“Travel is the only thing that makes you richer.” — Unknown.

When we announced that we were going to Croatia, everyone asked who we knew there. The answer, no one.

But that was a lie. I had forgotten that one of the first families I nannied for in Denmark had moved to Zagreb. Now, ten years later, it was great to reconnect with them for an evening and catch up. And we were totally grateful for the ride both to and from the airport. And funny how their kids have gotten older, yet I haven’t… weird.


Zagreb was a bit of a whirlwind. First my parents were set to arrive about 2 hours before me, but then due to getting bumped (and bumped again) they didn’t arrive until nearly 3 hours after me. We stayed in a beautiful apartment, just a few blocks from the main square and lots of restaurants and shops. It was advertised as being on the second floor, but to American’s it would be considered the third… and with two heavy bags, it was a joy (sarcasm) to haul them up/down. After a busy few days of being on the go, we didn’t do much other than explore the main square area. We went into a huge cathedral (not quite as beautiful as the one in Roskilde) and then had an early dinner and headed back to pack up and finish up laundry.

Tuesday morning Lara brought us back to the airport to pick up our rental car. We took our time driving down toward Split and stopped for lunch in the town of Nin, known for it’s salt pans where they have been collecting salt for 1500 years. After some delicious salt (so many flavors) we stopped in town for lunch and an ice cream and wandered their old town a bit. We arrived in Split just before dinner and found our teeny, tiny guesthouse. And teeny-tiny would be generous. We had two rooms reserved. Mine was a single room with a shared bathroom up on the third floor. There were three young ladies (19 & 20 years old) in the other room and they were fun. But my parents had a double room with literally a foot of space between the bed/wall and maybe 2 feet between the foot of the bed and the wall. Zero space for a suitcase and no chairs or anything. And their A/C was almost non-existent.

IMG_0391So we moved. I was a little annoyed at wasting time, and all the other places IN Split old town were likely to be the same/similar size-wise unless you want to spend a couple hundred per night. So I suggested Trogir. I’m not sure why, but I’m OH-SO-GLAD I did. We *LOVED* Trogir. It’s small and during tourist season, packed with tourists. But May isn’t tourist season, so it wasn’t too bad. But it was AMAZING. There isn’t much to do in Trogir, a small cathedral, a few shops, all the ice cream… but it was a great place to just relax. For 27 euros we took a day trip out on the Adriatic. We left at 9:30 am and after two more pick up stops we first sailed to the Blue Lagoon for swimming. It was cold, but not horrible. I was able to see some fish, but it’s SO salty down there that you couldn’t dive more than a foot or two down without flippers – you just float back up. Back on the boat we sailed to another small town on the Island of Solta for an ice cream and to wander for an hour or so. And then to some private place for lunch. Grilled mackerel, cabbage salad, fresh bread and amazing olive oil. And the whole trip we were supplied with juice, water, wine and grappa (whew). We docked back in Trogir around 5pm.


The place we stayed, Rooms and Apartments Klaudija was amazing. Klaudija and her husband were amazing hosts and we got a whole history lesson on the war in the 90’s and her experience. The buildings were her grandparents factory where they made oils (like lavender) and other stuff…. they were pretty much bombed out but got the buildings back in the family and then remodeled them and turned it into a guest house. We got breakfast every morning, a plate of meats and cheeses with fresh bread. Hardboiled eggs, fruit, juice, coffee and yogurt.

Overall, Trogir was amazing and we can’t wait to go back.

“Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant.” -Honoré de Balzac

Paris is ugly.

Sure it has the charm of Eiffel Tower and the history tucked away in the Louvre. It has the churches like Notre Dame and Sainte- Chapelle. But Paris also holds a kind of chaos that you don’t see in other big cities. Everyone is in a rush, there is trash along every street and the smog from the non-stop traffic has to be scrubbed off your face at the end of the day.

Any maybe that’s why I hardly took any photos of Paris.

Did you really go to Paris if you didn’t get at least ONE solid Eiffel Tower photo? 

Instead I spent my time bouncing from one stationary shop to another followed by just about every kitchen supply/bake shop that ever was.

I stayed a simple hotel in the Saint-George’s neighborhood in the 9th arrondissement. Hotel France Albion. Just out of the hustle and bustle of the touristy area, but not quite out in the suburbs either. I was located in the middle of two metro stops which meant that hopping off/on public transportation was a breeze (although I didn’t figure out/make use of the bus system until my last full day and that would’ve made it even easier). The room was very small, but comfortable and the front desk staff were friendly and helpful. They even held my macarons for me for two days in their fridge since my room didn’t have one. They said they weren’t supposed too, but the manager was out for the weekend, and they couldn’t let my macarons be wasted.

I had an inside room, meaning I really didn’t have a view other than other peoples windows. But I did spy this little gem enjoying a warm afternoon with the window open.

Since I’ve done the major tourist sites more than once, I wasn’t set on seeing them again. I wanted to explore the smaller side streets, the small shops and markets, and what else I could stumble upon.

Raspberry/lemon glaze

Since I took a class at La Cuisine once before, and had a blast, I decided to take another class with them again. But three years ago, when I took my first class there, I started following them on instagram as well. Via their instagram I found several other locations to visit, including Boneshaker, a relatively new doughnut shop that regularly sells out — yes, they are that good.

One of the other delightful shops I visited was L’Ecritoire a little stationary/paper/pen shop that was down a maze of pedestrian streets and alleys. They were thrilled to find that I had found them via instagram and took down my name (wtf, where is the follow back?!). The shopkeeper was so/so with her English (but better than my non-existent French) and did her best to explain that all of their stuff was locally made in France and by small family run businesses. It was just so cute!

IMG_2620 2But the main highlight of my stay in Paris was by far my macaron class. We started by making three types of ganache: vanilla, chocolate mint and pistachio. Chef Segolene was great at explaining how we could easily make other flavors at home (I want to try lavender) as the flavor comes only from the filling, not the little cookies/meringues. With the ganache set aside, she walked us through step by step to make Italian meringue for the cookies. You can use the French version, but they are harder to work with and make a smooth cookie. So all of what you see in bakeries is done the Italian way. There were eight of us in class, working in pairs, yet we each got a chance to mix, and to pipe the cookies onto the tray. We made so many that we didn’t get a chance to get them all in/out the oven, so the chef offered to bake them for the staff. Despite not finishing them all, we each walked out with a box of a dozen or so.