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Month: April 2018


Let me begin this post with one word: food.

Madrid is a foodie’s heaven! Between the tapas and the churros, I think we each gained ten pounds during our four days in the city.

We started our food trip with the famous Mercado de San Miguel. The market was packed and offered a wide variety of tapas, seafood, and desserts. Our favorite item was the mountain of burrata cheese served on a piece of bread below. Everything was delicious, but it was a bit pricey and touristy.

We had read about the delicious churros con chocolate in Madrid, so we were excited to try them, but were sadly disappointed by our first batch. We bought them in the Mercado de San Miguel, and the churros themselves were fine, but the chocolate was more like a hot chocolate drink rather than melted chocolate.

Once we filled up on fried dough, we walked through Madrid’s endless plazas. Below is the famous “Tio Pepe” sign located in the Plaza de Puerto del Sol. We’re not quite sure why it’s famous, but I figured it’s still worth sharing a picture of it!

We loved all of the street performers in the plazas—each one was more creative than the next!

The statue below is the El Oso y el Madroño (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree) located in the Plaza de Puerto del Sol. It serves as the symbol for Madrid and is the picture on their flag.

Plaza Mayor is the most distinct and colorful plaza (in my opinion), but it was always crowded and a major tourist trap. Some of the restaurants were very good though, and our hostel was nearby, so we ended up walking through it frequently.

After exploring the plazas, we visited the Almudena Cathedral.

The church took nearly a hundred years to build and is known for its unique ceiling paintings. Even though there’s no competition against the Sagrada Família for our favorite church, it was still beautiful, and we loved the distinct ceiling design!

Alright, I think it’s time I shed some light on our not-so-delightful hostel experience. We stayed at a really cute place called “The Hat Madrid,” which was very clean and had great decor. It’s a lot more like a hotel, which is why I picked it.

We stayed in a six person room and had a private bathroom in our dorm. Initially, I saw that as a huge perk, but I quickly realized having a shared bathroom right next to your bunk bed is far from enjoyable. Between being the only English speakers in our room and having a hungover guy stay in bed the entire day (aka we had to leave the lights off and be quiet every time we were in the room), it was off to a bumpy start.

By the second night, I was the only girl left in our room. Which meant I was sharing a bathroom with five guys. The smells alone were enough to convince me to never stay in a hostel again! I avoided the private bathroom in our room and opted for the communal one in the hallway—so much for splurging for the bathroom upgrade!

I will say, I would like to formally thank my brother for all of the traumatizing bathroom sharing experiences I encountered growing up. He certainly prepared me for this trip!

The next morning we found a cafe called “Cereal Hunters.” It’s a bar that serves every type of cereal you can imagine—alongside a selection of Pop Tarts and milk. Even though it was an American inspired restaurant and a bowl of cereal cost more than an entire box back home, we loved it! We rarely purchase cereal, so it was a treat getting to enjoy our childhood favorites! Any other Fruity Pebbles fans out there?

As much as I dislike hostels, we were impressed by the free walking tour ours offered. The guide was great and very knowledgeable about Madrid’s unique history! She even showed us a few spots we wouldn’t have found on our own, like the place below. This picture is taken through a circular hole in the wall surrounding the graffiti park, which is about to get torn down.

For lunch, we opted for tapas and sangria at a restaurant called Taberna El Sur. It’s off the beaten path, but worth it! Plus it was the most authentic Spanish meal we had. It’s traditional in Madrid to receive tapas whenever you order a drink, but not every restaurant follows that rule. Before our sangria arrived, we were already eating delicious tapas. The food was fantastic—particularly the Spanish omelet! And they gave us a complementary Amarula mixed with Kahlua shot along with a bowl of gummy candies for dessert.

While we were eating a man and his dog walked into the restaurant. The dog promptly put his paws up on the bar and barked. The bartender immediately pulled out a small plate of bread and started feeding the pup his doggie style tapas. It was one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen!

