Review, Saving Money, Sightseeing

How to get cheap tickets to Hello Dolly with Bette Midler!

Believe it or not, I was able to see Hello Dolly starring Bette Midler, who gained many fans from movies such as Beaches and Hocus Pocus! And nope, I didn’t buy my tickets months in advance, nor did I pay the exorbitantly high prices currently listed on broadway.com.

I was in New York City waiting in line at The Strand for a book signing (more on that later!) when I decided to see whether I could come back after Christmas to see Hello Dolly. The lowest prices for shows in December were $499, so unfortunately, it didn’t look like I’d be able to catch my childhood favorite movie star Bette in the show. I noticed a link for Stubhub and decided to just take a look. Well, lo and behold, there were two tickets for that night’s show for under $100 each!

New York Shubert Theatre Hello Dolly

Continue reading “How to get cheap tickets to Hello Dolly with Bette Midler!”

Paris in Boston Food, Paris in Boston Places, Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best Kouign-Amann in Boston

After eating the delicious pastries in Paris, it’s tough to go back to supermarket-quality pastries. However, finding my Parisian favorite in Boston has eluded me, until I found it at Flour Bakery!

Among the Paris-worthy croissants and brioches was kouign-amann, a delectable buttery pastry that originated in Brittany, France. While not as well-known as other French pastries, kouign-amann is quickly gaining fans. It even was the topic of a Boston Globe article a couple of years ago.

Flour Bakery interior seating beautiful wallpaper

I recently stopped by Flour bakery as I had a conference nearby, and was thrilled to find that they had many different types of pastries to choose from for breakfast.

The exterior of Flour is unassuming if you’re on the lookout for typical French pastries, but once you step inside and see their selection, you’ll know that you’re in the right place!

Flour Bakery Boston Exterior

Even at 7am there’s already a queue!

Flour Bakery Boston interior

The displays aren’t as creative and artistic as patisseries in France, but I can definitely say that the displays showcase each and every scone, croissant, and muffin!

Flour Bakery pastry selection

For a small space, they offer a lot on their menu for breakfast and lunch. They even offered pastries that weren’t listed on the menu, like that day’s kouign-amann.

Continue reading “The best Kouign-Amann in Boston”

Paris in Boston Style, Review, Style, Travel

The perfect travel wallet: Tory Burch Parker floral foldable mini wallet in Gabriella

I had been looking for a small wallet for awhile, one that fits a few credit cards, has a zipped compartment for coins, and has room for my bills without having to fold them. I also wanted a compact wallet to travel with because I don’t like to carry a lot when traveling. Since all of my wallets are solid colored, I also was looking for a wallet with a pretty print. I found the perfect wallet while perusing the Tory Burch website!

The Parker Floral Foldable Mini Wallet meets all my above requirements, plus it’s covered in a gorgeous floral print called Gabriella, described on the website as “covered in flowers inspired by Italy‚Äôs vine-strewn balconies”.Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 3.09.51 PM

Even thought it’s on sale, I still debated on whether to buy it as it’s a lot of money for a wallet. I finally decided that it really was the perfect wallet and I really should get it! Unfortunately, when I tried to buy it the next day, I found that it was already sold out on Tory Burch’s website.

Well, I put my research skills to work and searched for the wallet for a similar price. Luckily, I found it on sale! Not only that, but this print, called Gabriella, is also available in the following styles, also all on sale:

Here’s a closer look at the wallet I bought:

Screen Shot 2017-09-24 at 3.12.49 PMThe leather is very substantial and the pattern is very vibrant in real life. It’s also very slim so it can fit in smaller bags for traveling. Plus, the white leather and floral pattern are easy to spot if you use a bigger bag that might not have many pockets.

Tory Burch floral parker wallet Gabriella

There’s plenty of space for credit cards and receipts in both the credit card slots and this space in the center of the wallet. There’s also a zippered compartment on the back of the wallet for coins.

Tory Burch floral parker wallet Gabriella

What finally sold me on this wallet was the pretty blue interior and the fact that I can place all my bills length-wise in the wallet – no more folding bills! I think money shouldn’t be folded and wrinkled, but maybe that’s just me.

You can receive an extra 10% off at Saks Fifth Avenue if you sign-up to receive emails! I unsubscribed right after I used my code so don’t worry if you’re worried about being inundated with emails from them.

What’s your perfect travel wallet? Let me know in the comments!

*This post contains affiliate links
Paris in Boston Food, Restaurants, Review, Travel

Finding Italy in Boston

If you’ve ever been to Harrods, you most likely have seen their gorgeous food hall. If I were to explain it very simply, it’s an upscale food market where you can find foods from around the world. But it’s so much more than that! It is truly an experience for all the senses; not only do they have a wide variety of foods, but there are different restaurants full of delicious aromas, and the food hall itself is like walking into a jewelry box.

I felt the same way when I walked into Eataly in Boston. I know Harrods is in London and this post is about Italy, but I just wanted to set the scene of experiencing Eataly ūüėČ Granted, nothing can match the splendor of Harrods’ food hall, but Eataly definitely has its own charm. It can also be categorized as a food hall, but with foods representing only one country: Italy.

Eataly Boston entrance

While not located in a department store like at Harrods, Eataly can be found in a similar shopping mecca, the Prudential Center. If you can’t take a trip to Italy right away, going to Eataly might be the next best thing! Not only does this Italian marketplace have Italian coffee, they have gelato, focaccia, pizza, desserts like cannoli, and a grocery! Let’s take a look around. Continue reading “Finding Italy in Boston”

Review, Sightseeing, Travel

Let’s visit Jer√≥nimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal

We got our delicious pastry at Past√©is de Bel√©m and ate them while strolling around the best market in Portugal. Since we’re already in Bel√©m, it makes sense to visit one of the most famous tourist destinations in Lisbon, the Mosteiro dos Jer√≥nimos, or Jer√≥nimos Monastery.

