Gabriella’s 5 Favorite Places in Paris

Hi there folks. During such stressful times in the US–what better way to take your mind off of the President-elect than with a roundup of the lovely Gabriella’s five fav places to go in Paris from her time abroad? The beautiful and kind gal is now Stateside, basking in Dunkin Donuts and all things American. So, peruse her Parisian pleasures and find some inspo fun for your next vacay. 

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Puerto Rican Seas and New York Minutes

Hi hello how are ya? So, obviously it’s been an extremely long time. My only excuse this time around is that I’ve been doing a bit of traveling recently. Two weeks ago my friends and I ventured to San Juan, Puerto Rico for spring break.

Despite some struggles with the hotel and their staff (el oh el that’s a saga for a different time), the overall trip was amazing, and Puerto Rico is beautiful.

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Condado, San Juan, Puerto Rico

After that excursion, and some classes in between (I haven’t graduated yet after all,) my roommate and I decided to take a trip to NYC. Obviously we felt a Central Park photoshoot was in order. So, please enjoy her craziness as much as I enjoyed capturing it, and some glimpses of the city in between.

Styled by: yours truly.

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v Vogue v model.

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And a slideshow of some more beauty that is my best friend.

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Hope you enjoyed this short [and hopefully sweet] post. Happy St. Patty’s weekend!

Stay sassy, classy and beautiful, peeps.

 

XX

 

 

Until Next Time, Europe

*Before you read below, be warned that there are feels, and that you MUST listen to this song while reading:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RgKAFK5djSk   Ok, now you are ready for the words ahead*

To be quite honest, I’ve been dreading writing this post, because with it my abroad experience comes to an end.

Have you ever gotten so into a book (or movie for those of you so inclined) that you look up from your comfy corner of your nook, three hours later only to realize that the world continued without you, but you couldn’t think of a better way to have spent those few hours? Like a sort of refuge from reality, but creating your own little present?

That has been my last four months.

Not to be clichè or overly poetic (not that I’m a poet, el oh el), but these last few months have been some of the best of my 21 years. I’ve met some of the coolest locals, best friends on and outside of my program, and found a new way of looking at the world. Okay, that’s a tad dramatic. Perhaps not a new way of looking at the world, but rather a more open view, more accepting and tapping into a more carefree, exciting part of myself that I barely knew existed before, or more honestly, was a little bit suppressed.

As I spent 20 hours in London before my return home, I couldn’t help the smile spreading across my face, mixed with the tinge of remorse for leaving such a beautiful place and all of the memories my friends and I made along the way.

My twister and I spent the last 10 days traveling France and Italy, and loved every second of our adventures. That being said, I think we both knew it was time to go home. Transversing borders and time zones, as well as languages and cultures not only instills a level of exhaustion, but also takes a toll on the psyche. Boom I just said psyche. Wow this post makes me serious… feeling some sort of way.

…And the cheese continues:

Those of you reading this that I met in London, local or fellow foreigner, thanks for being a part of this journey. Each of you contributed (in one way or another) to the London experience. That should be the name of a book- coming to a Barnes and Noble (or Waterstones) near you.

Jokes aside, it’s hard to convey in words what these last four months mean to me. Other than the great friends, the mere experience of seeing Loch Lomand without the clouds, standing at the top of the Duomo, walking up Arthur’s Seat (not as impressive… but hey, the name sounds like it is), going to Monaco, exploring Copenhagen, and countless mundane activities made awesome by the fact that I left my friends and family, and went to foreign places (diabetes and all) where I didn’t speak the language, some poor guy ruined my 3 month supply of insulin leftover by putting it in the freezer, (that’s a long, Italian story), and made it back to the good old U.S. of A unscathed. What more could a girl want?

I could sit here and go on and on about my amazing abroad experience (ok, I know, I already have haha) but I think instead of wallowing in the reverse culture shock, I’m going to spend the next two weeks with the family that I love, in a pretty quiet place, until I head to NYC for the next adventure.

As I am now officially a senior in College (projectile vomits) and am realizing that my free days are numbered, I know that I’ll hold these last few months close to me like a life-raft, especially when I feel the pressure of work and the stress of school closing in. I’ve found multiple new happy places, and a new place to think of home.

This will be the last of my abroad posts, but obviously not the end of the blog. So, before I seal that subject, I’ll leave you with something I learned while traveling: no matter how far from home you are, the people you love will always seem close by.

So, thanks for listening to me drone on about my adventures, and stay tuned for more posts this week and next, as there is nothing to do in Jacksonville Florida when your friends are still in school. Le sigh.

Stay golden and in that A.C. peeps.

XX

All Over the Map (Travels and Blood Sugar Alike)

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Nice, France

Bonjour from the South of France peeps. This place is beautiful, let me tell you–between the miles of ocean and color of the buildings in the city, to the decadent Italian-meets-French food, Nice has captured my heart, and blood sugar monitor.

But seriously, this place is amazing and a must-see on anyone’s bucket list of places to visit. However, visitor be warned, this is a romantic place. I know, most of France resembles some level of romance, but being here with my twin sister (twister, if you will) is hilarious. I guess the main plus to navigating the rocky beaches and steep hills with my twister is that my snarky/bitter/hopefully-witty comments are not lost on her. That, or she does a really good job of pretending to like my jokes. Sister love aside, (EL OH EL we fight all of the time, like we just fought an hour ago and probably the hour before that and basically we fight in our sleep, but it comes from such a loving place. Ugh I have the best family) Nice is, well… magnifique.