We walked to the botanical gardens after lunch to see their new tulip display. Unfortunately, it was a little early for all of the flowers to bloom, but it was a beautiful park and a very relaxing way to spend our afternoon.

The Círculo de Bellas Artes is known as the best view in Madrid. They have a rooftop bar and great lounging chairs. Not a bad way to spend the afternoon!

As we were walking back to our hostel that night, we noticed a procession heading out of Plaza Mayor. We were there during Semana Santa (Holy Week in Spain), and this particular procession was for Maundy Thursday (Holy Thursday).

The whole experience was like nothing we’ve seen before! We didn’t understand much of the symbolism behind the march, but it was incredible. We kept thinking they were moving so slowly until we realized that they were waiting on poor men carrying the massive casket structure on their shoulders. You can’t tell in the picture, but many of the men were shaking and grimacing in pain from the heaviness of their load.

We read a suggestion online to visit the plazas early in the morning before the crowds of tourists and street performers take over. If you’re out there by 8:00 am, the streets are empty! It was well worth waking up early for, and I highly recommend it to anyone visiting Spain.

To reward ourselves for waking up early we decided to try the famous Chocolatería San Ginés to give churros con chocolate a second chance. This place is open 24 hours a day and reminded us of Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans.

We are officially hooked! Churros dipped in melted chocolate will forever hold a special place in our hearts—all thanks to this wonderful establishment.

After our major carb-loading session, we headed to the Puerta de Alcalá. It’s a huge monument, and they planted beautiful flowers for Spring on either side of it.

Madrid is full of amazing food markets, so we decided to check out a couple of unique, less populated ones. We walked through Mercado de San Ildefonso, which is small and known as the hipster market. The pictures below are of Platea. It’s located in an old theater and feels very upscale. We didn’t buy food at either place though since we were still so full from breakfast.

Some of you may not be familiar with geocaching, but it’s essentially a worldwide scavenger hunt. People hide tiny little boxes or capsules, and you use GPS coordinates to locate each one. Once you find it, you sign the ledger inside the object. It’s been a fun way for us to track some of the places we’ve visited while we travel.

I don’t usually take any pictures of it, but the two geocaches we did in Madrid were so unique I had to share them! We try to be a little discreet when looking for them, but sitting under a telephone booth drew a bit of attention to the hunt.

The next geocache required you to unlock a stool across the street and use it to climb up and grab the cache from behind a sign. Such a creative hiding spot!

For lunch that day we ate wraps since we had eaten so heavy all week. Of course, we couldn’t be healthy for too long because there was a fantastic ice cream shop called Mistura located right next to the cafe. I picked the arroz con leche flavor, and it was by far some of the best ice cream I’ve ever eaten!

During our walking tour, the day before our guide showed us where to try Madrid’s famous madroño liqueur. The El Oso y el Madroño (the Bear and the Strawberry Tree) statue shown earlier in the post is the type of tree where they get the berries to make this liqueur. If you go to a tapas bar called “El Madroño,” then you can get a shot of the drink in a chocolate coated cone cup. We loved it!

For dinner, we decided to go to “La Campana” to try bocadillos. We had seen a long line outside the restaurant every night, so we figured it must be a good spot. This was by far the most efficient line I’ve ever seen. Once we reached the front, we ordered, paid, and were given our food in less than a minute!

Unfortunately, we weren’t very impressed by the bocadillos. It’s just bread with salty calamari on top. It doesn’t come with sauce or anything, so I think that would have made it better. At that point though, we had already consumed so much fried food that the sandwich put our stomach aches over the top.

Even after our fried food coma the day before, we still had to try one last dessert the next morning. It’s called a torrija, and one of the best places to get them is “La Mallorquina.” It’s French Toast coated in sugar. The flavor was good, but it was served cold, so I’m sure it would have been a winner if it was heated.

Since we had extra time on our last day, we decided to explore Arganzuela park. It has a unique footbridge and a bunch of slides!

Our last stop was the Templo de Debod. We had to hike up quite a hill to get there, but it was cool to see an Ancient Egyptian temple in the middle of Madrid!

