Because of an amazing credit card promo, I received a year-long Southwest Airlines companion pass and 40,000 points! We decided to use the opportunity to explore parts of USA that we normally wouldn’t spend money to visit (*cough cough* because there’s no ocean nearby). First up, Santa Fe, New Mexico– The Land of Enchantment!
Although the majority of our trip to Portugal was spent in heavy wind and rain, we were lucky enough to enjoy a handful of days soaking up the sun. We stayed in a quaint apartment Airbnb in the historical beach town of Ericeira, about 45 min north of Lisbon and 45 min south of the WSL surf contest site in Santa Cruz.
Walking through the quaint town of Sintra feels like you stepped back in time and into the setting of a fairytale— I couldn’t shake the image of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves from my mind. The colorful buildings stacking up the hills along the narrow cobblestone alleyways with multiple castles scattered in and around town (including one visibly towering over the streets), set the stage for a dreamy afternoon in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of beautiful Sintra, Portugal.
We had a day off from the Lacanau Pro surf contest, so we ventured an hour inland to spend the day in Bordeaux – known as a world-famous wine growing region. One of the largest cities in France, Bordeaux is actually a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site for its exceptional architecture and urban design from the 18th century.
Shaun and I landed in Paris at 4pm after an overnight direct flight from San Francisco and we had a train booked for the following morning at 7am, so we literally had only 15 hours in Paris. Although we were exhausted (to say the least), we still wanted to make the most of our limited stay in the city of love!
Paris has been one of my favorite cities since I first visited when I was eleven years old. This was my fourth time to the City of Love and Shaun’s very first. We spent 5 nights in the heart of the city in an adorable Airbnb in Le Marais — a cozy quartier in the 4th arrondissement, popular for shopping and dining along the network of cobblestone lanes with a classic Parisian feeling. We were lucky enough to experience Paris in both rain and sunshine, each equally romantic and charming.