Day trip from Paris: Chartres, France, Part II

10 Things to do in Chartres besides the Cathedral

Let’s be clear. If you are going to Chartres, you are making the trip to visit its incredible cathedral. It truly is something special and deserving of your time and focus while in town. It’s perfectly acceptable to treat Chartres as a stop to see the Cathedral and then move on. But should you choose to hang around longer, there is plenty more to do.

I spent the weekend (a full day and a half) in Chartres. With more than enough time to see the Cathedral, I had plenty of time to explore. Let’s follow my route around town so I can show you what else the city has to offer:

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Into the Toolbox: The Nuts and Bolts of Planning a Trip to Bordeaux

So did the winemedieval village, and ocean convince you that a trip to Bordeaux is a good idea? If it did, here's what I recommend to pull the vacation together.

Make the city of Bordeaux your home-base during your stay. It is the largest city in the area and offers plenty of choices for accommodations, restaurants, and night life. 

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A Few of my Paris Favorites: Valentine's Day

Absence does make the heart grow fonder. After eight weeks away on an epic trip through GermanyAustriaMadridLondon, and the United States (NY/NJ), coming back to Paris felt comfortingly familiar, yet refreshingly new.

We landed in Paris on Sunday, February 9th with new visas in hand, mission accomplished. Once I came out of a jet-lagged fog, I realized that Valentine's Day was quickly approaching on the horizon.

What to do? As much as I love to eat out, I had been almost continuously chowing down at restaurants for two months. There were days of catching up with dear friends and family in the States that meant eating out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...and one exceptional day that included a coffee and dessert break. It was wonderful, but returning to Paris made me really look forward to getting back into my kitchen.

I started running errands off to some of my regular places in my neighborhood of the Marais (and the nearby Oberkampf neighborhood in the 11ème for an open-air market). Then it hit me - without intentionally thinking it through, I was frequenting some of my favorite spots to bring together a romantic meal chez moi.

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Simply Sara Eats: In Madrid

In the "Simply Sara Eats " series, I recount the my favorite food and drink discoveries .

I spent the last few nights of 2013 in Madrid, Spain. Here are my favorite places to go for a bite or drink in Spain's capital. 

1. Mercado de San Miguel

Our first destination once arriving in Madrid was to the Mercado de San Miguel. We were tired after waking up at 4am to catch our flight, and hungry. This market promised lots of food options. I know now that on a Saturday afternoon, it also promised huge crowds.

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