Cafe des Deux Moulins | Montmartre, Paris


Let me take you back to 2001. I just graduated from high school and was in my first year of college. I spent four years bumbling through high school, hating everything and everyone, most of all myself. I really didn't know who I was. No one liked the same things I did and deep down I knew I was different than my parents, my family and my friends. So I spent a lot of that first year feeling alone and misunderstood. That all changed in November when I watched the French film Amélie. I know it's weird to say that a film changed your life, but in a way it did. I've always loved movies and stories, but no other movie affected me in such a way.  

Everything about the movie resonated and helped me realize that it was okay to be different. She was so quirky and interesting and there was a quality to the movie that a lot of films lack. One of my favorite lines from the film is, "Les temps sont durs pour les rêveurs," or "Times are hard for dreamers." It's crazy how this is still so relevant. I could go on and on about it, but I think that would have to be a story for another time. If you've never seen the movie, I highly recommend it. So that brings me to our recent trip to France and how Amélie ties in...

Amélie is set in Montmartre in the 18th arrondissement of Paris. When we knew we were going to be in Paris for two days, I purposefully planned to spend a day exploring the same streets and haunts as Amélie. The first place that we stopped at was the very same place she worked, Cafe des Deux Moulins. I will admit the place is a bit of a tourist trap and overrun with tourists gaping and gawking outside. It took me forever to get a chance to get a photo in front and there were still heaps of people hanging around. Nevertheless, Cafe des Deux Moulins still retains it's charm. There are locals that frequent the place and can be seen having a cafe and reading the newspaper. Markus and I decided to have breakfast instead of stopping in and taking photos. We ordered the, Petit déjeuner (12€) that came with coffee, orange juice, viennoiserie, butter bread with jam and three eggs. It wasn't a fancy outstanding meal, but it definitely was a small price to pay to spend an hour or so in such an iconic place. 

New College, Edinburgh | Scotland

Back when Markus and I visited Edinburgh in 2012, we passed by the New College, but had no idea how beautiful it was on the inside. Our dear friend Ryan, who we know from Fort Lauderdale, ended up continuing his education at New College. On our whirlwind first day in Edinburgh with them, we stopped by to check it out. Ryan said that it was one of the most photographed places in the city. I didn't believe him, but decided we needed to check it out. When we arrived, no one was there and it was perfect. After about fifteen minutes and a few photos later, people were trickling in. I was quite surprised because I didn't think it was that popular. I was definitely happy to be proven wrong. 

New & Old Town | Edinburgh, Scotland

When Markus and I visited Edinburgh 2012, we loved it so much and we knew that we would be back. Our dear friends James and Ari, moved from Birmingham to Edinburgh and that was the perfect reason to see them. Two of our other dear friends, Ryan and Lo, also lived in Edinburgh, so it was a wonderful two for one. We spent a few days with Ry and Lo in New Town and visited all their favorite places. 

Our first day, Markus and I wanted to relax a bit, so we didn't really have anything planned. Ryan was our tour guide for the day. Together, we decided to walk around and stop anywhere that looked interesting. We spent a majority of the morning in New Town and Old Town. We stopped for eats at some delicious places and shopped in a few second hand shops. There were some things that I remembered about the city but there were so many new things to see. Since we had a lot more time, we really had a chance to soak it in and do whatever we wanted. Thank goodness we had a great tour guide showing us all the great spots! 

Saved By The Max | Chicago, Illinois

Even though I was born in the 80s, I'm truly a 90s kid at heart. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE the 80s, but most of the things I remember are from the 90s. Like any kid who grew up in the 90s, I was obsessed with Saved by the Bell. When we heard that there was going to be a pop-up of The Max, we snatched up tickets so we wouldn't miss out. 

Markus, Josh and I decided to dress in 90s clothes to really get a feel for the atmosphere. Saved by the Max is a really great throwback and really brings back the nostalgia of the 90s. I was squealing the whole time and obsessed with everything. Poor Markus and Josh had to deal with me freaking out about every little thing. I will say that the food wasn't that great. The names of the dishes were really creative, but nothing stood out and kinda made us all sick the next day. Eek, sorry, but that's not why you go to a place like Saved by the Max. It's all about the atmosphere and all the memories it brings up. For a 90s lover like me, that's worth it. 

Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor & Museum | Columbus, Indiana

The summer of last year, Markus and I went on a last minute road trip to Kentucky. We were both itching to get out of the city and explore somewhere new. After a little bit of research, we found out that Louisville wasn't too far and there were a few nice stops along the way. One of these places was Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum.  

Zaharakos opened October 20, 1900 and can be found in the small town of Columbus, Indiana. Originally, three Greek brothers opened a candy shop but over time it evolved into an ice cream parlor. There was a lot of thought and care put into the look and it's covered with carved oak, marble and tiffany glass. It was stunning and so beautiful. Also, there was more than just ice cream on the menu. They have salads, sandwiches and even different kinds of soda from their vintage soda fountain. I'm so glad that we made the effort to stop, because it's not every day you find something from the 1900s. Markus and I live for places like this and love old roadside attractions. We make it a point to find places just like Zaharakos. The atmospere was definitley 1900s and it really felt like stepping back in time. It was the perfect stop on the way to Louisville!