Author: madalainem

Greece

You can probably tell at his point that I would pretty much want to visit every country in Europe.  Next on my list would be Greece.  I love the pictures of the all white cities with the iconic blue roofs.

I may have to wait a few years from now to make this trip because Greece is having some real problems.  However, when things improve I would love to visit Greece because it is stunningly beautiful, there is so much history and they are the birthplace of one of my favorite foods, baklava.

Baklava is a pastry made of layers of dough filled with nuts and honey.  It is flaky and sweet and delicious.  I am also a big fan of Greek salad.  Greek salad is characterized by feta, tomatoes, cucumber and kalamata olives.

I would love to start my trip in Athens.  Athens has so many historical sites that  would be so cool to see in person.  I would love to see the Parthenon and the Acropolis.  It is hard to believe that there are buildings that are so old, that are still standing.

Also I love the movie 300.  It is one of those movies that I know is kind of stupid, but fr whatever reason I love it.  I know it is fantasy, but I would love to go and see the ruins of Sparta.  I would like to see how Sparta is different from the other parts of Greece.

I would also love to spend some time on a boat exploring some of the many Greek islands.  I would love to find some

scenic and excluded beach where I can enjoy Some peace and quiet.

Please leave any comments about your favorite places to go and foods to eat in Greece.

Spain

Another place that I would love to visit while I am in Europe is Spain.  Spain seems like to perfect combination of beautiful scenery and beautiful food.

I would love to go to the city of Barcelona.  The famous architecture of Antoni Gaudí is one of my main inspirations for

visiting Barcelona.  You have probably seen the images of his famous work like the Sangrada Familia Basilica.  The style is so distinctive because it looks like the building is melting.  I would also love to see the Casa Batlló in person.

I also want to spend some time in the city La Concha.  It is a city that is considered to be home to one of the best beaches in Europe.  I would love to enjoy the scenery and enjoy local shops.

The one place in Spain I am not interested in is Ibiza.  I am not interested in the famous nightlife or clubs.  I prefer quieter vacation.

Some of Spain’s famous foods are croquettes.  Which are fried dough balls filled with goodies like cheese and ham. Another famous Spanish dish are tortilla Espaniola.  These are thick potato omelets.  Also, I know that cold soup doesn’t sound very good, but I love gazpacho.  It is so fresh and versatile.

For dessert I will have to have ensaimadas, which are fluffy pastries coils that can be served plain or with preserves or cream.  Also it turns out that churros may have originated in Madrid.  I love churros, and I would feel so much classier eating them in Spain that I do in America.  Last time I had a churro I was on the Santa Monica Boardwalk and a seagull stole it right out of my hand.

Another Spanish dessert that sounds amazing bizcochoes borrachoes, which loosely translates to drunken sponge cakes.  It is basically a light cake that is drizzled with a sweet sauce made of brandy, lemon and cinnamon.

I know I will leave Spain a little happier and a little fatter.

Please leave any comments about your favorite places to go and foods to eat in Spain!

Rome, Italy

Continuing on my European adventure I would next want to visit Italy.  There are so many cool things I would love to see while I am there.

First I would love to visit the most famous landmark in Rome, the Colosseum.  There are night tours available where you can

visit after most of the crowds have left and get access to underground chambers.  it would probably be a little creepy to go night, but mostly fun.  I also want to visit the Trevi Fountain.  I’m sure it is packed with people 24/7, but it wouldn’t feel like a trip to Rome if I missed it.

I would of course want to spend some time in Vatican City as well.  I am not Catholic, but I would love to visit to see the architecture and the art. The Sistine Chapel is a must see.

The last of the big landmarks i would want to see is the Pantheon.  it is one of the best preserved ancient building in Rome.  Entrance is free and I would love to spend some time wondering around inside.

