European Getaway Chronicles – Prague, Czech Republic!

We flew into Prague with a weather forecast of solid rain for our entire time there. However, the weatherman was clearly telling tall tales, as apart from the first evening, it was absolutely stunningly beautiful. What amazing weather luck we’ve had on this trip!

Our Prague apartment was located right in the heart of Old Town, amidst cobblestone streets and stunning architecture. I mean, look at the view from the apartment!


We headed out for our first meal in Prague, at a restaurant renowned for it’s traditional Czech tasting menu. We were blown away by the meal…one of our best in Europe (and that’s saying something!). Five courses of delicious perfection.

The next morning, we immediately headed out to Old Town Square and were blown away by the beauty, and the overall vibe of this part of Prague. It was such a pleasant place to wander and explore.

81 82 83 84

We then headed to the famous Charles Bridge, which is lined with absolutely stunning sculptures and statues, each one different than the last. And of course, swans everywhere again. What is it with Europe and the majestic swans?! Love it. In any case, I can see why this bridge draws such crowds…absolutely beautiful.

86 87 88

Once we crossed the bridge, we headed up the steps to the castle…it was one epic climb. But luckily, they sold fresh squeezed strawberry or pineapple juice at the base of the steps…great climbing fuel! Prague was much warmer than some of our other destinations thus far, so needless to say, we were struggle city by the time we reached the top. Haha.


But wow, was it worth it! The castle was stunning, particularly the unbelievably breathtaking cathedral. Unlike most of the cathedrals we’d visited thus far, this one was free to enter, and was well worth the trip.

91 92 97 93 94 95 96

That night, we headed out for a night at the opera. One of my favourite operas, ‘Carmen’, was playing at the Prague State Opera, and we leapt at the chance to attend. We ended up with some of the best seats in the house, and were delighted to find that there were even English subtitles provided in addition to Czech (the opera is in French). We weren’t allowed to take any photos in the theatre, but what an experience!

The next morning we headed out for some wandering and shopping. The shopping here was SO much fun, as it was all so cheap! The Czech Republic is known for it’s beautiful toys, and we had to restrain ourselves from buying everything in sight for the girls. The one thing I did manage to avoid was the marionette dolls that are so famous here…they are just too creepy for my taste! Haha.

98 89

Also, if you are every looking for a massive selection of alcohol in one place, look no further 😉


Then, we made an absolutely delightful discovery…the annual Prague Easter Festival was on for the entirety of our stay! It was all day, and offered folk music, massive amounts of traditional Czech street food, and plenty of shopping. It was entirely free, and was such a fabulous way to bring locals and tourists together in celebration of the holiday. We, of course, went nuts for the food, and spent the afternoon gorging ourselves, checking out all the shops, and listening to the music. SUCH a fun day!

99 01 (1) 00 100 102 101 103

It was our last evening in Prague, so I decided to commemorate by climbing the Old Town Square tower to get a view of the city from above. I couldn’t talk Brett into coming with me, so off I went! It was literally the tiniest area EVER to walk around the top, but was well worth it!

105 106 107 108

While we were a bit devastated that this trip was over, we were thankful for the opportunity to spend time together in such beautiful places, and were very much looking forward to seeing the girls and our home again.

What a FABULOUS holiday. Looking forward to next time! J




Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

European Getaway Chronicles – Venice, Italy!

Oh, Italy, despite your inherantly chaotic and disorganised nature, you will always have my heart.

We decided to take the train from Switzerland to Venice, since it was such a gorgeous trip through the Alps. We had Swiss rail passes all sorted, and thought the trip would be a breeze…unfortunately we forgot to take into account the fact that we were traveling on Good Friday and should have booked our tickets WELL in advance. We rocked up the day before to buy them and everything…EVERYTHING was completely sold out. Just when we thought we weren’t even going to be able to get there, they managed to find us a way, involving many MANY small trips on small trains, and adding an extra four hours to our journey. At that point, we were taking whatever we could get! We decided to treat it as an adventure, and off we went 🙂

The funny part about taking trains into Italy, is that there is a ridiculously noticeable difference pretty much as soon as you cross the border. Everything gets a little bit dirtier, louder, and more disorganised. But also infinitely charming, and just so ITALIAN. Love it!

