Milan: Fashion Mecca

What better place to attempt a commentary on European fashion than from the fashion mecca itself: Milan, Italy! Throughout our travels, I have been keeping an eye on the locals to try to catch a preview for what’s sure to cross the pond and land on our dress racks within the next 6-12 months. Maybe it’s because I am starved from weeks of zero optionality within my backpacking wardrobe, or because my favorite shopping season has arrived, but it’s been impossible to ignore the trends surrounding us at each new city. Continue reading

The High Price of Zurich

After several days exploring the progeny of Yugoslavia, we ventured to a place with no hint of any strife whatsoever: Zurich, Switzerland. As we’ve been on this journey, rarely a day (or walking tour) has gone by where we haven’t learned about some battle, city sacking, or other geopolitical tussle in recent history. Switzerland, on the other hand, has been able to stay famously neutral and, seemingly, only grow richer. Continue reading

Three Countries, One Plane Ride

One of our favorite things about traveling has been discovering new parts of the world and the rich history of each new place; routinely starting out our exploration with a guided tour at each destination.  So when we arrived in Dubrovnik and learned that its location was essentially a junction of three nations, we jumped at the chance to book visits to both Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina to broaden our discovery of the region.  While I certainly have not become an expert of the complex past of these countries in just a few short days, I did my best to sort through the flood of information we gathered and have tried to paint a bit of context below.

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Vienna, the Regal City

Our three day weekend in Vienna was simply lovely.  A dear well-travelled Chicago friend gifted us a stay at the Marriott for a night and we relished the chance to enjoy a 5-star accommodation and the unlimited access to their Executive lounge; now that’s the way to travel! We definitely got this said friend’s points’ worth in our enjoyment of the ongoing food buffets during our 24-hour visit!  And lucky us! We found an apartment rental available within the hotel to finish out our weekend stay; a great way to continue the weekend!

View from the top of the hotel

View from the top of the hotel

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The Pearl of the Adriatic

After we said goodbye to Central Europe on Sunday, we boarded another flight and headed east to a country that has only been on our bucket list for a short time: Croatia. We didn’t know much about the coastal country before we left, other than it was once a part of Yugoslavia, but my friend, Amanda, had raved about it so we kept our eyes peeled for a cheap deal to get to Dubrovnik. When I heard Dubrovnik was also the backdrop for the set of one of our guilty pleasures, Game of Thrones, it was easy to pull the trigger when we found a good fare on Austrian air! Continue reading

Czech Please!

That island life...

Loving that island life…

There’s nothing like one of your best friend’s arriving to change the pace of a trip. Prior to Andrew’s arrival on the island, Dan and I had entered a somewhat coma-like state and spent the majority of our two-week visit to Tenerife enjoying real rest. We joked that we don’t think we’ve slept that much in years; an accomplishment aided by an incredibly dark room and an amazing mattress (an Airbnb first!). On top of our demanding sleep schedule, I made my way through a couple of books, wrote a bit, Dan got in a good amount of work, and we both got plenty of sun; Dan’s olive skin naturally taking to it a bit better than mine! The highlight though, other than our evening pilgrimage to the corner store to pick out an ice cream bar for dessert (we got real crazy here, folks!), was the introduction of a new DeRose addiction: Breaking Bad. No spoilers please, we’re only in Season 2! Continue reading

Spanish Style Beach Vacation

While we are certainly grateful that the timing of our trip spared us the majority of another infamous Chicago winter, one of the things that we have not gotten much of on this European adventure is sunshine. And when most of your daily transport is done on foot, even 50 degrees doesn’t cut it! So when holed up on yet another cold and rainy evening in France, it was easy to prioritize warm weather over other travel factors when booking future legs of our journey. As a result, we have inserted a little “vacation” in the midst of our trip and are spending just under two weeks in the Canary Islands, Spain off the northwest coast of Africa. Continue reading