torrie's travels

WHERE WILL I GO NEXT?

Enough Europe Already! April 8, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 6:36 pm

I’ve been paying a lot of attention on here to my upcoming European Vacation.  Which is good.  Because it’s going to be a great trip and I am really excited about it.  But I have a couple of other (domestic) trips first.

Last year was the first year that I did not see the Cardinals play in ten years.  Due to my Ireland trip, I decided I couldn’t travel to see them play.  Well, I am planning another European trip, but do not want to keep neglecting my Cardinals vacations.  So…the stars aligned two weeks ago when I switched court dates with a co-worker and ended up with over two weeks with no court.  I immediately checked the Cardinals website and saw that the trip I had wanted to take before deciding to go to Europe fit within this time frame.

I will be flying to San Diego and catching two games at Petco Park.  I have friends in San Diego, two of whom are generous enough to let me stay with them and two who are generous enough to let me use one of their cars while I’m there.  I am excited to see these guys and spend time with them!  I am especially looking forward to checking out SD, although I won’t be there nearly long enough.  Aside from baseball, I plan to check out the zoo (because how can you go to SD and NOT go to the zoo??), Balboa Park, and the Coronado Bridge (which was highly recommended to me and based on the photos, rightfully so!).  Clearly another trip to the area will be required at some point!

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Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres

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World-Famous San Diego Zoo

balboa-park-reflections

BalboaPark

Coronado Bridge, and downtown San Diego, California.

Coronado Bridge

After I leave San Diego, I am picking up a rental car and heading up the coast to Los Angeles.  Again, I will be taking in two baseball games and, for the first time ever, not wearing any Cardinals gear to the game.  I want to still make it to Europe this year and being beaten to a pulp by the hoodrats at Dodger Stadium would put a crimp in those plans.  I learned one thing from my friend Gerry, though.  He is also a Cardinal fan and went to a Cards/Dodgers game in LA and sat in the bleachers.  His lesson?  Never sit in the bleachers.  Done.

There is so much I would like to see in LA and, again, so little time.  I tried to see if I could tour the Angels’ stadium in Anaheim, but they do not offer tours on the day that I will be driving up from SD.  So I plan on doing total touristy things: checking out Hollywood, the Santa Monica pier, Beverly Hills (and all the posh shopping), and I’ll take a drive on Mulholland for the views.

dodger stadium

Dodger Stadium, home of the Los Angeles Dodgers

hollywood

Hollywood!

beverly-hills

“Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be!  Livin’ in Beverly Hills.  Beverly Hills, rollin’ like a celebrity!”

Aerial view the Santa Monica Pier, near Los Angeles, California.

Santa Monica Pier

What I am almost the most excited about?  Seeing the Pacific Ocean.  Sure, I’ve been to Seattle, but only on the Sound.  And yes, last year I went to San Francisco, but I only saw the ocean from the Golden Gate Bridge.  I may not swim, but I will definitely spend a good amount time at the water.

About 6 weeks after I return from CA, I will be taking off for my home-away-from-home…St. Louis, MO.  A girlfriend and I are going because she’s never been and I have things to pick up there.  I moved almost 6 years ago and still have some boxes in the basement of my relatives’ house.  Whoops.  So what a good excuse to pick them up!

We will be traveling over the 4th of July.  We will take in a game or two, go up in the Arch, tour Anheuser-Busch (I could practically give the tour by now, but it never gets old!), eat at McGurk’s (YUM!), and have a Dooley Burger!  Of course there are other things we will do and see as well, but those are the highlights.

Two great trips to pass the time until I leave for Paris and London.  What a great way to take my mind off of counting down the days!

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We’re on a Roll! April 4, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — Torrie Schneider @ 10:54 am

After booking our London hotel last weekend, Jaime and I were now focusing on Paris.  We both spent a lot of time, checking various websites (who knew prices for hotels can vary so widely depending on the site?!?!), and finally came up with a winner! 

We decided on the Mercure Paris Place d’Italie.  It is located in the Montparnasse neighborhood, which borders the Latin Quarter on the Left Bank.  We had been looking at the Latin Quarter, as we would be in walking distance to many of the sights.  But Jaime found this gem, just a little further out.

The various websites list this hotel at $539/night and $327/night, for example.  We booked it for $139/night!!  Yes, we are great bargain hunters.  The qualms over the location were outweighed by the price (duh), the fact that it is not in a “touristy” neighborhood, and there is a farmer’s market that people raved about online just outside the hotel on Sunday mornings.  We felt we would experience a more authentic Paris here than in other neighborhoods we were looking at.

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Now if only the prices of those pesky flights would come down!!