Reasons we loved Lyon (2014)

Lyon, France was a must-see weekend destination for Carolyn and me because my husband actually studied there before we met. He had nothing but good things to say about it and we knew we had to explore!

Obligatory photo when we first arrived

Vieux Lyon

One can be adult get consumed by Old Lyon’s charm! Wandering the streets is a great way to spend an afternoon.

A couple in love

Lyon Cathédral

I believe it’s obligatory to visit cathedrals when visiting Europe, and this one certainly delivered on beauty and history.

Parc de la Tête d’Or

This park is another great way to spend an afternoon. It provides you with ample people-watching and photography opportunities!

The food!

I saved the best for last! There’s no shortage of good food here in Lyon. With tons of bakeries, candy shops and markets, you won’t leave the city hungry.

Carolyn LOVED this pirate-themed candy shop!
Raspberry-mango-lemon gelato

Perusing the streets (and past memories) of Paris

With the COVID-19 chaos among us, all I can think of is traveling. Last Monday I was supposed to venture off to Banff National Park for some solo adventuring, yet here I am soaking up some sun on my couch…

While I may not be educating myself on wolf-dogs, tubing down mountains or glacier hiking, I am currently lost in past travels. I recently spoke with one of my best friends who I met while we studied in France, so I’ll continue my French-inspired posts for now.

One of my favorite photos from the weekend…

Carolyn and I spent one weekend in Paris during over summer abroad; for both good and bad reasons, it was a weekend we’ll never forget. I can only explain our weekend mishaps by sharing a piece of my matron of honor speech from September 2019:

“During our time in France, there was only one moment when I feared that Carolyn wouldn’t want to be my friend anymore. We were lost in Paris for a while, wandering the outskirts in the middle of the night. Let’s just say that it brought out the worst in us. Our phones weren’t working and we had no clue how or when we would find our way back.

For once, there were no stories about our significant others, no rants about Veronique and her subpar cooking, and most importantly, no laughter. Thankfully, things went back to normal once we found our hotel, and I’m incredibly thankful for that.

In fact, we’ve had a reunion every year since that summer, and in 2015 we were also lost in Chicago late at night. We laughed while we struggled to find our way back to the hotel, and it brought me back to that hectic night in Paris.”

I hope you’re all staying safe, healthy and happy with your loved ones (and favorite TV series!) ❤️

Fond of France (2014)

I officially started this blog in 2015 by being forced into it as a class assignment. I thought, “no one is going to care what I have to say,” but thank you for reading and following my journey anyway. 

With this gratitude, I will be sharing my first study abroad experience with you: Aix-en-Provence, France (2014). I have shared some photos way back, but it’s time you saw and heard about one of my favorite countries to this day. I’m feeling just as grateful for my summer in southern France as I am for all of you! 
Thank you for all of your love and support, always. 
Cate

Niagara Falls

My friend Alice, who is visiting during the holidays, has always wanted to see the Niagara Falls. We went to the Canada side over the weekend and we were blessed with some good weather and great views!

Best. Wedding. Ever.

As I currently lay in bed with puffy eyes, a clogged nose and a sore throat, I try to reflect on the good of 2019.

2019 was by far the most challenging year I have under my belt. It was the epitome of struggle and adversity (especially when it comes to family and work). But 2019 has also brought many unexpected blessings, which shouldn’t be overlooked.

One of those blessings (perhaps THE best thing that happened this year) was the honor of standing by my best friend’s side as she married the man of her dreams.

Looking back at these photos makes me feel nostalgic and homesick in a way, because Carolyn, Ryan, their friends, family and bridal party all made me feel welcomed immediately. I might attend nice weddings in the near future, but none of them will ever top this feeling…

The Bay Area with Bae

Two weekends ago, Juan and I flew all the way to Oakland, California for a one-day music festival. One of our favs, Lane 8, performed at an all-day event in the middle of the city (I can’t emphasize how rad this was)! No phones were allowed and it was a truly immersive experience.

The only photos I have from our weekend away aren’t even from Oakland: they’re from San Francisco.

Juan has never been to the Golden Gate Bridge, so obviously we had to take a detour. When I visited two years ago, it was clear and sunny outside (see below):

When we visited two weekends ago, however, that wasn’t the case…

Regardless, we still had a great time and made the most of our foggy day!

Pro tip: do not get the croissants at the visitors center (Juan said they were hella stale).

“Let’s raise our glasses and lower our expectations” – Geoffrey Zakarian – Cate Spader