Beautiful Bavaria

I just spent the last four days at my friend’s darling home just fifteen minutes outside of Munich for the Easter holiday. I have already visited her before in the city, but now had the chance to explore more of Bavaria (the state that Munich resides in). I truly love the German people (my friends especially) — they are all so welcoming and really try to make me feel at home while still being proud of their country, showing me the beauty that it holds. I had the chance to take a two hour drive through the countryside to the jaw-dropping Neuschwanstein Castle, which I have been dying to visit ever since I learned about it a year ago. It was built by Ludwig II (the mad king) and is situated right in the middle of a mountain range near the Alps.

After seeing it my friend and I headed over to the Germany/Austria border to take a gondola ride to the top of a peak in the Alps. I sadly did not pack proper attire for such an event and quickly discovered that boat shoes don’t mix well with snow. But can you really blame a girl who has seen snow a handful of times in her life? At least I can now say I climbed part of a peak in the Alps with nothing but socks on. Although I highly recommend no one ever do that unless you want to have feet that are brighter than your favorite red lipstick mixed with the numbing sensation of the freezing snow.

Castles, beautiful churches, and snow caps aside I was there mainly to spend time with my dear friend Isi and her family for a relaxing Easter weekend. We baked, ate, decorated eggs, ate some more, and watched Harry Potter and Game of Thrones for three of the four days. Without having any family in Europe it’s nice to know I can always call or visit them for a little at home feeling. It was sad saying goodbye, but now I have just arrived in London for a week with my mother, who I haven’t seen in three months! I feel like I’m on a never ending vacation. I will forever be in debt to my family and friends who have provided all of these incredible experiences to me over the past few months.

Yours Truly,

Posted in Day to Day, Holiday, Lauren Loves, Ramblings | 1 Comment

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,

Posted in Day to Day, Fashion, Lauren Loves, My style, Teen Vogue, teenvogue | Tagged , | 6 Comments

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,

Posted in Day to Day, Fashion, My style, Ramblings | 4 Comments

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,

Posted in Day to Day, Instagram Diaries, Lauren Loves, Ramblings | Tagged | 1 Comment

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,

Posted in Day to Day, Holiday, Instagram Diaries, Ramblings | Tagged , | 1 Comment

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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Land of the Kings

Describing Versailles is rather difficult. It is probably easiest to just say it is the most magnificent place I have ever been. Not only is it incredibly large and spread out, but it is also filled with many small, ornate details. When you first walk up to it you are greeted by gold leaf gates and when you walk through them you enter into the world of the kings of the past. I lost my breath just a little walking in front of the Château. It’s size and beauty were simply astounding.

After that you enter into the château, which is now a museum of sorts on the inside, you look left and can find paintings and portraits filling the walls, but you can also look right to see the royal cathedral or a lavish bedroom. The space is always filled with something new.

As you continue to walk through the palace you eventually enter into the King and Queen’s quarters. These were of course the nicest looking in my opinion and I even recognized one of the paintings of Marie Antoinette and her three children (before one of them passed away)! Just outside of those rooms is my favorite room in the entire château and more than likely the favorite of many others as well: The Hall of Mirrors. It is filled with chandelier after chandelier. Mirror after mirror. And gilded gold as far as the eye can see.

After a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants in the building, which is housed in a former Duchess’ room, I headed outside with my roommate Mal (pictured in a few images) and some other friends to the gardens. Sadly my feet were far too tired at this point to walk the entire garden, which to be fair no one else in our group was able to, so we have to head back another day for that. I actually saw many runners on the pathways so I’m thinking it would be advantageous to not only get in a work out, but see some history while doing it. All in all the trip outside the city was just perfect, despite the rain, and I am already planning my next trip back!

Yours Truly,

Posted in Day to Day, Fashion, Lauren Loves, My style, Ramblings | 1 Comment