Fruitful Travels: Charleston, SC

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I love the fact that there are so many fun and foodie-friendly cities within easy driving distance of us in NC.

From the beach to the mountains, we’ve got plenty to choose from. And, oh the Southern food and seafood that abounds. One place that encapsulates all of that is Charleston, SC.

My husband and I have traveled together and with my family to this spot once a year, and we just can’t get enough!

From the sites and eats and architecture, we love exploring this city. We’ve stayed in some great beach homes in Isle of Palms and this amazing airbnb in Mount Pleasant.

Here’s what else we enjoy in Charleston:

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Fruitful Travels: Chenonceaux

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Have you ever been to a new city or place where you just kept thinking you are in a wonderful dream? Like the views, food and atmosphere is just too good to even be true?

There are just some places on the planet where you feel so relaxed and at peace, from the moment you arrive until the moment you leave.

Chenonceaux was just like that for me.

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We had to take a few trains from Paris to get there (and while that was stressful), we both just took a big breath and had a huge smile on our faces when we got to this little town in the Loire Valley.

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But, let me rewind a bit to tell you how we ended up there. Jason’s Grandmere (French grandmother) told us that she and her family used to visit Chenonceaux and the castle there when she was little, and that it was one of her favorite castles in France.

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Once I realized that it was one of those hidden gem towns, I was so excited. So, I booked our hotel, mapped out the train ride and made reservations at what happened to be a 1 Michelin star restaurant in this tiny town. Amazing!

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Fruitful Travels: Giverny

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Happy France Week!

Today’s travel post is a little special, well it’s a lot special, actually.

It’s special in that it’s about a really magical part of France (well, what part isn’t magical?) and that it’s from a place that we only spent a few hours in.

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That’s right! This is a post that you will enjoy whether you’re looking for excursions from Paris, you are a fan of Claude Monet, or you just like to look at beautiful places.

Welcome to Giverny!

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This quaint, quiet French town is where Monet lived and created the beautiful pieces we know and love.

Giverny is a quick trip (under 2 hours) from the heart of Paris.

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We went on a day excursion to Giverny and Versailles with ParisCityVision, and I would highly recommend the tour! I was worried that it would be too touristy, but it really was quite nice. We hopped in a comfy bus, enjoyed the views in the countryside, and we got to learn more about Monet and the history of Giverny from our tour leaders.

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Fruitful Travels: Paris

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I’m super excited about this week on the blog because…

(drumroll please)

It’s France Week!

This week, all week, I’m taking over the normal recipe feed and whisking you away to the beloved country of France. My husband and I just recently got back from a fabulous 7-day trip there, and I’ve got lots to share about it.

So, grab a baguette and Nutella crepe because it’s going to be a fun and delicious ride!

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First Stop: Paris

Although it was my husband’s first time in Paris, I have been a few times. I spent a few days there on my senior trip after high school with my mom and then again in college with some girlfriends while studying abroad.

But, this was my first time going to Paris with a disposable income. My husband and I have been wanting to take this trip for several years, so I planned it to the max…and I think it turned out pretty well.

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WHERE WE STAYED

Hotel Muguet– 7th Arrondissement

I’m a fan of Airbnb and the like, but we decided to stay in a traditional hotel for this trip. First off, my mom knew of this great place and secondly, we didn’t want to risk the place not working out. It’s not as easy to bail on a plan when you’re in Europe and staying there for 6 nights.

hotel muguet view paris

The hotel was quite cozy but nice, and I thought the prices were reasonable (about 150 Euros per night). The best part about staying there was the location. We had beautiful views of the Eiffel Tower from our room, and we were super close to Invalides, Musee Rodin and a 10-minute walk from the Seine.

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Fruitful Travels: Seattle

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You know what’s even better than when your friend gets married? When they get married in a really cool city that you’ve never been to before.

Good work, Allison.

Last week, I got to spend a lovely half-week in Seattle for my bestie’s wedding and to enjoy the city/vacation a bit, as well.

Believe it or not, my husband might have eaten out more in the city than I did, since I was busy with fun wedding prep. But, we still did some great exploring.

Seattle was extra amazing for us because it was 75 degrees, sunny and breezy for almost the entire trip. I know, right?! We stayed in the cutest Airbnb in Ballard, which is a lovely neighborhood with amazing flowers, gardens, tiny homes and quick access to the sound…and lots of restaurants and cafes.

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We also enjoyed exploring downtown and in other parts, but here were the top hits on our food list.

Cafe Besalu

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I found this Ballard spot just by using Google Maps and searching for bakeries nearby. This one had “the best croissants,” so we had to see for ourselves. We did not leave disappointed…and who would be disappointed after eating half of a cream cheese danish, pan au chocolat and a dreamy hazelnut twist?

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Fruitful Travels: Escape to Mexico

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After almost a year of planning, a few weeks ago my family (including my husband, parents, two sisters and their husbands) took a week-long vacation to Manzanillo, Mexico. It’s a beach town on the Pacific coast.

We found a gorgeous house (complete with maid, chef, house manager and two pools) at VRBO.com and it was absolutely amazing being there!

We had a fabulous view of the ocean and mountains and the tropical weather was just right for swimming and margarita drinking. We spent most of our time swimming, reading, laying out, going to the beach, playing games together and the guys even went deep sea fishing and we ate the mahi mahi that they caught!

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Fruitful Travels: War Eagle Mill

We have a picture from about 15 years ago of my mom and my two sisters and me standing smiling on a bridge in front of a mill in Northwest Arkansas.

After living in NWA for the past 7 years, I finally got a chance to return to this place: War Eagle Mill.

We picked a nice fall day while the leaves were changing to their deep oranges, fiery reds and brightening yellows to drive to visit this historic mill.

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