For the rest of my time in Rome i would want to spend my days exploring on foot.  I love the idea of not having a plan and spending the days visiting any shops or restaurants that catchy eye.  Of course I will need to eat, and in Italy I think I will be able to find some food.  Some of my favorite foods are the Americanized versions of Italian favorites, so I can’t even imagine how much better the Italian versions are.  I love bread and pasta and pizza.

I also hope to find some interesting little shop where I can buy some fun souvenirs.  Italy is known for making beautiful leather and I love leather.  I need a new wallet, I want new shoes and a purse.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in Rome.

Germany

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After Paris, I would love to go to Germany.  My main goals in Germany would be to eat good food (as always) and drive really fast.

Germany is known for their pastries and chocolate.  I would love to eat a pastry for every meal and a chocolate for every dessert, however if I did that I would probably vomit, so I would throw in some real food every now and then.  Except for sauerkraut, I am not a fan.

One of the most fun things about eating in Germanany will be trying pronounce the names of the food.  I have some German ancestry, but I cannot speak a lick of German.  Hopefully with the help of modern technology I can make through without making too many mistakes.

Some of the meals I would love to try include bratkartoffeln, which is fried potatoes with bacon and or onion and bratwurst, a sausage usually made of veal or pork and served with fries.  From my research, German food mostly consists of a lot of meat and potatoes, luckily for me two things I love.

Some of the treats I would like to try include bay rich creme which is a light  

 fluffy desert made of milk, eggs and sugar.  I also would love to taste a prinzregtentorte, which is a seven layer cake with chocolate buttercream between each layer.

The other activity beside eating in Germany I would like to do is drive one of the best cars in the world on one of the fastest roads.  The Autobahn is not as lawless as it used to be and there are more and more sections that do have speed limits, but there are still stretches that do not.  I would love to drive any one of the amazing German cars down the Autobahn, a Mercedes, a BMW, an Audi or a Porshe, but I would love to drive an Audi, they are my favorite brand of car.

It would probably be in my best interest, as well as the interest of the other drivers on the road if I had a professional German driver with me.  I am a pretty good driver, but I currently drive a Suzuki and I never get to go faster than 65 mph.  If you see me out on the Autobahn steer clear.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in Gemany.

Paris, France

After spending some time in London I would love to move on into France.  I have always wanted to visit France because it’s seems so beautiful, there is incredible food and so much cultural history.  Also because ever since I was little girl I have been given many of the Madeline books, seeing as we share a very similar name.  I having been dreaming of Paris ever since.

If I was going from England to France I would want to take the Chunnel.  It seems amazing to me that they could build a train underwater, I would want to go on just see what it was like.  I would take the train from coquelles to Paris.  I would want to spend time in Paris because it is beautiful, there are so many places to eat, the Louvre looks incredible and I want to window shop.

I love the idea of spending each morning at a cafe, drinking coffee, eating and trying not to embarrassing myself with my

terrible French.  I will try my best to speak because I have heard the French appreciate the effort, however I was never fluent and it has been ten years since I took a French class.  I would then plan a whole day at the Louvre.  I would not want to be in a rush, I would want to enjoy all of the beautiful art and read about some of the history.  Hopefully at some point I will squeeze through the crowd to see the Mona Lisa.

The next day  I would head to the Eiffel Tower.  It would be silly to travel all the way to Paris and not climb the Eiffel tower.  I’m sure it’s crowded, but it’s iconic, and I would do it.

Then I would spend the rest of the day sipping coffee and shopping.  The Luxury stores in Paris are so beautiful and I would feel so fancy, even though I can’t even afford to window shop at place like Chanel and Dior.  I love to spend a leisurely day enjoying the shops and an parks I might come across.

There are no specific place I want to eat in Paris, because I would eat anything.  French cooking is so delicious, they use fresh ingredients are are not afraid of butter.  I would wander around and eat at whatever cafe or bakery sounded the best.

Please leave any comments about your favorite places to see and foods to eat in Paris!

