Ok, so I’m going to attempt to summarize my trip the best way I know- with run-on sentences, lists of scattered memories, and lots of selfies. 

Carina & I began planning a year ago; mostly with the purpose of just going to Paris (because I’ve always wanted to go, and she loves it), then we added Oktoberfest in, with Carina’s old (German!) roommate Luise, as our guide. 
London was technically a day layover on both ends of the trip, but they ended up being two super fun days (in a fantastic city, that I had only visited once before with my dad- different experience!) Carina & I met up in London Saturday morning and had just enough time to trek around the city, enjoy a pie & pint, and in an act of providence, meet and hang out with a certain actor we love on a certain new TV show- in the most incredible Airb&b penthouse on the Thames (above photo from one of the balconies!) The bar was set.
Sunday morning we flew to Munich, where it was very cold and wet, for the last two days of Oktoberfest. Nothing could have prepared me for the sights and sounds of Oktoberfest- an event that has been going on for hundreds of years in the same spot, that Germans themselves actually attend! Basically imagine if your state fair went to Germany- but you spent an entire day- 8am-11pm in the same “tent”, in “ “ because our tent is that first image above, more like a beautiful ski lodge, right??

Germans really don’t mess around, with their drinking songs, & of course, drinks. Carina, Luise & I wore dirndls (!) which was so fun (nothing like being appropriately culturally dressed for an occassion.) Did you know soft pretzels are one of my favorite foods in the world? It’s true. Celebrity cameo #2 came at the end of the night, when, sparklers in hand (last day of 'fest tradition), Usain Bolt appeared on stage! No joke. 
Tuesday morning we flew to Paris (…not hungover…) and after a life-changing nap, had an incredible first day. Maybe my favorite memory of the entire trip was walking from our apartment to get coffees for Carina & I, in the most perfect breezy & bright weather, with kids running around, and I turned to the left at one intersection and there was the Eiffel freaking Tower. And I thought, this just can’t be real! 

We packed in as much as we could from Tuesday to Saturday in Paris, covering what seemed like a lot (but really only part) of the city on foot and on the Metro. My friend Cannelle (more on her later) gave us a great list of boutiques, we ate pretty much strictly carbs (crepes pastries bread) and drank wine (sorry Mom- honestly it is very hard to get water in Europe), and naturally, for my benefit, saw all the very touristy things: the Tower, the Notre Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, and the neighborhood of Montemarte.

Thursday we spent the day at Versailles (the gold gates and gardens above!), and Friday made it to the Louvre for honestly an unimpressive amount of time; before a disco nap before meeting up with Cannelle (and her hysterical friend Madeleine) for crepes and one last night out in Paris. 

Paris is an absolute dream and I could have spent two more weeks just strolling around, drinking cafe au lait. And all the stereotypes are true! I loved how everyone (old men, older women, baby kids, and anyone in between) was so freaking stylish and put-together. The girls didn't wear hardly any make-up, but still looked impossibly chic, as advertised. We were warned that locals might give us a hard time about not speaking French, and though we didn't have any bad experiences, we did feel like dumb slobs who couldn't pronounce anything. My few accomplishments were getting people to speak to me in French after saying "Bonsoir", but then I had to respond "Um..." Yikes! And I don't even want to talk about how well-informed Europeans are about American politics (esp. vs. my knowledge of European politics...) yikes again.
Which was maybe the best day of the trip, start to finish. We took the Eurostar train from Paris to London, then to Shoreditch, which is impossibly hipster and so freaking cool. Seriously next time I go to London I'm going straight there and not leaving. We spent several hours at Dishoom (could not recommend more!) eating and drinking and easing into our end-of-vacation-blues, and then met up with Laila of Tape Parade

If you ever get the chance to meet a fellow blogger,  DO IT. I'm always a bit apprehensive meeting a "stranger" but in reality, you know so much about these people from their blogs! Laila is absolutely fantastic, and took us all around Shoreditch, while we chatted all things blogging, style, heritage, and travel. The night ended with an exhaustive tour of the (four!) international street food pavilions in Shoreditch (and the most amazing vegan pad thai, to Laila's delight :p) but really ended with one final gin & tonic in the lobby of the Ace Hotel (Carina & I have had the best experiences in both the NY and London Ace Hotels- they are great, you guys! And not only for hipsters!)

I am reminded how fantastic and important it is to travel. I know that sounds a bit insufferable, but let stay with me: I am absolutely a young professional, still not making any money, and still spending most of my paychecks on college loans, car payments, etc. So I definitely had to figure out a way to make this trip possible. And it was completely worth it. Shout-out to Carina "Little Peanut" (or, Ma Petit Legume, her new French nickname) for spoiling me every step of the way and making this trip possible. And another shout-out to Luise, Cannelle, and Laila for being a big, wonderful part of our trip!  

Oh, for even more from our trip, check out the hashtag #PeanutPookieEuroTrip on social!

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