Templo Debod is next to the Palacio Real (Royal Palace of Madrid), so we ended our time in Madrid by exploring the palace gardens.

We loved spending a couple of days in Barcelona (which you can read about HERE), but I must admit, Madrid won our hearts! The incredible food alone is hard to beat, and the city is beautiful.

If you want updates about our travels, subscribe to my blog to receive posts directly to your email. And if you want to keep up with us daily while we travel, follow me on Instagram at Being_Positioned!


Four trains and nine hours later, we finally made it from the South of France to Barcelona! Unfortunately, our first night in Spain wasn’t quite what we expected.

Accommodations in Spain are more expensive than France, so we opted for hostels instead of our usual Airbnbs. I’ve stayed in numerous hostels before and previously vowed to never do it again, but alas that didn’t last. It was Cardin’s first hostel experience though, and he was excited to try it out.

We stayed in a ten person dorm room, and within the first hour we heard gunshots outside. That’s right, gunshots.

Despite the fact that there were eight other people in our room, no one seemed to react. They didn’t even stir when crowds of people started yelling and running outside our window. We kept looking around hoping someone else would acknowledge the commotion, but everyone had the bed-curtains closed, and no one moved.

We finally walked out to the common room and met a few girls who were also concerned. One of them had been in Barcelona for a few days already, so she was familiar with Catalonia’s political unrest. Catalonia wants to separate from the rest of Spain, and one of the movement leaders was arrested in Germany the night we arrived. So, everyone was rioting in protest of his arrest. Apparently the riots have been recurring since October, but this night was particularly bad. And it turns out the gunshots were only empty shells the police were shooting to disperse the crowds.

The city is also covered with yellow ribbons to support the political movement. They were everywhere!

The next morning we woke up to a much calmer city. But when I say wake up, I mean we finally accepted we’re not falling back asleep… all thanks to our bedroom door.

Our bunk was next to the creakiest door I’ve ever heard! One of the perks of being half deaf is I can usually turn over and not hear anything while sleeping. Except for loud noises, which end up sounding very distorted.

Well, the noise of our door opening in my bad ear sounded like a pterodactyl attacking our room. Let me just say that’s a terrifying noise to hear while you’re trying to sleep!

Needless to say we wore ear plugs the next two nights and were able to sleep much better!

We started our day at Casa Batlló, which is one of the famous houses designed by Antoni Gaudí. The house was beautiful but very expensive to tour. Thankfully, the price included a “smart” audioguide, which showed short videos demonstrating Gaudí’s artistic inspiration. You can see an example of this in one of the pictures below where the windows look like turtle shells.

Despite the high price, we’re glad we went on the tour. It helped us understand Gaudí’s unique artistic style and the impact he had on Barcelona.

Gaudí is known for his use of natural light throughout his designs. In this particular house, he built two light wells. They have white tiles at the bottom and dark blue tiles at the top. His technique allows for brighter natural light in the lower levels of the house, since they are furthest from the window, and less intense light in the top floors.

Gaudí is most famous for his incredible tile work. He used recycled materials to create beautiful patterns of broken tiles throughout all of his creations.

After walking around La Rambla and the Gothic Quarter, we visited the Mercat de la Boqueria for lunch. It’s a massive market with never-ending food stalls. We bought a few snacks, but our favorite treats were the fresh fruit juices! There were at least ten different stalls selling juice, so it was a popular item. And for a good reason!  Unfortunately, most of the food was either fried or raw fish (and I don’t mean sushi), so we mostly filled up on fruit.

See what I mean by raw fish? Can someone please explain why anyone would eat this terrifying catch….I couldn’t eat anything after seeing that thing, let alone fish.

After the market, we headed to the Arc de Triomf and a nearby park.

As we were leaving, we noticed a street performer setting up. We almost kept walking, but decided to stay. And I’m so glad we did! This guy was by far the most impressive street performer I’ve seen. He was mesmerizing!

