Toscana for Twenty Sunrises

Taking in the beauty, history, and gelato

(This article was cowritten, so paragraphs beginning with “M” were written by Mollie and ones beginning with “R” were written by Ryan) M - After our sprint through Scotland, France, and Switzerland, we knew we needed to land somewhere for a good long while. This fit into our plan of setting up a home base in Tuscany, as we had fallen in love with Italy when we visited two years prior. [Read More]

A Quick Dash Through Switzerland

See what you can before you empty your bank account

Initially we wanted to spend a week or more in Switzerland, we’d heard amazing things. However, our plans quickly changed as we began looking into accommodations and the corresponding nightly rates. We started stripping down our trip, trying to maximize what we thought would be highlights, and trying to stay in places that wouldn’t damage our wallet too badly. Ultimately, after a few days in Paris, we headed into Switzerland via Basel (the northwest corner of the country) and went directly to… [Read More]

Paris, je t'aime

Wandering the City of Light

So I have to admit, I was terrified of going to France. I had been there before- one week in high school, on an organized tour, and I LOVED it. However, all you hear is how the French, especially Parisians, despise Americans and will pretend not to understand English. Since Ryan’s language skills only helps us in Spanish-speaking countries, I knew it was all on my high school French getting us by in France. [Read More]

The Scottish Highlands

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North...

Farewell to the Highlands, farewell to the North, The birth-place of Valour, the country of Worth; Wherever I wander, wherever I rove, The hills of the Highlands for ever I love. Robert Burns (Map from Lonely Planet) The Highlands are the part of Scotland generally referring to the area North of Glasgow and Edinburgh. Our trip took us from Edinburg, to Glasgow, to Lull, to Oban, to Skye, to Inverness, and then to Stirling to finish it up. [Read More]

Glasgow

A modern Scotland

I seem to have a problem- everywhere we go, I decide I could live there. This rule held up in Glasgow! It is such a vibrant city, full of activity; and has such nice people. It was seriously quite amazing how open and friendly people were. We were taking a selfie outside of a restaurant and a security guard offered to take the picture for us. He then took multiple pictures, asked where we were visiting from, then gave us a bunch of information about the area and recommended going around the corner to Ashton Lane, where the picture above was taken. [Read More]

Edinburgh

Pronounced as -burah, not -burg

I really wasn’t expecting Edinburgh to be so beautiful! What a difference compared to Buenos Aires, where the style was all over the place in terms of architecture (younger city + no building codes + people wanting to copy Paris, London, and Madrid styles = no uniform look). Edinburgh’s main flavor is sandstone. For us, the amount of tourists was kind of shocking (and rather off-putting). I think this mostly has to do with the fact that we didn’t really come across any in Buenos Aires. [Read More]

Punta del Este

We decided to take a short trip across the river during our last few weeks in South America, and arguably the quickest flight we’ve ever been on. A whole thirty minutes in the air to Punta del Este, Uruguay. For the uninitiated, Punta is a famous beach town here in South America, busting at the seams with tourists during the summer months of December to March and (as we learned) virtually empty during the off season. [Read More]

San Pedro de Atacama

High and dry

The Atacama desert is one of the driest places on Earth, second only to Antarctica. It also exists at an extremely high elevation (which is part of the reason for the minimal moisture). San Pedro de Atacama was suggested as one of the top places to visit in Chile. As with much of our trip, we didn’t have much of a plan once we arrived. We found a quaint Airbnb the week before we were set to arrive. [Read More]

El Calafate...

...and El Chalten

Our next stop was a two hour flight northwest to El Calafate, which is also the name of a of berry local to the region. This city is has a population of about 20,000 people and would you believe it- pink flamingos! Here is poor quality picture proof, because let’s face it I’m not a professional wildlife photographer. We rented a car last minute, which allowed us to 1) Experience Argentine driving for ourselves and 2) Explore the city while staying warm. [Read More]

First Impressions of Buenos Aires

I have been enjoying my first few days in Buenos Aires immensely. We’ve been doing a fair bit of walking around the local neighborhood (Belgrano), mostly to coffee shops. We did spend one day in the car with Ryan’s aunt in San Isidro and one day by car in Palmero, Recoleta, and Almagro. I will get better pictures later but here are a few to whet your appetite: Palace of the Argentine National Congress [Read More]