A Foodie’s Guide to the Best Places to Eat in New York’s Capital Region

The cat is finally out of the bag. When I went to school at Siena, I was the kid that always ventured out to find new places to eat. I was always up for an excuse to get away from crappy dining hall food. I ended up going to way more than just this list (sorry bank account). But these are the no-fail restaurants that your stomachs with thank me for and your bank accounts will hate me for.

Breakfast/Brunch

Iron Gate Café

Location: 182 Washington Ave, Albany, NY

You haven’t met brunch until you met Iron Gate Cafe. I’ve never posted so many Instagram pictures of the same exact sandwich. Although Iron Gate Café has many great options, I always get a Turkey B.L.A.T. (bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato) with home fries. It’s a no-fail order but one day I hope to get risky enough to try their cinnamon roll pancakes… it just screams heavenly. If you go to any of the places on this list visit this one.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

Uncommon Grounds

Location: 402 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY

The bagel options are limited in upstate New York. That is coming from a girl who has been forced fed many New Jersey bagels in her lifetime. If you’re from New Jersey, Long Island, or New York City, I promise these bagels are more edible than Dunkin Donuts and Bruegger’s Bagels. You won’t be disappointed.

Other brunch options to try: B-Rads, The Shop, Iron Roost, and Madison Cafe.

Lunch/Dinner

Troy’s Kitchen

Location: 77 Congress St, Troy, NY

Troy’s Kitchen definitely is the most unique restaurant on this list because of the atmosphere. Troy’s Kitchen is set up like a food court with high-quality startup restaurants. Restaurants apply to be apart of Troy Kitchen and leave the food court once they have made enough money to start their own restaurant. This means new restaurants come and go very frequently. Troy’s Kitchen also organizes events like open karaoke, dress up nights, and live jazz shows. If you’re grabbing a bite to eat with people who like options, head over to Troy’s Kitchen.

Genoa

Location: 435 Loudon Rd, Albany, NY

I went here so many times that the employees knew my order. To some, that may be embarrassing or sad but man, am so I proud. Genoa is the best place to get sandwiches… dare I say ever? Every time I would go to their shop I would try and get something new but I would always end up with a toasted Mardi Gras. If you go to Siena or in the Latham area get your butt over to this sandwich shop right now! This is what I miss the most.

Sliding Dirty- Troy, NY

Slidin’ Dirty

Location: 9 1st St, Troy, NY

In the mood for tacos but also kind of want a burger? Well, at Sliding Dirty you can have it both! The restaurant is set up so that you can try a little of everything… a perfect restaurant for someone as indecisive as me. I’m a big fan of the simple sliders but they also have incredible mac and cheese bites. According to my brother, they also have a great selection of craft beer. A win-win.

Crave Burgers and Frozen Yogurt

Location: 217 Western Ave, Albany, NY

Hungover and want delicious, greasy food? Well, Crave Burger is here to serve your hungover dreams properly. This incredibly rich burger will have you full way past lunch and dinner. They have a variety of different burgers that will have you wanting it all. No worries, you can always come back for more. I highly recommend their fries as well as their burgers.

Garlic Lovers

Location: 235 N Greenbush Rd # 1, Troy, NY

This little hole in the wall will make you question everything. If you love Mediterranean food then this is the perfect spot for you. Everything they have is incredible but their calamari is one of my favorites. Try your hardest not to fill up on the pita bread before dinner because their main meals are something you’ll dream about.

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Crisp

Location: 594 New Loudon Rd, Latham, NY

I was a little hesitant about putting this on my list because most Siena college kids are sick of escaping to Crisp. However, their potato salad and complimentary mini red velvet cupcakes have earned a place in my heart. I would always get the Serra Nevada sandwich with potato salad.

Dinosaur Barbecue 

Location: 377 River St, Troy, NY

Whenever Rob and I went out to dinner, we would most likely end up at Dinosaur Barbecue. There is something about smoked food and barbecue sauce that can fix any bad grade or pesky assignment. They also do pick up for your convenience! Try the pulled pork and mash potatoes… you can thank me later!

