Sense Appeal XXVI: Overseas Edition

8.28.2014

for the eyes:
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Hotel Particulier Arles
While Europe in general is a feast for the eyes, this hotel had the most desirable courtyard tucked away in the small French town of Arles--the ideal escape after weeks of immersion in big city life.

for the mind:
At Sunday brunch a couple weeks back, my sis Erin pulled up an article listing Pope Francis's 'Ten Commandments' for the betterment of today's people and their overall happiness. All are worthwhile, but these three stood out.

1. Embrace a "healthy sense of leisure." Too often, he (I'd say accurately) claims people today dismiss pleasures like art, literature and playing together. So, turn off the TV when eating dinner. Put away your cell phone in the car. Leave work early. It'll all get done.

2. Sundays should be true days of rest and reserved for family. My mom has always applauded retail businesses that close on Sundays. I'm happy my Sundays spent slaving away on homework have come and gone, and I can be faithful to Sundays filled with family and friends. 

3. Stop being negative. Most of my woes would fall under #firstworldproblems, so I like to remind myself that I shouldn't let trivial troubles overshadow the many joys of my daily life. After all, I didn't say I was a glass-half-empty kinda girl.

for the ears:
I didn't listen to much music while I was abroad; but, when I did, Evvy's 'Got Me Movin' always made the playlist.

fashion for feel:
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Prior to this trip, I'd always been overconfident in my abilities to travel in flimsy flip-flops. This summer, I succumbed to the idea of a more supportive closed-toe shoe. I soon learned that they were not only more practical but also more fitting footwear on the European sidewalks where sandals are just not a thing. And now, I'm bringing that style to State's streets.

for taste:
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The most popular study abroad destination among my circle of friends has been Barcelona for obvious reasons--Spanish credit, city-wide wi-fi, beach access, etcetera.

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I'd heard about Brunch & Cake from these friends more times than I could count and to be honest, I doubted it would be all it was cracked up to be.

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While en route from southern Spain to southern France, the besties and our moms made a pitstop in Barca with just enough time to see Sagrada Familia and grab a quick lunch at B&C. BELIEVE THE HYPE.

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My brie strawberry sandwich served alongside a poached truffled egg salad with spinach leaves and chilled potatoes was out of this world.

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Smile, Meems!

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You're on coffee camera!

A Tally of Two Cities: Take II

8.12.2014

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Over the past four years, I've had one foot in Houston and another in Austin. If I had to choose one place to have two homes, it'd easily be Texas. But, Europe is a close second, so today we continue our tally of Paris and Sevilla.

fancy feet
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bought black booties one month

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Spanish sandals the next

+1 Paris 'cause I rocked the booty-booty-booties everywhere from Britain to Berlin

game-changer
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French Open at Roland Garros

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 bullfighting at Plaza de Toros

+1 Paris for one of the best Sunday Fundays I'll ever have
-1 Sevilla for scaring away all my friends away from this Spaniard tradition

quite the site 
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Eiffel Tower

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Plaza d'España

both designed for the World Fair
Tower's taller but the Plaza deserves more hype...win, win!

foulest dining
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saucisson

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hot dogs

French and Spanish need a lesson in true Texas hill country venison

-1 Paris for my friend coughing up 29 euros for this meal
+1 Paris because it was wash down-able with that wine
+1 Sevilla for serving it with ketchup with a bottle featuring the stars and stripes

finest dining 
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La Dame de Pic

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conTenedor

Jordan and I savored every bite at Le Dame de Pic where you are greeted with a glass of rosé champagne and scented menus. Like a perfume parlor, you pick your favorite, and your five courses match accordingly to the aroma.

conTenedor was a slow dining spot we happened upon while coming home from our 4th of July festivities. Intrigued by the façade, I turned to TripAdvisor only to find that it was one of the best and only farm-to-table style restaurants serving fresh and local ingredients nightly. IT ALSO HAD WEE-FEE. We dug into cheese and ham plates, shareable salads and several meat courses all until our hearts were content-edor.

+3 Paris for rosé champagne, perfect au revoir dinner for jourdain, death by chocolate dessert
+3 Sevilla for cava to start, charming chalkboard menus kindly translated, and our entire group around one table of food

incomparable, incredible dining experiences. many delicious points to both here, but a tie nonetheless.

be jeweled 
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les bijoux

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las joyas

the jewels were plentiful in both cities and always fun to look at since they won't burst your 50 pound luggage limit bubble

+1 Sevilla simply for good timing as July is the month of rebajas (sale) in Spain

we know fro-yo 
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Le Paradis du Fruit

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 llaollao & smooy

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the 'we' refers to me and merl who have seriously considered global fro-yo connoisseurs as a fall-back career route. in any case, we know what's up and we'd both give the nod to Sevilla's Smooy, which fittingly, was my first tasty treat I had when reuniting with merl and caro in Spain.

+1 Sevilla

summertime sips 
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rosé

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tinto de verrano

both new favorite drinks sources from the vine but for the blush color in the summer, I gotta say rose´
+1 Paris

weather report 
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partly cloudy with a chance of showers

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really sunny with a slim chance of shade

-1 me for not packing nearly enough warm clothing for Paris
+1 Paris for the dreary days making the sunny ones something special

dress-up 
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wedding gowns

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flamenco dresses

A friend I met in Paris happened to just recently get engaged and invited a few of us to a fitting she scheduled in Paris for future inspiration. Fun fact: her fiancée had the same name as my boyfriend. Roca, my señora, insisted my friends and I try on her flamenco dresses.

+1 Sevilla since we all got to take part in the fun (and look like the emoji girl)

super salad!
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Les Deux Oiseaux

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Cristina and Co.

+1 Paris for what I told the server was mon déjeuner favori a Paris

you take me higher
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Montmartre

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Las Cetas

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+1 Paris

on the menu 
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La Faille

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conTenedor

+1 Paris for the color scheme coordinating perfectly with my journal and pen


not-so-secret gardens
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Jardin du Luxembourg

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Maria Luisa Park

both relaxing refuges from the intercity chaos. another win, win.


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Both cities stole my heart, but numbers speak louder than words today and Paris takes the lead by three.
Rosé isn't red and Sevilla didn't make me blue, but Paris, I'll always love you.