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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When in Barcelona

Hello, everyone! I hope you are all doing great!

If you follow my Instagram page you have seen that last week I’ve been to the fabulous city of Barcelona. We planned this trip long time ago and it turned out to be the perfect getaway. It was amazing to spend a few days with Andreea and Traian, to wander around the city, eat some Spanish food and drink lots and lots of Sangria. Btw, Andreea is a foodie, so if you ever find yourself in need of restaurants recommendations is definitely worth asking her.

Whenever I am on holiday I am full of energy, I love dressing up even more than I normally do, I wear more or less make-up, depending on the weather and the time of day, I accessorise more and I try a different hairstyle everyday. I also get inspired by the local culture and that reflects in what I’m wearing. Because Barcelona was warm and sunny, all my outfits were so summery and carefree and when Andreea and I did a bit of shopping, I managed to put together a great boho summer outfit. The top I purchased has a great design, I’m in love with it’s details and most important for me it doesn’t look cheap and worn out. I cannot get enough of this blouse, which I chose to wear with a pair of wide leg trousers but just imagine wearing it with some skinny jeans and a pair of sandals. Perfection!!!

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I am wearing: all Mango: trousers, blouse, earrings.

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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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Weekend away with a baby

We are back from our adventure in Milan with Luca. Normally I would not call a weekend away an adventure but when it is your first time away with your 15 weeks old then the term is just about right. We decided to drive since it was easier for us, Milan being fairly close to Zurich (normally a 3 to 4 hour drive).

We got there around 2 pm on Saturday. We chose a hotel in the city center since we wanted to be able to walk around without being too far from our room, just in case we needed to rush in. I totally recommend Ambasciatori Hotel. They had a crib for us that Luca liked, and even if our room was a standard one, it was spacious enough to fit luggage and stroller.

Luca was incredibly sweet since he enjoyed being in his stroller, slept, played and overall let us enjoy our time there. We shopped, ate out, had good coffee and gelato, all while having our little one with us.

After 2 days away (we got back on Monday) I am incredibly happy that we decided to do a trip with Luca at this age since it just proves me once again that if you step out of your comfort zone, you might be pleasantly surprised. Travelling with a baby is certainly different then when it was just me and my husband but it is equally fun and entertaining. Everyday we realised how blessed and proud we are to have such a sweet baby. And Italy was a good destinations since Italians are nice and seem to love babies. We even had a funny encounter in a store, when an older lady came to the stroller and asked to take a peek inside. She saw Luca and starting exclaiming how cute he is. Then she asked if he has blue eyes (he was sleeping). Traian said no at which point she exclaimed: He is still beautiful! :)) This would never happen in Zurich. It made our day…Also waiters and people in restaurants were very accommodating and helpful. So if you have doubts about travelling with kids, just go with it. Trust your instincts and your child.

And it would not be a trip to Italy without me not mentioning food. We had the best pizza this weekend at Gino Sorbillo. The place is amazing since they only use ingredients from farmers, so everything is fresh and locally supplied. They only make 400 pizzas a day so if you are lucky to get a table you are in for a treat (no reservations are made). We had the hotel next to the restaurant so when it opened on Sunday, we were the first there for lunch.

We also tried the rooftop bar and restaurant, Obicà Mozzarella Bar Milano from la Rinascente. Slow food, good wine and prosecco and a very nice view of the city.

We took Luca to the park, but he was not very impressed. He cried his lungs out before he went to sleep.

 

He actually enjoyed shopping and restaurants more. I am not at all surprised since he is my son.

And a selfie of the 3 of us in the elevator. For those of you that don’t know my husband, meet his signature selfie face. I think Luca is still trying to figure out what he is doing with us.

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xox, Andreea.

