honeymoon (part 4)

IMG_2331We’re headed to one of my best friend’s wedding this weekend, the last wedding we’re attending in 2014, and it feels like it’s probably about time to share the last of my photos from our honeymoon. From Paris we took the Eurostar to London (with a baguette and cheese in hand, naturally) and sat across from two super giggly and chatty teenage drama students. Dan fell asleep for most of the ride, but I was impressed by how they switched back and forth from French to English so fluidly and fluently. We stayed at the Ace Hotel in Shoreditch, not far from Spitalfields Market which I frequented very often during my semester abroad. Dan proposed to me at the Ace in Palm Springs, so staying at the newly opened London location felt romantic and very luxurious after our small Parisian quarters. London is SO COOL! I adore this city. The Shoreditch neighborhood is very hip, and we spent a lot of time roaming around and discovering shops, cafes, and bars. We visited our friends, Kristi and Henry, at their adorable flat in Notting Hill the first night we arrived. They welcomed us with an incredible spread and we dined in their lush garden.IMG_2345We took the tube to Buckingham Palace and luckily happened to arrive just in time for the changing of the guards. We then strolled through St. James Park, over to the National Gallery, and continued along through Neal’s Yard and Soho.IMG_2352 IMG_2358IMG_2338There was a bus that took us straight from our hotel to Borough Market, which is full of so many treats including these Scotch eggs. We have a black and white photo I took during my semester abroad of the Borough Market egg man up in our apartment in Los Angeles. We looked for him, but unfortunately he didn’t seem to be there.

IMG_2418 IMG_2420 IMG_2423IMG_2361^^A beautiful and delicious Indian restaurant around the corner from the Ace in Shoreditch. London, and particularly this neighborhood/Brick Lane are famous for Indian food. IMG_2360IMG_2365^^We saw a matinee of Julius Caesar at The Globe (where I studied during my semester abroad). Above you can see a few of the actors putting on a puppet show of what has just happened prior to the start of the play. They were hilarious and it was very helpful and informative! We then walked along the South Bank and took it all in. IMG_2369 IMG_2391 IMG_2386 IMG_2382 IMG_2374 IMG_2373 IMG_2370 IMG_2428IMG_2393^^We met up with my childhood friend, Laura, from when my family lived in London. I was so lucky to have seen her mum, Tricia, at our wedding the week before, and it was such a treat to be reunited with Laura! Our parents have remained very close over the years, and both Laura and Tricia will always be very special to me. IMG_2399 IMG_2416 IMG_2415 IMG_2413 IMG_2412 IMG_2408 IMG_2404 IMG_2401 IMG_2400There are a few things I don’t have photos of that must be mentioned. First, possibly the best dinner of the whole trip was at The Clove Club, which turned out to be walking distance from our hotel. It’s located in the old Shoreditch Town Hall and absolutely worth the splurge (thank you honeyfund!). We also had a fun dinner, complete with freshly baked Madeleine cookies, at St. John. And on our last evening we had cocktails at The Artesian Bar in the Langham Hotel and saw The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (incredible direction, movement, and set) and took a double decker bus ride home to the Ace. It goes without saying that I miss this trip. Full of so many happy and romantic memories that we’ll talk about forever. On the plane ride home (business class, deserves its own blog post!!) Dan and I made a pact to try and go back to Paris or London every five years. I really hope that’s possible! Dan, I love you. xoxo

honeymoon (part 1)

paris-honeymoonParis and London lived up to everything we hoped and expected. Our honeymoon was nothing short of spectacular! We registered with the Honeyfund, and knowing that so many of our family and friends gifted us parts of our honeymoon really made the whole trip extra special and truly connected to our marriage. We talked about and toasted so many of you during our trip! Oh, and you get to say husband a lot when you travel, so that’s fun! In Paris we decided to rent an apartment through Airbnb. After lots of searching we finally decided on this one for the amazing location and AC (a rare find!). Our host greeted us with flowers and a bottle of red wine to welcome us to Paris!paris-flowers-viewIMG_2055We arrived late the evening before, but jet lag had me up at 4am. I tried not to squirm as long as I could, but around 5:30am Dan woke up too and we watched the sun come up from our flat window. Our apartment was cozy (small) but completely renovated in an old Parisian building. We were on the top floor, and if you leaned out you could see the Eiffel Tower to the right! Below were the cobblestone streets of Le Marais with a mix of boutiques and falafel shops. IMG_2044IMG_2046Since we couldn’t sleep, we decided to roam the streets early that morning. Almost everything was closed at that hour, but it was such a calm and beautiful time to take in the city. IMG_2059^^The courtyard of our building.IMG_2062^^A bunch of people had recommended L’As du Fallafel. We knew it was in our neighborhood, but it turned out to be almost directly below our flat! We may have stopped in for second dinners a few times…it was too good and convenient to pass up! I don’t have a photo of it, but it’s directly across the street from this bright red store (also a falafel shop).IMG_2063IMG_2064^^Paris really knows how to embrace flower boxes! I felt inspired to add some greenery to our little balcony back in LA.IMG_2065IMG_2066IMG_2268^^Shortly after 8am we stumbled upon Cafe Loustic for coffee. I diligently did my best to order us two cappuccinos in French, although we found out later the barista was Australian. It became one of our favorite spots because it was one of the few spots we “discovered” rather than seeking it out as a destination.IMG_2071 IMG_2076From there we walked down to the Hotel de Ville (City Hall) and across the river to Notre Dame. The cathedral had just opened, and while there were plenty of people gathering, it was still relatively sparse. When we walked by a few days later in the afternoon, we were a bit shocked by the crowds in comparison.IMG_2144^^Totally unrelated but we passed this shop with the most massive meringues I’d ever seen!IMG_2081 IMG_2094IMG_2091IMG_2092IMG_2098IMG_2096IMG_2100IMG_2104IMG_2107^^The famous love locks!IMG_2109We had lunch reservations at Derriere (thank you, Gillian!), a large, eclectic restaurant that’s designed to look like a family apartment. The idea being that you entertain friends at home each night. Each corner of the restaurant is styled like a different room, and if you go upstairs, there are even bedrooms and boudoirs to dine in. We ate in what I think was the living room, right next to a ping pong table. The atmosphere was really fun, and the food here was simple and delicious. We had a string bean appetizer that was one of our favorite dishes from the trip, and I ate some of the only mushrooms I’ve ever liked in my life. Everything was really fresh and full of flavor. I’ve been told they also have an amazing brunch. I highly recommend checking it out. I made the reservation online and could only get lunch, but I think if you are able to call it would be easier to score a dinner reservation.IMG_2110IMG_2112IMG_2115IMG_2116IMG_2118IMG_2119IMG_2121After lunch we went to the modern art museum, Centre Pompidou, just down the street, and then headed back to our flat for a jet lag induced nap. Most of our days in Paris had us up early, with a nap in the afternoon. But the days were so long during this time of year (the sun didn’t set until 10pm!) that when we woke up it still felt like there were plenty of hours of daylight to take in the city. So we took the metro over to the Eiffel Tower, grabbed a bottle of rose just before the stores closed, and sat in the grass to watch the sunset. IMG_2122IMG_2123IMG_2129IMG_2132^^The other direction. We weren’t the only people with this idea!IMG_2143^^Right after sunset the tower starts sparkling with hundreds of glittering lights for about ten minutes. It was so romantic! (Apologies for the blur, I had to shoot this handheld on a really low shutter speed to get any of the crazy fast sparkling lights.) Then we hightailed it to Le Relais de l’Entrecote for double portions of the yummiest steak frites! Can I please end every day like this??