Dessert

Cheesecake Machismo

Location: 293 Hamilton St, Albany, NY

All I wanted for my college graduation was a Green Tea slice from Cheesecake Machismo. I lucked out and received a monster cake (a cheesecake with 12-16 different cheesecake slices). After trying this cheesecake, you’ll never think Cheesecake Factory is good. Each slice is $6 and are all incredible. Plus, the little shop is adorable with little action figures decorating the walls.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

Cider Belly

Location: 25 N Pearl St, Albany, NY

I get my sweet-tooth from my mother. If you ever met my mother she is this tiny little woman who loves sweets. Her biggest weakness is ice cream and donuts. If you’re a big donut fan like her, I would rush over to Cider Belly and try their fresh donuts. They pride themselves on making wholesome donuts that are always fresh and not preserved. If you’re lucky, they’ll sneak in an extra donut later. Make sure you check their website though because they have the worst hours ever.

Emack and Bolio’s

Location: 366 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY

I know, I know, I know. This is a chain but hear me out. Coming from Connecticut, I had never been to an Emack and Bolio so I get to include it on my list. (I’m stubborn. I know). If you’re like me and have never heard of Emack and Bolio’s, this is the king of all ice cream cones. They have any cone you’ve ever dreamed of. Fruitloop, cocoa pebbles, s’mores… can you hear my stomach grumbling? If the cones aren’t enough to make you go then you need to try their incredible rich and cream ice cream.

(Pictures from their Instagram)

The Cookie Factory

Location: 520 Congress St, Troy, NY

Luckily for me, I realized a few months ago that I can actually purchase my favorite cookies right in Connecticut (thank God). These fudge fancies are some of the best cookies you’ll ever have and they’re filling enough for you to have one and be done. If you’re trying to celebrate something special the Cookie Factory also makes an extensive line of cakes and goodies for you to choose from. If you’re craving a good, Italian cookie the Cookie Factory is calling your name.

Grab a Good Drink

Nine Pin

Location: 929 Broadway, Albany, NY

Nine Pin is located in the heart of Albany and it tastes like the nectar from above. Two of my friends and I wandered to Nine Pin after we heard they were making a tequila cider. Two of my favorite things in one? Count me in. Be on the lookout for their unique ciders and grab a bite to eat.

Ama Cocina

Location: 4 Sheridan Ave, Albany, NY

I have this sick love for tequila. Ama Cocina offers every tequila your heart desires alongside incredible margaritas. If you’re obsessed with ice drink, check out this place and order a bunch of their appetizers. No worries, if tequila has done you dirty in the past there is always beer.

Brown Brewing Co and Druthers are also great options for drinking craft beer. Personally, I don’t drink beer but my brother is a brewer and loves both of these places. Plus, Druthers has mac and cheese that will warm your soul.

Have you been to any of these places or been to any other restaurants in the capital region? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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24 Hours in Mystic, Connecticut

Hello lovely reader! This past weekend I spent the day with my boyfriend in Mystic, Connecticut. As many of you know, he lives in Long Island so I frequently visit the ferry in New London. Mystic is about 15 minutes north of the ferry and I’ve only been once when I was very, very little. So, I had the brilliant idea go to exploring this past weekend. It’s always nice to get out and explore even if it is only an hour away.

Mystic, Connecticut

Shopping 

Our first stop was in Olde Mistick Village located right off the exit. Yes, it’s really spelt like that I checked like 15 times, I swear. The adorable little village is definitely a tourist trap, but I couldn’t help but google my eyes when I saw adorable little Christmas shops and gimmicky stores that handed out tie dye sweatshirts with “Mystic” labeled in large letters. The tourist trap got me and I have no apologies for it!

If you’ve never been to Connecticut make sure you stop in the Munson’s Chocolate store. The chocolate is native to Connecticut and is so good that you’ll asking for seconds… and thirds. It’s a gift we always get my sweet-tooth mother for Christmas. The first store was located in Manchester, Connecticut in 1946. Ben and Josephine Munson started the store making batches from the sugar rations they received following WWII. My family loves the sea salt dark chocolate caramels and the milk chocolate caramels.

As for the popcorn pictured above, Pop on the Block, I was blown away. I purchased two bags on Sunday and the bags are already empty. They have insane flavors like Sour Patch and Bubble Gum and they also have incredible flavors like Peanut Butter Crunch and Chocolate Sea Salt Caramel. I’m already itching to go back for more… is that sad? Also, I didn’t have a chance to try the oreo cheesecake so it looks like I might have too… whoops!

