Our holiday in Madeira

We had an absolute blast in Madeira for our one week stay. Same as last year, we took a parents holidays, while Luca stayed with my parents in Romania. It works out very well for our family since Luca gets to bond more with his grandparents and we get to enjoy some much needed time alone.

Madeira is just breathtaking, with the ocean on one side and the green hills on the other. It is not your typical beach holiday since there is less sand and more rocks. For us this was not an issue, we do love laying on the beach, no doubt about it, but we prefer to sightsee, to walk around and to stay by the pool for a day or two. The infinity pool was not too big, but it offered the perfect view of the ocean.

The hotel was really nice. It was probably one of the best choices in hotels we did in a while. Thanks to Travelettes for recommending it, it was the best!

To move around the island, we rented a car via the hotel. The roads are mostly hills so you need a car with something of an engine to be able to get by without having a nervous breakdown.

We had the best meals at the following restaurants that were recommended by a local.

Santo Antonio, for the best meat

Polo Norte for the best fish

La Planka, stunning view and very good food

Snack Bar A Pipa, Porto da Cruz, ate the best fish here as well

We did a hike one of the days to Vereda dos Balcoes and since it was morning and in the woods, it was a bit chilli so I put on all the summer clothes I had with me and ended up looking like a crazy person. We met the sweetest old lady that was knitting hats and I got one for Luca.

The natural pools that are built with water from the ocean are a great experience. Spent a few hours there enjoying the sun and the water.

Cabo Girao had the most spectacular view

xox,

Andreea

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Trip to NYC – bar and restaurants

One simply can’t go to NYC and not take advantage of all the restaurants and bars that this city has to offer. Everyone that knows New York said that it is hard to go wrong in NYC about food since the standards are pretty high and new yorkers love to eat out. The first few days we played it safe and only went to places that we knew were good, but one day we decided that we would try also places that we had never heard about. And we were not disappointed. We had amazing Korean food one day and in the last day we tasted another Asian speciality bowl from a Brooklyn street food place. So my advice is to let your senses guide you and try new places out as well.

Here are the ones we loves and recommend:

Kats deli – the iconic place that serves the best meats and where the famous orgasm scene from When Harry met Sally was filmed.

Stanton social – American tapas, all was very good. Try the chicken and waffels.

The Standard Grill – good for Oysters but not only.

Black tap Burger – there is a queue at the entry, best burger and leave some room for the milkshakes.

Chelsea Market – best lobster and sushi.

Boom Boom Room – rooftop bar, very good for cocktails.

K-Bab Korean – Korean food.

Magnolia Bakery– famous from Sex and the city, very good cupcakes.

 

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Trip to New York City

We are back from our 2 weeks holiday. It was intense to say the least. For the first week Luca stayed with my parents at their house in the country side, and we took off to NYC for 6 days. It was pleasant to have the time to enjoy a new city, to get to spend time with my husband, to have a few cocktails on the amazing rooftops of NYC and eat out. We missed the little one so much but still I am glad that we did it. He is happiest with us around I have no doubt about it, but he enjoyed his time with his grandparents a lot. He was outdoors a lot, got to feed the chickens and he had my parents dog as his pet plus he got to bond with the rest of my family there. Overall a great experience for us all that I hope we can repeat in the following years.

Nyc for us was amazing. We got to do pretty much all that was on our list: museums and sightseeing, shopping and see a Broadway show. NYC is incredible and you feel it just takes you in. I sometimes think I was in dream because Nyc is such an iconic city especially if you grew up watching american movies and TV series. Being in the city felt like going back to a movie set sometimes, since the city has been featured in so many shows. Also it is so different for any European city that I am used to. Too crowded and dirty for my taste,  full of life, restaurants, cool spots to hang out and take in the life as a New Yorker or at least pretend for a few days that you are able to channel the NYC state of mind.

In summary here are the main things we got to do:

We took the hop-on hop-off bus that gave us the opportunity to cruise the city and see all the major attraction points. Also because you have a tour guide you get to find out things that normally you would miss about the city.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a must see. We took a quick tour, had lunch at the café inside and I got to sit on the stairs at the MET like they do in the movies.

