I try to be on the forefront of all-things travel if I can be–if there’s a deal, I want to get in on it; if there’s a hot new destination, I want to see it; if there’s a new app or website to check out, I want to check it out immediately. And because I like sharing my awesome finds with fellow travel lovers, I thought I’d clue you in on a new website and app I’ve been mildly (okay, ridiculously) addicted to lately: Trover.
“This is our language,” my taxi driver said after honking his horn for about the fifth time as he weaved between lanes of traffic, whisking me to the airport to pick up my luggage (which finally arrived from Barcelona). He explained how dangerous it is for foreigners to drive in Morocco; something I picked up on mere minutes after arriving in Tangier.
My first 24 hours in Morocco were a whirlwind experience, and honestly one that almost put me off Morocco entirely.
At first, I couldn’t get enough–it was like a feast for the senses. Everything looked almost exactly as I’d dreamed it up.
When I was making my way around a Christmas Market in Dresden, I spotted a booth selling krappelchen mit puderzucker. I had no idea what they were–only that they looked decadent and that I knew I needed to try them. So, that’s exactly what I did. I ordered the small cone (thank god, as they were ridiculously filling) and got to tasting.
They are essentially mini donuts (or fritters) covered with powdered sugar. They’re a bit crispy and wonderful on the outside and squishy and doughy on the inside. They were still warm and kind of oily from the fryer, so the powdered sugar got gooey and runny the further down I got in the cone. They might be incredibly simple, but krappelchen mit puderzucker are pretty amazing. I don’t know that I could eat them more frequently than at Christmas season, but they were the perfect amount of sweet, warm, and fried for a cold and dreary day in Germany.
Olives have been a long-time favorite of mine. As a child, I ate them as snacks–you’d find me with an olive on every finger, eager to pop them into my mouth. Even today, when I’m preparing olives for a dish or to put out at a dinner party, not all of them make the journey because I have to taste a few first to make sure they’re “okay”. (Of course they’re okay.)
Another favorite of mine in recent years is curry. Any variety, any color, and from any country. I love every spice that makes up curry, and I could probably eat it every single day (and have eaten it for three or four meals in a row before).
I am a notorious over-packer. Sometimes for 3-to-4-day trips, I’d pack at minimum 5 pairs of shoes and 6 outfits. But I’m a girl who likes options. So when I was gearing up for my trip to Europe (and Morocco) I had a really hard time determining what to take with me. Naturally, I wanted to pack my entire closet, but that was impossible (because what I didn’t mention was that I’m also a clothing/accessory hoarder–I have 40+ dresses, 40+ cardigans, and 40+ scarves along with everything else I own).
Everything I’d read said to pack versatile pieces, no jeans (instead cargo and convertible pants), only two pairs of shoes, fleece… the list goes on. But I knew that wasn’t me. I feel like such a prissy bitch saying this, but fashion does matter to me. I knew I didn’t want to spend my time abroad worrying about whether what I was wearing was appropriate for any given situation, so I wanted to ensure I was covered on all bases.
So, here’s what I, a fashion-conscious woman, packed for three months in Europe during Fall and Winter months.
You know how before you visit a place that your friends have been like a hundred times they’re telling you, “OMG! You have to visit ___” or “You can’t NOT eat at ___”? And then you get all excited to see or try a new place and when you get there, sometimes it’s a bit of a letdown?
Well, welcome to Primanti Brothers for me. I know all the Yinzers out there are probably going to hate me and want to string me up by my feet the next time I step foot in Pittsburgh, but I don’t get the hype.
When I went to Pittsburgh back in September, I figured I had to do alllll the things that people do when they visit Pittsburgh, and Primanti Brothers was something everyone kept mentioning to me. So, why not? I was already in the Strip District, so I decided to stop by the original location with my sister, who’d been before.
I tried the Ragin’ Cajun Chicken sandwich, which had the smallest and driest piece of chicken on it, piled high with soggy french fries and coleslaw. Again, I just don’t really get the appeal. I tried my sister’s, which was an egg sandwich, and while it tasted better than mine, I still didn’t care for it all that much.
Sorry, Primanti Brothers, but I don’t think I’ll be visiting again.
I’m not much of a tour person. In fact, I spend most of my time trying to avoid tours and experience mainly independent travel, but sometimes it’s inevitable when you really want to do or see something and you don’t have the capability (or budget) to make it happen on your own (especially when you’re traveling solo).
When you think of must-try foods in Philadelphia, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Probably the cheesesteak, right? I can’t really visit Philadelphia without having a cheesesteak–in fact, I was a vegetarian for five years at one point and “broke veg” by eating a cheesesteak there. In any case, it’s almost a rite of passage.
This greasy, messy, delicious invention can be found in spots all over the City of Brotherly Love, but enthusiasts will likely tell you to choose between one of three places: Pat’s, Geno’s, or Jim’s. Personally, I don’t really care–a cheesesteak is a cheesesteak. All I ask is that it’s made with American cheese, not whiz.
There are several varieties of cheesesteaks–beef, chicken, and veggie. The traditional sandwich is beef with cheese (your choice of American, cheddar, or whiz) and onions on a hoagie roll. These days, other toppings, such as peppers, pizza sauce, mushrooms, etc. are popping up at various places, but if it’s your first time trying one, I’d go with the traditional for the most authentic experience.
One of the downsides of attending bloggers’ conferences is that you don’t get much time to explore the actually city in which the conference takes place. In October, I went back to Dublin for the TBEX conference, but was so busy attending sessions and networking that I only had one day to explore the city. So, while I’ve now been to Dublin two times, I haven’t gotten to see a quarter of what I’d like to there. But, I can tell you what I’d do with only 24 hours in Dublin.