Riding Elephants

Riding elephants through the jungle of Laos was one of the most out of this world experience of my life so far. We woke up early and beat the heat and drove out to this amazing elephant reservation. According to the tour operator the elephants are all free range, happy and well looked after. They all looked very healthy and appeared loved by their handlers. You could really feel the strong bonds between the elephants and their handlers. Our elephants name was Ping-Pong. At 45 she was the second oldest in our herd. She was strong, brave and very stubborn. Our guide was fantastic. He spoke very good english and taught us a lot about Ping Pong and the other elephants. I would recommend elephant riding in Laos to anyone!

Where did I go?

Elephant Village 

10345547_10152735599110813_7822481353672038038_n 10730159_10152886469831062_163805588420295709_nScreen Shot 2014-12-27 at 7.29.34 PM

How to beat the crowds in Paris

At last we have arrive in Paris, France!

The last time I came to Paris it was with my family and for only two days. It rained the whole time, my dad made us walk everywhere and we ate the cheapest food. So I was ready to re-discover the City of Love on my own.

W993983_10200296729892158_1002056516_nhere did we stay?

St. Christopher’s Inn Hostel in Gare Du Nord

  • Accommodations: Clean and Modern.
  • Restaurant in the Hostel: Fantastic! Great food and live entertainment every night!
  • Location: A short metro ride from the city center. Right next to the major Gare Du Nord Train stop. Walking distance to the Moulin Rouge.
  • Bonus:  The hostel provided a free walking tour of Paris! We had a very charismatic and informative local guide who showed us all of the major sites and gave us some helpful tips for traversing the city.

Paris travel tips:   Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 11.52.35 AM

  1. Beat the lines by going to the Louvre through a side entrance.
  2. If a Gypsy offers you something, don’t touch it! You touch it then you buy it!
  3. Paris in August is crazy busy. You can not avoid crowds.

After the walking tour we went to the Louvre. We entered through a side door, passing the huge lines through the main entrance. We bought our tickets from a machine vendor. After Jenny bought hers she reached in the slot to pick up her ticket and found that someone before us had left behind their ticket. So I got in for free! #win

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 11.52.06 AM

Had the most refreshing ice cream in the world on a park bench in Paris.

We meandered through the Louvre for a bit and then hit the streets for some more wandering. I fell in love with Paris on that walk.

Later we had several glasses of wine and some creame brule and listened to a band play at our hostel bar. It was a perfect day.

Screen Shot 2014-12-24 at 11.52.17 AM

971808_10151783219125813_828311914_nDay 2:

Saturday morning we boarded a train and headed to Versailles. Apparently every other tourist in Paris had the same idea. Disembarking the train was like entering a mass exodus. Thousands of tourists were heading the same direction as us. It was very overwhelming. 1185281_10151783200405813_1788143615_n1098005_10151783199645813_1538643809_nBy the time we reached the gates of Versailles the lines wrapped around the building. We decided it wasn’t worth it to wait and decided to walk around the gardens instead. The gardens are vast and impressive. We got lost for hours and it was glorious.

We eventually stumbled upon Petit Trianon. A small château located on the grounds of the Palace of Versailles in Versailles, France. It was Marie Antionete’s home away from home. It was charming and straight out of a storybook. I loved seeing the little french cottages and all the cute farm animals!

We had lunch at a charming and very busy outdoor cafe near the lake of Versailles and then continued to explore the gardens. We walked through the maze and far away from the mass of tourists.

1003917_10200296742532474_162100182_nThe temperature was just perfect and we were secluded and exhausted so Jenny and I laid down in the soft grass and took a nap. Laying in the greenery under the perfect French sun was one of my favorite moments of the trip and I think I’ll cherish that memory for the rest of my life.

1185242_10151783197540813_377324982_n

Napping in the gardens of Versailles.