Grace is found in the way we carry ourselves, exuding respect, honor and kindness. Whether toward a stranger or a friend, grace is the way we treat others, with courtesy and understanding — celebrating our loved ones, seeing the best in them even when they don’t see it in themselves. Grace is found in our fumbles, through the way we dust off our knees to once again stand tall and learn from our mistakes. Grace is carried in the tiny affirmations that we share and speak to others, including ourselves, spreading light and a sense of purpose wherever we go.
— 
Looks just like Izzy!

Looks just like Izzy!

(Source: mademoiselle-bazaar, via prettystuff)

This is for the littler who arrived in Copenhagen yesterday! Praying she has a fabulous semester of adventure and fun romping around Europe!
allthingseurope:

Copenhagen, Denmark (by BumbyFoto)

This is for the littler who arrived in Copenhagen yesterday! Praying she has a fabulous semester of adventure and fun romping around Europe!

allthingseurope:

Copenhagen, Denmark (by BumbyFoto)

(via prettystuff)

I have the best (and most talented!) friends ever. It made my night to get this from the lovely CAC yesterday! Can’t wait to pair it with kmills paintings in my room so I can be reminded of my wonderful friends all the time! (Taken with Instagram)

I have the best (and most talented!) friends ever. It made my night to get this from the lovely CAC yesterday! Can’t wait to pair it with kmills paintings in my room so I can be reminded of my wonderful friends all the time! (Taken with Instagram)

Last formal! Oh how I love you guys :)

Last formal! Oh how I love you guys :)

If only I could swim in the Mediterranean every day of my life…

Today we wanted to relax in the sun so we decided to check out the marina that is situated directly underneath our hotel. Managing to get down to the marina and find a spot to sun bathe was way harder that we expected. It involved a precarious dirt path, lots of slippery stairs and finding a semi comfortable rock to lie on. Luckily we managed to accomplish all of these things and we snagged a great spot by the water before it got crowded. Though it was definitely not a luxury beach, the little area we found had its own charm. We were in a area cleared of rocks right next to the gorgeous Mediterranean with big lava rocks surrounding us on all other sides. The water was the perfect temperature and it was so unbelievably clear. If my love of the sun and desire for a tan had not compelled me to get out of the water from time to time, I would have been in their all day. Later in the day mom and I climbed up some rocks to get a gorgeous view of the town next to Oia. I just can’t get over how beautiful the white house’s look against the black and brown the rocks and the deep blue/green of the water. Then before we left for lunch, Colleen and I worked up the courage to jump off a cliff into the water. I was all brave until I jumped and realized how far I was falling…so I’ll admit I screamed a little. One of those things that is scary while you are doing it but so fun after!!!! Plus when Colleen and I watched Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 when we got home, we realized that we jumped off the same cliff they did in the movie!!! 

Hellos and Goodbyes

Tonight was most definitely one of the best nights I have had in Barcelona. Both my family and Carolyn´s family are here in Barcelona and they came over last night for a dinner with Elisabet, Ricard and Pau. Elisabet made so much wonderful food!!! It just kept coming and coming! Then for dessert we had Crema Catalana, which is similar to creme brulee. It was really fun because we each got to carmalize the sugar on our our Catalan Creme witha  little metal rod int he shape of a swirl, that kind of reminded me of something you would use to brand cattle. But the biggest surprise of the night was how much English Ricard and Elisabet knew! Ricard is pretty much fluent and Elisabet can get the point across, just a little more slowly. When Ricard started to speak to my parents in full English sentences, Carolyn and I looked at eachother and I know we were thinking the same thing, where in the world did this come from! my Dad also surprised me with how much he understood in Spanish. He went to college in Mexico City for two years, so he knew it at one point, but he always said he had lost it completely. Though he didn´t really talk in Spanish, I think if he tried he could a little bit.

Though the night was fabulous, it only makes me more resistant to leaving. Especially now that my family was here, which is what I was missing the most, I would be perfectly content to stay her for another few months. I just love Elisabet, Ricard, Mark, Aleix and Pau so much and can´t imagine not seeing them for who knows how long. I told my mom she needs to pick up a lot of Barcelona trips so I can tag along and visit. When the family gave us a little photo booklet of all the photos Ricard had taken of the family and us throughout the trip, I literally almost cried. It is going to be so hard to say goodbye.

Greece!!!

