01142013 (Euro Trip!)
Bonjour and Happy New Year to everyone!
So here we are. Brand new year with brand new goals. A part of me is mildly sad that 2012 is over… it really was the best year of my life thus far. I’ve met a lot of wonderful people, got close to a few unexpected ones, reunited with some, and got rid of the unnecessary ones, or as I’d like to call it, “trimming the fat”. Just because the year is over, doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the end of this good run I’ve been having. Let’s see what this year has in store, shall we??
If there was one thing I loved most about this past year, it was the insanely increasing amount of traveling that I’ve been doing. Nothing else in my life compares to the feeling of packing your bags and getting on that red-eye flight just to end up in a different city, different state, different country. I think I’ve found a new passion… for sure.
To cap off the awesome year, I decided what better way to end it than reunite with my buddy Amy. It’s been about a year since the last time I’ve see her and a reunion would be the perfect ending… a reunion in Paris! This was my first time out of the country since I was 8 to attend my uncle’s wedding in China. The thing that made this trip a little more special was that I went on my own. No one else. Just… me. You really do learn a lot about yourself and what you’re really made of. Are you really all guts and glory like you claim?? Let’s find out!
PlayMe: Hey, Mr. Rager! Tell me where you’re headed… Tell me bout’ your travels…
BOOM! Landed in London from LAX and headed straight for the “Tube” (aka underground) to meet my buddy Amy (aka The Aussie). I crashed with her at her place overnight, and the next morning, she took off to Germany and I ventured off to Amsterdam on my own by train… Here we go!!
Amsterdam’s architecture is beautiful. People have told me that Amsterdam was small and it really is. Everything is pretty much walking distance, but I got a bus pass anyways because that cold is no joke. Especially at night.
Anne Frank’s House!! In case you don’t know the story of Anne Frank, she was one of the many who hid during the Holocaust. She kept a running diary/journal while she was in hiding which was later on published as one of the best sellers of all time. Check out her story! It really is tragic…
The infamous Red Light District of Amsterdam. This was just one of the many streets where this small district comes to life at night. Every street is filled with these glowing red lights and every single one of these rooms were occupied with a gorgeous woman… well most of them. The thing that tripped me out the most was that I would see this pretty girl in the window, but right above her would be a family of 5 cutting a turkey for dinner… like it was no big deal that sex was being solicited right underneath them. What?!
One of my missions for Amsterdam was to find this giant cone of fries that was drenched in Dutch mayo, and that I did. I wished I had a picture to portray how big this cone actually was… No, I didn’t finish it.
On my last day here in Amsterdam, I ventured out to go see the Van Gogh exhibit and it was amazing! You really can’t appreciate his painting until you see them in real life. His brush strokes in his work are so detailed and does such a great job in portraying motion, that I found myself tilting to the side while staring at this tree blowing in the wind.
A funny thing happened on my train ride to Paris… If you notice on the ticket, it was actually marked for the week BEFORE. I didn’t find this out until I boarded my train and found another gentleman sitting in my seat. One of the clerks had pointed out to me and my ticket was for the WRONG date. Panic mode is now in full effect. I pleaded to the clerk that I had made an honest mistake, and that I HAD to be on that train to meet my friend in Paris. After some quick charm and honesty, she let me stay on the train but turns out all of the seats were booked… She had no choice but……………….
BOOM!! Finally made it to Paris. Connected with The Aussie and made our way to our hostel. We grabbed a couple drinks later on that night and knocked out around 2am… Woke up rather early the next morning to start exploring.
First stop. The Eiffel Tower!! This thing is both magical and magnificently huge. I was completely blown away when I saw the size of this thing. THEN I got to thinking… This thing is huge, but the Statue of Liberty that was given to us by these guys is FUCKIN dinky! (Pardon my French… You know what? Fuck that, I’m in France). Damn Frenchies.
Super bonus while I was in town… Amy found me the Amelie Cafe!!! I love this movie! I was totally cracking creme brulee and wondering how many people were having orgasms at this very moment… I’m gonna go ahead and say 15.
Thanks to one of my Instagram buddies, Davybrightside, I went to have myself a cappuccino from Kooka Borra! I like how small all the coffees are in Europe. Quality > quantity. Just my style. We met up with a couple more people later on that night for some amazing wine x cheese x meat board and called it a night.
The Mona effing Lisa!!!!! Amazing………….. After the museum, we headed back to our hostel, packed up our stuff, and headed to the airport to catch our flight back to London for my last stop of this Euro trip.
The next morning, Amy took me down to this one coffee shop… It was retarded how good this cappuccino was!! I was thinking of buying a bag of coffee beans to bring home since I liked it so much, but figured I probably had too much at home to collect anymore.
Last but not least, I took a bus ride 2 hours out of town to see this enchanted structure. No big deal… just STONEHENGE!!!!! YES! Crossed another one off my list.
