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european vacation

Europe 2015: The Highlights

I just got back from the most amazing trip of my life. And by “just” I mean about a week ago, I’ve just been too busy pretending I’m still on vacation to get back to my normal routine and update you all. My boyfriend and I spent two weeks in Europe and it could not have been more perfect. We were gone from June 25th to July 11th and hit seven cities and 5 countries during that time:

  • Croatia (Dubrovnik, Split, Rovinj)
  • Italy (Venice)
  • Germany (Munich and the surrounding area)
  • Denmark (Copenhagen)
  • The Netherlands (Amsterdam)

The trip started because my dear friend from high school was getting married in her village outside of Munich. Knowing that we’d be traveling that far to begin with, we decided to make a full vacation out of it. What started as just a week somehow turned into two weeks, and I’m so glad it did. Our first week was in Croatia and Italy, which was a nice beach-style vacation allowing us to relax together and enjoy to sun and beach.

Then my younger sister joined us for the wedding in Germany and stayed until the bitter end in Amsterdam. Well technically she had to leave a day before us, but we’ll pretend she stayed to the bitter end. The second week after the wedding was much cooler and more urban, filled with racing around the respective cities and fitting in as many sites (and desserts) as possible. I fully intend to do a dedicated post on each stop during our trip, but I figured I’d start out with the highlights. It’s a good way to give you an overview of our trip without overloading you on pictures … that part is sure to follow in the next few weeks. I will only be posting photos cause they’re worth 1,000 words … so here’s bunches of thousands of words in photo form:

1. The View from our Balcony in Dubrovnik

european vacation

2. Swimming on Lokrum in Dubrovnik

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3. The square outside of Luxor in Split

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4. Plitvice Lakes Park 

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5. The Sunset in Rovinj

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6. The Glass Factory in Murano (Venice)

european vacation

7. My Friend’s Wedding Outside of Munich

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8. Eating like a local in Copenhagen 

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9. Eating like a local in Amsterdam

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10. Skins Cosmetics in Amsterdam 

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I hope you enjoyed the highlights and I can’t wait to tell you more about each city we visited! Also, I would like to be back on my European vacation, if anyone could make that happen. Ok, thanks!

What’s your favorite trip you’ve ever taken?

Photos: beautyXposé; Disclosure

Take a Tropical Vacay Without Leaving Home

Are you in desperate need of some R&R, but this year, your vacation is more like a “staycation?”  Even if you’re not jet-setting off to a tropical getaway, you can still get the same care-free feeling without stepping foot out of your door. The BX editors give their top picks to surround your senses with warm island breezes, lush tropical plants and well-tanned cabana boys (ahem – maybe not the last one, but you get the picture).

  • Cheers! Sip on a smoothie.

cocktailWho cares if it’s freezing outside? An ice cold smoothie made with tropical fruits will make it seem like you’re sitting poolside in scorching temperatures. Just throw some pineapple, mango, orange juice and ice in a blender, pour the mixture into a tall glass, top it off with a plumeria flower, and you’re ready for a game of Marco Polo.  Want something a little more adventurous? Spice it up with an alcohol-laced cocktail like a Piña Colada, Mai Tai or Margarita.

  • Fool yourself with fragrance.

Coconut, interior viewTrick your sniffer into thinking you’re on the beach by lighting up a coconut-based candle or fragrance oil.  We love Aunt Sadie’s Beach in a Can candle and The Body Shop® Coconut Home Fragrance Oil.  Or simply spritz on a tropical scent like Coconut Lime Verbena from Bath & Body Works.  You’ll be tempted to slather on SPF 30 to keep up the ruse.

Bonus: The next time you’re on vacation, wear one perfume the entire time.  When you return home, you’ll be brought back to paradise with every sniff!

  • Groove to tranquil tunes.

Nothing gets you in the “aloha spirit” more than the Hawaiian harmonies from Israel Kamakawiwo’ole (best known for his medley of “Over the Rainbow”).  Fire up the iPod and download other island-inspired classics from Bob Marley or even some newer stylings like “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz, and you’re off to your very own Margaritaville.

  • Get the island (spa) treatment.

mimosaPretty yourself up with tropical-themed treatments. Soak in a Mimosa bubble bath by Philosophy, exfoliate with The Body Shop Mango Body Scrub and smooth unwanted hair with a tropical-scented Venus Disposable razor. Post-bath, give your skin a healthy glow with Jergen’s Natural Glow Express Moisturizer, and finish the experience with a do-it-yourself mani/pedi in a sizzling-hot hue (try Duri‘s Girl Power and OPI‘s Conga-line Coral).