July 14, 2010

Today we woke up VERY early to take a 6 o’clock flight-yes that is correct- to Athens. From Athens we flew to our true destination, the gorgeous Santorini, Greece. We were in Santorini for a day when we went on a Mediterranean cruise two years ago after I graduated from high school. We loved it so much that we just had to go back! Let me just say that was a wonderful decision on our part! Our three days on this fantastic island were fabulous!!! To start off the our great stay was our hotel. It was called Esperas and it is located in Oia, which is the little town on northern tip of Santorini. First of all I must explain that Oia does not have any typical hotels or houses for that matter. There are no high rises and all the buildings are built right into the cliff. Everything is made of cement that is painted the iconic white with blue detailing. Therefore, our hotel was nothing like the Hilton. Instead, it was a compilation of about six separate “houses or condos that had a little kitchen, living area and beds. It was so cool because it literally felt like we were living in a cave!! To top the already amazing atmosphere, the people who worked at Esperas were so nice and helpful.

The Second thing about Oia that you must know, is that since it is situated on a cliff, wherever you need to go involves stairs…lots and lots of very steep stairs. So when I mention having to take stairs to get anywhere it means  a lot more than the amount of stairs you go up to get to the second floor of a house. 

Paris Day 3

Today mom, Colleen and I woke up early to go to the Orsay Museum, while Dad stayed to get some work done.  We got there before it opened so we did not have to wait in a huge line and it worked out perfect. We even met a nice family from New Zealand who were waiting in front of us. The museum was in a beautiful old train station and had a lot of impressionist art. My mom and I really like Monet so we enjoyed it. Though she would never admit liking a museum, I think Colleen enjoyed it too. Then we met Dad in this cute little neighborhood that my mom had heard about in a travel magazine. I really liked all the cute little boutiques and the amazing bakeries we found. We definitely had one of our best lunched here…our 1 Euro baguette was phenomenal! I could look at all the pretty tarts and delicious looking pastries all day…we went in each one we saw haha. I wish I could try everyone! Mom and I had spotted a big department store on the way to this neighborhood and decided we should look inside. Never have I seen more shoes in my life!! It felt like something out of a Sex and the City movie with tables everywhere covered in rows and rows of shoes. I could have stayed there all day, and I wanted to stay longer, but we were dragged out by Dad and Colleen…typical. Also typical was the fact that Mom and I stayed in this popular shopping district, while Colleen and Dad went back to the hotel for their daily nap. I think we were in a very local place, I felt a little out of place because I was wearing shorts and a tank (typical tourist clothes) instead of the fashionable Parisians dressed to impress. To end our last night in Paris we went to one of my favorite spots, the island Île de la Cité where Notre Dame is located. We ate at a little café and went back to the great ice cream place from the night before. 

More Paris!

This morning we all worked out in the hotel gym before showering and getting ready for the day, which is always a fiasco with my family. I mean there are three girls and we all need to shower, blow dry our hair and put make up on in the same small space. Things can get heated. But for real, it is always a fight for the prized first shower. The appeal for first shower is that you obviously finish first and do not have to deal with everyone asking you to hurry up and why you take so long. Guess who always ends up being the last to shower, yep that would be me! Needless to say, my dad stays out of the room for this whole process…I don’t really blame him. Maybe that is why he always wakes up at the crack of dawn, to be as far away as possibly when the fun starts haha.

After one look at the line for the Louvre, think Disney in the middle of July, we decided we should try the smaller Orsay Museum. Unfortunately, that was closed on Mondays, so we went on to plan b. We were near a little neighborhood we wanted to walk through (another Rick Steves recommendation) so we headed in the direction of Rue Cler. Though our navigating took us the longest route possible, we finally made it and had worked up an appetite. At the little café we ate at I had a delicious salmon club! Then the waiter brought out a tray of wonderful looking pastries…great tactic because who can say know after they see the desserts? Nice and satisfied, it was time to climb the Eiffel Tower. It was at this point that I regretted working out a little bit this morning, because I definitely felt all those stairs. But it was definitely worth it!! The view of the city was great and it was just cool to think that I had climbed up part of the Eiffel Tower! Feeling pretty tired, we all went back to the hotel and took a quick nap before we had to go back to the Eiffel Tower for the night bike tour. I highly recommend this tour to anyone in Paris. It was through the Fat Tire Tours Company and we had such a great time. We biked for three hours around the city, stopped for some really great ice cream by Notre Dame and then took an hour long cruise on the Seine afterwards. Our guide Seth was great too!