Hi Everyone! It feels like it’s been a while. Most of my posts for the last two weeks were scheduled before we even went on our trip. So, it’s been at least two weeks since I sat down to write. As you may know (and as the title of this post implies) we went to Europe for Thanksgiving week. We really weren’t planning a Europe trip this year but after failing to find decent prices to go to Cabo or Jamaica (where we originally intended to go) I found an amazing deal for flights to Paris. Somehow, it was WAY cheaper to fly from Dallas to Paris than from Dallas to Cabo for the same week.
After finding the tickets online I called the hubs and without much thought or planning we decided to purchase them. I am so glad we did because the very next day, the same tickets had tripled in price.
I’m not really a travel blogger so I’ll just cheat a little and recap the highlights . Bear with me here 😉 Also, as usual I am linking up with Biana from B Loved Boston for this recap!
Since we only had a week off work we knew we wanted to make as much of our time as possible. Since I’ve been to Paris before, we decided to only spend one day in Paris and instead spend most of our week in Italy so we could both enjoy places we’d never been. We flew to Paris on Saturday & landed at 6:30am Paris time. Given we only had one day, we dropped off our bags at the hotel and headed straight to the sites.
Of course, we started with the Eiffel Tower, then headed to The Louvre, Notre Dame and finally the Champs-Elysees area. Honestly we were so, so jetlagged that I’m not sure we enjoyed Paris as much as we should have. It was so bad that my memories are even blurry which is ridiculous and so #firstworldproblems. But, if you know me, you know I sleep a lot. I can easily sleep 12 hours every day so going almost 40 hours without sleep was brutal. By 4pm we couldn’t carry on anymore and decided to call it a day. So sad, I know but ultimately the purpose of this trip wasn’t to see Paris so getting to spend a little time there was a treat. We ended up falling asleep at 5pm.
The next morning we took an early flight to Venice. This is probably the city I was most excited about since I’d never been. Once we arrived we caught a water bus to our hotel which was perfectly located on the Rialto bridge. Again, we dropped our bags off and headed out.
We spent the next day and a half basically strolling through Venice, eating pizza, pasta & gelato. I ate the best pasta I’ve ever had in my life at Del Moro’s. It’s a really tiny little place in a random alley. There is no place to sit but you get your pasta in a little take out box and a fork. It was HEAVEN. If I’d known at the time that was going to be my favorite meal of the trip I would have inhaled several servings.
On Tuesday afternoon we took a two hour train from Venice to Florence. At this stage, our jet lag finally subsided and the fog in our brains lifted. Since our hotel was only a 20 minute walk from the train station we decided to just walk. Yes, we were those tourists dragging our suitcases through cobblestone streets… Thankfully we only had a medium sized suit case & a carry on.
After getting settled we immediately went out to see the sights and eat. We ate DELICIOUS panini’s at SandwiChic and stuffed our faces with Don Nino’s gelato.
The next day we visited the David, The Duomo, Uffizi Gallery, etc. We also walked all over the city eating gelato at every corner, browsing all the shops and just taking it all in. Venice was beautiful, but for some reason we loved Florence a little bit more. Everywhere we looked there was something interesting or beautiful to look at.
That night we got (some more) gelato from Gelateria Santa Trinita and just sat on the Santa Trinita bridge for what seems like hours. It was perfect.
Thursday we took a train to our final destination – Rome.
Again we decided to just walk from the train station to our hotel. How the little wheels in our suitcases made it I will never understand haha. After dropping everything off and getting a bite to eat we headed out. We went straight to the Trevi fountain and Pantheon. Of course, we picked up some more gelato on the way (anyone sensing a theme here?). After walking around for hours we had dinner at That’s Amore thanks to my friend Wendy’s recommendation.
The next day Fernando went to the Vatican museum while I indulged in a bit of black Friday shopping. I’d been to the Vatican museum on a different trip so I decided to skip it this time around. I’m glad I did because Kiko was having a buy 3, get 3 for free of ANY of their products! We don’t have a Kiko store in Dallas and I’ve never seen it sold anywhere other than Italy so I went a tad crazy. I had already researched their best products so I had a general sense of what I wanted to get. Of course I wasn’t able to stick to my list. For all my friends, be prepared to get Kiko products for Christmas…
After that I met Fernando and we headed to the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. Even though I’d been to the Colosseum on my previous trip, I’d never actually gone inside. It was such a different experience to actually be in there. I’m so glad we went in.
That night we had another AMAZING meal at Pasta Chef. Similar to Del Moro’s in Venice, this is really meant to be a take out place. However, they have a few tables if you want to eat there. Our pasta was so delicious that we went back the next day.
Saturday we spent the day just walking around, eating pizza, drinking cappuccinos and consuming even more gelato.
We flew back to Paris Saturday night and then caught our flight back to Dallas on Sunday.
Obviously the entire trip was a whirlwind given the short time frame. Once we got back to Dallas we were beyond exhausted. But, it was so worth it! We had a general idea of what we wanted to do or see on the trip but for the most part we just played it by ear. I know some people like to do a ton of research, create itineraries and have everything planned out. In fact, I used to be one of those people. But after our amazing experience just winging it in San Francisco we decided to just do the same in Europe. And it was awesome. There is something so freeing about not having a plan.
Hope you have a great week!