We finally arrived in Venice, and arrived at our apartment in the heart of San Marco. SUCH a cute place to stay!


For our first day, we headed immediately out to San Marco Square to check it all out. Despite the UNBELIEVABLE crowds, we were blown away by the architecture. What a beautiful place!

53 54 55 56 57

That afternoon, we headed to Rialto for the fresh food markets. We weren’t incredibly impressed with the restaurant food in Venice, so we decided to take matters into our own hands. The markets were absolute chaos, but so much fun. We came home armed with a massive amount of cured meats, aged cheeses, produce, bread, olives, and even alcohol…YUMMO!

6158 59 60

We finished up the afternoon with the one thing you MUST do in Venice…a ride in a gondola! It was ridiculously expensive, and the single MOST touristy thing one can ever do in Italy, but it was FABULOUS. Seriously, I don’t know if I’ve ever been more relaxed then when we were floating along in the ‘backstreet’ canals of Venice. I could have stayed there all day! Loved loved it.

65 67 68

And finally, that night, we headed out for a wander and a truly Venetian meal of street food! We had our best meal (hands down!) at a street vendor that sold lightly breaded and fried seafood and vegetables with polenta. YUM AND A HALF.

62 63 64

69 70

The next day, we headed out to see a few of the islands…Murano and Burano in particular. Murano was known for its glass making, so we spent our time exploring all of the AMAZING glass stores and picking out a few things to take home (including some tiny glass piggies for the girls!). Honestly, if you want something made out of glass, you can certainly find it in Murano…I couldn’t believe how beautiful it all was!

71 72 73 74

And Burano is known for its lace making and beautiful colourful buildings. They looked like little Easter eggs all in a row. I LOVED this island!

75 76 77 78

Our last day was a bit rainy, so we decided to have a quiet day shopping and heading out for a leisurely lunch. We decided to go to a place way in the outskirts of Venice, and were SO happy we did. Away from the overwhelming crowds, we could finally appreciate Venice for the beautiful city it is. We even stopped at a local grocery store, where they didn’t speak English…love that! We kept the camera put away for the most part, but did take one ‘quiet Venice’ pic, just so we could remember the beauty.


It’s definitely not our absolute favourite Italian city, but we had a wonderful time in Venice!


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

European Getaway Chronicles – Luzern, Switzerland!

Switzerland…words cannot express how much we loved this country. The scenery, the people, the food…we were in love!

We flew in to Zurich and immediately caught a train over to our ‘base camp’, Luzern. Luzern is a smaller city adjacent to a massive lake up in the mountains, and is quite central to most places in Switzerland. We headed straight to our apartment and were supremely delighted to find that not only was the apartment adorable (and massive!), but was also located in a square and building that was one of Luzern’s landmarks. It was built in 1529, and Luzern’s oldest wall was right at the base of the building. I took great pleasure in waving at tourists from the window whilst they were taking photos of the building throughout our stay. Haha.

26 27 28

Unfortunately, this also meant that there were four flights of steps to GET to the apartment…poor Brett was not to thrilled after being traumatised by our stay in Positano, Italy a few years back (where we had 264 steps to climb every time we wanted to get to our front door). Ha!


We headed straight out to the lake and immediately fell head over heels in love with Luzern. Not only was the city absolutely gorgeous, but the lake was just beyond magnificent…crystal clear waters, snow-capped mountain surrounds, and best of all, filled with majestic SWANS gracefully swimming around. I mean, really?! PERFECTION.

30 31 32 33 34

The next day was spent wandering the cobblestone streets checking out local shops, exploring landmarks, and eating delicious Swiss pastries and goodies. It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to head out in the afternoon for a ferry cruise around the lake. It was absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous. We found ourselves putting the camera down and just taking it all in as much as possible. I don’t know if we’ll ever find another part of the world more breathtaking than this beautiful country. It was also absolutely FREEZING, so on the way back, we decided to take in the view from inside the boat, armed with a delicious hot chocolate 😉

35 36 37 38 39

The next morning we headed off bright and early for a trip to the Jungfrau region. We decided on Grindewald as our destination for the day…a teeny tiny village nestled way up in the mountains. This part of Switzerland is rumoured to be the most gorgeous, and it did not disappoint. I mean, LOOK AT THIS.


