Lauren of Arabia

I just got home from one of the most incredible trips of my life. I was in Morocco for six days visiting six different cities and towns. Although the experiences I had within the cities were eye opening and incredible, I was more drawn to the beauty of the never ending sands of the Sahara Desert. I camped there for two nights in a tent, rode camels as a way of transportation, swam in a desert oasis, and watched the sun rise and set over the dunes of the vast desert.

I was able to buy a wonderful silk caftan at a medina the day before heading out to the middle of nowhere so of course I couldn’t help but wear it while I was there. With my new slightly blonder hair I tried to channel my inner Khaleesi (talking to you Game of Thrones fans) while I braved the wind and heat of the Sahara. Luckily for me the arid temperature was similar to that of Arizona’s. When I left the dunes I was quite melancholy fearing that I would never lay eyes on them again, but knowing how in love I was while I was there I know I will be back again.

Yours Truly,

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Instagram Diaries: Une Journée à Paris

A typical day for me in Paris consists of going to class for either three hours (or six depending on the day), with a lunch break, and then some sort of sight seeing to finish my day with. Today was no different than usual, except I’m two days away from spring break so I have a little more pep in my step. I took a dreadful midterm first thing in the morning and then rewarded myself with a delicious lunch: a croque madame (bread, ham, and cheese, topped off with an egg).

After that I headed to my second and last class of the day, which revolves around French fashion. Today we visited the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which is a part of the Louvre. We are currently studying fashion in the early 1900′s through the 1930′s so we went to compare the furniture of the time with the clothing we’ve been studying. Since the museum was conveniently located on Rue de Rivoli I was able to walk by some shops on the way home. I stopped in Zara and H&M. While in H&M I tried on the most amazing skirt. It was perfectly voluminous while still feeling light on the body. I am heading back tomorrow to buy it!

Now I am attempting to relax before tomorrow’s madness: going to class, shopping and packing for a week trip to Morocco, getting my hair done (finally), etc etc. Wherever you are in the world I hope you are having a splendid day and bonne nuit from Paris!

You can follow more of my escapades on Instagram here.

Yours Truly,

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Castle Hopping

If you ever find yourself wanting to see multiple castles in one weekend, or even one day, then go to Loire Valley. I was there for just under 36 hours and was able to visit and tour three castles all from around the 15th and 16th centuries. I visited the cozy Château d’Amboise, ultra-feminine Château Chenonceau, and the grand hunting lodge Château Chambord.

Each were very French in their style, but all had slightly different grounds surrounding them. Amboise was raised above the small town surrounding it with a small garden. Chenonceau had the typical long, gravel driveway leading to the front of the château and was surrounded by beautiful flower filled gardens and forestry — not pictured: hedge maze and small petting zoo. Chambord, which was used to host royalty and their guests for hunting, was surrounded by miles of forestry and a small river.

If you aren’t tempted to visit them yet then take a look at some of my snaps from the weekend and hopefully you will be persuaded.
Exploring castles and gardens all day long? What more could a girl ask for?

Yours Truly,

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Art Mania

This week was yet another reminder of how lucky I am to be spending time in such a beautiful, cultured place. Last weekend I was in Vienna and this week I’ve had a chance to return to the Louvre and Musée d’Orsay for some quality art viewing time. I spent part of a day in Vienna at the fantastic museum, Kunsthistorisches. I eye-spied the Mona Lisa (so surreal) and the lovely Marie Antionette and took selfies with Roman and Greek statues (per usual). I’m so in love. I never want to leave Europe’s museums — they’re unlike any other.

Yours Truly,

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Happiest Place (Girl) On Earth

I can now say I have been to Disneyland parks on two different continents. And coming from someone who is a complete Disney freak that is a rather huge deal. It’s the first vacation I remember having (I was 3 years old with my parents) and almost every year after that my family and I have gone to Disneyland (and Disney World/Disney Cruises but that’s a whole different discussion). We even used to have year-round passes and would drive six hours there from Arizona five times or so a year just for a quick trip.

