Video is a fairly new thing for us. The biggest struggle we have is 1) having to borrow the camera that shoots video and 2) having to carry around too many cameras and playthings while also enjoying the trip.
Now that the trip was over, I wish we could’ve videotaped the entire thing. But, we have some great clips as is. This next year will hopefully bring both Meli and I DSLR’s that can shoot video, which can help cut down some clutter.
The video follows our trip fairly chronologically, going through Barcelona, London and then Paris. Check out and enjoy the video below.
If you want to watch in HD watch it on Vimeo.
After a great time in Barcelona, and falling in love with London, Paris had some large expectations to fill. The city is absolutely gorgeous, with one monument leading to the next. Every corner you round has something that takes your breath away.
Vacations are bittersweet, with so much anticipation leading to a trip. But as expected towards the end your mind always looks home. So, tonight we leave on a train back to Barcelona, then flying back to Miami. One last day exploring Paris after we drop our luggage off at the train station. And while Paris wasn’t our favorite of the trip, it definitely was a great place to visit.
I’m not quite sure when my obsession with England and British culture began (or why really), but for as long as I can remember, I have always dreamed of making a visit to London reality. It took 30 years, but I am here and it was definitely worth the wait.
London has been nothing but magical. I think that’s the best word I can conjure up to describe this experience. From the moment we first walked out of our flat, turned the street and saw the Houses of Parliament alongside Big Ben from across the Thames, I was done. Every single second since, I have been breathing in every nuance of this incredible city, hoping to keep all the memories with me forever.
Their amazing underground system has allowed us to explore so much with little to no problems, which has made getting to know London as easy as 1,2,3 (but please remember to mind the gap). I fell deeper and deeper in love with every hop off the tube, whether it was the pure beauty of St. Paul’s Cathedral lighting up the night sky, the quirky colorfulness of Neal’s Yard, the old stables housing a slice of the Camden Lock Market or one of the many stunningly gorgeous parks.
Now, on our 4th and last day in the city, I can honestly say that I need more time. In fact, I don’t think I will ever have enough time. London, you just won something pretty special: my heart.
Call it American Naiveté, but we had a hell of a time finding reliable internet during our trip. And while it was nice to disconnect, sharing some of these moments as they are happening keeps them sharper in our minds.
Barcelona has been a dream. Our quaint simple little flat with its dark winding staircase, eating bocatas de jamon everyday for lunch, meandering through narrow streets, tons of wine & new foods that are eerily similar to their Miami counterparts, yet so much better: this trip has been more than we could’ve expected.
We both really can’t believe that there are another two cities on our agenda. Public spaces like Parc Guell, the Port of Barcelona, Barcelona’s architecture, and monuments like Segrada Familia have left us stunned & humbled.
But it’s the simplest of things that have been our favorites. Walking a bit off the tourist path, finding restaurants and lunch counters packed with proper Spaniards, we’ve been fortunate to have found moments together that we’ll remember for a lifetime.
Above are a few photos from our trip. Hopefully they paint a picture of our stay so far.
Packing, for me, is a study in forced minimalism with goals of specific function. We’re hitting three different cities on our trip. We fly to some places. We take trains to others. Overpacking is just not an option. I’m addicted to gridded moleskines, wooden pencils, design books, film and cameras.
Everything stowed in my bags must present some irresistible need, function, or confluence of both.
When I travel, clothes are actually the least of my concerns. A wool coat, black pants, boots and some shirts and I’m ready to pound asphalt. Cameras, and associated gear, represent a different problem. I’m always too painfully conscious of my need to bring just enough photographic options, while still not weighing myself down.
For the flight I always travel with at least two Wes Anderson movies. I’m bringing The Darjeeling Limited (I’ve resigned to forgive the “baggage” symbolism at the end), The Royal Tenenbaums, and my favorite Rushmore. I also have the Steve Jobs Biography, a few books from A Book Apart, as well as classics like Brave New World and 1984.
I’m only taking three cameras. I’ve traveled with as many as 6 before and found that not all of them were ever used. They just added dead weight and made me feel even worse for not using them. So to balance form and function I’ve decided to take a Mamiya C330 (medium format 6×6 TLR), a Contax T2 (point and shoot 35mm with ultra sharp lens), and my Canon 5D (full frame digital camera).
I figured by hitting three different formats, with three different form factors, I’d be giving myself enough options. The only cumbersome camera is the Mamiya but its image quality is so gorgeous I couldn’t resist. The only negative feeling I get is not bringing some sort of Polaroid/Instant option.
I look forward to sitting along the Seine with a bottle of wine, an Rdio playlist pumping out of a tinny speaker, and not having a care in the world. - what else could a boy ask for?
With only a couple of days left until our trip, I’m battling a lifelong battle: packing light yet appropriately for cold weather. You see, unlike my better half, I am truly tropical. Being born and raised in Miami, I am not versed in the art of layering so it takes some time for my outfits to come together. Half of the time, I end up walking around in new cities freezing my little tail feather off for the sake of a cute ensemble, but this vacation is different.
For starters, I have decided to feature each of my daily outfits on my personal blog when I return. After all, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to stage outfit posts with such beautiful backdrops as Barcelona, London and Paris – plus, I thought if I shared what pieces I decided to bring, it might help others with similar packing disabilities.
So how am I attempting to pack light yet warm and fashionable? Accessories!
There is such power in pop pieces, and I am doing exactly that. Some of my favorites that will add pizazz are featured above: sweet (and comfy) flat boots, fun animal-themed rings, bold nail decals, brightly colored slouchy hats, a pastel satchel and a leopard print scarf. All that plus my ever-growing collection of bright and fun tights, which are not pictured, are sure to keep me toasty without sacrificing my personal style.
Aside from fashion are some other vital travel companions: my Kindle loaded up with the Game of Thrones series (currently on book 2), Veronica Roth’s Divergent and the ever present Hunger Games trilogy (just in case I’m up for a re-read – you know I will be), along with my newly purchased gluten enzymes. Being someone that suffers from gluten intolerance, these pills are vital to my survival when I know I will be surrounded by delicious (and toxic) food. I just pop a few of those bad boys before a meal containing gluten and I am golden. Sure, I’m still putting poison in my body, but they allow me to cheat when the going gets tough. No need to scour all of Europe for gluten free establishments or learn how to say “I cannot eat gluten” in French (Je ne peux pas manger de gluten in case you are wondering).
Win win, my friends. Win win.