Magical Tivoli Gardens

Have you been to the Tivoli Gardens? I’m going to go out on a limb and assume you haven’t, but I”m sure you’ve imagined or dreamed about it.

Think about Disney World (or Land if you’re a West Coaster) and take away everything commercial, remove all the characters and marketing pieces. Also take out all of the gift shops and expensive food spots. Take away the heat as well.

Replace it with things only a child could dream up on their own. Include rides with names like “The Dragon,” “Star Flyer,” and “The Panda.” Add in shops and little restaurants. And a beer garden, of course.

Then, I think you’d have an idea about Tivoli Gardens.

After Jana’s wedding festivities concluded, we still had a final day left of vacation to spend in Copenhagen. We were pretty tired, spent nearly all of our vacation money, and just wanted some time for the two of us after a very involved few days with the wedding party.

We hadn’t even planned on this (look at us being spontaneous!) but after a brief half-hearted discussion that went something like:

“What are we going to do in an amusement park?”
“I don’t know, walk around and see it?”
“I don’t like rides”
“I’d rather wander aimlessly in here than in the city”
“Fine, we’ll go in.”

We went. And love it. There’s not much more to say, you just have to see it to believe how adorable it was.

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Okay, honestly, I did’t take many photos while in Tivoli. We spent the entire day eating ice cream (that’s a toppings bar, you can literally just stand there re-sprinkling your cone as you eat it #heaven) and then did lunch in a beer garden. Did you expect anything different?

Unfortunately, we have no plans to be in Copenhagen in 2016. But 2017 is getting pretty close…

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Another Year, Another Stop in Copenhagen

So, let’s start from where we left off in 2015: Leaving Paris, heading for sunny Copenhagen…

My oldest, most exotic, smartest and most favorite friend was getting married. No adjectives are enough to describe this lady! And, the man she was marrying is, most definitely, the coolest (he’s a creative musical genius AND a librarian), so if I was happier for her I likely could have exploded.

We stayed in an AirBNB near KØDBYEN – which was a perfect location, and a beautiful apartment for our five-day trip. The apartment was just a quick walk from the central station as well as many bus stops. You can’t tell from the photo below, but this place was the epitome of Danish design style; very natural, minimal and modern, and cosy.

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Oh, and it was close to the one and only thing Kyle wanted to do: visit Warpigs Brewpub, a new collaboration brewpub from 3Floyds and Mikkeller that had just opened right before we arrived. It was right around the corner from the Mikkeller bar.  #TOTALLYROCKINGUNTAPPED

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Upon arrival to our Copenhagen apartment, I had approximately 1 hour to settle in, freshen up and get myself to Jana’s bachelorette party. That I planned (with loads of help, thank God). Jana is very creative so we had kicked it off with a glass blowing class – we all sipped bubbly while Jana worked on a matching set of glasses.

Due to plenty of help from the other ladies, we had our own party room at a taco bar. Thank goodness we had our own room since things got a little crazy (piñata crazy)! I can only share a final shot of the bride in her Carmen San Diego hat – a hint into the party theme.

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Losing my Cool in Paris

I lost my cool in Paris and didn’t care.  As I mentioned in the London post, I usually try my best to look cool and like I fit in, but in Paris I just wasn’t up for the challenge. I wanted to see it all, eat everything I could, in comfortable shoes and with my camera around my neck.

And makeout with my husband in front of the Eiffel Tower.

DSC_4579This photo was taken in a small park we stumbled upon in Montmartre. There was a giant wall with “I love you” written out in every language. The story behind it is too beautiful for me to mess up, so you can read more about it here: http://www.lesjetaime.com/english/

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This photo was taken on what’s called “the most beautiful avenue in the world” – right near the Arc de Triomph. It was definitely beautiful with every shop imaginable. DSC_4679DSC_4686Ahhhhh Pairs. I still have one more post with photos from this stop on our trip, then I’ll move on with my life. Maybe.

I’m Ruined for Life, all Thanks to Paris

You know that moment when you realize you’ve been ruined? You see/eat/do/feel something so amazing and perfect you know you can never go back to where you came from? In one day in Paris (on Day 2, specifically), I had three very specific things ruined for me:

  1. Macaroons
  2. Cheese
  3. Bread

For a little backstory: since we’re terrible at picking out food, but fantastic at eating, we planned for a “Food Tour of Paris” for our first full day.  I decided that we needed someone to tell us what to eat and where to find it. We booked through Secret Food Tours and chose the Montmartre neighborhood tour.

Our group for the tour was small, a family of four from Boston and a couple from Melbourne who were on their honeymoon. Our tour guide was a true Parisian lady, who made us feel like she was just a friend showing us around her neighborhood. She knew all the shopkeepers and they all knew her and thus were very friendly to us tourists.