That night we grabbed dinner with one of the girls we met during our “riot scare”—I guess that’s one way to meet people. She’s super sweet and ironically also from Florida! We had paella for dinner, but sadly weren’t very impressed. They charged 17 euros a person for paella at almost every restaurant we passed in Barcelona. They have signs outside advertising a huge pan of delicious looking rice and seafood, so we figured it would be worth it. Unfortunately, the portion was pretty small, and the taste was average.

To make up for our mediocre dinner, we headed to Häagen-Dazs. This may not have been the most authentic Spanish dessert, but it was definitely a unique ice cream experience! We walked in and headed to the counter thinking you’re supposed to order there. The server quickly corrected us and seated us at a nearby table with menus. I’ve never been inside a Häagen-Dazs before, so I’m not sure if it’s normal for them to have a sit-down ice cream establishment, but we loved it!

Early the next morning we headed to Park Güell. It was supposed to be a neighborhood designed by Gaudí, but he never finished the project. Now it’s a beautiful park full of his unique creations! It’s also the place featured in the cover photo of this post.

Since all of Barcelona’s attractions are so expensive and crowded, it’s cheaper to purchase tickets online, and you’re guaranteed entrance. We didn’t realize this until the night before though, so we ended up with 8:30 am tickets.

We also ran into another one of our “hostel-riot” friends in the park (also stuck with the early morning slot). She’s American, but lives in Venice and works at the Guggenheim! We spent the next few hours exploring the city together before she headed home.

Since it was so early, the sun was a bit of a struggle. Below are the outtakes of what was supposed to be a cute picture!

Our next stop was La Pedrera, another one of Gaudí’s houses. After spending so much money on the other house, we decided to skip the inside and admire it from afar.

We ended our time in Barcelona with the most amazing church on earth: the Sagrada Família. Construction began in 1882, and the projected completion is 2026. That’s right, it’s taking almost 150 years to build this place!

The basilica is known as Gaudí’s greatest legacy and towers over the entire city. Honestly, I could have done a post just on the Sagrada Família. Sadly, these pictures don’t do it justice, but at least you can catch a glimpse of this incredible structure!

We also splurged for the audio guide, which I highly recommend if you ever make the trip there.

Our favorite parts of the church were the stained glass windows. They’re another example of Gaudí’s innovative use of natural light and made the entire place glow! You have to catch it at the right time though—if you’re there at noon, you won’t see anything since the sun is directly overhead. Thankfully, our tickets were for 3:30pm, so the light was perfect!

Also, please notice the insane spiral staircase below. Talk about a leg workout! Although I think it would have made us so dizzy, we wouldn’t have survived the whole way up.

Barcelona was beautiful, and Gaudí’s work throughout the city is incredible! If it’s not on your travel list already, add it—even if just to visit the Sagrada Familia.


If you want updates about our travels, subscribe to my blog to receive posts directly to your email. And if you want to keep up with us daily while we travel, follow me on Instagram at Being_Positioned!

Coming Home

Back in this machine.


Back to this noise.


Back to this life.


Lying in the MRI machine, surrounded by a sound that resembles a jackhammer, I’m struck by how strange this all feels.


Just a few days ago I was in Portugal with my husband. Exploring enchanted gardens, climbing palace ruins, and drinking Ginja from chocolate cups.


Now…I’m lying on an uncomfortable plastic board with a cage covering my face and a constant banging noise circling my head.


I am a patient. I am a traveler. I am a traveler because I am a patient.


I’m living two lives.


Neither was part of my plan.


After thirty-two days in Europe, it only took four days, and I’m already fully in this life again.


Over the next few weeks, I have all of my NF-related appointments. Between slightly declined hearing tests, cataracts eye exams, and waiting for results, it’s not the greatest way to spend our time at home.


But, soon we’ll be back in Europe.


Back to backpacks, reading on trains, and walking 10-miles a day.


Back to cobblestone streets, too much espresso, and endless pastries.


But for right now, we have to sit in this life for a little bit. 


For the first time in two years, our month in Europe allowed me to finally forget about being this person. I somehow managed to avoid getting sick (for once), and other than a few abnormal headaches my hearing was stable.


