Liz, Dick, and Puerto Vallarta

In 1962, Elizabeth Taylor began filming Cleopatra in Italy. Although she was married to Eddie Fischer at the time, she began an affair with Richard Burton. Their affair spiraled into a relationship that would go on to become one of the most famous in Hollywood history. While Richard was filming Night of The Iguana in Puerto Vallarta, Liz joined him.

Puerto Vallarta soon became their favorite vacation spot. Richard Burton bought Casa Kimberly and the bungalow across the street for Liz on her 32nd birthday. He then built a bridge connecting the two houses, which resembles Venice’s Bridge of Sighs. The best part about Casa Kimberly is that it is set back in the mountains in a quaint neighborhood. Besides seeing the bridge that connects the two homes, you might miss it if you weren’t looking for it, which makes it the perfect celebrity getaway. After Richard died in 1984, Liz Taylor was famously quoted saying “after Richard, the men in my life were just there to hold the coat, to open the door. All the men after Richard were really just company.” For someone who was married to seven different men, Liz made it very clear that Richard was the love of her life.

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Liz eventually sold Casa Kimberly paving the way for it to become a Puerto Vallarta hot spot. Casa Kimberly is now completely renovated into a luxury spa, restaurant, and boutique hotel. I went to Casa Kimberly’s restaurant The Iguana for Easter dinner and it is easily my favorite restaurant. Plus, while you are eating, the most amazing mariachi band plays songs such as “Besame Mucho” and “Volare.”

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This is the pool that is waiting right over the bridge from Casa Kimberly.

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Sculpture of Liz & Dick in the entrance to Casa Kimberly. 

The Iguana is not only the most beautiful restaurant I have ever been to, but the food is also amazing. The sea bass, chicken enchiladas, and stuffed squash blossoms are delicious. If you are in Puerto Vallarta, make sure to make a reservation! 

Puerto Vallarta has so much to offer, including amazing food!

xo Kate

 

St. Thomas, USVI

For Spring Break this year my friends and I went to St. Thomas. I had never seen clear caribbean water before so I was amazed when we first got there! We stayed at the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, which had beautiful views of the ocean!

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The bar at the pool had amazing, but expensive, drinks. Get the Mango Tango. There are three big pools at the resort and a couple of hot tubs! Our favorite was the infinity pool for obvious reasons….

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The resort has four restaurants on site and the closest towns are cab rides away. Unfortunately, the food is not great. However, two restaurants at the resort are pretty good, our favorite being Sandbar and Coco Joe’s. Coco Joe’s has amazing Jerk Chicken wraps and Fish Tacos!

Also, at the front desk of the resort you can sign up for activities like snorkeling or night kayaking. My friends and I did the night kayaking and it was amazing. You got to see sea turtles and lots of fish through the clear kayaks. We didn’t bring our cameras which we regret because we did not get wet at all!

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On the beach you can kayak, paddleboat, paddle board and sail! And another great thing about St. Thomas is that you can island hop…..

more to come….

xo Kate

Best Restaurants in Rome

The thing I was most excited about when first traveling to Italy was the food! I have a list of my favorite restaurants and gelaterias to visit if you are ever in Rome…

My favorite restaurant in Rome is Osteria il Sostegno. It is located on Via delle Colonelle down an alleyway. Definitely make a reservation if your are planning on going because it is super small. My favorite dishes are the Cacio e Pepe and Tagliolini alla Checca. The restaurant is close to the Pantheon and Piazza Navona, so there is a lot to do in the area.I think I ate here 5 times during my last month in Rome!

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My next favorite restaurant is Dominico’s in San Giovanni…

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*Also has amazing Cacio e Pepe!

Another restaurant I love is Angelinas located in Trevi…

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Some other restaurants I love are Trattoria da GinoDar Poeta, Pizzeria Baffeto and Trattoria da Francesco!

GELATO:

My favorite gelato places….

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Della Palma; over 100 flavors!!food16
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Hidden Treasures in Rome

The best part of Rome is that  you will almost always come across some ancient site or church, even when you aren’t looking for one. The cobblestone streets are very charming and it is easy to just wander and get lost, which is what my friends and I happily did almost every day.

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roaming9roaming7Largo Argentina. This is where Brutus stabbed Caeser (~Mean Girls ~)

Oftentimes after dinner, we would wander around the city for hours. It seemed so huge, yet once you figure it out it is really easy to get around! Don’t use the metro-just walk! We spent a lot of time near the Spanish Steps/Spagna because there were great restaurants and amazing shops that you could easily walk to.

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My favorite sunglasses are from Dolce and Gabbana
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Living in Roma

Last year, I studied abroad in Rome for four months. It’s safe to say that I know some of the best places to eat, shop and site see, and a lot hidden treasures that you might not find in your typical guide to the city. It is one of my favorite places in the world and I miss it (and the pasta!) everyday.