London, England

I have always wanted to go to Europe.  There is so much history and such a mix of cultures.  I would love to be able to visit in person the places I had to learn about in history class my whole life.  The first place in Europe I would like to visit is London, England.

London is a good place to start because they speak English, so at least there wouldn’t be a language barrier for me.  I took French in high school, but I am hardly ready to break out my French in France.  I also want to visit London because I love rainy/cloudy weather and drinking tea.

The first place I would visit is the London Library, which has over a million books.  I would need two or three books to travel around the city with me so that whenever I get a a chance I can sit down and read.  London seems like the kind of place where you should always have a book with you.  I would also love to visit the British Museum, where I could learn about and see interesting things about European history.

I would love to take a cheesy double decker bus tour around London.  I don’t usually love touristy stuff, but I would feel like I was missing out if I didn’t.  It seems like the quintessential thing you have to do when you are in London.  In that same vein I would want to go on the London Eye.  I’m sure the lines are long and it’s expensive ($30 US dollars), but I think it would be so cool to see the view.

Of course at some point I would have to eat.  I’m not too keen on fish and chips, but I would try it if I was there.  One restaurant I would love to visit is Ottoleghi, which is known for Middle Eastern inspired vegetarian dishes. I would also stop many times every day to have tea.  I like green and grey and every other kind of tea.  Of course I would also need some dessert.  I will make it a point to go to Gelupo for some blood orange granita gelato.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in London!

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago-Skyline-at-Night

I visited Chicago once in June 2008.  Unfortunately the reason for my visit was the death and funeral of my grandmother. She had grown up and raised her children there, and was buried with her husband, my grandfather.

Even though I was there for a sad reason I really enjoyed visited the city of Chicago.  it is one of the most beautiful big cities I have ever seen.  The architecture is stunning and interesting and Lake Michigan is beautiful.  I would love to visit Chicago again.

My mom grew up in Oak Park, which is a village in Chicago.  Famous people like Frank Lloyd Wright and Ernest Hemingway were originally from Oak Park.  There is a Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio Tour that I would love visit in Oak Park.  Fun fact: my mom attended the same high school as Ernest Hemingway, though not at the same time of course.

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I would also love to take an architecture tour.  There are boat tours that run up and down the Chicago River where you can see some of the downtown skyscrapers.

One important thing people should know about me is that I love pizza.  I eat it whenever I can.  Lucky for me Chicago is known for its deep dish pizza.  I want to go to a restaurant called Burt’s Place which has been honored by Thrillest as the best deep dish pizza Chicago.  They are known for their caramelized cheese edges.  If there is one thing I know, it ispizza that there is nothing better than caramelized cheese.

Another Chicago requirement is a hot dog.  I don’t usually love hot dogs, but I would make an exception for a Chicago style dog from a street vendor. The toppings on a Chicago style dog are yellow mustard, relish, onions, tomato, pickles, peppers and celery salt.  I love mustard, so I’m in.

Lastly I would take myself to shores of Lake Michigan.  The beaches are beautiful but the water is freezing.  I would love to spend an afternoon walking along the shore and enjoying the view of the clear blue water and the famous skyline.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do and foods to eat in Chicago.

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Los Angeles, California

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Los Angeles is one of my favorite places in the world.  I have been to visit 3-4 times and I love it, and like New York it is the kind of place you should definitely visit more than once.  Why do I like so much?

I love the weather.

I love the shopping.

I love the ocean views.

I love the food!

Next time I visit, it will be to go on a eating tour.  I have sampled just a few on the great restaurant options in LA and I am raw foodsold. Every time I go to LA is eat at Planet Raw.  (If I’m being completely honest I eat there at least twice per visit).  They don’t currently have a physical location, but I will go to a new location as soon as it opens.  I know that raw food doesn’t sound all that exciting but it tastes so good, and you feel so good when you eat it.

