had crazy nights out in Lisbon, Istanbul, Paris, and Amsterdam, just to name a few. But we knew Berlin would be something else. In the 90’s, all of the best parties in Berlin were nomadic – thousands upon thousands had fled Berlin to escape the firm grip of communism, leaving behind empty houses and abandoned industrial buildings. When the Berlin Wall fell, Berliner’s rejoiced, and the once abandoned homes and buildings became a backdrop for the city’s triumphant party scene. Twenty years later, Berlin’s once elusive nightlife is now a permanent fixture in the city’s global persona. Iconic night clubs such as Berghain and Sisyphos draw party-goers from around the globe, while trendy cocktail bars such as Neue Odessa and Green Door serve distinguished cocktails for locals and tourists alike.IMG_2291To say that Amie and I were excited to experience Berlin’s nightlife would be a vast understatement. We’d intentionally enjoyed a week of rest and relaxation in Italy, recharging before an epic long weekend in Berlin. As mentioned in my last post, Amie and I kicked off our Friday evening at Txokoa, where we sipped monstrous G&Ts and enjoyed a rich dinner. Continue reading

Exploring Münster, Germany

Last weekend the Dutch girlfriends and I planned a little escape. Fall was in the air and we were craving a change – a weekend outside of Amsterdam or a day in another city. We marked the weekend in our calendars without making a concrete plan. If the weather was sunny and gorgeous, we could head up to Texel and stroll the beach. If it rained, we could spend the day shopping and eating in Antwerp. And if it was a clear, fall day, we could trek a bit further and spend the day in Germany, drinking crisp beers and exploring a new city – which is exactly what we ended up doing!Visiting Munster Germany_9919Melissa picked us up at the crack of dawn. I’d gone out on Friday night and was *dead* after only three hours of sleep, but the adrenaline of visiting a new city for the first time is often stronger than a good cup-o-joe, and so by the time we reached Münster (our decided German destination) I was refreshed and ready to go! This post is going to be more beautiful than informative, as I did no research on Münster ahead of time and don’t have a boat load of recommendations to share. We looked at good ol’ Google Maps once or twice for navigation guidance, but left the rest up to luck! We stumbled into shops, ate at random stops, and gawked at the numerous stunning churches.  Continue reading

Park Güell, Barcelona

Eusebi Güell and Gaudí were homeboys. Güell was a Catalan entrepreneur, and in 1890 he established a worker’s colony north of Barcelona, in Santa Coloma de Cervello. While Güell’s textile factory was the economic centerpiece of Santa Coloma de Cervello, Güell commissioned Gaudí, a Catalan architect, to build a church and crypt that would serve as the colony’s cultural and religious epicenter. I’m telling you, total bromance. Güell and Gaudí went on to complete many projects together, exemplifying Catalan Modernism in Spain. In 1900, Güell and Gaudí conceptualized a rich housing estate overlooking the city of Barcelona. Park Güell was originally intended to be the focal point of this rich community, but after the project went bankrupt, the park was converted into a municipal garden open to the city. IMG_5758

Day 3 in Barcelona started in a small cafe. I took a work call while sipping hot coffee and forking chocolate crepes. And although the air was cool and the skies were white, after breakfast a girlfriend Eva and I set off for Park Güell, intent on seeing one of Gaudí’s most renowned creations.  Continue reading

Prague

Wow. Has it really been 15 days since my last blog post?! November is flying by, figuratively and literally. I’ve been on more planes this month than I can count on both hands – in the past two weeks alone I’ve been to Prague, Denmark, and Milan. My busy travel schedule means lots of client dinners, late nights in transit, and extra work on top of day time meetings, so I haven’t had much blogging down-time. I also haven’t had a lot of alone time, sleep time, eat healthy time, clean my house time, or binge on Netflix time. Tonight my only plan is to put on pajamas and read in bed until I fall asleep. But before I retire into a puddle of laziness, let me tell you about Prague.

IMG_4506Two weeks ago, a colleague and I hopped on a plane to Prague for the European Planning Conference. The conference was super informative, but also very full-on, and didn’t leave for much time for city-exploration. Continue reading

Amsterdam At Night

I have an ongoing love affair with the gym. Sometimes we are passionately involved and see each other daily for sweaty funtimes. And then there are days, weeks, months, where we go without a word. But we both know that these periods of absence are OK, because inevitably, I will be back for more. I’m like a hamster that needs to run on my little wheel every so often, or else I lose a sense of purpose in life. Sometimes there are things you need to let out, and for me, the best way to do so is in the form of pure physical exhaustion.

Lately, I’ve been working crazy long hours, and have barely had time for regular meals, never mind a jaunt on the elliptical. To compensate, I’ve been taking long detours on my walk home from work, exploring the beautiful Dutch canals and getting a bit of fresh air along the way. Tonight I had an adventure as such, and thought I would introduce you to the beautiful city of Amsterdam.

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I swung by B’s work and picked him up along the way.Amsterdam At NightThis picture captures everything Dutch: bikes, canals, crooked houses and stone bridges.IMG_0599IMG_0623IMG_0641The local.

IMG_0634Car parking, boat parkin.

IMG_0647When I get to the Heineken Brewery, my feet sigh in relief. Home is just around the corner.

IMG_0652My neighborhood, de Pijp. A bright, bustling, cultural and exciting neighborhood. I must say, as much as I miss my gym time, evening strolls around the city are equally therapeutic!