Eating

The main reason why you travel… right? Okay, maybe not but it is definitely high on that list! Rob and I ended up eating dinner at the Engine Room and it was only slightly legendary. No, but for real, it was plate-licking-good. The building was actually a restored Lathrop Marine Engine building, hence how it received the name Engine room. The decor is decked out in dark wood, low lighting, and an occasional deer skull planted on the wall. The Engine Room serves comfort food that features mostly burgers and breakfast food (menu here). They also pride themselves on having a wide section of craft beer and bourbon… drink on!

Rob and I both ordered a buttermilk fired chicken sandwich with chipotle hot sauce, house made smoked ranch, romaine lettuce and dill pickles. I got a side of fries and Rob got a side of potato salad. My suggestion… get the potato salad if you go.

If you don’t end up going here you might be mildly insane, but I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Other options in downtown Mystic include Bravo Bravo, S&P Oyster Co, and famous Mystic pizza (Julia Roberts ate there in a movie). You can also get an instagramable picture with ice cream from Mystic Drawbridge Ice Cream located right by the iconic, you guessed it, drawbridge.

Mystic, Connecticut

Mystic, Connecticut

Exploring 

Now the real reason you go to a new place! After visiting Olde Mistick Village, Rob and I ventured to Mystic Seaport. Located all throughout the seaport were these old ships that have gone wild distances and ended up in good ole’ Connecticut. The world’s largest viking ship was also there. Sine we ended up going to the the seaport Sunday evening, none of the exhibits were open. Luckily for us, we were able to walk the grounds for free. There was even a small band playing at a nearby restaurant, so we were able to putts around while listening to tunes. Plus, most off the ships had signs explaining the history of the ships. If you find old ships interesting and love history this is definitely a place you should visit. I mean even if you don’t you might want to go to see this view! If you want to go while the exhibits are open check the dates and times here.

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Fun fact: Rob and I are always too awkward to flag down a person to take our picture. As a result oft his, I usually set a timer on my camera. This photo was taken by a stone pit. Haha! More pictures of this outfit here.

Have you ever been to Mystic or even just been to the state of Connecticut? It’s a small state, but it sure does have it’s beauty. Let me know in the comments down below what you thinking about Connecticut.

As always,

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Senior Cruise

Hello darling! I wanted to highlight all of the fun I participated in during my last week at Siena College (tears falling quickly down the side of my face). After a jam packed day of bar hopping in Saratoga, the senior class of 2017 hopped on 9 buses to go on a Captain JP Cruise Line boat. The three-hour experience let us sight see Troy to Albany and then back again. We ate, danced, and slightly froze our butts off. Regardless of how cold it was, it was probably one of the most rememberable trips I had during my senior week.

Troy-Albany Cruise

The cruise ship consisted of three different floors. The third and second floors served food and the top floor had an opening to see the dance floor and exit outside the boat. There were also bars on each floor, which made many seniors very happy. During the cruise, we were given a buffet styled dinner that consisted of salted potatoes, salad, eggplant parmesan, bread rolls, and fried chicken. After people finished eating dinner, everyone gained enough courage to take pictures in the cold outdoors. We tried our hardest not to look as if we were freezing out butts off.

Boat Cruise Dress

Everyone was dressed to the nines but not dressed for the weather. Oh, well! Despite being cold, I was super happy wearing this dress. I’m actually slightly obsessed… I cannot wait to wear it again. The little cutouts made this soft floral pattern so edgy and unique. Plus, the cap sleeves were another reason I was sold. My dress is currently on sale if you want to check that out! It also comes in black.

Boat Cruise Dress

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After the cruise, Siena hosted a “late night dinner” at the dining hall. We blasted music and danced on tables. If you remember High School Musical then you know exactly how the scene looked. One of my friends danced so hard he ripped his pants. If that isn’t rememberable, I don’t know what is.

Looking at these pictures and writing this post is making me sad beyond belief. But I’ll get to that in my upcoming graduation post. Keep your eyes and ears peeled because it may be a tear jerker… or nah.