Bah! When we finally stopped flipping out about the scenery (which took quite some time), we realised we were starving and headed off to a good local restaurant for some Swiss food and beer. We both ordered sausage, sour kraut, and rosti…as Swiss as it gets. It felt like a brick in your stomach when you were through, but was straight up gloriously delicious.


41 42

After lunch we went to explore and marvel some more. To my complete and utter delight, we stumbled upon a herd of cattle coming down the main village street! It pretty much made my whole life.


After a bit more wandering, and trying desperately to capture this majestic beauty in the camera (which turned out to be impossible), we boarded the train for a stunning trip back to Luzern. One of the most beautiful trips I’ve ever been on, hands down.

44 45 46


Our last day in Luzern was a bit low-key. We did a bit of shopping, a bit of exploring, ate a GLORIOUS lunch at a locally renowned Swiss restaurant (which was completely adorable), and chilled in the apartment. What a fabulous fabulous Switzerland visit. I’m already looking forward to next time 🙂


50 51

Next stop, Italy!! 🙂

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

European Getaway Chronicles – London!

That’s right folks…we’re baaaack!

And for the first time in ‘Where In the World is Erin’ history, we are traveling CHILD-FREE. Our lucky little girls (Delilah, 4, and Camille, 2) are spending three weeks being spoiled by their grandparents in Sydney while Brett and I visit the following places – London (where I am teaching three newborn posing workshops); Luzern, Switzerland; Venice, Italy; and Prague, Czech Republic. Apart from London, all places we have always wanted to go and not yet had the chance to visit. So excited!

After a supremely ridiculously long trip (took the girls to Sydney, then came back west to Abu Dhabi, and then up to London…about 40 hours all up), we FINALLY made it to London. We’d been awake for two days and arrived at the crack of dawn on a Monday morning. And as any good traveller knows, the key to avoiding jet lag is to STAY AWAKE that whole first day, no matter how torturous it might be. And boy, was it tortuous. We were like walking zombies.

Since we respond best to food motivation, we decided to shower and immediately head out in the drizzle for a meal at an absolutely fabulous Chelsea restaurant called Medlar. The meal was just what we needed…beautifully delicious British cooking that hit the spot after a very long few days of plane food. Since we were so tired, we didn’t take any pictures with the big camera that first day, but did manage to snap this iPhone pic of our exhausted faces shortly after lunch.


Thrilled to be here at last!

The next day , armed with a full night’s sleep, we headed out to Kensington Palace and Kensington Gardens. I studied abroad in London ten years ago and called South Kensington my home for one term…it was so great to be back in my old stomping grounds once again! It was a gloriously beautiful morning, and we spent it touring the palace and wandering through the gardens and High Street, Kensington.

01 02 03 04

For lunch, we had a special surprise. By sheer dumb luck (and most likely due to a very last-minute cancellation), I managed to snag a reservation at Gordon Ramsay’s Chelsea restaurant.   Since this is no easy task (the next available reservation for lunch or dinner was two months from now!), we decided to go ALL OUT and order his seven course degustation menu. I can honestly say that this was one of the better life decisions either of us have ever made. Hands down, the BEST (and probably most expensive) meal I have ever and will ever eat. Perfect doesn’t even begin to describe it. It was glorious, and one of the highlights of our trip. Yay, food! J

05 Meal 1

That afternoon, we headed out to the famous Harrod’s department store to check it all out. In typical Harrod’s fashion, it was completely over the top, insanely high-priced, and altogether fabulous. The absolute highlight of the entire store is the toy department (or world, as they call it). Honestly anything you could ever in a million years imagine as a child is sold at Harrod’s toy department. Want a toy range rover that goes 30km/hr? You can buy one at Harrod’s for 40,000 GBP. How about a stunning replica of Belle’s dress in Beauty and the Beast? A bargain at only 350 GBP! Futuristic remote control airplanes? Strange and enormous lego sets? The list goes on.


