Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Rio de Janeiro has always been a place I have been dying to visit.  I choose this destination because I’ve always heard it was spectacular.  My boyfriend and I explored a lot during our two weeks there.  Our hotel was on Copacabana beach so it was nice to walk out onto the beach and take a stroll.  We set aside a couple of days to go on some tours to see what the city has to offer!  The first stop, the Sugarloaf mountain (Pão de Açúcar) tour!  You hop in a cable car that takes you to the very top of the mountain.  Once you get to the top, you get a 360-degree view of surrounding beaches, mountains and forests.  The views are breathtaking and anywhere you take a picture the backdrop doesn’t disappoint!

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The following day, we took a walk to another neighborhood called Ipanema.  Ipanema, is located in the South area of the city of Rio.  One thing I noticed while walking from Copacabana to Ipanema was the black and white pattern on the sidewalk and how the design changes.  I really enjoyed the night life in Ipanema.  The bars, the food, shopping and more importantly the BEACH!  There were so many independent  vendors selling everything you could think of but decided on buying a bathing suit wrap.

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One of the seven wonders of the world, Christ the Redeemer (Cristo Redentor) was something I really wanted to check out.  The statue is a whopping 98 feet tall and it’s arms stretch 92 feet wide.  It’s located at the peak of Corcovado mountain overlooking Rio.  It took a while to get there, but when we finally made it I was completely blown away.  I  couldn’t take my eyes off of the statue or the ariel views!   We stayed up there for a while to eat and walked around the area.  It was definitely something to see for sure.

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A couple of days later my boyfriend wanted to watch a football (soccer) game, so we decided to experinece one at the Maracanã Stadium.  We had such a great time there.  The fans are so passionate about their teams and sang multiple songs throughout the game.  It was incredible to witness.

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We wanted to see more of Brazil, but didn’t know what tour to do.  We eventually decided on the favela (low income area) tour.  Our tour guide was amazing!  She took us through one of the favela’s and we meet a lot of the locals.  We were also lucky to catch a bunch of  kids doing capoeira (a brazilian martial art).  Overall, It was a very, very neat experience and would highly recommend adding it to your list of things to check out.

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Everything about Rio de Janeiro was so much fun!  I’m glad I had the chance to check out such an incredible city.  So much to see and do, you’ll never get bored.   Another great country that’s check off my list!

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Dublin, Ireland

Dublin is a great city to visit!  Whenever I visit I always enjoy staying right in the heart of the city center.  I love the shopping, pubs, it’s historic buildings, the city park and the very friendly people!  Be prepared if you visit Ireland, it gets really cold!  I’ve learned throughout the years going that you really need to bundle up.

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Grafton Street, one of Dublin’s main shopping streets in the city center is great!  I remember the first time coming here I was shop happy and loved every minute of it that my boyfriend and his parents couldn’t keep up with me!  LOL!  We usually have to take a couple of breaks in between because all I want to do is check out every store that exists.

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If you’re looking for a pub to stop at, I suggest the iconic Temple Bar.  It’s a great place to hangout, meet some new people and grab a couple of drinks and listen to live music.

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Trinity college is another great place to checkout.  It’s Ireland oldest university and situated on College Green not too far from the city center.

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Also located in the city center is St. Stephen’s Green, a beautifully lush and well kept park that expands 22 acres and is the largest of the parks in Dublin’s main Georgian garden squares.  Perfect to walk around or pop a squat on the grass and have lunch.

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And just a short walk is the O’Connell Bridge (the three semicircular arch structure), which runs through the center of the city and widely known Ha’penny Bridge (not pictured, is Dublin’s oldest pedestrian bridge that once required a penny to cross over) both situated over the river Liffey that’s worth seeing.

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If you have a car I highly suggest that you make it over to Malahide Castle & Gardens.  Located in North county Dublin and only 8 miles from the city center.  This stunning castle is one of the oldest in Ireland and sits on a whopping 260 acres.  The gardens are definitely worth seeing as well.  The grounds also have a couple of shops and a restaurant that is yummy.

If you’re planning a trip to Europe make sure to visit Dublin.  There’s a lot of history there and so much to explore.  A lovely country to visit for sure.  Enjoy!

Goodies from England

I’m finally back home from my long holiday in England but already missing it.  For the past six years I have been going to England with my boyfriend for Christmas and every time I make sure to get in some retail therapy.  I thought this time around I would share several things I bought.  The first day of shopping was on Regent Street, which is a major shopping street in the West End of London.  Not only is the shopping amazing on this street, but my favorite part is seeing the gorgeous display of lights!  I was on a mission that day and popped in several stores including Burberry.  The first thing that caught my attention in the store was this very cool vintage car with beautifully placed boxes above it.  I liked the center piece so much that I wanted to take a picture of it.

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After hours of shopping, me and my boyfriend decided to take a stroll through Green Park.   I love walking through this park, it’s so beautiful with it’s manicured lawns and mature trees.  This park reminds me a lot of Central Park in New York city minus the lakes.  Just outside the park is Buckingham Palace, which is definitely a building to check out!

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A couple of days later we continued shopping in Leicester Square and Covent Garden.  First stop Nike!  It always seems that they have a wider selection of sneakers and that’s why I love going to Nike in London.  I could of easily bought several pairs of shoes, however had to narrow it down to one pair that I really loved.

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By the end of my trip, I wish I was able to fit more things into my suitcases, but both were completely full.  I honestly don’t even know how I was able to get all the things in my bag but I did it.  Note:  There were serval other basic tops that I bought but aren’t pictured.

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Starting with bag, it’s from Whistles, a London company that I love.  The grey velvet pumps are from Topshop, suede boots are from Stradivarius, a Spanish company that I also love,  the green sneakers are from Nike and the grey/white sneakers are from Adidas. Overall, shopping was a success!  If you’re looking for great shopping in London, I highly recommend the areas I mentioned above.  Enjoy!