Steam Hellsinki | Helsinki, Finland

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When traveling, Markus and I try to find interesting and unique bars. We were both researching spots on our own and we both stumbled upon Steam Hellsinki. The bar was in a bit of an odd location, near the central train station and inside of an outdoor mall. Inside the bar is another story and nothing like the surrounding shops. Somehow they managed to fit a dirigible inside and that also functions as the main bar.  It was pretty amazing. Especially when the bar started spraying fog. It really set the mood. Steam Hellsinki focused heavily on gin and had bottles from all over the world. To add to the ambiance, they had the place decked out with old antiques and other steampunk accents. The interior looked like a Hendrick’s Gin advert come to life. The drinks were great and the atmosphere was even better. Unfortunately, since this past August, the bar has permanently closed, which makes our experience even more special.

Stockholm Public Library & Café Pascal | Stockholm, Sweden

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The moment Markus and I stepped foot in Stockholm, we were looking for a place to eat and a neighborhood to explore. After a bit of internet searching, we found Café Pascal in the Odenplan neighborhood. The area was perfect because we planned to head over to the popular Stockholm Public Library.

We both loved Café Pascal. The vibe was really laid back and very similar to coffee shops in Chicago or any big city. The food was really delicious and the portions were sizable. I watched a woman seated close to us, eat half of her mushroom sandwich and left a whole half a sandwich behind. She didn’t even take it with her, I was slightly appalled, because I would have and eaten that bad boy later. Our time at Café Pascal was a nice time to recharge before we headed to the library.

I’m sure if you follow any travel instagrams or have a Pinterest account, you've seen images of the famous Stockholm Public Library. In real life, it’s a bit smaller than I expected, but just as beautiful. It was a bit surreal seeing it in real life, since I had seen it so many times before that. Construction on the library began in 1924 and was designed by architect Gunnar Asplund and is an example of the Swedish Grace style. Recently, the library was listed as one of the world's most beautiful libraries by the magazine Conde Nast Traveler. It’s definitely one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever seen and a must see when in Stockholm.


Joyeux Noël 2018 | Nyhavn | Copenhagen, Denmark

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I honestly cannot believe that we’re only eight days away from Christmas. I’m not going to lie, 2018 has been a rough and difficult year and I’m just ready for 2019. Despite the tough trials and challenges, there were still some really great memories. Out trip to Scandinavia couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. July was a rough month, so a trip right at the end of August was perfect.

For our annual Christmas photo, we had three cities full of great spots to choose from, but we ultimately chose Nyhavn in Copenhagen. We scoped it out the day before and were immediately blown away by the iconic colorful buildings. The next morning, we woke up really early to avoid the crowds, headed out in our matching crane shirts and found the perfect spot. I didn’t think we would top our photo at Château de Boucéel last year, but I think we did. Anyway dear friends, I hope you have a Happy Christmas and a spectacular New Year!

Senate Square | Helsinki, Finland

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So excited to share the first post of our recent trip to Scandinavia. The first city we visited was Helsinki in Finland. We added this city because I didn’t think we would ever have the opportunity again. Originally we were going to go to Oslo, but I felt that Norway probably deserved its own trip and not just a stop. We spent three quick days in Helsinki, but I think that was just the right amount of time. Anymore than that and it might have been too much.

One of the must see areas is Senate Square. The square and it’s surrounding areas is one of the the oldest areas in Helsinki. The most recognizable buildings in the square are the Government Palace, the Helsinki Cathedral and Sederholm House, which is the oldest and dates back to 1757. We didn’t spend much time at Senate Square because we had a dinner reservation and the weather was awful. The little bit we did get to see was beautiful and I could see why it’s one of the more popular tourist attractions.

Musée Océanographique de Monaco | Monaco

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Musée Océanographique de Monaco is one of the most visited marine science museums in Europe as well as one of the oldest. It was founded by Prince Albert I in 1910, who wanted to have a palace dedicated exclusively to art and science. Markus found out that Jacques Cousteau was the director at the museum for 31 years. Markus has loved and admired Cousteau since he was a kid and watched his program on PBS.  So it was a given that we would visit. The actual building itself is quite stunning and picturesque and is situated high on a cliff that overlooks the Mediterranean.

Our favorite part of the museum was Oceanomania, "the biggest collection of marine world curiosities." The beautiful "Cabinet of Curiosities" is straight out of a Wes Anderson movie and unlike anything I've seen in real life. It's the sort of thing Markus and I thrive on. We love the old, weird and interesting. We spent a majority of our time at the museum scouring through the collection of skeletons and fossils, models, diving equipment and antique books.  After we finished exploring the museum, we headed up to the roof.  There we found breathtaking views of Monaco as well as the Mediterranean. There was also a surprisingly good restaurant on the roof where we ate appropriately ate a delicious seafood lunch of moules et frites and a seafood pasta. I'm so glad that Markus insisted that we visit Monaco and Musée Océanographique, because it ended up being one of the best memories from our trip!