After this, I celebrated New Year’s Eve with my buddy at some random house parties and an underground warehouse one. Things got a little wild… Let’s just say I lost my phone and I’m one black beanie short…
- Annie surprised me with a Christmas present and said I needed this for my trip… It probably saved my life a handful of times. Thank you!!!
- Passport-check. RayBans-check. Cash-check. Let’s fly!
- At LAX making sure my flight is on time and a Merry Christmas to you too!
- Arrived in London and Amy put on a bath for me. I can’t remember the last time I had one of these… they’re awesome!!
- We went out to the Grotto (which by definition is a cave or a hole in the wall that’s occupied by man… I found that out in the dictionary later on) to watch this live Bohemian band that just kept growing in members… Twas’ dope!
- Grabbed and checked in to my train ride from London to Brussels.
- The coffee and quiche I had during my connecting train.
- The common area at my hostel in Amsterdam (Cocomama. Totally recommended). It was so homey there!
- Random fact: Cocomama was once an old brothel back in the day. The preserved an old stripper pole from the original establishment.
- OOTD wandering around Amsterdam.
- The canal where the Anne Frank house sits.
- Giant swans in the Red Light District.
- OOTD at the I AMsterdam sign.
- At the train station waiting to board my train to Paris.
- First class like a bausss!
- My favorite scarf… Well, my only one…
- Reunion with The Aussie! Also my 1000th photo on Instagram. So appropriate!
- The best hot chocolate I’ve ever had… It was like they melted a bunch of really nice chocolates and gave it to me in a pot.
- What’s Paris without a Foie Gras on toast dinner??
- Notre Dame!!! Massive… just massive…
- The stair clime to Sacre Coeur.
- Amy lighting candles inside the cathedral.
- Sacre Coeur interior dome.
- Got a chance to meet up with my buddy Emily’s cousin in Paris. What’s up, Johan!! See you in Paris again in the future!
- Got a random picture with our local bar tending frenchman. He was mega nice!
- Met some new French buddies!!
- Amelie’s Cafe
- This painting at The Louvre! Emily once told me a story about this painting when she went to Paris years ago. She told me this painting just stood out to her because it was funny… I remembered that story, so I took this picture. It is rather amusing.
- Coffee at The Old Shoreditch Station Cafe.
- Fish x Chips
- THE Allsaints Spitalfields in Spitalfields!!! I was so stoked… They actually design all the clothes downstairs.
- Respect the bean.
- Coffee session.
- OOTD in London with coffee as an arm accessory.
- St. Paul’s Cathedral.
- Love the old vintage sewing machines are Allsaints.
- Big Ben
- Buckingham Palace
- Royal guard.
- I got these 2 pairs of boat shoes from Primark… 10 pounds a pair. Are you kidding me…. Dirt cheap for shoes! How could I not??
- I had a bloody mary one of those nights during dinner. It’s been a long time since I’ve had one. It was so good!! A bit too spicy towards the end though…
- The Aussie’s famous homemade breakfast!! I finally got to try it. Verdict? BOMB.COM
- Coffee in hand and waiting for my bus to Stonehenge.
Amy decided to capture my time in Europe… somehow we came up with this idea that I would try to do the same pose as many times as I can in my pictures.
- Eiffel Tower
- Sacre Coeur
- Fresh out of the kitchen butter croissant
- Cracking creme brulee at Amelie’s Cafe
- Lunch with Johan in Paris. I had this hockey puck sized patty of raw beef that was mixed with picked and kraut. AMAZING!!!
- The crowd to see the Mona Lisa
- Successful at Allsaints!
- Shot of garlic in my ramen.
- London Eye
- 4D experience
- On the ride.
- Big Ben
- Knifing this big ass Sunday Roast. Man shit.
- Double successful at Allsaints.
- Bourbon on the rocks x beer before dinner
- Me and the Aussie at Byron’s. Best onion rings I’ve had in a long time.
- Totally classy about it…
- We’re not tore up at all.
- Underground warehouse party where my black beanie was last seen…
- Being totally cool.
- Late night shenanigans on New Year’s Eve night.
- This was the last hurrahhh! She told me I’m the only person she’s ever ran after on a train… How sweet! Goodbye Amy!!! Until we reunion again, ma cherie!!
- Caught a late night movie with Annie to see Les Mis… I had no idea it was a full on musical from beginning to end. Great movie though!!
- OOTD movie night.
That’s all for this post. It’s been a hell of a ride and a VERY SPECIAL thank you to Amy!!!! This whole trip wouldn’t have been possible without you. You’ve inspired me to see the world, and that’s the dream that I’m going to chase. I’m looking forward to reuniting with you again in the future. The best part about that?? Could be any time, anywhere in the world.
Have a good one, folks!