I felt great.


I felt like me again.


This year is an incredible gift for us and not just because we’re getting to see the world.


Most people diagnosed with NF2 (or any chronic illness) don’t get a break. They don’t get a chance to escape. Most battle constant pain, endless surgeries and complete hearing loss. Most face severe balance issues, frequent falls, and facial paralysis.


But I’m not there yet.


I get to enjoy this break just a little bit longer.


Unfortunately, though, our year of travel will eventually end. My breaks may get shorter. My condition may progress. And I may become more and more like this other version of myself.


My prayer for this year is that I’ll learn to live this life a little better.


I hope that I’m able to hold onto my newfound carefree spirit.


I’ve always battled with anxiety and having NF2 has tested that a lot. Life is heavy and hard, but I don’t want to always feel the heaviness.


29 “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

(Mathew 11:29-30 NIV)


I hope to hold onto this verse a little tighter and trust the words more and more. Maybe I can let this year-long vacation spill over to my long-term reality.


Maybe I can embrace a light burden and a restful soul.


It’s been hard to come home and immediately jump into my appointments. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve instantly resorted back to my anxiety and held tightly to the little control I pretend to possess.


How quickly we forget?


But, old habits are hard to break.


It’s a good thing I still have nine more months to learn this lesson.


My prayer is that maybe you can learn this lesson too. We all have burdens and not everyone gets to quit their job and travel for a year. Not everyone gets a break. But no matter what your circumstances are, I hope that my journey can offer you some encouragement and peace.


So, here’s to learning this lesson together.


If you want updates about our travels, subscribe to my blog to receive posts directly to your email. And if you want to keep up with us daily while we travel, follow me on Instagram at beingpositioned or Facebook @beingpositioned!

France, Part II

Once we finished our week in Paris and Bayeux (click HERE to read that post), my husband and I headed to a city located in the Loire Valley region called Tours. This place is straight out of Harry Potter and Beauty and the Beast!

Shortly after arriving, we went to Les Halles de Tours—a popular food market.

I am by no means a picky eater. I will try just about anything and rarely complain about a meal.

Except when it comes to blue cheese. 

Blue cheese is the only food I’ve tried on multiple occasions and each time have grown to hate more and more. That day in Tours, my disdain for blue cheese hit a whole new level. The picture below shows a donut-shaped chunk of blue cheese. What you can’t see is that the blurry layer on top of the donut is fuzz. That’s right; this cheese is hairy. And apparently, people in some areas of France do in fact eat the extra layer of mold.

During our first full day, we decided to have a picnic lunch at the botanical garden. And by a picnic, I mean a baguette, meat, and cheese… our lunch-of-choice almost every day in France! I highly recommend this meal combo. It was cheap, easy to carry, and tasted delicious (no matter how many times we ate it).

We had low expectations for the botanical garden since the weather was cold, but it ended up being the sweetest garden we’ve visited! They had the cutest “mini ferme” (aka: tiny petting zoo) with little huts for the animals.

Later in the day, our baguette sandwiches wore off, and I was suddenly starving. And how do you curb your hunger when walking the streets in France?

Eat a pastry.

Below, in my opinion, is the best treat we had in Europe! In American terms, it was a Nutella stuffed donut covered in sugar. Those who know me, know that I’m a BIG fan of donuts. And this was the greatest donut. In fact, I made us go back for another one the next day.

Since we don’t last long in museums, we figured we should take advantage of our Nutella-induced sugar high and try the Musée du Compagnonnage. I don’t know if it was the sugar rush or the fact that this was the funkiest museum we’ve seen, but we loved it. So much so that we walked through it twice!

The museum showcases crafts and trade history. The key in the picture below doubles as a gun and the three pastry type models are made entirely of sugar. The pink castle was created in 1973 though, so I’m assuming it’s no longer edible.

