An Innocent Abroad: My European Playground

Wow, welcome y’all! So, this was definitely the most chaotic, busy, and spectacular week I’ve had since moving to Europe and here’s why…I traveled all around Heidelberg (where I live), Paris, Wolfhagen (my home town), and Berlin.

I usually only go to one city or country a week, but this week, I wanted to do it BIG. The first to-do this week was to explore my Heidel-home. I travel a lot and when I’m in town, I’m always really busy, but I had nothing to do on Wednesday, so I thought, what the heck? I’m going adventuring!

HEIDELBERG, Germany

So, most people don’t expect this, but I am super outdoorsy. I love a little mud on my Nikes as much as I love twirling in a dress, I just don’t flaunt it as often. However, if you’re following me on Insta, you know I’ve been a little hike-crazy as of late.

With that being said, I rallied my besten freundin and we put together a picnic and headed up to Thingstatte, or for my non-German readers, the Nazi Amphitheater.

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            This theater was massive! It seats up to 8,000 people and was one of the main locations for Third Reich rallies during Hitler’s reign.

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            I highly recommend going to it during the week, because there are only a handful of people visiting and you can sit and enjoy history, a glass of wine, and some ripe strawberries without being observed and without it being crowded.

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And you know me, if there’s a TSM opportunity, then I have to take it. Sorry mom!

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            This was on my Heidelberg bucket-list to complete before I went back to the states, and I am so glad I found the time to do it! Life gets a little crazy when I’m jet-setting around Europe, but it’s definitely best to know what makes my home, well, a home.

PARIS, France

Guess who’s back, back again? Paris is my absolute favorite place in the whole, wide, European Union, and I got to take my mommy! Last time I was there, we divided all events and happenings into three days. This time, I was able to do almost all of that but a few different things in ONE DAY. You read that right…but no, I did not get to shut down The Louvre for just me, myself, and I again. Life lesson: sometimes you have to share.

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            When we arrived in Paris, we went straight to the Eiffel Tower, and it was flawless as per usual. The sun was out and I was dancing around like a fool. My mom has never been to Paris so this was something that I really wanted to do for her. We went three times in one day: once when we arrived, before dinner, and at night when it was all lit up and sparkling.

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Next, we went to Notre Dame Cathedral. This wasn’t on our game plan, but we literally bought a million Metro passes, so we thought “what the heck? Let’s just do it.”

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            After a walking packed morning, we went for a bite to eat at…you guessed it…my favorite restaurant in the universe, Laduree.

Okay, next on the order of events…we hadn’t planned to go to the Louvre, but after convincing my mom that it was totally worth it, we went. I got to hang out with my girl, Mona, again and I actually saw some artworks that I hadn’t taken the time to go and see when I was there in February.

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            Now, the dinner of a lifetime…we went to the cutest hole in the wall that was literally right across from the Eiffel Tower, named Alfio. It’s a small, family owned and operated restaurant and I’ve never met more friendly people in my entire life. The waitresses conversed with us the whole dinner and the food was unbelievably delicious (and fattening, yaaas) and worth every penny. I highly recommend going, and we all know that I take food very seriously.

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            But after a day in my Parisian Paradise, it was then time to head to my hometown of Wolfhagen, Germany. All aboard!

WOLFHAGEN, Germany

“Sometimes you just need a little home. A little ‘hey, you’ve been gone way too long,’” by Rascal Flatts played through my mind the entire time I wandered around my hometown.

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            WH is the definition of a quaint, little town. WH is the type of place you raise a family, become a regular at a café, and live a real-life fairytale. It’s just one of those places you go to and the sun hits you and a smile instinctively hits your face.

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            It felt good to be home, but more importantly, it felt right. I try to keep my personal life, well, personal but lately it seems to be all over everyone’s conversations. And, to my demise, it hasn’t been positive. A lot of people consider my hometown to be in Texas, but it has never felt like home, because I’ve felt unhappy, ugly, and undeserving while being there – this is not the case in WH.

The difference? People are happy to see me, no one doubts a word out of my mouth, and I am smiling. I am, for once, genuinely happy and dreading my visit to see my family in a few weeks. I love being home and being carefree. Carrie Underwood has this song, Thank God for Hometowns, and it ironically came on as our train pulled up to Wolfhagen.IMG_7001.JPG

“Cause when you’re lost out in this crazy world, you’ve got somewhere to go and get found…thank God for hometowns.”

Also, I found my new favorite drink in the entire world – dark beer mixed with lemonade plus a handful of sliced strawberries; a true, Wolfhagen original! Don’t knock it until you try it, my friends!

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BERLIN, Germany

So, by now you’ve figured out that I went back to all of my favorite locations in Europe, with Berlin being the last.

First of all, I stayed in the most magnificent hotel in the entire world – literal penthouse suite overlooking the city centre of Berlin and if this is how the Kardashians feel every time they travel, then I understand the hype. It honestly should be the only way to travel. P.S. sorry for the long snapchat stories, I couldn’t contain my excitement about being so spoiled.

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            But, to make my mom feel like a “Berliner,” I showed her the reigns of the city. We went to Ritter Sport and went absolutely crazy – literal hundreds of candy bars accompany our hotel room and praise be unto him for which the world is freakin’ fantastic.

We also went to Checkpoint Charlie and the same guy was there and, wouldn’t you know, he made me uncomfortable. But if you don’t believe me, my mom was there to back my story.

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            We then hiked over yonder to the Bradenburg Gate…

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            And lastly, went to the Berlin Wall Memorial. It is a very emotional thing for me to go to and it’s so real and hard to understand. I wasn’t emotional before I came to Germany, and rarely had tears triggered, but to know this was stuff that my friends’ families went through is somewhat unbearable.

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So, well, there you go. I live in such a cool playground that has nothing on elementary school days. I’m so thankful that my mom got to go back to all of these places with me and I  am really not ready to see her leave in the next couple of days!

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This week I am looking forward to celebrating my birthday with a champagne brunch and my closest gal pals! See ya next week when I pause my explorations and begin my relaxation!

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Hannah was a guest of Crowne Plaza Heidelberg City Centre, Courtyard Marriot Berlin Mitte, Laduree, and H & M.  As always, my opinions are my own.
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