MOMA was another cultural stop and we spend a couple of hours there as well. I loved the garden outside.

We managed to get tickets to see The book of Mormon on Broadway and it was the best experience from NYC for me. It’s a must see if you get a chance, funny, witty and it translates very well into what we are living nowadays worldwide with religion.

If you are in NYC and are not afraid of heights then you will most likely go up on a skyscraper. I would have been happy with seeing only one since we already were living at the 36th floor on Wall Street but hubby wanted to take pics from other rooftops as well. The One Tower that was built after nine eleven, it’s the highest building in the world currently. The view is indeed spectacular and they have a restaurant and bar there as well. Then there is the iconic Observation Center at the Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building, both spectacular.

Central Park, Times Square, 5th Avenue, Chelsea and the Village were perfect for walking and taking in the pulse and atmosphere of the city. We went to Times Square first at 7 am since we were up really early the first few days (thanks to jet lag) and it was great since there were barely a few people.

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Cuban holiday

I am so excited to finally share with you a few pictures from our magnificent Cuban holiday. Because we didn’t plan this through very well and we kind of did everything last minute, we didn’t manage to book a holiday in Havana since nearly everything there was already booked, so we decided to go to Holguin area.

As I am sure you all know that Cuba is one of the few communist countries left in the world, I strongly believe that things will change soon para los Cubanos. Maybe the embargo will be lifted and they will have access to outside technology and all other things that we take for granted every day.

We took a ride from our resort to the city centre of Holguin (the 3rd biggest city in Cuba) in an old American Chevrolet 50. Thank God, it had air conditioning otherwise I would be a baked human now :)). The city was hot and dusty, the unbearable heat made everyone feel powerless. The Cubans are nice people and we didn’t feel unsafe for a second. The streets are narrow and everywhere you look you see old-school Buicks, Pontiacs and Ford cars, colourful town houses and Spanish colonial buildings. After strolling around the city and doing a bit of shopping in a local market we decided it was time to have a Cuban coffee and try one of their well known cigars.

Travelling to Cuba was like travelling back in time, the roads are like a rolling car museum, the colonial houses are even older than the cars and you can hear cha-cha music everywhere. My advice to you: Step back in time before it’s too late!DSC_0084 DSC_0110 DSC_0139 DSC_0162 DSC_0174 DSC_0198 DSC_0215 File 20-06-2016, 19 15 56 File 20-06-2016, 19 21 38

I am wearing: Zara dress, old but similar here 

Castaner shoes 

Prada byo bag, old but similar here

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Parents weekend – Barcelona

2 weeks already passed since we were in Barcelona for a long weekend sans bebe. It was so good to be back to one of our favourite cities and just reconnect with my husband. Every parent needs a break every now and then and this was ours. Imagine us just being able to savour our food and wine while out for dinner, not having to worry that we need to be back home in time to put a little someone to bed. But the thing I am most proud of is that I managed to read a book in those 4 days ( Still Alice, I recommend it especially if you haven’t seen the movie, like me). To have the time to read in the plane or before bed because you know you can sleep the next day…a whole book, guys!

Having a child changes so much the dynamic of a couple. Good times and not so good times are on everyones agendas and sometimes a weekend away can be exactly what you need to recharge those batteries. I won’t mention how much I missed Luca, especially the last day, so I think 4 days is the max for me.

And now let me tell you where we ate, because let’s face it, what would a city break be without good food?! I don’t wanna know, really…

Cerveceria Catalana – a wine/tapas bar. One of our favourites, we return there every time we have the opportunity

L’estevet – a bit more old school but so good and so typical Catalan. Love it!

Arroseria Xativa– for fish and paella, very good.

El Quim de la Boqueria – a recommendation that we picked up from the book Where chefs eat. It is in the local market on Ramblas street. Very small and crowded but so worth the wait.