As always,

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What to Do and See in Fort Lauderdale

Hello darling! If you follow me on Instagram you might know that this past weekend two of my friends and I visited Fort Lauderdale. Before arranging the trip I looked high and low on Pinterest to see if there was anything that we should venture out to do, see, or eat. I admit, Fort Lauderdale is definitely a very low key spring break location. It is the perfect location if you want to catch some sun, shop around, and catch amazing happy hour deals.

Monday: Pool and Surf Shops

We stayed three nights and four days. It felt as if it was the perfect amount of time to stay in Fort Lauderdale. Monday, we arrived and spent as much time as we could at our hotel’s outdoor pool. We stayed at the Bahia Mar Fort Lauderdale a doubletree by Hilton. It was definitely a perfect location for us because we really just wanted to catch some sun rays and lay by the pool/beach. There was also a market/deli connected to the hotel that had sandwiches. We must have purchased those sandwiches three different times. You can never go wrong with boar’s head! Later that day, we walked around the little surf shops on the beach.

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Tuesday: Vegan Food, Sangria, and Shopping on Las Olas Boulevard

We decided to wake up and catch some of the sun during the on and off cloudy day. We tanned until lunch time where we decided to venture out to a vegan place a few blogs had recommended. Boy, am I glad we went. Green Bar Kitchen’s Instagram alone should give you enough motivation to travel to Fort Lauderdale. Even if you’re a total meat head, I think you’ll fall hard for this adorable little restaurant.

We then ventured to Las Olas and shopped around. There were cute little shops to explore on a cloudy day. Once we were shopped out we stumbled upon Vinos on Las Olas, which is a cute little wine bar decorated like a little escape. They had a fantastic happy hour and a great selection for apertivo meats and cheeses. You can take us out of Italy but it is certainly hard to take away the memories!

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Wednesday: Happy Hour at Bubba Gumps

After going to the gym, we looked outside and it was raining cats and dogs. When it rains in Florida… it really rains. So we decided to take our sweet old time getting ready for the day. Eventually, we made it out the little surf shops on Fort Lauderdale Boulevard. We ended up spending happy hour at bubba gumps and getting a bunch of appetizers. We bopped from restaurant to restaurant and eventually we made it back to our hotel. The rain eventually cleared up and we just sat by the pool.

Thursday: Sunrise and Coconuts 

In order to get the most out of the sunny day, we decided to wake up early and see the sunrise. It was definitely something worth seeing and wake up to especially because we wanted every last drop of sunlight before we headed North. I ended up purchasing a coconut and was a gross amount of excited. Such a funky, paradise taste! Later that day we flew home to a surprisingly warm New England. It was about 50° when we landed.

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Have you ever visited Fort Lauderdale or thinking about visited Fort Lauderdale? Let me know in the comments down below.

As always,

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Temperature is Dropping, But I’m Not Stopping

Hello darling! Happy November! November is one of my favorite months because of the lovely fall leaves. There is something about the crisp air and the crunching of leaves that really makes me feel at peace. I am thrilled when I can finally pile on more layers. I think fall style is one of the most unique things to look at because it can be created in so many different ways. All of the different elements people add are interesting to me because I can see glimpses of their personalities come out of thin air.

For this warm outfit, I decided to really pile on the layers. My base layer is this rustic orange, turtleneck dress. This beautiful color is perfect for fall because of all the different leaves it matches with.  If you want to see this dress styled in a different fall look click here. My next layer is one of my favorites. This polkadot, chambray button down is a perfect add-on for any layered outfit. Since my other layers are pretty dark I wanted to add a little bit of more definition to this outfit with the chambray top. Since it was extra cold this day, I decided to add a puffy vest underneath my favorite suede jacket.

Since there are so many different styles incorporated into this outfit (edgy, sweet, relaxed, and preppy), it makes it so unique to me. I am not really one to stick to one type of style. I really like pulling elements from many different trends because it creates something so unique to me. Since this outfit doesn’t have a million different colors it doesn’t make the outfit so overwhelming. This outfit would have come across differently if I had other colors instead the the black, blue, and orange.

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What are some of your favorite layering elements? I love tucking in flannels underneath sweaters and then throwing on an edgy element on top of that preppy outfit. One of my favorite layering outfits is this one.

