Bonjour! They say Paris is always a good idea, and they are wrong; it is a fantastic idea! We recently went to celebrate our anniversary and my 30+1 birthday. It exceeded all of our expectations and was more than I dreamt it would be.
After taking a quick train from Amsterdam, we got settled into our less than desirable Air B and B, and we were finally ready to explore all the treasures that Paris holds. I must tell you that unlike our time spent in London, we were well prepared for this trip. Tickets were pre-booked, reservations were made and an itinerary was drafted to ensure we were able to see everything we wanted, and stay on schedule.
I’ll jump right in with my favourite part of the trip, the Eiffel Tower. Now before you roll your eyes at me, let me explain (and I warn you there may be some cheese; not the edible kind). We arrived early enough to beat most of the line, and were up the tower in no time. The weather was at first desirable which allowed for a picturesque view of the cityscape. Not too long later it started to rain, and the rain turned into a full on thunder storm. To us this didn’t ruin the experience, it enhanced it. We sat in a dry spot, drinking wine and watching the storm from the highest point in Paris. Who else has done that? Super romantic. I should also add that at night the whole tower sparkles for 5 minutes, every hour on the hour. It really is spectacular.
In our very limited time we were able to visit most of the popular tourist sites in Paris including, the Palace & Gardens of Versailles, Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, Notre Dame, The Latin Quarter, Champs-Elysee, Galeries Lafayette, a boat tour, The Catacombs and The Louvre. This is completely doable in 4 days with strategic planning and luck. We were early enough to each spot that we didn’t have to wait in line very long (other than the many bag checks). We also got to see more than expected through our free walking tour (you know I love those)! If you are travelling in Europe check out Sandemans Tours at http://www.neweuropetours.eu/paris/en/home. Our guide had so much passion for the history of the city that it was contagious, he also mentioned unique details that one would never notice on their own. I suggest doing this at the beginning of your trip, in case your guide points out something that you want to go back and see in more detail
The food. Don’t even get me started on the food. My mouth is already watering. First off macaroons are now ruined for me. I have finally tried the best ever melt-in-your-mouth macaroons, that nothing else compares. If on Champs-Elysee go to https://www.laduree.fr/en/ for this life changing macaroon. We ate our way from street vendors to Michelin star restaurants, and were always satisfied. Do you love fromage? Truffle pasta? Is everyday #winewednesday for you? Have a sweet tooth? Go to Paris!
All in all, this bucket list trip was well worth it. I cannot wait to go back (and trust me, I will). There is still so much more to see, do, eat and drink! Paris is beautiful, romantic and friendly (despite the stereotypes that if you don’t speak French they will be rude towards you – that never happened and cannot be further from the truth. They are genuinely nice people). It is filled with fashion (stripes everywhere), history and magic.
It’s official! You will soon see me on an Amsterdam stage! I have been cast in the InPlayers production of ‘One Table, Two Chairs’, coming this November. More details to follow, but be sure to check out their website: http://inplayers.org/. Also a note, the play is in English.
“One Table, Two Chairs is about the glimpses into relationships we happen to catch: the fragile beginnings, the tumultuous middles, the bittersweet endings. Inspired by A.R. Gurney’s The Dining Room and Jules Feiffer’s Hold Me, the play consists of short scenes and monologues which take place at a table with two chairs. The setting may be simple, but the problems we see there are complex: sometimes funny, sometimes scary, sometimes tragic.” By Jacquelyn Poplar and Robert Leeds.
In travel news, we just got back from PARIS! I will be posting all about our adventures shortly so stay tuned! A little teaser… J’aime Paris!!!
I just recently spent a few days in Maidenhead and London, UK. This was a very quick visit, but still quite pleasant. London is filled with so many beautiful sites to see, that it was very difficult to fit everything into such a short amount of time.
We did take a bus tour, for the first time, hoping this would offer the chance to view more of the city in the limited time we had. However traffic was not cooperative, due to closures from the marathon, so this took longer than anticipated. I felt like I was back in Toronto rush hour traffic again! I also noticed that the prices of tourist attractions seemed a bit higher then what I have seen throughout my travels thus far. The important lesson from this spontaneous trip is that planning, or purchasing tickets ahead of time, is definitely key. The most ideal way to travel is to have a firm idea of what attractions you would like to see, and to do your research ahead of time.
That aside, London is gorgeous. It is a big city with a fine balance between old and new. The major sites are impressive and majestic. The double decker’s were exciting, the food was served in large portions, and the citizens were very helpful. You can feel the love of art and appreciation of Shakespeare throughout the city, which is something that any actress would enjoy. There are also some free attractions for tourists including the Science Center, the Natural Museum of History and the Victoria and Albert Museum.