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Travel – Catalina Island

I woke up today a bit later than usual and had the nostalgia of sunny days. I was daydreaming about the warm summer days and the feeling of walking on a sandy beach. Normally this would have left me feeling sad. but when I think of how much our life and holidays are going to change, I just feel excited and happy. So what if now is November and is cloudy and dark outside?! We still have the memories from our last June beach gateway. I did some digging and found some pictures from our one day trip to Catalina Island from the Dominican Republic. It was one of those days that started with some clouds and then it turned into this beautiful sunny day. Kinda like November days where we live now, foggy most mornings, but by noon the sun shows up, just to remind you that he is there and that he has not forgot you.

A selection of a few pictures from Catalina island. Daydreaming Monday it is!

Cloudy morning in the harbor.

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And then the sky cleared and the Caribbean waters were in full color

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I wish you a great week! Smile and the sun will shine no matter what!

xo, Andreea!

 

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Sunday walk to Stanserhorn

This past weekend we experienced what it would resemble an Indian Summer weekend in Switzerland. The sun was shinning and the temperatures were over 20 degrees, so it felt like the perfect opportunity to go up in the mountains and enjoy a bit of fresh air and Swiss views. We went to Stanserhorn, a mountain in the Lucern area, just one hour away by car from where we live. We went by car to Stans village, that again it worth a visit of a few hours, and from there we took a small train up the mountain. The train only goes half the distance, and the rest of the journey is done by the Cabrio cable car. It is actually a cable car without a rooftop and the view as you go up to 2000 m altitude are jaw dropping. Once you get at the top, you see Lake Luzern and Lake Zug plus all the mountains tops in the region.

Needless to say that it is another place in Switzerland that we loved and so worth a visit. Here are the pictures from our Sunday there.

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Xo, Andreea!

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Travel – Verona, Italy

A few weeks ago we spent a weekend in Italy (you can read more about it here) and we visited Verona. We were very impressed with Juliet’s city. It is up there next to Rome and Florence when it comes to Italian places that you must see. It was a very hot day in which we got lost on the beautiful streets and fell in love with all the architecture. Since it was our last getaway this summer, we got a bit emotional when we realised that this might be the last time we go sightseeing just the two of us. We turn into little explorers when we land in a new place and most probably our next trip will be with our baby next to us and that just gives me the chills. I can’t wait for that. But back to Verona, I totally recommend it and i leave you with a few pictures from our day there.

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I was wearing Zara espadrilles and shorts, United Colors of Beneton top, Furla bag, Panama hat.

 

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Travel – Lake Garda in Italy

This past weekend we headed to Italy for a few days of sun, relaxing, good food and beautiful views. We were not disappointed one bit since the region of Garda Lake is beautiful. On our way there we stopped in Milan to shop the last days of the summer sales and had a great lunch at Paper Moon. I totally recommend it if you are passing by Milan (the location is very convenient and you will get great food).

We decided to stay in a small town, Moniga del Garda, at Vieulif bed and breakfast. It was one of the best accommodation experiences we had in a while and we would gladly return there. The town had an old Castle on a hill that served as a fortress in the old age. Now everything is restored but the houses in the area kept the Middle Age charm. As you walk down from the Castle you can admire the Italian villas and their beautiful gardens, see the olive trees and the winery and daydream of spending your life surrounded by such beauty. And then you get to the lake where you can rent a boat and enjoy a day on the lake.

In the 2 days we stayed in the area we also saw the towns of Desenzano, Sirmione and Peschiera. They all have the same charm, but they are slightly bigger and more touristic then Moniga. I tried to make a selection of photos from each of them (I really love all the pictures Traian took and is very hard to limit myself to only a few so expect loads) if you want to take a look.

Moniga del Garda, our home for a few days

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Sirmione del Garda, very touristic because of the big castle and the old city centre that is truly something special.

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Peschiera del Garda, very charming little town. We had a good lunch at L’Osteria, a typical Italian restaurant in the city centre.

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Desenzano del Garda, the largest town in the area, loved the large promenade along the lake and the harbour.

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Winery in the area of Desenzano.

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XO, Andreea!

 

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