As always,

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Exploring Montreal in Less Than 72 Hours

Hello darling! The travel bug didn’t stay in Italy! This past weekend my friends and I decided to drive three hours to explore Montreal. None of us have ever been so we were extremely excited to see what Canadian life is like.

Friday

We departed early Friday morning and entered Montreal around noon. We quickly got a bite to eat and then decided to walked around the shops and street corners. Everywhere we went it seemed like there was beautiful artwork painted on the street corners or funky stairs greeting a painted door. Montreal was definitely one of the most “earthy” cities I have ever been to. There seemed to be trees emerging from every which way.

 

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After we walked around, we decided to rent bikes. We ended up biking around the city for about 2 hours. We actually ended up biking all the way to the Olympic stadium where the 1976 summer Olympics were held. I have officially been to two Olympic locations now (Germany was my other location).

We went to Schwartz for dinner and ended up getting sandwiches with tons of smoked meat falling out of the sides. Afterwards, we decided to walk around and pop our heads into stores.

Saturday

We decided to venture farther into Old Montreal and see the Notre Dame Basilica. The architecture of the building was stunning. The basilica is made up of rich stain glass windows and elegant staircases. What I appreciated most was the use of colors at the alter. The light blues and strong purples made the alter seem as if it was alive. It is definitely something worth seeing.

I was not aware of a second church in the basilica. The second church was made mostly out of wood and copper, giving the alter and earthly feel. It reminded me of the Trinity library in London because of the unique colors and materials used.

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After our eyes fell out of ours skulls from the basilica, we decided to grab a bite to eat. We ended up finding this adorable little cafe that is half a store and half a restaurant. There was even a man playing a piano! The place is called et Bistro Le Magasin Général du Vieux-Montreal and I definitely recommend it. The only issue with this restaurant was how long it took to get our food. I think we waited for at least 45-50 minutes after ordering our food. But it was definitely worth the wait because the food was amazing.

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After our tummies were full, we decided to drive to the overlook at Mont Royal. There you can see some of the most breathtaking views of the city. If you really want to treat yourself, you should wake up early and see the sunrise over Mont Royal. I’ve been told it is amazing.

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For dinner, we ended up at at a vegetarian restaurant called Lola Rosa. The food was incredible. My brother makes amazing nachos but Lola Rosa came close to topping his batch. Everything at Lola Rosa tasted incredibly fresh and flavorful. It also helps that my favorite food is a burrito and they had that on the menu. If you’re ever in Montreal I highly recommend Lola Rosa if you want something with a strong flavor. Another unique thing about Lola Rosa was that inside ever table there were notes stored. Anyone could write notes and leave them inside the table. There were really funny notes and even serious notes about needing to love yourself. If you even come to Lola Rosa and find my note let me know!

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Have you ever been to Canada? Would you ever go? Let me know in the comments down below!

As always,

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Rome Outfit Inspiration

Hello darlings! I have an interesting post for you today. I’ve created a some outfits based on my favorite pictures taken in Rome. You can see more of these awesome photos here. Let’s get started!

 

Just looking at this chocolate-coffee gelato is making my mouth drool. I decided to mimic the rich coffee flavor with this beautiful jacket. Since the jacket is open on the bust, it makes the outfit very relaxed and casual. However, the shoes and the clutch have a more sophisticated touch so it pulls the outfit together. This outfit would be perfect for going out with the girls.

 

This was my first plate of spaghetti and I can remember exactly how it tasted! I really liked this shirt because it kind of reminded me of when you’re little and you get spaghetti sauce all over your nice clean shirt. This outfit needed the touch of red to spice it up. This outfit is perfect for going on a date.

 

This outfit would not only be perfect for walking around the ancient streets of Rome, but it would be perfect for a casual summer concert. Throw on a bunch of layered necklaces and a jean jacket and put some jams on.

 

This outfit is great for a casual Friday at the office. By pairing a blazer and heels with the graphic shirt and clean cut jeans it makes a perfect balance of casual and professional.

 

We walked everywhere when we were in Rome, which is why I had to throw in these flats. If you ever think that a dress is too short, throw on an oversized jacket or a cardigan to cover you butt. It is one of my favorite tricks. This outfit is perfect for shopping at the mall or outlets with friends. This crossbody is great because you’re free to move around… a necessity for shopping.

