Posts in Trip Adventures
Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 7 - Notre-Dame de Paris, Crypte archéologique de l'île de la Cité

The final day of a trip is always bittersweet: bitter that it is coming to an end and for the upcoming return flight home and sweet for the new memories and experiences.  I often get to the end of a trip having not done things I thought I would do but having done other things that led to unexpected surprises. 

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 6 - Musée de Cluny, Pantheon, Jardin de Luxembourg, Musée Rodin

With different itineraries, we parted ways with our traveling companions for the day. The first stop on the list for us was Musée de Cluny, the National Museum of the Middle Ages. I have always been particularly fascinated by that time period and wanted to see the famous tapestry housed at this museum, the Lady and the Unicorn, that I had studied and fallen in love with in an art history class in college.

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 5 - Picasso Museum, L'Atelier des Lumières, Jardin des Plantes

Our day started with what had become our Paris norm: flaky goodness of croissants. Adding some excitement to the mix, Dustin added a ham and cheese croissant, whereas I stuck with my you-can’t-go-wrong choices of croissant au beurre and pain au chocolat. Hey, if you can’t have chocolate for breakfast on vacation, when can you? (Never is not an option!).

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 4 - Bike Tour of Versailles

After long days of walking around Paris, our feet were sore and some blisters were starting to rear their ugly heads. So, we planned our fourth day perfectly: a bike tour of Versailles to give our feet a rest and use some other muscles for the day!

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 3 - Sainte-Chapelle, Louvre, Tuileries Garden, Musee l'Orangerie

While we are pretty active travelers, we are not over-active travelers; we know when to go-go-go and when to go slow! With a full week in Paris staying at one place, it was a perfect excuse to explore the city at just the right pace. What that meant is we whiled away some mornings over croissants, coffee, and conversation. Bonus: the day was able to warm up a little before we ventured out. Our April in Paris was a tad on the nippy side!

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 2 - Père Lachaise Cemetery, Place des Vosges, and Other Wanderings

If you like wandering without a goal in mind, Paris is a great city for absentminded discoveries. Our first full day in the city can be summed up in that sentence. Along the way we explored a huge section of the city on foot, wandered much of the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery, lunched in the oldest planned square in the city at Place des Vosges, which dates to the 17th century, and dined casually along the Seine.

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Paris: A Week in the City of Love: Day 1 - Getting Settled

We arrived in Paris by way of Reykjavik after departing from Washington-Dulles airport late in the evening. It was an odd feeling to land in familiar Reykjavik, having just been on our Iceland Ring Road trip last June/July (check that trip out here), and wished we could stay in Iceland but also still go to Paris. The more we travel, the more frequent the feeling of familiarity in different airports, cities, or countries occurs, making the world feel very small.

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A Pawley's Island Christmas (Day 1) - Exploring Georgetown, SC + Pawley’s Island

This past December we headed south to Pawley’s Island in an effort to beat the winter blues. Here we relaxed along the beach, did some hiking and enjoyed time outdoors, and sampled a little of what this part of the state had to offer.

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A Pawley's Island Christmas (Day 2) - Santee Coastal Reserve + Sewee Shell and Clam Mounds

This past December we headed south to Pawley’s Island in an effort to beat the winter blues. Here we relaxed along the beach, did some hiking and enjoyed time outdoors, and sampled a little of what this part of the state had to offer. On day 2 we did some hiking at Santee Coastal Reserve and the Sewee shell and clam mounds in Francis Marion National Park, both short drives from Pawley’s Island.

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A Pawley's Island Christmas (Days 3-4) - Brookgreen Gardens + Huntington State Park Beach

This past December we headed south to Pawley’s Island in an effort to beat the winter blues. Here we relaxed along the beach, did some hiking and enjoyed time outdoors, and sampled a little of what this part of the state had to offer. On Days 3-4, we visited the beautiful Brookgreen Gardens, took some short walks at Huntington Beach State Park, and ate a delicious seafood lunch.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Reykjavik (Day 1)

We booked our flight on Icelandair in September 2017, about 9 months before our June-July 2018 trip. We planned to arrive a little before midnight and spend two nights in Iceland’s capital city of Reykjavik. But, as we’ve experienced before, the risk of booking a flight so far in advance is that the airlines may shift their schedules. A few months before our trip, we learned that our flight had shifted to being a red-eye, getting us in the following morning at 6:30am local time. We contacted our Airbnb hosts, who had no problem with the delayed check-in.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Reykjavik to Hvolsvöllur (Day 2)

From Reykjavik we headed toward our first destination of the day, Þingvellir National Park. The most densely packed tourist spots on our trip were during this day. While we didn’t complete the so-called Golden Circle just outside of Reykjavik (ours was more of a Golden Half-Circle), the stops along the way are very popular for individuals and tour buses taking day trips from Reykjavik. Getting photos without inadvertent photo bombers was ranged from quite tricky to entirely impossible.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Hvolsvöllur and Heimaey (Day 3)

After a quick run to Hvolsvöllur for some basic groceries at Krónan grocery store, we headed to the shore to catch a ferry from Landeyjahöfn to Heimaey, the only inhabited island of Vestmannaeyjar (Westman Islands).

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Iceland's Ring Road - Hvolsvöllur to Seyðisfjörður (Day 4)

Waving goodbye to the cute cottage that was our temporary home and to the Icelandic sheep that dotted the fields and played in the roads, we prepared ourselves for a long day of driving with a number of stops along the way.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Seyðisfjörður (Days 4-5)

We were poised to love Seyðisfjörður, population 700, from the moment we saw it from high up on the mountain road. The town is quaint, walkable, and has the best setting on the water with the ring of peaks surrounding it.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Seyðisfjörður to Akureyri (Day 6)

We left the eastern fjords and headed northwest to the second largest town in Iceland - Akureyri.

The entire drive for the day was scheduled to take about 5 1/2 hours and we found many amazing places to stop along the way.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Akureyri and Grímsey Island (Days 7-8)

In trying to figure out some activities for our two full days in Akureyri, we discovered that we could take a ferry to Grímsey Island, an island about 25 miles north of the mainland and the only part of Iceland officially (though just barely) within the Arctic Circle.

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Iceland's Ring Road - Akureyri to Vogar (Days 9-10)

Leaving Akureyri, we enjoyed our drive along the western side of the country, weaving in and out on the Ring Road and wished we had more time to check out the western fjords. Of course, that’s what any good trip does: leave you wanting more.

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