Vacation Photos Part 2: Santorini

Next up are the photos from our trip to Santorini. Neither of us had been to Greece, so this was a major bucket list destination for us both. We decided to stay in the town of Fira versus the more touristy town of Oia, which ended up being a great choice. We were walking distance to Fira but still pretty secluded from the crowds.
We stayed at the Aigialos, the most beautiful hotel nestled on the cliffs of Santorini. We spent much of the week relaxing and enjoying the views from our balcony, so we were very happy that we decided to stay at the Aigialos. 
The hotel brought by a bottle of Sigalas white wine on our first night, and it was delicious and refreshing. We ended up bringing a few bottles home, but it's never warm enough in SF to enjoy it. :)
We couldn't get over the views and sunsets...they were breathtaking. All of these shots were snapped from our iPhones from our balcony, and they don't even begin to do the views justice.
Our hotel served us breakfast on our balcony every morning - coffee, fresh fruit, pastries, greek yogurt, omelets - the works! We would have been more than happy to never leave the hotel during our ~4 days on the island.
Alas, we decided to venture out. :) We put our PADI skills to use and went on a dive excursion one day. We went on a ship wreck dive and then on a shore dive. 
Our favorite day was the catamaran tour we took around the island. It was us plus five other couples on a full-day boat tour. We lounged in the sun, snorkeled in the chilly water, drank cool white wine, and ate a feast for lunch. It was one of the best meals from our entire time in Europe.
We took countless photos of the sunsets...

...And of course we took a lot of photos of each other too! :)
This was hands down the most beautiful, magical place either of us has ever been. We can't wait to go back! 

Catching Up! Vacation Photos Part 1: Rome

I'm attempting to play blog catch up by posting some vacation photos from July (yikes)! After my work trip, we took a few weeks to travel to Italy & Greece. Our first stop was Rome. The heat was a welcomed change from our chilly, rainy summer in Paris. We stayed in this adorable AirBNB on Via Urbana - the cutest street in the heart of Rome. It was central and the perfect place to relax between sightseeing.
I have to rave about the food we had during our trip. It definitely lives up to the hype, but we had to do a bit of digging to find the best places. We stumbled across Aromaticus and ended up eating there every single day for lunch. They serve green juice (which was much needed to balance out all of the carbs we were eating!) and healthy, light lunches. Lucas had a quinoa bowl and I had the bright red tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella drizzled with olive oil and sea salt. My mouth waters now just thinking about how good it was. We had dinner one night at Brocoletti on our street, which has homemade pasta and tiramisu. On our last night we went to Li Rioni for cheese pizza and house wine, which was simple and delicious. Oh...we also ate gelato at least 3 times per day. :)
We spent our short trip checking the must sees off of our list: the Colosseum tour, an early morning Vatican tour, the Spanish Steps, and the Villa Borghese. Italy, ahh!

Weekend in London

We spent last weekend in London, which was a total blast. I have to admit that it was nice to speak English and be able to say/order/request anything we wanted to, especially after 2 months of being embarrassed by our French/German/Czech skills. :) The trip started off a little rocky (forgot my debit card so had to have money wired, Lucas couldn't catch a flight, an AirBNB nightmare!), but it turned out to be an amazing weekend. Sadly Lucas had to go back to the US for a few days for a family emergency, so I took the Eurostar train from Paris to London alone on Friday and he met me Saturday morning. If you're traveling between France and England, the Eurostar is definitely the way to go. It's easy, inexpensive (especially if you book early!), connects directly to the tube/metro (think: no taxi from the airport), security is a breeze, and there are no bag limitations.
Luckily I had some amazing friends to hang out with on Friday, since I was flying solo. I worked from Google's London office on Friday and then went to a company happy hour with my friend, Rob. Afterwards, I met my friends, Gina and Regi, in SoHo, where we hit up a few pubs. The weather was amazing, so SoHo was bustling with people. We had a blast! 
On Saturday we spent the morning at Portobello Market, which is an outdoor antiques market and farmer's market. We had lunch from street vendors - empanadas and Cuban sandwiches - yum! London is such an international city, so you can get amazing cuisine ranging from Thai to Indian to Italian. After the market, we took the tube to Covent Garden, where we did a bit of shopping and then stopped for afternoon tea/coffee/cake at this cute little shop
On Saturday Night we went to a pub called The Hillgate, at my British friend Gemma's suggestion. We had pints (Stella for me!), fish & chips, and sausage rolls. We watched the Germany vs. Ghana World Cup game and just had an all around European evening. :) Afterwards we went to a cute bar called Prince Albert's to watch the 2nd match of the night. 
On Sunday we went for a run through Hyde Park (London's version of Central Park in NYC or Golden Gate Park in SF), which was really close to our hotel in Notting Hill. Check out our selfie fail at Kensington Palace - too sunny! My favorite part of Hyde Park was the Peter Pan statue in Kensington Gardens and this gorgeous pond. 
We showered and then took the Tube to Shoreditch, which felt sort of like London's version of the Mission in SF or Brooklyn in NYC. It's a super vibrant neighborhood on the East side, with tons of young people. We stopped at Paper & Cup, which has amazing coffee and lattes. After spending the morning in Shoreditch, we went by Tube to Camden Town, which is a funky/alternative neighborhood in the Northern part of London. There is a market on the weekends, but it was super crowded. If you can visit Camden on a weekday instead, I think it'd be more enjoyable! Portobello Market is crowded, but they close down the street so there is a lot more room to walk. Camden has tiny sidewalks with a lot of people crammed in. Not for the claustrophobic at heart. :)
Sunday night we went to Pizza East on Portobello Road, which was hands down our favorite meal of the trip. It was one of those places where every single thing sounded good. We ultimately settled on sharing a green olive and almond appetizer (so good!), a butter lettuce and avocado salad, proscuitto and pea croquettes, and an amazing pesto, sundries tomato, artichoke, and basil pizza. I highly recommend hitting this place up if you're near one of the locations. 
We couldn't leave London without doing a bit of sightseeing. We managed to squeeze in a trip to Buckingham Palace, Westminster Abbey, the London Eye, Parliament/Big Ben, and we took a ride on a double decker bus. Mostly, we just loved wandering the neighborhoods, trying new restaurants, and enjoying the culture. We kept saying over and over "we could totally live here!" but then again, the weather was great during our trip. Not sure how I'd feel after a month of clouds and rain. ;)