When we first arrived after an 8 hour flight, it was a bit of a culture shock! Especially for me as I barely knew any Italian.

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But, we immersed ourselves in Italian culture immediately! Starting with getting a typical Italian breakfast at a local cafe. Breakfast isn’t really a thing in Italy, besides grabbing an espresso. We lived near a great cafe in Garbatella, called Eden Caffe.

rome3rome2This was our typical breakfast before we started cooking at home! Cornetto con nutella and a cappuccio, per favore.

It is amazing to live so close to some of the most beautiful and well known sites in the world. As we were trying to find dinner our first night out, we got out of the metro and the Colosseum was right in front of us.

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Being typical tourists we settled on a tourist trap for dinner. We thought the food was good but we had no idea what Italy had to offer. My one suggestion for restaurants is to never go into a restaurant where there are a lot of tourists! Go find the Italians!

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Rigatoni alla Cacio e Pepe

Cacio e Pepe is my favorite dish in the whole world and I pretty much ate it at every restaurant we went to. I’m a bit of a Cacio e Pepe expert. I will share my favorite restaurants in one of my following Roma posts!

Completely amazed by our first night in Rome, we navigated the metro back to our apartment in Garbatella.

We lived near an area called Testaccio where there are restaurants, night clubs, and markets. So, the next day with our group from school we headed to il Mercato di Testaccio. It has amazing food and produce!

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Our first week in Rome was orientation. We were taught basic Italian phrases, which cafes to go to, and how to get around. We also went to a vineyard outside of Rome, where we had a typical Italian lunch. Tons of bread, meats, and cheese. Followed by pasta and meat. And wine!

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This was a very good vegetable lasagna.

While I was a little bit homesick for a couple days, I was having so much fun that I forgot about it! I have so much to share from the best 4 months ever!

xo, Kate

 

Foodies in London!!!

I love food. I love a lot of different kinds of food and I love trying new food. Studying abroad definitely gave me the opportunity to try food that I would not normally eat like escargot, pork belly, and spleen(which is disgusting, don’t try it).

When I first told my friends I was going to London, I was told that the food was not good. I was really surprised, as my favorite blog The Londoner always has London restaurant suggestions that look amazing! I tried one of her suggestions, called Hot Box, and it was delicious. Here are some pictures from Hot Box’s Facebook page….

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Although these are not my pictures, this is the food that Daisy and I ordered. I would highly recommend the Eggs Benedict (with pork belly), as well as the pancakes! And get tea!

The atmosphere is great, and the dinner menu and bar menu look amazing!

Pretty much as soon as we were done lunch, we were trying to figure out dinner. One of the hardest things about going to a new city is that you don’t know the good restaurants. Eventually, we settled on some BBQ in Soho at Pitt Cue Co. As Americans, we were skeptical of BBQ in London, but the food was delicious. In Italy, our diet consisted mostly of pizza and pasta, so it was nice to have some meat and french fries. Their new location is in Devonshire Square!

The following day, sadly my last day, I was by myself because my friend Daisy left early in the morning. I decided to return to Harrods, Regent Street, Buckingham Palace and Hyde Park. There was perfect weather in London, so I spent a couple hours reading in Hyde Park. In the afternoon, I realized that I had not gone to Notting Hill! So that is exactly where I went; I walked up and down Portobello Road, bought small souvenirs, and planned exactly where I would like to live in the neighborhood. I also discovered an amazing lunch spot called GAIL’s!

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The Wild Mushroom Ragu was the perfect lunch, washed down with lots of tea!

I could have spent all day wandering in Notting Hill, but sadly I had to make my way to Heathrow to fly back to Rome, which is actually not that sad! I have so many great experiences to share from my time in Roma, the Eternal City!

xo, Kate

 

Adventures in London

After seeing The Mousetrap on our first night, we went to a local pub for fish and chips, which you must eat if you are in England!

As tourists, our first stop the next morning was Buckingham Palace, which is beautiful. One of the most amazing thing about London are the parks that are scattered around the city. St. James Park and Green Park are located next to Buckingham palace and from the park, you can see the London eye.

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As you walk through the parks, there are flowers blooming and swans swimming in the ponds. The day we walked through the parks was idyllic. In typical English fashion, the clouds quickly came and the sun was gone but lucky for us it didn’t rain that much. Eventually, we stumbled upon Kensington Palace, which was beautiful and we were lucky enough to go into the gift shop and buy a bunch royal themed gifts.