And then…gloriousness. Perhaps the single greatest discovery I have ever made at a store was made in Harrod’s this fateful day. That’s right, this is what you think it is…I found Dumbledore’s wand. DUMBLEDORE’S WAND. I about died!! And wanted it immediately. But since I did not have a fortune to pay for it, I had to settle for this photo (which mortified Brett so much that it took some convincing for him even to take it…haha). Fabulous!


The next morning, we were off to the Tower of London. Now despite the fact that I had visited London in high school, and lived there for months in college, I had never once visited the Tower of London. And in a way, I’m quite glad this was my first time! I would have had very little interest in the history back then. But Brett and I were massive fans of the TV series ‘The Tudors’ (the story of King Henry VIII and his many wives) a few years ago, and it was nothing short of thrilling seeing all of the places that these people lived and died. We stood right at the spot where Anne Boelyn was beheaded, strolled through the royal living quarters, and even checked out King Henry’s armour. We also marvelled at the crown jewels (the main attraction for the Tower of London) as they are clearly some of the most amazing works of royal art anywhere in the world.

08 09 10 11 12

That afternoon, we wandered over to St. Paul’s cathedral, but elected to admire the outside, rather than paying the absolute fortune they charge you to go in! It is clearly an incredibly impressive building.

13 14 15

The next morning, we headed out for a full day of wandering. We started with Big Ben and Westminster Abbey in the morning. What a stunningly gorgeous place this is! In the distance, we could see the London Eye, which despite my repeated requests, Brett would not go anywhere near (he is terrified of heights). Someday, I’ll get there!

16 17 18 19

We found ourselves with *just* enough time to walk over to see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, so we headed through the stunningly beautiful Hyde Park to get there. The flowers were in bloom and the entire park smelled just heavenly. As we grew closer to the palace, it became clear that there was just no way we were getting anywhere near that palace gate. It was absolutely packed!! It’s only April now, so I cringe to think of what it might be like in the summer at the height of travel season. It must be chaos! In any case, we snuck around the side and enjoyed the view (and music!) from afar. The flag was up, which told us the Queen was in, and likely finishing up her three day ‘work week’. Clearly she lives a rough life 😉

20 21 22

After this, we were off to lunch at Heston Blumenthal (our culinary idol)’s Hyde Park restaurant. For some reason, we were given one of the best tables in the house, with a panoramic view of Hyde Park on one side, and the entire glass walled kitchen on the other. As Brett is a very talented cook, he loved being able to peek into the kitchen and see them work their magic. In typical Heston style, we ate all manner of strange things, such as frog legs porridge, spiced pigeon, and pineapple tipsy cake…all of which was AMAZING. Perfect last London meal.

Meal 2

Armed with full stomachs, we strolled over to one of my favourite London spots, Trafalgar Square. We briefly visited the National Gallery, but then decided to end our London visit by just chillaxing in the beautiful sunshine and admiring the views from the square. A perfect finish to a fabulous four days.

23 2524

Next stop, Switzerland!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Roatan, Honduras | Week 1

That’s right, folks…Erin is back on the road!  This time, along with Brett, and Delilah (17 months), we also brought my 12-year-old step son, Alek.  What a crowd!  We are headed to Roatan, Honduras for two weeks, followed by five weeks in the USA (four weeks in Wisconsin and one in Seattle/California).

Now if everyone thought I was a bit nuts for bringing a 7-month-old to Europe for six weeks last year, they thought I was flat out ready for the looney bin when they heard I was carting a (very rambunctious) toddler to three different continents over a seven week period.  And I gotta say…they were partly right.  The flight was NOT fun.  Scratch that, the flight was absolute TORTURE.  Particularly the long flight, in which she was squirming, screaming, running into the aisles, and AWAKE for 12 of the 14 hours.  I was seriously losing it on more than one occasion.  All I can say is, thank goodness for a husband with infinitely more patience than myself!

After about 40 hours of flying, an overnight stay in a hotel in Atlanta (at which Delilah woke up for the day at midnight), and a whole lot of tantrums, we finally arrived in Roatan.  Mom and Dad met us there and took us straight over to their holiday house on the water.  I hadn’t been here before and about died when we walked in the door and saw this:

SERIOUSLY???  Then I actually walked out on the balcony to discover that this was our panoramic view:

A-maz-ing.  The best part of the house though is the colour.  It’s bright pink with lime green trim…so very tropical.  So it’s only fitting that Mom and Dad have named the house ‘The Pink Orchid’.  I love it!  I haven’t taken very many photos of the outside yet, but here’s one we took from a kayak on our second day here:

You’ll have to excuse the poor quality of many of the photos on here…while I brought the big camera, it’s just not practical in most beachy situations, so we have been using the little camera 99% of the time!

