9 Adorable Small Towns You Have to Visit

There are few things I love more than a charmingly adorable small town. I mean, I’ve only gushed about my love for Lake George once or twice…

Continue reading “9 Adorable Small Towns You Have to Visit”

Hello from the other side

After 21 days of traveling around Europe, I’m back in the good ol’ Empire State. As much fun as it was adventuring and exploring a bunch, it’s nice to have the comforts of home and my pup by my side. Here’s a round up of my trip and some tips (and more photos) for all my fellow wanderers!


Out of the cities visited on this trip, here are my rankings from favorite to least favorite:

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland
  2. Paris, France
  3. Barcelona, Spain
  4. Rome, Italy

Surprise! I loved the coldest place the best! Not really surprising at all though…Do I need to remind you just how beautiful Iceland is?

DSC02647My photos don’t even do it justice. The mountains were absolutely stunning; it reminded me of the mountain views I had as I traveled around Seattle and Vancouver this past summer. Ah, majestic mountains. I love ’em.

In Iceland, Ty and I stayed at the Kex Hostel which I would absolutely recommend. It’s clean, conveniently located and the employees are very accommodating. But really I’d recommend it mostly for their breakfast. The bread you guys. The BREAD. Something about bread in Iceland is magical; my theory is because it’s made with the pure glacier water they have access to, it makes the bread that much better. Also, the jam they served with this magic bread was even more magical. I need to see if I can order it online…

kex-hostel-breakfast-bread-and-jellyimageICELAND NOTES: Daylight is scarce (depending on the time of year) so plan accordingly. Also, shop hours were generally 10AM-6PM…so night owls beware. Iceland is also pretty expensive compared to other places in Europe so get ready to budget!


PARIS was our last destination and my overall second favorite city. It reminded me of a London where everyone speaks French and smokes a lot.

IMG_4942DSC03398From the quaint streets and shops to the beautiful architecture and the picturesque Seine River, I loved all of it. If you want a great french pastry, check out L’Eclair de Génie. I’m not even a huge eclair person and I loved them.

DSC03682I would also highly, highly recommend visiting the Palace of Versailles and checking out the town of Versailles itself. I’d love to spend more time there in the warmer months. It was so lovely!

imageDSC03580 DSC03591DSC03575PARIS NOTES: Ty and I stayed at an Airbnb in The Marais neighborhood; not far from Notre Dame or The Bastille. The metro is easy to navigate, but trains don’t run 24/7. Paris does have Uber though!


Barcelona was Ty’s favorite place and rightfully so – it was a ton of fun. We stayed at the Kabul Backpacker’s Hostel which was a very upbeat and social hostel. The employees were super nice and the cost was so, so cheap! There was a bar downstairs and happy hour was fantastic (1 euro sangria and beer!). We had a great view from our room and quickly made friends to go out and explore with.

12734101_10153527272129037_3599553149146622997_n 12733635_10153527269999037_6728566508023849044_nDSC02919With all this positive talk, you may wonder why I ranked Barcelona third on my list — it really comes down to personal preference. I wasn’t a fan of the Spanish siesta as a visitor; I’m sure I’d love the concept if I lived there but it’s something to take into consideration as a tourist when planning what time to eat, etc. Highlights for me though definitely included Park Güell and the paella at 7 Portes Restaurant.


And finally, ROME. We stayed at the Yellow Hostel and were upgraded to a four bed ensuite with a bathroom. A pleasant surprise after arriving a day late (because we got our flight confused and went to the airport in Barcelona a day early)…ALWAYS QUADRUPLE CHECK YOUR FLIGHTS PEOPLE!

DSC03276Anyways…our first day in Rome was actually really fun. We went on a six-hour walking tour and saw pretty much everything.

DSC03197We made a pit stop to grab some authentic Italian espresso that was super delicious and gave me the kick I needed to continue on.

DSC03203Later that night, we went on the Rollin Bar. Advertised through the hostel, the Rollin Bar is literally a party bus with a bar (and stripper pole…) on it that makes scenic stops over the course of 2 hours before returning to The Yellow Bar (the Yellow Hostel’s neighboring bar). It’s 25 euro to get on the bus (with four drinks included), but really the drinks are unlimited and it’s freakin’ cray. Oh, and one of Ty’s friends happened to be in Rome at the same time so he came along too!

IMG_4900IMG_0521The following day, Ty and I went on a food tour of our own – pizza, gelato, pasta, etc…everything was really fresh and delicious.

DSC03282 DSC03285 DSC03286 DSC03324So why was Rome last on my list? It’s a great place to see and there’s so so much history, but there’s not much to do overall. I can’t imagine spending an entire week there, let alone living in Rome. Also…as I mentioned in my initial Rome post, I got incredibly awful food poisoning (probably from one of the above items, though it all looks delicious and tasted great going down). So my time there was definitely clouded by getting sick.

Would I recommend going to Rome? Of course. But really as a day trip. Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you could definitely experience it in a day.


And that’s all folks! I had the best time and can’t wait to continue exploring and traveling more in the future. Thanks for reading!

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Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Ciao, Roma

Hey, guys! I’ve been meaning to post about my time in Rome but alas I came down with some awful food poisoning that left me out of commission. Womp! BUT, my first day in Rome was fantastic!…


Ty and I went on a six-hour walking tour where we saw everything from the Pantheon to the Colosseum. Our tour guide, Tom, was great and taught us a lot about the rich history of this ancient city.

We also met Katie Dawes, the incredible gal behind The Hostel Girl blog. She also stayed at The Yellow Hostel in Rome and did an excellent review – read it here!

We also stopped by a cat sanctuary commissioned by none other than Mussolini…I know, right. But apparently, cats are honorary citizens of Rome and you’ll find them just chilling in cafes and stores.

 

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My overall impression of Rome: it’s super old and you really don’t need more than a couple of days to see everything. You can honestly make a day trip out of it. The Trevi Fountain was extremely touristy. But I think my visit was definitely tainted by my getting sick.

In other news, I’ve been in Paris less than 24 hours now and I’m in love and never want to leave. I cannot wait to bombard y’all with photos of everythinggg since I’ll be here for the next six days!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie

Cheers to 2016

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYONE! 

2015 was an amazing year, but not without my fair share of ups and downs. I quit my job at a major news network, moved back home and literally had no idea what was next.

Newsflash: Still don’t know what I’m doing career-wise. Currently considering becoming a flight attendant. We’ll see…

…BUT I ate tons of delicious food, traveled a bunch and met tons of cool folks in 2015! Did I mention I met my idol, the silver fox himself, ANDERSON COOPER?

I’ve been getting work through a temp agency in NYC which has sustained me thus far along with my freelance writing/transcription work so that’s been goooood.

Now I’m gearing up for my next adventure — Rapetti Review is off to Europe!

I booked this trip back in September and I can’t believe Feb. 1 is so near…time seriously flies faster and faster with each given year. It freaks me out. Anyways…

I’m going with my best friend from college, Tyler, who is coincidentally the same gal who managed to get me to road trip to VA on a whim this past summer to see Dave Matthews Band.

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We’re so super excited for our adventure to Europe! We’ll be there for a total of 3 weeks and our travels will take us to the following cities:

Reykjavik, Iceland

Barcelona, Spain

Rome, Italy

Paris, France

AH! I can’t wait. If you’ve been to these places, I totally welcome any and ALL recommendations! Give me the inside scoop, y’all!

I wish you all tons of happiness and adventure in 2016 and hope that this world gains more joy and cheer!

Spread kindness and cheer, xo
Jackie