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We were hoping to spot Kate and William, which we didn’t. But atleast, we got to go inside their home! After we got the itch to shop in the gift shop, we headed to Brompton Road to find Harrods. Daisy and I immediately fell in love with Harrods, but not the prices. Everything was beautiful and expensive. Certain floors have little shops like Cath Kidston where you can get gifts, which is where we actually bought stuff. There is also a gigantic food court, with the most delicious food and tea. I returned to Harrods every day while in London because I loved it so much!

I think I found my next house! This was in a little neighborhood on our way to find the shops.

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This was one of the displays set up in Harrods.

Having spent a couple hours in Harrods, we decided on finding dinner. That night we went to Brasserie Zedel which is right next to Picadilly Circus. We ate at the bar and the food was good, and the atmosphere and dessert were amazing.

We found the best places to eat during our last two days in London. Read about them in the next post!

xo Kate

London & The Nadler Kensington

It took about 2 hours to get to London from Paris. I arrived at St. Pancras station early in the morning and it was swarming with people. It took me about 30 minutes to figure out how to get to my hotel via the tube, which actually was not hard at all.

I took the tube to the Earls Court Station, which was very close to my hotel. My friend Daisy and I stayed at The Nadler Kensington which was amazing. We stayed in a very nice room that had luxury bunk beds, a kitchenette, and an awesome bathroom. It was very clean and perfect for a weekend in London. Our room even had a little patio that you could use, although it was pretty cold when we were in London. I didn’t take any pictures while I was at the hotel but I pulled some off of their website.

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The neighborhood Kensington was very cute, too.

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I HIGHLY recommend the hotel. It was very comfortable, clean, and pretty! My friend and I were joking that we wished our room back in Rome looked like our room in the Nadler. Once we got settled in, we set off on our British adventure.

First stop, The Big Ben and The London Eye. The line went pretty fast for the Eye and we got a great view of the city.

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And, of course, I had to take the typical tourist picture in one of the red telephone booths…

london8My dress and jacket are from Zara. They currently have a similar jacket called the Biker Coat.

London has always been at the top of my list of places to visit and I was not disappointed. I absolutely loved the city and immediately wanted to move there. Later that night, we saw The Mousetrap at St. Martin’s Theater, which was the best play I have ever been to. The Mousetrap has been performed at St. Martins Theater since 1952. The acting was amazing! I would suggest getting tickets if you are ever in London.

It is very close to Leicester Square, which looked like a mini Times Square to me.

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I was in London for 4 days, so I have plenty of advice on places you must go and restaurants you should try! Part II coming…

xo Kate

City of Lights

After walking past the Louvre on our first day in Paris, and seeing the long line, we decided we would get to the Louvre early the next day. It was a good decision because even though we got there early, the line was still pretty long. Once we got inside we had no idea where to go because the museum is huge!

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We, of course, saw the Mona Lisa and the large Crown collection, as well as so many other famous paintings and sculptures. It takes a couple hours to get through and I definitely suggest getting one of the headset tours to explain the meanings behind the art. After the Louvre we headed to Notre Dame.

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Notre Dame was beautiful! And it is located right next to the Seine, which you can walk along to get to the Pont des Arts and the Louvre.

We were only in Paris for 2 days! Which was not enough! Luckily, I was taking the train to London for the weekend!

xo Kate

J’aime Paris

Over spring break, while abroad, I went to Paris for the first time! I absolutely loved the city the moment we landed from Spain. We stayed at The Element Hotel which is located in a small neighborhood near the Goncourt metro stop. I would definitely recommend staying here- it had a cool design, was clean, and not too expensive! It was very easy  to move throughout the city and for breakfast we would usually stop at small bakeries in the neighborhood for chocolate croissants.  As I had never been to Paris, the first thing I wanted to see was the Eiffel Tower.

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We strolled around and under the Eiffel Tower, deciding we were definitely coming back at night! We then spent a lot of time shopping (mostly window shopping) on Champs Elysees, going to Zara, Longchamp, Laduree and Louis Vuitton. The flagship LV store was huge!

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We then walked to the Louvre, on our way to the Pont des Arts.

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I put a lock on the bridge, but they recently took down the bridge because it was getting to heavy. We eventually decided that we wanted dinner but we didn’t now where to go. The restaurant that we settled on, courtesy of The Guardian, was delicious! It is called Le Petit Cler. I would suggest the Escargot and the Emince de Volaille, which is Sauteed Chicken. It was delicious and definitely wallet friendly.

After dinner we headed back to the Eiffel Tower. It sparkles for about 5 minutes around 10 o’clock, which was amazing!

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It was beautiful! Around the Eiffel Tower at night, there are a bunch of little places to get crepes. As soon as we got back to our hotel we passed out from all the walking. I think we walked around 15 miles that day! More things to see from Paris tomorrow!

xo Kate