My personal favourite and most memorable moment cost nothing at all. Walking along the Thames River from the London Eye (Ferris wheel) to the Tower Bridge at sunset, on a Saturday night, is such a treat. It had all the sweets you could eat, drink options, tacos, the sounds of the nearby waves from the Thames, festive music, a live theatre rehearsal, artists sketching their lovers and the captivating orange sky.
Any suggestions on where to go next in Europe? What to eat? What to see? Let me know in the comments and stay tuned for the next adventure!
Krakow, Poland, was such a memorable experience! It’s a gorgeous place to visit, rich in history, food and activities. If you ever plan on visiting Krakow here are a few essential places to visit: St. Marys Basilica (which has a picturesque view of the town square from the top of the tower), Auschwitz, The Wieliczka Salt Mine, Wawel Cathedral (and don’t forget to check out the Dragons den underneath the castle grounds), Kościuszko Mound (for a panoramic view of the city), and old town square (where you can purchase as many souvenirs as possible at the old cloth hall).
One tip I have is to check out “Cracow Free Tours”. They offer tours daily (we signed up for 3 of them while visiting), and are very informative. The tours are led by locals whom really know the area and have personal insights that add an extra touch to your tour. Without these tours we would have missed out on so many unique pieces of history that Krakow has to offer. Check them out here: http://www.cracowfreetours.com/.
While in Krakow be sure to satisfy your taste buds with all the pierogies, sausage and pretzels that your heart desires. Then take a stroll through the Kazimierz district to snack on a traditional Zapiekanka (an open faced sandwich on half a baguette, topped with sauce, cheese and more), a trend that dates back to the 70’s and was mentioned by our tour lovely guide. Or stop at Alchemia Od Kuchni, one of the oldest and cutest pubs on the block that has a Narnia themed décor, including a wardrobe to walk through. Lastly, have a drink outside of the childhood home of Helena Rubinstein and be inspired by her life story. A cosmetics entrepreneur once deemed one of the world’s richest business women.
Souvenirs to purchase include dragon décor, a flower crown and pottery! Did I miss anything? Any suggestions on where I should travel next? Let me know in the comments!
I just spent last week back in the theatre, and it felt great! Though I wasn’t on stage this time, but happily helping out backstage with hair, makeup, etc. Regardless it was fun to be working with such a great cast and crew in a Dutch theatre. The show was ‘Nymph Errant’. It’s the light-hearted story of Evangeline Edwards, who graduates from a finishing school in 1933. She and her classmates are encouraged by their teacher, Miss Pratt, to “experiment”, in the broadest sense possible. What follows is a romp through Europe with plenty of opportunities for snappy Cole Porter musical numbers, interesting dialogue, lots of accents, wonderful costumes, a few dance steps, exotic locations and a good time for all.
Now that it’s all wrapped up, I’m prepping for my next Dutch audition, so fingers crossed and stay tuned!
Happy Canada Day from Amsterdam! Although enjoying the beautiful landscape that Europe has to offer, I still miss the beautiful country that I am from. Unfortunately, I can’t be in Ottawa to join in the festivities of celebrating Canada’s 150th; however I can still find the patriotic love here in The Netherlands. Fortunately some fellow Canadian expats planned a boat party! It was so much fun and so nice to be surrounded by fellow Canadians all dressed in red and flying our flag. So eat your poutine, ketchup chips and Nanaimo bars, and raise a cold glass of Molson Canadian, or your mug of Tim’s coffee, and cheers to the Birthday of our magnificent country!
Just spent a very active weekend exploring more of The Netherlands. First stop Gouda, South Holland! It also happened to be the Stroopwafel Festival, as Gouda is where they originated. Yummm! So of course this required sampling some freshly made delicious warm ones. Gouda is also known for the cheese market, so of course I had to indulge in tasting the many flavours of cheese that it has to offer. Apart from all the sampling, and the rainy weather, it was a delightful trip. Gouda is charming and filled with lots of history, museums, a market filled with treats and some very old stunning buildings.
Next stop, The Hague! This city will require another visit back, as it is the third largest city and cannot possibly all be seen in one day. The weather held up more so than Gouda, which made walking around more enjoyable. My favourite parts of the day were the Panorama Mesdag and the visit to the beach. However not to be missed are The Prison Gate Museum, Madurodam (the coolest interactive miniature park I’ve ever seen), The Peace Palace, The Knights Hall, the antique market and more!
Stay tuned for further travel and acting adventures in Europe! Let me know any places that you suggest I visit!