I also love coffee.  Not just because it wakes me up in the morning but because I love the taste.  Drinking coffee is probably the best part of my day.  In Los Angeles there are so many options! I found a list of the 50 Best Coffee Shops from the LA Eater.  I want to go to all of them.  I would start with #4 because it is on Sunset Boulevard, the only street in LA I even remotely understand.

I don’t have the money or the interest at eating at the fancy five star options that are so plentiful in LA.  I like a more casual experience, by that I mean, if I have to wear anything besides stretch pants, I am not interested.

churroI know I will be glad I have on pants that stretch when I visit The Churro Borough. A couple of months ago I read an article about their churro ice-cream sandwich and I have been dreaming about it ever since.  I will probably eat one in every available flavor, and one of everything else on the menu.

I hope to leave LA a little fatter and a little happier.

Please leave any comments about your favorite things to do or eat in Los Angeles.

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Grand Canyon, Arizona

I have lived in Arizona and Nevada my whole life, and I have never been to the Grand Canyon.  Part of trouble is that I hate hiking and it has always been close so I figured i would make it someday.  I always thought then when I became an adult I would just magically start to enjoy hiking, but it turns out that it doesn’t work that way,  however, I would suffer through it to be able to see the best views of the Grand Canyon.  grandcanyon

Even though it seems kind of touristy I wanted to go on the glass bridge that juts out over the canyon.  However, you have to pay at least $43.00 to get a ticket, which is kind of insane, and the reviews say that it is a tourist trap so I will probably have to pass on that.

One part of the Grand Canyon that I have always wanted to visit was Havasu Falls.  I see the pictures on Pinterest all the time havasuand it seems so pretty.  I have done a little bit of research and I have learned that it involves a many days of hiking.  Oh boy, my favorite.  The hike to Havasu is about 18 miles, and it is recommended that visitors take three days to do the hike.  However upon further inspection I have discovered that you can take a horse of a mule for only $75-$150.  so if you see me on the trail to Havasu I will definitely be on a horse.  I hope the horse can carry some food too, because I know I will be so hungry.  My only saving grace will be the promise of really good Mexican food on my way out of Arizona.

Please leave any comments about your favorite way to experience the Grand Canyon.

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Disney World and Harry Potter World, Orlando, Florida

disneyworldI always thought that I would have won a free trip to Disney World by now, spoiler alert, I haven’t.  Growing up in the 90s and watching way too much TV lead me to believe that at some point I would have made it to Disney World.  All of my favorite TV families, the Tanners, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and the Mathew’s (at least Cory, Shawn and Topanga) all made to Disney World.  I guess now that I am a adult and probably too old to enjoy most of the activities I am going to take myself to Disney World and Universal Studios to see Harry Potter World.

There are a few different parks that make up Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.  Ideally I would like to spend a whole day in each park.  At Magic Kingdom I am most looking forward to riding Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Haunted Mansion.  At Epcot I want to see the Coral Reef, Impressions of France and Soarin’. At Hollywood Studios I want to learn about the Magic of Innovation and Walt Disney’s Dream.  At the Animal Kingdom I would want to see all of the animals and ride ride on Expedition Everest.  Harry Potter World is made up of two parts, Hogsmeade and Diagonal Alley.  I would love to spend a day exploring theses two places as well.  I want to ride all of the rides including Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, Dragon Challenge and Flight of the Hippogriff.   diagonalley

I know it would not be the most financially responsible thing to do but I want to eat all of my meals at the parks I visit.  I figure I will only take a trip looked this once I should just go for it.  I want to eat treats and everything in the shape of Mickey Mouse.  I am especially looking forward to eating in Harry Potter World.  Ever since I read the first Harry Potter book in 1998 i have wondered what butter beer would taste like, so I would get some at The Three Broomsticks. There is also always time for shopping at Honeydukes and Dervish and Banges.

I’m sure I will regret all of my up indulgences in the hot Florida sun, but it will be worth it.pretzel

BUTTERBEER

Please leave any comments or suggestions about your favorite places in Disney World and Harry Potter World.

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