If there were ever a place that I would have an overwhelming amount of nostalgia when I visit that would be it. That was probably why I felt back home when I was at Disneyland Paris last week. Although I had never been there before it looked so similar to California’s Disneyland that I almost forgot that I was in Europe (save for all the French speakers of course).

I went with my roommate Mal and our friend Gabe for the day. We were there when it opened and left at closing. I’d say 12 hours is certainly not for the faint of heart, or at least for those who get easily tired/complain about their feet hurting. Luckily the two parks here in Paris (Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios) weren’t nearly as large as they are in the United States. Apparently it’s not just the food portions that are smaller here…

Regardless I had the most magnificent day. I constantly half walked/ran around with a weird giddy laugh and freaked Mal and Gabe out with my extensive knowledge of Disneyland facts. I think they were more than likely ready to go home at the end of the day just so I could stop professing my love for the park.

I’m already scheming up another day trip there. Here are some of the shots I took on my iPhone while there.

Yours Truly,

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A Scottish Affair

I’ve already shared a bit from my trip to the UK, the London portion specifically, and now I thought I would share some pictures from my time spent in Scotland. I was there with some friends for a charity event at St. Andrews University. The event just so happened to be an Oktoberfest, which was convenient since I traveled there with Germans. I wore a traditional dirndl and the men were all dressed up in lederhosen. It was quite the sight. The day was spent with dancing and me rejoicing in the fact that I was finally in a country of English speakers. By the end of the day my feet were completely covered in mud, I had countless bruises from who knows what and my hair was one huge knot. That being said it was completely worth it and I’m now tempted to visit a real Oktoberfest in Germany.

Yours Truly,

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A Fairytale Weekend

This past weekend was a dream come true — I finally visited England! I am a complete Anglophile (as you all have probably been able to tell over time on here) and seriously felt like a little child on Christmas when I walked around London. It was just as I imagined it to be: a perfect mix of old world history and new world wonders. My first tourist-y/freak out moment was when I saw the Tower Bridge at night. It was illuminated so brightly. I ended up doing the same walk around it three times in about 12 hours or so.

I was with my two favorite Germans, Isi and Domi, at first before later meeting up with their friend Clara. We were meeting there for our weekend up north in Scotland at St. Andrews University. Luckily I had plenty of time at the beginning and end of the weekend to still see some sights in London. I am going back next month for a week to meet my mom during spring break and can’t wait to actually go inside some of the incredible monuments and museums. Until then I will just be reliving the wonderful moments I already shared there with some incredible people.

Yours Truly,

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Made in Germany

I feel like my life in Europe is essentially going to wind up with me touring as many castles as possible. It was no different last weekend in Germany when I visited one of the biggest and best Bavaria had to offer, Nymphenburg Palace. I was in Munich visiting one of my best friends, Isi, who was a roommate of mine in NYC two summers ago. We’ve stayed in touch ever since with frequent Skype dates and finally were reunited half way across the world! She’s a Munich native as was her good friend Malte who joined us for an afternoon trip to the palace.

Apparently Nymphenburg was meant to be modeled slightly after France’s Versailles, but of course isn’t quite as grand. I don’t think anything can match Versailles. However, it was beautiful nonetheless. I was amazed with the grand ballroom and the beautiful ceiling fresco over it. The chandeliers were stunning (apparently Europeans really know how to make a chandelier). The gardens offered a beautiful walk and were much less crowded than Versailles’ so I appreciated that. One of the coolest parts of our little tour was seeing the stables where the King’s coaches were held. Talk about gold on gold… on gold. They were ornate and incredible. My little white, small SUV back home seems rather boring and bland now. C’est la vie, though.

More will be coming from my trip to Germany soon. Currently trying to recuperate from being sick and having a feel week of school! But for now here is the first bit of the trip:

Yours Truly,

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