This is a pretty impressive building just from the outside, with so many intricate carvings and statues right at the entrance.

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I just noticed that someone is wearing a Paris shirt in this photo I took!

You can tell just how imposing the building is from how small the people looked standing near it.

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The carvings on the exterior reminded me a lot of Canterbury Cathedral in the UK.

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Stunning carvings

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Let’s venture inside!

Continue reading “Let’s visit Jer√≥nimos Monastery in Lisbon, Portugal”

Review, Sightseeing, Travel

The best market in Portugal

After you’ve bought your Pastel de Bel√©m at the best pastry shop in Portugal, you’re going to have to find somewhere to eat it! If you read that post, you’ll see in the photos that Past√©is de Bel√©m has no seating. Therefore, you’re going to have to take your tasty treats to go.

Luckily, there’s a lot to see and do in the Bel√©m area, including visiting Mosteiro dos Jer√≥nimos,¬† a monestary, which¬† you can even see if you’re waiting in line for the Pastel de Bel√©m at the famous Past√©is de Bel√©m.

Lisbon Portugal Mosteiro dos Jerónimos

However, you have your Pastel de Bel√©m and you can’t wait to eat it. But where can you go to enjoy it AND wander around? The answer: walk across the street to stroll around a fun market in the park.

Paris in Boston Lisbon Portugal

On this day, there was a market with stalls selling many things that I would have loved to buy and bring back to the US.

As far as markets go, I think this was the best because of the various items for sale, the quality of the items, and the ideal location, which is in a park close to Pastéis de Belém.

Let’s check out the market!

Continue reading “The best market in Portugal”

Restaurants, Review, Travel

The best pastry shop in Portugal

You probably guessed it already, but of course, the best pastry shop in Portugal is located in the Belém region of Lisbon! Pastéis de Belém makes the best Pastel de Belém, a delicious egg tart pastry. Not only that, but the pastry shop itself is so charming, with its main colors of blue and white incorporated into its logo, awnings, interior, cups, and plates.

Lisbon Portugal Pasteis de Belem

Lisbon Portugal Pasteis de Belem

Paris in Boston Lisbon Portugal Pasteis de Belem

The line may be long, but the pastry is so worth the wait! The shop’s window display even highlights the¬†Pastel de Bel√©m.

Lisbon Portugal Pasteis de Belem

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Review, Sightseeing, Travel

The fanciest and most beautiful shopping mall in Milan

I’ve written about the most beautiful shop and galerie in Paris and the most beautiful caf√© in Budapest, but in Milan, I found the most beautiful place to shop and eat! The first stop during my cruise was Milan, and we were told we were going to a famous shopping center in Milan. I had no expectations, even though I know Italy has many historic and beautiful buildings. Even if I pictured a building in my mind, it would not have lived up to the reality!

Milan Italy Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

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Paris in Boston Food, Paris in Boston Places, Restaurants, Review, Travel

A new bistro in Boston: Explorateur opens!

The new restaurant Explorateur opened this past Monday, and I couldn’t wait to see it for myself! I read a review by Boston Magazine, and it said that the owners were inspired by restaurants in Paris and London and the fact that places there serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, the accompanying photos were stunning! I decided to go first thing today for breakfast since I figured it would be less busy in the morning and there would a good selection of pastries and cakes on display. Without further ado, let’s have a look around!

The restaurant is conveniently located right across from the Boylston T stop. The building itself is quite beautiful, and it has an impressive history. When this building (at least the first floor) became a restaurant, windows were added to the front, replacing colorful murals.

Explorateur-Restaurant_Boston_Exterior

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Review, Sightseeing, Transportation, Travel

Thinking of going on a cruise? Here’s an overview and reasons why you should go!

If you love to travel to many countries in one trip, or you want to start traveling and get a feel of a few different countries, then cruises might just be the way to go! No matter what your age, a cruise has a lot of perks. When you’re on a cruise, you don’t have to worry about unpacking and packing every few days, which makes it even better than booking a vacation with tour company like Trafalgar or YMT. Similar to a typical tour, when you book excursions, you have an informative guide who fluently speaks a country’s language. Plus, when you book excursions with a tour group, the ship will not leave you at a port if you’re running late. I’ve done tours with both companies, and now a cruise with YMT, and I think I prefer cruising the best. I really enjoyed living on a ship!

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You’ll visit so many cities on a crusie, and even if you’re there less than a day, you do get an overview of all the city’s highlights. Usually there is a walking tour around the most touristy places.

The YMT tour I booked is the 18-day, 8-country tour called the Grand European Cruise and Tour. We flew into Milan, Italy and from there went to:

Savona, Italy

Marseille, France

Barcelona, Spain

Lisbon, Portugal

Vigo, Spain

Le Havre, France

Harwich, England

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

Stockholm, Sweden

If you are worried about spending so much time on a ship, you needn’t worry. I would say about 90% of the time, it didn’t even feel like we were moving. Out of the all the sailing days, there was only one evening where I felt a little seasick, and that was at the beginning of the cruise¬† as we approached Marseille when the sea was quite rough.

Our ship was the Costa Luminosa and it was humongous, yet very stately.

YMT_Cruise_Ship

Continue reading “Thinking of going on a cruise? Here’s an overview and reasons why you should go!”