Versailles has seen its fair share of history. Originally built in 1623 as a hunting lodge for Louis XIII, in its 400-year history it’s seen opulent expansion, mobs of angry crowds during the French Revolution, and the signing of the treaty that bears its name and brought an end to World War I. Today the palace is a popular tourist attraction and the city of Versailles is an affluent suburb of Paris.
Our November visit to Paris reminded us to not take the city’s close proximity for granted and we promised then to return in the spring. Keeping the promise we made to ourselves, we hopped on the Eurostar for a quick 2-day visit. We had two goals: explore more of the neighborhoods we love most and visit Versailles for the first time. We’ll cover our time in Paris here and then will present Versailles in another post.
There is so much happening in the world these days. It's hard to turn on the news and feel encouraged or to understand where we as individuals can make the most impact. Rico and I are continuously trying not to get sucked into the negativity of it all and instead have been doing out best to adjust our lifestyle to align with what we stand behind. We want to be sure we are doing our part in giving back to the world in the ways that we think matter most.
Just about a week ago I had the pleasure of joining the Creating For Good team to teach a hand lettering workshop in their first ever creative conference here in London. Creating For Good came together earlier this year and has been making ground in their mission to give back to the word. The London-based collective combines their creative forces to use their skills to improve the lives of the less fortunate.
Recapping our Prague trip has me wanting to return already. I feel like I haven't stopped gushing about the city since we got back to London. It was just one of those magical weekends that reminds us why we have chosen a life of travel and we are feeling so refreshed—alive. The three-day weekend in late April had us boarding a plane from London to Prague more excited than ever to finally check out the well known historic city.
While Prague’s Malá Strana neighborhood and castle are key spots in the city, the epicenter of activity lies on the other side of the Vltava. And the best way to cross from one side to the other is over the 15th century Charles Bridge, a pedestrianized stone bridge commissioned by King Charles IV. It’s difficult to enjoy the bridge’s beauty during the day as it’s packed with people—mostly distracted tourists walking at a snail’s pace in unpredictable zig-zags.
It took us over two years, but after a warm-up trip to Budapest, we finally made it to the jewel of central Europe’s tourism crown: Prague. The City of a Hundred Spires is a charming mix of amazing architecture, adorable squares, and incredible views and has an impressive history stretching back over 1,000 years. Unlike some other cities in the area, Prague was spared the worst of the Second World War which explains why its medieval look and feel are intact.
As I noted last month, one of this year's goals was to make handmade design more accessible to all people. I have been working hard at building up my Creative Market shop with hand lettered fonts and illustrations. It has been a fun process but I have also learned a lot along the way of what direction I want to head in and with that who I am as a creative.
Cloth napkins were what I grew up with and thought was the norm. They're beautiful, a great way to add pattern or color, and the best part—limit waste. I was sure to carry this on when I moved into my own place. Unfortunately when we made the move from Boston to London, our napkins didn't come with us. It was overwhelming to chose what items to take and which ones not to.
Over the past month we have been busy getting into the swing of our travel season. With trips to York, Budapest, and Prague, it has been a good one so far! Life is really picking up pace as the warmer weather surrounds us with its loving arms. Everything seems to have a new found strength pushed into it with obstacles that speak to my word for this year—grit.
When we first started traveling, I figured there would be places we like more than others. While that has become the case, I still find it hard to rank our trips in order or to say I have an absolute favorite. The truth is that we learn different things from each country we visit and we come away with unique memories that can't be compared to the last.
Our choice for a small town break from Budapest was charming Szentendre, or St. Andrew. The town is an easy 40-minute train ride along the Danube from Budapest’s central Batthyány tér metro station. The portion of the journey within the administrative bounds of Budapest was covered by our tourist transit pass and we only had to pay a small additional supplement fee to finish the journey on the commuter section of the line.