I went to Europe a few weeks ago but, for some reason I can't really explain, I haven't been able to blog about it until now! Maybe I was in denial. It's been difficult returning to normal life, where apparently it isn't socially acceptable to eat ice cream both in the early afternoon and the late afternoon, with a scoop of gelato in between. My trip started out in Stockholm, a glorious light-filled city. Then it was on to London, with day trips in Brussels and Paris. Here are the highlights of my trip, as told through photos (how very 2012 of me, I know! What can I say I am a very modern lady. My water bottle has a filter in it, no big deal).
The sweet stuff. I wouldn't say I loved all the Swedish sweets I sampled. In fact, two things I tried tasted like fancy mulch! This Swedish cookie/cake, though, was soooo good. A chewy almond base, chocolate buttercream filling, covered in chocolate. Yum-oh-my-goodness. Like a sophisticated, tuxedo-wearing Mallomar.
I also came across these cream-filled licorice sticks - equally delicious.
And crazy-good gelato. In Sweden. Who knew?
Vasa museum! Every Stockholm guidebook, pamphlet and leaflet practically begs, urges and pleads with you to visit this old-timey Viking ship. I couldn't disappoint the writers of my guidebook, so I gave in and went. Pretty impressive. I couldn't help but think how much the dark-brown ship resembled my mom's famous leg of lamb, though.
Gamla Stan. The old city truly is lovely and, yes, old. Came across this skinny staircase and many a winding alleyway to make me feel at home away from New York City.
This guy. Found this postcard at the Royal Palace. He's both enchanting and haunting. Kind of like a Macy's Christmas commercial.
The Borough Market. How can you go wrong here? Giant grilled cheese? Check. Turkish delicacies? Check. Bread infiltrated with olives. Check!
Fortnum & Mason. This was my second time in London, but first time to this department store/tea paradise. I loved every bit of it, especially the tea Taj Mahal and the mini cronuts.
Notting Hill. There's a little old lady in me who likes to rummage through people's drawers. I'm not saying I do that, but I can't help it if I'm curious! Thankfully, Notting Hill had plenty of bins with odds and ends - Mini violins! Barbie dolls hanging out with socks! Creepy watch-men! - to suit the grandma in me.
Kensington Gardens. Had a lovely picnic here, thanks to good ole Whole Foods of Kensington.
Postman's Park. A tucked-away park dedicated to real-life heroes. What a sweet spot of serenity among the hustle and bustle of the city.
Lightbulb Street. Came across this "bright idea" in Soho near Carnaby Street!
Chocolates! I must admit, Brussels wasn't my favorite place. But the free chocolate samples were simply divine! The shopkeepers were pushing the stuff like crazy. They made the salespeople at chocolate shops in the U.S. seem like stingy tax collectors.
Croissants. The last time I went to Paris, I didn't have any croissants. So I made up for lost time. Check out this almond-chocolate croissant beauty below...
Locks. Love-ly, of course. (And let's hope she said yes!)
Eiffel Tower. This wasn't the first time I met Señor Eiffel and yet he still managed to charm.
The River Seine. Again. Magical. Though the street thieves did manage to add a nice hint of fear, suspicion and unease to the atmosphere.
PS: Yes, I know. This blog post should really be titled "How I ate my way through Europe!" Please don't judge me!