Of course, the omnipresent diabetes managed to creep in like a dark cloud over the last few days. Having to monitor what I eat so closely irritates me, especially whilst abroad. That being said, I have clearly been letting that slide (if my snapchats weren’t a giveaway to all of my snap-friends).

It’s a bummer having to consider and calculate/estimate the carbohydrates in everything I put into my body. Even more than that, that feeling, a pang of failure when I inevitably mess something up by giving myself the wrong estimated dose, and either have to binge to bring my sugar up, or drink more water than Sea-biscuit post race to try to dilute whatever mess I just ate (odds are, I enjoyed every bite). I digress. Diabetes sucks, this is no news to you or me, but sometimes a nice little rant can help anyone breathe a little easier after the whirlwind of pentup frustration tumbles out like when I opened my over-stuffed carry-on suitcase a few days ago. No idea how I fit everything in there. In fact, I’m not entirely sure everything will go back in. Any who, these are my late night thoughts.

As I sit here, a pump on either hip–feeling completely bionic, I just keep reminding myself that at least I have access to this technology, medication, medical attention, loving family and friends who make the days brighter and the ups and downs of diabetes a little more manageable. So, while I curse myself internally for deciding to give myself bionic hips instead of just putting my other pump on my arm (I refuse to give up my sleeveless tops!) I’m trying to figure out how I’m going to lay down tonight. This should be interesting. Oh well, at least I’m in Nice and heading to Monaco for the day tomorrow! Always a bright side people!

Lookout for a returning home post next week! My days abroad are numbered, and while I can’t wait to return home and see the people that mean the most to me, I have to say Europe, specifically London (yeah I consider it Europe as does the EU, sue me people!) added a piece to my heart that can never be changed or broken or tainted, forever cementing this amazing experience to my memory.

Wow I talk a lot.

Stay classy and don’t forget your sunscreen ladies and gents! (Lol, do boys even read this blog?)

xoxo

Vive La France, and Leaving London (for Now)

Again, it’s been a long time since my last post- apologies. I’ve been galavanting around Paris and finishing up my junior year. Yup, that’s right, Abroad is just about over. *Begins sobbing* As much as I miss my friends and family in the States, i’ve made some great British friends as well. While i’ve been running around like crazy trying to fit a lifetime’s worth of London into my last few days here, I realized the magnitude of spending a term over 4000 miles away from my family, and over 3000 from my friends back in Boston.

So, in the spirit of reminiscing, I spent last week in Paris with my friend Kie

rsten, and fell in love all over again. Speaking of love, that city is full of it. I mean, couples literally rolling on the ground under the eiffel tower making out, couples making out on the street, couples making out in restaurants, couples making out in bars- okay, we get it, you’re in love! COME UP FOR AIR AND SMELL THE FLOWERS IN THE TUILERIES. I digress. My aversion to PDA aside, Paris was tres magnifique as usual. Wine, beautiful weather and shopping–what more could a girl want?

After Paris I came home (dear lord I just called London home…going to just keep going here), took my final, finished my papers, and took a lovely day trip to Brighton. I LOVE BRIGHTON. Let me tell you, it brought out the inner kid in me.

Bumper cars can be fun between two people, in case you were curious. I also went on a roller coaster that surprisingly spun. Like, can you say Carpe Diem? haha well for me that was carpe diem anyways. Sad, I know. Any who, Brighton is amazing and beautiful and just an all around must see for anyone thinking of visiting the UK.

And now, as I pack up my room and get all emotional (ew, feelings) about leaving this amazing city and even more amazing friends i’ve made here, I realize how quickly time flies. I’m about to drop some wisdom: YOLO really means You Only London Once (shoutout to you Abby), and even though that’s not entirely true, you don’t get to relive the best moments in life, so try to enjoy them if you’re lucky enough to realize they’re happening in the moment.

Today someone asked me to name my favorite place I visited while abroad. That stumped me. I loved just about every city and country I visited. I’m a strong believer in living life while you’re young and having fun. I realized that whether I’m in Jacksonville, Florida (home) hysterically laughing on my best friend’s sister’s floor, or hysterically laughing on a cliff in Scotland, it’s the people that make the places. Had I traveled with anyone else, gone anywhere else, the only thing that matters are the people you’re with. That being said, I’m so grateful for all of these amazing friends I’m bringing back to Boston, and those in London that I know i’ll meet up with sometime/somewhere down the line.

So, as I pack up my room (need to stop procrastinating), watch Will and Kate (the Lifetime Movie) with some of the coolest kids around, I’m smiling despite the ever-growing lump in my throat over leaving this historical magical amazing city of London. I know one day I’ll be back, maybe finally accept the PDA, and find a whole new reason to love the places I’ve been, and the places I will see.

London, you’ve been grand.

I’m off to France and Italy tomorrow until early May, so expect a post sometime around then.

Stay Classy and wear that sunscreen!

XOXO, or as my Brits do, xx

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