The first thing we did was run straight down to the dock and jump in for a snorkel.  We’d heard that there was good snorkeling just 20 meters from the dock, and we couldn’t wait to check it out.

And we were absolutely AMAZED at all of the gorgeous coral and seal life we found within a 20 meter square radius of the dock.  This is truly a snorkeling and diving heaven here in Roatan.  Here’s some shots we got using our underwater camera…love that thing!

The next morning we got up and set out for lunch at The Hole in the Wall.  The Hole in the Wall is a famous restaurant here in Roatan.  It really is a big hole in the wall…just a shack on stilts over the water that you need to take a boat to get to.  It’s very charming, despite the dilapidated appearance.  Only open on Sundays for lunch, it serves the most delicious all-you-can-eat lobster and steak.  Mom and Dad never miss a Sunday at Hole in the Wall, so this one was no exception.

Here we are on the boat:

It was Delilah’s first boat ride and she LOVED it!

Coming up to The Hole in the Wall:

Yum yum!

And since they encourage writing on the walls, we we decided to leave our mark 🙂

We spend most afternoons just hanging around on the balcony soaking up the sun and the views.  It is just glorious and hard to even look away from the gorgeous view for even a second!  We love the lounge chairs, eat our breakfast on the outdoor bar table and chairs, and even sit out there to check our email.  It’s such an amazing spot!

And Dad enjoying some coconut milk, picked fresh from one of their trees:

A few days later, we decided to head out to the reef for some hard core snorkeling.  The reef is literally 300 meters from the dock and stretches for as far as the eye can see in either direction.  We had planned on swimming it, but at the last second we managed to flag down some fisherman who took us out to the reef, gave us an hour-long personal snorkeling tour, and brought us back home all for $20.

The reef here in Roatan is the second largest coral reef in the world (after the Great Barrier Reef) and is every bit as gorgeous as we had hoped.  We saw the most massive underwater cliffs, GORGEOUS colours, huge tropical fish, and even a sea turtle!  My favourite part was swimming along the wall of the dropoff…so much marine life was just bursting from the sides of the reef.  Stunning.  We can’t wait to go again!  Here are some of our favourite shots:

Brain coral!

Sea turtle!

Amazing, right??  I was snorkeling around with the biggest dumbest smile on my face the entire time.  I am ECSTATICALLY excited about going diving this coming week.  WOOHOO!!

The next day we headed to the local markets for some quick shopping.  The markets were small, but quaint.  And we even stopped off in the cruise terminal for some lobster burritos for lunch.  Don’t mind my un-makeuped face…it’s silly to bother even trying to put on makeup when we spend so much time in the water!

Street in Coxen Hole:

Tired Delilah and Mummy hanging out at the markets:

And all of us in front of the cruise terminal:

Other than that, we’ve mostly just been relaxing and swimming.  Like clockwork, we go out every evening for a swim just before sunset.  It’s so gorgeous being out there floating around while the sun starts to creep towards the horizon.

And the one of us who loves it the most by FAR is Delilah.  I swear, this girl is half fish.  She could swim all day long and still be begging for more!  She kicks around next to the dock having a grand old time while we either float or snorkel around her.  What a cutie pie 🙂

Here she is kicking out into the sunset, determined to swim off by herself (LOL):

And getting her nightly ‘bath’ in the outdoor shower:

And just before the sun sets, we all run up to the balcony to enjoy the last fleeting moments of sunlight.  The sun sets literally DIRECTLY in front of our balcony.  It’s like having front row seats to heaven!  Every night is better than the last…we couldn’t ask for more.

Here’s one of my favourites (and one of the only shots in this blog post taken with the big camera!):

The internet isn’t the best here, but I’ll try to get at least one more blog post out from Roatan.  We are having the time of our lives!


Erin, Brett, Alek, and Delilah

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments