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In April of this year, Louis and I took our first trip together (like actually relaxing trip) since June 2013. I KNOW. We wanted to go somewhere not too far, with a beach and nice weather. The Canary Islands seemed like the perfect option in terms of distance and ticket prices. Plus, I had heard nothing but great things about the islands from pals.

We did one of those all inclusive hotels on a beach with a pool and food and the works which is pretty hilarious, but you know what… it was perfect because basically all we wanted to do in reality was lay around in the sun somewhere and do nothing. As much as I would have liked to find a charming little AirBnb and all and cook ourselves every night and go out and about to discover cute towns (la prochaine fois…) – let’s be honest – trips can be pretty damn expensive. I’m still grumpy about how much my ticket home for Christmas in Colorado cost me, oy vey. This trip was a be-lazy-and-lay-around-and-soak-up-the-sun type of trip, and not an adventurous-cutesie-discover-the-culture-and-whatnot type of trip. Ever feel the need for that kind of escape?

In the middle of our super duper lazy island getaway, we rented a car and roamed the island. We started by wandering up the northwest coast of the island, with the endless white sandy beaches, then up to the northern tip at Corralejo where we had some typical Spanish grub and the most enormous servings of food I have ever had in my entire life at Avenida followed by some local ice cream at La Cremeria.

Part of what was so beautiful about Fuerteventura was all of the different landscapes: white beaches, volcanic beaches, seaside towns with white stucco, flat desert roads, infinite red hills, cliffside nude beaches, windy mountain roads with chilly breezes… we genuinely had no idea when we decided to take a tour around the island just how many different astonishing views we would see. And come on, it’s not like the island is huge, you can drive around it easily in an afternoon. Anyways, heading back down South that day we found ourselves amongst goats in Betancuría (goats are EVERYRWHERE) on the highest of hills with nothing but grades of red hills as far as you can see. It was surprisingly refreshing to not have a GPS and to just go through little towns and follow signs towards the towns we recognized or that were printed on the shitty map our hotel gave us. The next day was devoted to the very very southern tip of the island, that is called the Jandía peninsula. Some pockets are definitely more touristy, but we found a very lovely little nude beach called Playa del mal Nombre that I highly recommend if you’re looking to just lay around (there are goats there, too). If you’re feeling crazy drive up in the Parque Natural Jandía, but fudge it was scary with the little roads that swirve up mountainsides and when another car comes you’re worried one of the cars will roll off the steep hillside. It was serious offroading.

Bref, a week well spent.

MY FUERTEVENTURA TIPS:
Playas on the northeast coast of island, facing the Parque Natural Corralejo
Hills of Betancuría and surounding little mountain towns
Playa del mal Nombre
El Cotillo Lighthouse
Eat garlic shrimp everywhere
Drink honey rum on the rocks

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When I first moved to Paris in 2008, the 19th seemed so far away. Over the years my vision of Paris has become smaller, and now 30 minutes by bike brings me to the city center, and a 30 minute metro ride can very well be to the other side of Rive Droit.

I have a vivid memory of being at Buttes Chaumont for Nuit Blanche a few years ago. There were lamps placed every few meters across one of their fields, and as the sun set the park lit up with Pixar-like lights. There was a panel with messages flashing, and many other marvelous installations.

It’s the ideal park for a picnic. Despite the hills, if you find a good spot on a slight incline, you’ll be set for hours. The park is filled with youth and laughter, with runners, families, music and ice cream. Climb around the back of the hills up to the path that leads to the tower where you have a panoramic view of the city, with the silhouette of Sacré Coeur and Montmartre in the distance. You’ll feel so high up. From that particular spot things seem so far away and spaced out so awkwardly. There was smog, but with the sunsetting it made for shadowed like buildings contrasting the pastel skies. It was quite nice.

If you’re just visiting Paris for a few days this spot may seem pretty far out, but make the treck, it’s a different kind of charming, not like the other parks in the heart of the city.

trocadero-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-03trocadero-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-02 trocadero-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-04 trocadero-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-06 trocadero-de-quelle-planete-es-tu-07The sun is finally coming out a bit and I can’t help to think about how refreshing it is. This winter was an awkwardly mild one, and Spring has taken some time to stick. I’m horrible at dressing for the weather, I always find myself too hot or too cold. It’s silly, really.

I’m one of those people where the grass is always greener: in winter I think about summer and picnics and coffees on terraces and big sunnies, but in summer I think about how charming winter is. As of today, I am grateful for the arrival of sunshine, later sunsets and outdoor strolls and adventures on the weekends.

Vegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog LegsI love traditions. I inherited this love from my mother. I like the idea of things and moments repeating themselves. It gives me something to look forward to, and to continuously appreciate. I sometimes wonder how lame things could be if it weren’t for traditions.

With that said, my bestie and I are starting a new tradition: random frolicking in Paris on the weekends. This past Sunday was our first Sunday Funday, and we filled it up with vegan cupcakes, a pumpkin spice flat white, a deliciously hoppy pint, quick play of tourist and hot cocoa with Valerie and finished it off with some indian food with more awesome friends.

Sometimes a decently packed day like this one is needed for sanity. What’s better than riding a bike all over Paris on a surprisingly sunny autumn Sunday?

You can read about Ana’s take on our special day and our primary stop, Vegan Folie’s, here.

Vegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog Legs Vegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog LegsVegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog Legs Vegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog Legs Vegan Folie's, De quelle planète es-tu, Tofu Frog Legs Paris, De quelle planète es-tu Sunday_Funday-with-Tofu-Frog-Legs-09 Sunday_Funday-with-Tofu-Frog-Legs-10 Tofu Frog Legs Sunday_Funday-with-Tofu-Frog-Legs-12 Beer Ana Clara Soares, Paris, Pont de l'Archevêché Ana Clara Soares, Paris, Pont de l'Archevêché, Valerie Amend Ana Clara Soares, Paris, Pont de l'Archevêché Paris, Pont de l'Archevêché Valerie Amend Chez Julien, De quelle planète es-tu? Chez Julien, De quelle planète es-tu? Chez Julien, Hot cocoa Oh la la livia
Vegan Folie’s
53, rue Mouffetard, 75005
Tél: 01 43 37 21 89
Métro: Place Monge (7)

Sugarplum Cake Shop
68 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine, 75005
Tél: 01 46 34 07 43
Métro: Cardinale Lemoine (10)

Chez Julien
1 Rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, 75004
Tél: 01 42 78 31 64
Métro: Pont Marie

Chettinadu
15 rue Cail, 75010
Tél: 01 40 34 49 17
Métro: La Chapelle (2)

The view up top - De quelle planete es tu:1The view of Paris from above never gets old. I’m not sure it ever will. I love gazing out into the formations of the streets, where they connect and where they lead to. The gray rooftops with brownish-red chimneys. Teeny tiny people walking below with heaps of bags and sometimes in a hurry. You’ve got to go high up to get a breath of fresh air sometimes, and just take in the view.

In Paris I’ve also had the opportunity to meet some amazingly creative and passionate and motivating and inspirational people. And a few special people with whom I’ve made this city my home. It means so much to me when I get to introduce people I adore to one another. Life is too short to not connect and not just start a conversation with someone you don’t know. The spiderwebs of connections we create on a daily basis are essential to who we are and who we become.

These two ladies, Fatima and Olivia are special souls in my life, that I feel so grateful to know. From opposite ends of the globe and different cultures… Paris is what we all had in common for our paths to cross. This particular day, we all went for a stroll.

In my mind, Paris deserves a little admiration, because it’s within the walls of this magical city, and on these crowded streets, that I’ve met some important people in my life…Not to mention my lover.

Life is like a box of chocolate.

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