Paris and vespas and beer – oh my! So much has happened these last few weeks that, in order to keep this blog post as short and as sweet as possible, I’m only going to talk about the highlights (and there were many…)
For starters, Paris, which was my first out of the country visit, is BEAUTIFUL! From the lock bridge to the Louvre, you really can’t beat the city’s upbeat atmosphere and regal architecture. I found that, while Florence is more rustic with strong ties to its historical past, Paris seems a bit more modern. Still, the city’s appreciation for the arts is apparent, a feature that Florence shares as well. Oh and attending the last leg of the Beyoncé and Jay-Z concert definitely didn’t hurt my impression on Paris either….
Traveling to the beautiful wine county of Chianti, we decided to embrace the Italian lifestyle and ride a Vespa for the day, which, luckily, I did not crash! Vespas are one of the main forms of transportation in Italy and everyone, from little kids to grandmothers, are riding these things in style – helmets and all. At first, I did not know what to expect. Was it like a bike? How about a motorcycle? Could I even ride this thing by myself? Although I needed a couple practice loops around a parking lot, I eventually got the hang of it. What I found the trickiest was that there were no pedals. If you wanted to go, you simply grasped the handle bar and turned your hand towards you. If you wanted to stop, you pulled the break, which looked the same as a bicycle break. Once I finally wrapped my head around the fact that a vespa was the perfect crossbreed of a motorcycle and a bicycle, I was ready to hit the road and explore the beautiful hills of Chianti. We rode passed various castles, ate a few grapes still ripening on the vine, and got to enjoy a few glasses of it at a beautiful, fully loaded lunch nestled perfectly in the Chianti hills.
Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany was the next stop on my list and was also my last stop for the month of September. It’s crazy how fast abroad goes by. Time really does fly when you’re having fun and eating the best pasta carbonara and blueberry steaks on the planet (more on that to come later…). As for Oktoberfest? Well, I wouldn’t want to spoil any of it for soon to be abroadees but I’ll just say this: despite the 5:45 a.m. wake-up call, it is a bucket list experience that could have been one of the best times of my life – and not to mention the BEST bratwurst I’ve ever had! Bratwurst is basically sausage and it is a huge delicacy in Germany (right up there with schnitzel). Outside of the Oktoberfest tents, there were lots and lots of delicious food stands and I may or may not have gotten my little sausage fix multiple times in one day. Don’t believe me? You’re just going to have to travel to Munich next year to see for yourself! Also a little advice – those decorated gingerbread cookies that everyone wears around their neck? Apparently you are NOT supposed to eat those…
That’s all for now! Stay tuned for some more of my adventures around Italy in the next coming weeks!