The Loire Valley is famous for its abundance of châteaus (around 200 throughout the region). Based on a friend’s recommendation, we took a train to Blois and spent the next day exploring the Château de Blois. Each royal who lived there added their own architectural design, so today it’s an incredible combination of four distinct styles- complete with the most amazing exterior staircase!

The interior of the château is colorful and ornate. Check out the crazy tiled floor with the busy wallpaper in the picture below—not sure I would recommend the interior designer they used.

The next day we booked a tour through a company called “Ola Loire” to take us to three more châteaus. The guide was amazing, and if you ever visit the Loire Valley, I highly recommend them!

We started the morning at Château de Chambord. Our guide surprised us with coffee and pastries, complete with a wonderful view (shown in the picture below). This place is unbelievably huge. So big, in fact, that no one wanted to live there because it was too difficult to heat.

We thought the staircase at the last château was impressive until we saw the double-helix staircase featured in this place! It has two separate stairs so that you can walk up alongside someone else but not have to interact with them.

Our next stop was Château de Villesavin. It’s much smaller than Chambord and privately owned. The family still lives on the property and opened half of it as a museum. The tour also included a delicious home cooked lunch made by the owners!

Our lunch included local wine and cheese. Below is a picture of goat cheese aged in ash. It was surprisingly mild and tasted so much better than any other goat cheese we’ve eaten!

The final stop for the day was Château de Chenonceau. It’s beautiful, and the owner decorated the entire place with flowers grown on the property. Apparently, she puts out new flowers every two weeks so that the decor frequently changes and people have a reason to keep coming back.

The next day, we took a train from Tours to Lyon. After walking almost two miles carrying our very heavy backpacks we finally made it to our Airbnb.

And then we couldn’t get the door open.

After fifteen minutes of standing in the dark (the hallway light wasn’t working), we gave up and headed to a nearby café. Thankfully most cafés have wifi, so we sent a message to our host, hoping she could give us the secret.

Unfortunately, she took a while to respond, so we had to entertain ourselves somehow…and what better way than practicing frowning? It started when I told Cardin to make a sad face so I could take a picture of him with our Airbnb in the background, and ended with us laughing about how difficult it is to frown. You’d be surprised what suddenly becomes hilarious after two espressos and being stranded for an hour!

Thankfully, we successfully made it inside our Airbnb (turns out you just have to push really hard), so we spent the next day exploring Lyon.

During our château tour of the Loire Valley, we met another couple who had recently visited Lyon. They insisted we visit the Musée Miniature et Cinéma. It’s a museum full of movie set pieces—like a wand from Harry Potter and the hoverboard from Back to the Future. The best part about the museum though was the incredibly detailed miniature scenes the owner created. Check out the pictures below—you can hardly tell they’re tiny sets!

Later that day we took a funicular to the top of the hill to see the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière. At the time we thought it was one of the most beautiful churches we’d ever seen…but now that we’ve seen the Sagrada Família in Barcelona, there’s no competition. It’s still an amazing church though!

We stopped at the grocery store and found a package of French Sour Patch Kids. Sadly, we didn’t buy any, but I couldn’t resist taking a picture!

Another friend recommended we take a day trip to Annecy. It was a two-hour train ride, but worth it! Everything was so colorful and unique! Including the bow-shaped building, the Palais de I’lsle, featured in the picture below. It used to be a medieval castle and prison, but now it’s a history museum.

Our favorite site in Annecy was the Lake. It’s one of the cleanest lakes in Europe and such a fantastic shade of blue! Unfortunately, it was freezing, so enjoying lake activities wasn’t high on our list. But that didn’t stop Cardin from testing out the local workout equipment.

This region of France is known for a dish called Raclette. It’s essentially a plate of melted cheese served with meat and potatoes. Raclette is delicious, but also one of the most filling meals we’ve ever had—plus the cheese was bottomless, so they kept bringing us more plates!

We headed to Cannes the following day, but I need to pause and brag about my incredible husband. Not only is he the best travel partner, but he also carried his backpack, our daypack, and our lunch during our travel days—no matter how ridiculous it made him look….