We walked for about two hours, stopping at a macaroon shop, a chocolate shop, a bread bakery, a cheese shop, a pastry and dessert bakery, a butcher and a wine store. At the macaroon stop we were allowed to sample, but the other places our guide made purchases (for our picnic) and we were taught how to order in that type of establishment, what the symbols mean on signs and labels (so that you know what you’re ordering and whether it’ll be good).

At the end of the walk we posted up in a park for a picnic to eat it all. It was glorious. A couple of the boys on the tour were picky eaters and didn’t like wine… thankfully I was there to pick up their slack.

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Ahh Paris….

I’m Now One of Them.

“Paris is the most beautiful city” they said.
“The the best wine is French wine,” people told me.
“There’s nothing as romantic as getting lost on the streets of Paris,” I heard.
“Oh, these macaroons are fine, but they’re nothing like the ones in Paris,” friends claimed.

What snobs.

I honestly, never wanted to go to Paris because I never wanted to be one of those people. You know the type. F-them. Ok, the truth: I couldn’t go to Paris…because of the money stuff it required to get there… nor did I think I would be going any time soon (again, money. So F-them and their money.

But then, I ended up going to Paris … because it was cheap. Who saw this coming? I did not.

Since we were first in London visiting, then heading to Copenhagen (for the Big Fat Danish Wedding) we ended up with three weekdays to ourselves in Europe.  What to do, what to do… being who we are we first started spreadsheets of options with the intent on picking the best city for the budget.  With the Euro close to the USD, a beautiful AirBnB and nothing but a train ride from London necessary to get us there, Paris won.

And I regret to inform you all, that I’m not one of those people. I loved it. It was beautiful, it was romantic, the food was ah-maze-ingggg – and I can’t wait to hopefully get back again.

Upon arrival into Paris we couldn’t wait to go see the Eiffel Tower. We stayed in Montmartre – which is on a hilltop – and we decided that we needed to reach the peak ASAP to get a view. So, we began the long, steep climb up to the Basilica of the Sacré Cœur – which it much higher than we expected.

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Ugh. I’m exhausted just looking back at these.

Upon arrival to the top we were ecstatic. It was like the feeling when we finally reached the Spanish Steps in Rome – WE’RE HERE! Except, this was different because we couldn’t actually find the Eiffel Tower from on top of the steps. We looked in every direction, pulled out or phones to check maps to make sure we were looking in the right direction, and then gave up. It must be too small to see from way up here. Darn.

So after a quick stop into the church we went exploring the hilltop town. Looking into shops, pretending to read menus, watching artists peddle their goods … it went on like this for about an hour before we starved ourselves into eating at the first restaurant we could get a table outside at.

Kyle and I make a pretty good team, both at home and on travel, except when it comes to feeding ourselves. We just can’t do it. It’s not that we’re too picky or unadventurous – and that’s the problem.  We want good food and we want to try new things but we aren’t good at planning out when and where that will happen. So we frequently find ourselves realizing we’re absolutely starving so we eat whatever is right in front of us at that moment (and 9 times out of 10 regret it).

This was one of those times. While it had one of our required qualities (good seats outside on a crowded street for people-watching) it didn’t exactly qualify as french food. I also ordered spaghetti. It was gross.

So by this point the sun was starting to set, our stomachs were full but unsatisfied and we still hadn’t even seen the Eiffel Tower. Whose idea was Paris, anyway? Bad idea.

We were just starting to make our descent off the mountain to head back to the apartment, when we took a wrong turn down an alley, and there it was. It was unmistakable and completely beautiful. I guess coming upon it by surprise put it into a perspective of having no expectations. So we climbed up on the fence a bit and spent the next 20 minutes taking a boatload of photos.

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It was just us up there except for a couple girls who looked like students on a study abroad. They left us alone until we were packed up and started to turn around to head out. One literally shouts at us (in a British accent, “you can’t leave now! It’s about to sparkle!”

SPARKLE!!!!

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The memories of the steps we had to climb and the food we ate in desperation were long gone at that point.

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London Tourists

We only had a limited time in the Old Smoke (confession: I Googled, “nickname for London” to find this) so we didn’t want to do our typical #ZellerTrip thing and spend a day in museums. We wanted the quick and dirty weekend in London – I want nothing but the highlights and quick.

So the first thing we did (after a lovely, relaxing tea time) was head over to Westminster Abbey, which is conveniently right next to Big Ben and conveniently close to the Palace of Westminster. We were able to get all the token tourist photos within a 30 minute span. Even some from a classic phone booth (note: do not go inside these things if you ever encounter one).

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The queen lives there. NBD.

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Obligatory guard photo.

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Oh, and a gang of nude bicyclists went by. So casual.

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