 

Finally, my favorite outfit! I love this 70’s inspired outfit because of this super retro bandana. It is such a great statement piece that adds so much to this outfit. Plus the skirt  has these very unique trend I talked about last week I talked about last week.

Let me know what your favorite outfit is in the comments down below!

As always,

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Reflect: Study Abroad

Hello darlings! If you’ve tuned into my blog for the past four months you would have realized I was exploring all of Europe. I am incredibly fortunate to have been able to see as much as I did. I ended up going to eight countries and sixteen major cities.

These were my weekends.

Siena, Italy

I studied in Siena and I wouldn’t have changed the location for the world. It’s an adorable Tuscany city with rustic buildings and contada flags everywhere. I walked to school every day and saw some of the most beautiful buildings. I may have left this adorable town, but I will not forget it.

Sunday Snapshot: I keep getting lost but at least I have Gelato

I’m slowly adjusting 

Christmas in Italy

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Rome, Italy

Mickey and I headed three hours south to see the wonderful Rome. I was blown away by how beautiful the Colosseum was and exhausted by how much we ended up walking… 14 miles. I’d do it all over again to see the rich history thrown across each crevice of the city.

“Roman Around”

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Florence, Italy

We went on a wine tour between Florence and Siena. It was amazing. They gave us delicious wine and truffle oil. I would recommend the wine tour we did. We also explored Florence the next day and saw the busy city.

Grapes are Healthy

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Sardinia and Pisa

Our class took us to Sardinia. Before we left to Sardinia we had to go north to catch a flight in Pisa. We were able to tour before we left. If you want to see Pisa only go for a day! That is all you need. It is breathtaking though. Cagliari beaches were amazing, but I wouldn’t have picked the location based on how clean the city was. However, I’d do it again to see that picture again. Also, I tried snails, liver, and cow intestines in Sardinia… Woohoo.

Sardinia and Pisa

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Cinque Terre

Cinque Terre was my favorite town that I visited in Italy. It was so beautiful and the food was amazing. I would go back in a heartbeat. There is a reason these five towns are so photographed!

Cinque Terre: The 5 Colorful Towns

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Amalfi Coast: Sorrento, Positano, Capri, and Pompeii

Going inside the Blue Grotto was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever experienced. I would recommend it to anyone who is studying broad in Italy. The man sings to you and you try your best not to cry at the beauty.

Rain Can’t Even Make Italy Look Dull

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Assisi, Italy

The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi was my favorite Cathedral I went to. The amount of detail in every corner is incredibly impressive. Plus look at the view outside of the Cathedral…

Restful Week in Italy

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Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona was my favorite place I visited. The people were friendly, the architecture was amazing, and the food was mouthwatering. There wasn’t one thing I didn’t like about Barcelona… other than the shoes I wore at night…RIP

Beauty of Barcelona

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Paris, France

I was a little nervous about going to France because I heard the people are rude. That was not the case in my experience. Everyone was so friendly. One of our waiters was actually excited to speak English to us! What a lovely city.

Parisian Way

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England: Ashford, Folkestone, Canterbury, and London

England is a close runner up to my favorite place. I have never met nicer people in my life. Everything was just ‘lovely’. My favorite was probably stocking up on Cadbury Chocolate. Already thinking about going back to stock up on more.

The Biggest Ben I’ve Ever Seen 

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Prague, Czech Republic

I was bewildered by how fantastic Prague was. I mean just feast your eyes on the pictures below! I got to feed swans and write on walls. What could you hate about that?

No prague-blems Here!

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Venice, Burano, Murano, Verona

When I was planning trips in the summer I said I needed to see Venice. I mean in a few years you don’t know if it will still be above water. Walking the streets and taking boats to the distant island was like a dream to me.

All that Glisters is not Gold

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Ireland

Ireland made me very homesick! I loved the beautiful, vibrant town filled with thick brogue voices. I’m also very impressed that neither Courtney nor I flew off the Cliffs of Moher!

Irish You Were Here

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Budapest, Hungary

We spend way too much time huddled in the little pathway of the Christmas market and I’m incredibly okay with it. I mean look at that picture… I know you’d do the same!