Once we dropped our bags at our Airbnb in Cannes, we took a sunset stroll and happened upon the greatest insurance advertisement.

If I had to sum up the South of France in one picture, it would be this one:

There were yachts everywhere. The boats below are baby yachts compared to the majority of them. We’ve also decided our new goal is to make friend’s with someone who owns a yacht. That way we can go back to the South of France and blend in… rather than being slightly pitiful backpackers.

And of course, we had to check out the handprints near the Palais des Festivals et des Congres (where the film festival is held)Click the far right picture below to see Sylvester Stallone’s gigantic hand print!

We planned to relax at our Airbnb the next day but Cardin found a cooking class at a local, Michelin-rated restaurant. As we walked up to the building, we realized the restaurant was actually in an apartment!

The chef welcomed us into her home/restaurant and we chatted for three and a half hours. The chef has traveled all over the world, speaks several languages, and worked as a personal chef on yachts.

Once the sun went down and we realized we were sitting in the dark, we finally decided to start cooking. But as the chef attempted to stand up, she suddenly grabbed her back in pain. After years of harsh cooking environments, she gets sporadic back spasms.

Despite the pain, she taught us how to make a delicious French bistro dish called Poulet à lEstragon—or Tarragon ChickenIt’s essentially chicken covered in a lot of butter and white wine. It was amazing!

Plus we learned several helpful cooking tips!

For example, did you know that you’re not supposed to wash mushrooms, and instead you wipe them with a damp cloth? Mushrooms act as a sponge and absorb water, so if you rinse them, they’ll end up watery. I’ve been making watery mushrooms for years!

Also, notice the package of pain medication near the chef’s plate in the picture below—we felt so bad for her!

The next day we took a train to Monaco. As we exited the train station, we were confused as to where we were supposed to go. We started walking up an endless amount of stairs since the city is built on a hill. We hoped we would at least find a pretty view of the ocean, but instead, all we could see were houses…and more stairs.

Eventually, in a moment of “hanger,” I insisted we give up looking for a nice picnic spot and made us eat our lunch on the stairs.

As soon as we sat down, a bunch of kids started walking by and stared at us awkwardly eating our lunch on the sketchy stairs. We were a bit embarrassed by our pathetic lunch location, especially considering we were in Monaco, but that’s just how traveling goes sometimes.

So here’s a selfie of us eating our classic baguette, meat, and cheese combo on the stairs:

Once we finally realized that the Monte Carlo was on the coast and not up the millions of stairs, we started the long trek down. Check out the cutest scooter we found below!

We finally found the Monte Carlo Casino! It was beautiful, but we couldn’t help but laugh at the bird cages housing iPads with videos of birds on them. A unique display to say the least!

The Monte Carlo is near very expensive cafés, all of which we can’t afford, so instead, we decided to hunt for a less expensive treat: gelato.

Our GPS said a gelato place was next to a nearby café, so we walked inside and almost ended up in another casino. Until the security guards stopped us and requested that we check our backpack before entering.

In broken French, Cardin attempted to explain that we were looking for the gelato stand. And in even more broken English, the guard informed us that the gelato place is closed until May.

We must have looked a bit pitiful because the security guard ran after us to explain another gelato place was open down the road. He did this by holding his hand in a fist and licking the air above it as if he was eating ice cream and pointing to the other side of the street.

Unfortunately, that place was closed too… It took us another thirty minutes before we finally found gelato. And of course, it was overpriced, but at least we found some!

As soon as we bought our gelato, we started walking up another giant hill.

Surely the calories don’t count if you’re exercising while consuming them, right?

Once we reached the top, we realized there were approximately twenty-five gelato places up there. If only we had waited just a little bit longer!

The view was beautiful though!

We spent our last evening in France exploring Cannes and enjoying the sunny weather. After spending three weeks exploring the country, we were sad to leave, but so excited to start our adventure in Spain!

If you want updates about our travels, feel free to subscribe to my blog to receive posts directly to your email. Or if you want to keep up with us daily while we travel, follow me on Instagram at Being_Positioned!