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Lucca in Black and White

While in Tuscany we made a day trip to Lucca, a historic city that is absolutely gorgeous and that carries the name of our son. We previously saw it, 2 years ago when Traian and I did another trip to Italy and I remember thinking that if I will ever have a son, I would like for him to be named Luca. Fast forward and here we were with Luca at 9 months in the city that has the same name. We took all the pictures in black and white since they seem to capture better the charm of this beautiful city. We had a nice lunch and then wandered the streets where sometimes only one person could fit.

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Our holiday in Tuscany

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One week already since we got back from our holiday in Tuscany. It went so fast that week and I feel like I am constantly running out of time. Work is crazy, Luca is growing so fast and the time I spend with him seems so not enough. I hate complaining about how busy my life is so I won’t do it. I will instead share with you all the positive things that come out from my days. And our holiday was the perfect summary of any parent’s life. We travelled and saw new places, we slept but hardly enough, we laugh, we cried, we ate good food, we got sick and we shared everything with the people we love. Yes, not your normal holiday in the sense that you relax and slow down, but nevertheless our first holiday with Luca. I remember the pictures from the holidays we took with my parents and the memories are so precious, so hopefully we can offer that to our son, good times that we will look back to fondly.

Seeing Tuscany was always on our wish list. We rented a villa and together with 2 other couples we spend a week there. We had a pool and being by car we took day trips in the region. The tuscan sun was kind with us and we had some lovely temperatures so that we even went one day to the beach. The pictures above are from Siena and San Gimignano, a small village where we had a wine tasting.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.

Have a good week.

xox, Andreea

 

 

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Mountain view

I am a big fan of the mountains now that I live in Switzerland. Taking a hike when you have a baby under one can sound very unrealistic, but we managed it for the first time a few weeks ago. We took the car until Oberrickenbach, then jumped in the cable car with the pram, baby and other accessories and in 10 minutes we were up to Bannalpsee. Once there we took a deep breath since the air suddenly got fresher (in Zurich there were around 35 degrees that day) and we had lunch with Luca on the terrace of the only restaurant/hotel from the area. And then we were off for a long walk/hike to admire the lake and the view of the mountains touching the sky. Notice how I get suddenly very poetic…the mountain does this to you…it just sets the mood for daydreaming and relaxing. Luca was so relaxed in the carrier that he fell asleep after 20 min. And for my boy to fell asleep in the carrier, now that is a big thing.

In all honesty we had a great family day. I could not recommend this more, especially if you have kids that are bit older. There were people swimming in the lake or simply just having a picnic there.

 

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Xox, Andreea.

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Travel: Alsace, France

When my parents came to visit us we took them for one day to France. We are less than 2 hours away from Alsace and the region is just so beautiful. I love the small villages from this part of France since they are so well preserved. Plus they are stunning with the old houses that now are just like huge flower pots since they have flowers all over them. Another plus for this region is the wine making. They are famous for their wine and at every corner you can find a winery and have a wine tasting. The Riesling and the Pinot Gris from the region are among our favs.

This time we chose to see Eguisheim and Riquewihr, 2 beautiful villages that seem to be taken out of a postcard image. In Equisheim we had a wine tasting on the terrace of Emile Beyer’s winery  and we had lunch at Auberge du Rempart, both very nice and worth mentioning.

Riquewhir seemed to be a bit more touristic hence a little more crowded than Eguisheim but still a very nice place to have lunch and explore. One of my favourite dishes in Alsace is the Tarte Flambé and for desert the traditional macarons that you find in the patisseries. In both villages you can take guided wine tours or hop into the touristic trains that offer a tour of the area.

Pictures from Eguisheim

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Pictures from Riquewhir

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Travel: Mount Rigi

My favourite time of the year is now. I love summer and I believe it to be the time to travel around. We are so lucky to live in a country that offers so much to see and explore and this past weekend we went up on mountain Rigi. It was such a lovely day that we spent together as a family with Luca enjoying himself in his first ride on the train. We went by car to Vitznau, had lunch there, and we continued our journey by taking a train that took us up to Rigi Kaltbad. The view of Lake Luzern from up there was magical. We went for a walk with Luca in the stroller (he slept very well) and enjoyed a cup of coffee at one of the terraces.

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My dress is from Zara (currently on sale).

xox, Andreea.

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