European Holiday

So I know recently this blog has been a lot about the clothes and stuff that we own, so I decided I would switch gears and talk about the two weeks I spent in Europe this summer.

It was kind of like an Eat, Pray, Love experience, except I didn’t do much praying. And all the loving I did involved the multitude of attractive men available in each and every single city I went to. I went to all of the tourist-y attractions (i.e. the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, Notre Dame, Familia Grada, the Picasso Museum) and interacted with the locals (VERY different than interacting with the locals in Beijing).

It was a good time to go to Europe because it happened to be during the FIFA World Cup. I’ve always been a semi-fan of soccer – football – but I consider myself now to be a real hardcore football fanatic now. Well, kind of. But I really found out what it was like to actually CARE – I almost cried when England lost to Germany (are you kidding me??? 4-1????) and I wanted to die when I found out I would be missing the semifinal game between Spain and Germany because I would be on a plane. My heart nearly leapt out of its cavity at 2.30 AM during the final game between Spain and Netherlands. (Shout-out: David Villa…I love you.)

Is there a part of Europe that’s not beautiful? Seriously, no wonder the people there are so artistically in tune. It’s impossible for them not to be – they’re literally surrounded by artistry genius everywhere they go. Even the tiny little apartments dotting the streets are quaint and charming – so different from the run-down shacks you see here in China. It makes the contrast between two countries’ stages in development startingly apparent.

I stayed in Paris and Barcelona the longest, and almost stopped in various places in Italy and France. Out of all the places I went to, I have to say that Barcelona is my favorite – the food is delicious and the people are so friendly and welcoming. The Parisian women are slightly more stuck-up, but then again, if I were as elegant and poised as them, I probably would be too. Another barrier comes with the language – if I spoke fluent French, I’m sure that they would be less snobby towards me.

Anyway, here are some pictures from my trip. The best part about going to Europe is that I got to wear a bunch of clothes that I don’t get a chance to wear at school, such as brightly colored dresses and shifts:

The new French policemen friends I made in Paris. Their knee-high leather boots kind of look like they should be in Transformers or something. It was a very futuristic look.

Seafood pasta + glass of wine = epitome of French culinary elegance. Too bad I didn’t eat this pasta. It was my mom’s. I don’t eat anything with tomatoes in it. I think I had a salad instead.

Typical tourist-y photo in front of the Eiffel tower. I only included this picture because I liked my denim skirt (from Forever21; Steph has the same one). The Eiffel tower isn’t as impressive in person, though that may be because I didn’t go see it all lit up at night.

In front of the Palace of Versailles gate. The gate is ALL gold and probably cost like a bajillion dollars. The Palace itself was gorgeous and the one place I wasn’t totally bored out of my mind in. It’s hard to believe that everything inside it was hundreds and hundreds of years old, especially this cute little pink sofa in Marie Antoniette’s bedroom. The striped shift I’m wearing is from H&M.

A fabulous mountain of lobster and mango from Champs d’Elysees (which has the most AMAZING desserts). It was so expensive but so worth it. Everything was fresh and delicious and beautifully presented. Plus, the waiter was gorgeous as well – that’s quality service.

SEAFOOD PAELLA – Barcelona’s signature dish. This was SO delicious – I had it everyday. The best one is the squid paella, which is black rice, and probably the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my life. I looked forward to a warm, rich seafood paella after a long day of walking everyday in Barcelona. Nothing can compare to Spanish food.

In front of the La Grada Familia, designed by Gaudi. La Grada Familia was beautiful and elaborate on the outside, but it was incomplete and still in the midst of construction, after TWO HUNDRED years. There were ladders and metal support structures everywhere – but there’s no one working on it. It’s a bit of joke now, apparently the construction is part of the “artistic beauty” of the church, but I just felt ripped off. Apparently my brother thought so too – just look at his ecstatic expression. I bought my dress at an H&M in Paris.

This was down some alleyway in Barcelona. I think the ivy leaves on the side are really pretty. Plus, this was the day of the Argentina vs. Portugal game (note the Messi jersey my brother is wearing). I remember that this was a sad day, because Argentina and Portugal are two of my favorite teams (Portugal if only because Ronaldo is on it), and I knew that only one could win. My dress is from H&M (this is turning out to be a very H&M-themed trip).

This was formal night on the cruise ship I was on. I’m wearing a dress that I bought for 50kuai (about $7) in Yashow in Beijing. It was cheap and I bought it quickly because I needed something to wear to prom. I like the sequined bodice and the sheer material is reminiscent of this Chanel dress that I once saw Emma Roberts wear.

I put this picture in to show my shoes as well – I featured these black heels in my Shoes, Shoes, Shoes post – they’re super comfortable and give me much-needed extra height (notice that I’m as tall as my dad in this photo). The only problem was that my dress was a little too short – but that’s just what happens when you buy your dress for less than $10 without trying it on.

My dad and I at one of the old Roman villages – I really can’t remember what it was called, and I feel really bad about that. I’m wearing the purple skirt I featured in my closet post (from Forever21) and my sandals are from Yashow. I practically lived in those sandals during the trip – they were comfortable for extensive walking and they matched my skin tone almost perfectly.

This is in front of the Colosseum in Rome – you can see my sandals a bit better in this picture. Excuse the nerdy tourist-y listening guides we’re all wearing around our necks. Anyway, I really like the colors of my dress since they photograph well and are perfect for the summery vibe of Europe.

The most AMAZING candy booth ever! There were a MILLION types of candies in every shape you could ever imagine. And everything was supersized – just LOOK at the huge strawberry gummies! I wanted to eat EVERYTHING. This candy booth was in the famous fruit/meat market in Barcelona – I just LOVE this picture so much. My dress is from Nordstrom’s Brass Plum – I don’t really like this photo of me though. I usually put on that dress when I don’t feel like putting much effort into my outfit.

One of the fruit/vegetable booths – just look at all of that! Almost all the booths in the market were selling freshly squeezed fruit juice for 1 Euro – I think my favorite was the strawberry+coconut blend. I just had to have two cups – I would have had more, but then I got distracted by the candy booth.

Next summer, I really want to go to London. There’s so much of Europe that I haven’t explored yet. So I’m looking forward to that. Cheers.

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