What a Budaful Place to Be

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So that was my experience in a couple of words and a few pictures! My advice? If you’re thinking about studying abroad, do it. It’s such a rich and rewarding experience. If you have any questions or need some travel advice feel free to ask me questions in the comment section. I might even create a blog post if I have too much to say… which will probably be the case!

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As always,

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Christmas in Italy

Hello darlings! I was luckily enough to stay in Siena, Italy this week! I know it’s a shock! The last weekend I stayed in Siena was the week I did a day trip to Assisi… in October! It’s been a long time.

So instead of rushing myself to get to a foreign country I enjoyed Siena. I got to enjoy every bit of Siena.

Instead of having class inside, my flavors and taste class went to a panforte factory! We got to see how these “energy bars” are made. Panforte originates in Siena in the 13th century. It’s made of fruit, nuts, and spices. We also tried ricciarelli, an almond based cookie. The ricciarelli cookies are delicious!

I enjoyed the lovely view near school and ate some delicious gelato. I got coconut and Nutella!

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Wednesday, I headed to the market and snapped a picture of these beautiful flowers. I also got market pizza on my way back to class.

 

I spent time in soul cafe and tried some of their delicious cake. (The coffee is actually my friend’s… I don’t drink coffee).

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My friends and I went out to dinner. I tried this giant tortellini dish! It was very good.

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Saturday and Sunday there was an adorable Christmas market in the Piazza del Campo. I ended up purchasing an adorable ornament, a water colored painting, and a few gifts for loved ones!

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December 8th I turned 21 so my friends and I went out for dinner. We had the entire day off because it is an Italian holiday!

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I have one more weekend in Siena before I go back to the states. It’s such a bittersweet feeling. I miss my family, friends, and puppies so much! However, I’m going to miss picking up market pizza whenever I want to, walking wherever I want to, and traveling every weekend to some foreign land. There is no other way to describe it other than bittersweet. I just need to soak up as much as I can!

As always,

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P.S. This is my 100th post on this blog! Thanks for staying with me for this long!

What a Budaful Place to Be

Hello darlings! I just finished my last big trip of the semester! Have you guessed where I went? The wonderful city of Budapest. It was quite Budaful! I was Hungary the whole time. Okay enough with the puns! I’ll tell you what I did in the wonderful country of Hungary.

After the ten hour drive, we woke up in the country of the red, white, and green. We quickly ate breakfast and then went on a three hour walking tour.

We saw things like the Dohány Synagogue, which is the second biggest Synagogue in the world. We also walked on the Szechenyi Chain Bridge, which connects Buda and Pest together. I got most of my pictures from the bridge. We also saw the outside of Mátyás Templom (Saint Matthias Church) and the outside of Fisherman’s Bastion.

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After the walking tour, we took out HUF and went the the market. There was a lot of different foods we weren’t used to. Mickey and I ended up splitting Lángos. It’s basically a quesadilla with cheese on the outside. It was better than I thought it was going to be! 

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Once we finished eating our Lángos, we marched in the cold to the wonderful Christmas market. There were a few scattered around the city. I believe we went to the main one and to two different ones. After a while, they start to look like each other.

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The picture above is Hot Wine. They had hot wine stands everywhere in Hungary, just like in Czech Republic. It taste more like tea than wine. It is a very strong taste. It kept me warm!

I loved the Christmas market outside of St. Stephen’s Basilica. There was this massive tree with blue lights and a canopy of string lights attached to the tree.

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The next day, we wandered the Christmas markets again. It was snowing and raining so we actually had lunch inside for about two hours. I ended up getting vegetable soup and this burger. It was very good. It looks more red than it was because restaurant’s lighting.

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Later in the day, we got the same circular thing I got in Prague. This one was so much better though! I asked for the cinnamon flavor.

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The next day we drove back to Siena. The drive through Slovenia was amazing.

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It was a very relaxed weekend, which was needed! After traveling so much I’m so glad to spend my last couple of weeks in Siena, Italy.

It’s a bitter sweet thought that I’m leaving Europe in less than three weeks. I’m excited to see my loved ones, eat American food, and to get back to working out. However, I’m going to miss getting lost in all these wonderful countries, eating market pizza, and the wonderful friends I’ve made.

I’ll be posting my Siena favorites sometime soon so stay tuned for that!

As always,

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