Peru Part Two: Midnight Train to Cusco

Peru Part Two: Midnight Train to Cusco

(You’re reading Part Two of my Peruvian adventure. For part one, click here.)

After this trip, I’ve made up my mind that I will find a way to travel by train as much as possible. Of course, we got rather spoiled with this particular train created by Belmond, a hotel and leisure company that includes resorts, river safaris, and of course- luxurious train rides. They are the same company that has reopened the Orient Express (which is next on my list of train trips to take) and are known for their attention to detail and impeccable customer service.

Needless to say, our experience did not disappoint.

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Peru Expedition, Part One: Getting there + Arequipa

Peru Expedition, Part One: Getting there + Arequipa

As those of you who have been following my overactive Instagram account  know, in June Charlie and I explored Peru. It was our first time in South America, and Peru has been on the top of Charles’s bucket list since before we were married. Honestly, almost every country is on the top of my bucket list, so I was pretty excited as well, and the trip was just as much of a dream as we had imagined. Excepting Charles’s brief bout with food poisoning and some mild altitude sickness symptoms, we couldn’t have asked for a better adventure vacation.

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I’m dividing the trip up into several posts to highlight each region we explored, as well as some tips and tricks for planning a vacation to Peru as several of you have messaged me about what hotels we stayed at, what guides we used, how to arrange certain plans, the restaurants we went to, etc.

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Roadtrippin’

Roadtrippin’

 

This weekend I’ve been reading a road trip story called The Last Days of California by Mary Miller. Although so far it’s been a fun rollicking story to read, this post is not a book review.

Instead, it’s about my own road-trip story. Reading the book has reminded me of all the adventures from that trip, though one rather creepy encounter sticks out the most.

 

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2. Motherhood and Memory in The Joy Luck Club (California pick) + Bonus rec’s!

2. Motherhood and Memory in The Joy Luck Club (California pick) + Bonus rec’s!

Psst, this year I am attempting to read one book set in each state of America. To see the full list and what I’ve read so far, click here! Joy Luck Club is also a part of my list for Classics Club, click HERE for that list). 

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Happy Mother’s Day to all my motherly friends, family, and of course, my own beautiful mother and grandmother! Because of my mama, I know (among many other things) how to cook the most scrumptious cornbread and Red Velvet Cake in existence, the necessity of daily sunscreen for our porcelain (ok, pasty pale) skin, the understanding that a weekend spent on the beach can cure virtually any ailment, and – my personal favorite – the ability to make everyone in a social event feel included and comfortable. I could continue on with so many more reasons why my mom is the best, but in order to avoid sounding trite, I’ll simply say this:  I am beyond blessed to call her my mama.

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Je t’aime: Book Recs for your #basic Francophile

Je t’aime: Book Recs for your #basic Francophile

If you’re like me, scrolling through your Instagram on a Saturday morning, chances are you’re going to come across at least half a dozen French-inspired snapshots. There’s usually some variant of the millenial “blush pink” color featured in the girl’s clothes or accessories, and a background of a boulangerie, cafe or even, for the less subtle ‘grams, the Eiffel Tower.

Sometimes there’s a bit of backlash over these wannabe Parisian’s, scoffing at our bougie fascination with Chanel and macarons. Other American tourists bemoan the French snobbery and unfriendliness. My response: get over yourself. Paris is perfect, has been for centuries, and you’re just jealous. Also, stop being so loud and obnoxious with your deafening whines about having to walk everywhere and how America is the greatest country on Earth (manners much?), your insistence on wearing neon shorts and flip flops, and your staunch insistence on ordering super-sized hamburgers when you’re in the culinary capital OF THE WORLD, and maybe the Parisians will be nicer to you. Just a thought.

My love for le Francaise began early, when my parents came home from their own trip to France and brought back both a French and English copy of the original Madeline. At the time I was so young I couldn’t read either copy, but the illustrations of the twelve little girls strolling by the Eiffel Tower and the tiger in the zoo are still seared into my memory. The pages of the books became worn over the dozens and dozens of times I poured through the books at the kitchen table.

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Technicolor Dreams in Miami

Technicolor Dreams in Miami

Sometimes, life gets too chaotic for reading…ok, who am I kidding? I always make time for reading, even during last week’s dental conference in Miami (I flew through Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies in preparation for the HBO series coming out, and it did not disappoint! Will have to write a review later this month). I also got to reunite with one of my best friends from dental school, who gave me the grand tour of Miami and made both me and Charlie boy fall in love with this vibrant city.

We ate delicious Cuban and Jamaican food, explored the intricately graffitied arts district, sipped mojitos along the beach, and fell asleep to the sound of salsa music and ocean waves with our open balcony door. Couldn’t have asked for a better mini-vacation. 

Check it out!

(PS this is mostly just going to be a picture post, because my original draft got deleted when my laptop finally decided to collapse after nine years of devotion. RIP, MacBook. I’m quickly cobbling together a post on my iPhone of all things, but I’ll be back with some more legit blogging  once I find a new laptop). 

Live music and people watching in Bayside
Enjoying the city views of Brickell
Eating at the infamous Versailles cafe for Cuban sandwiches in Little Havana.
 

Checking out the vast street arts district in Wynwood

Bayside strolling
Grabbing burgers at the Lokal in Coconut Grove
View from our W hotel balcony in Brickell
Love these beach views
Grabbing drinks at the Broken Shaker in South Beach
A very dental dinner with the newlyweds!!!

Southern Stereotypes

Southern Stereotypes

As a well-trained Southerner, I always maintained the habit of saying yes ma’am or sir to my dental school faculty and patients. Instead of the reaction I was used to back home (which was no reaction at all, since saying ma’am or sir anywhere south of Maryland is about as automatic as saying “hello,”), I would often receive a confused and borderline offended glance and a high-pitched “What did you just say to me?!

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