In the ‘hood: the Bishop Arts District

The first time I stumbled into the Bishop Arts District (in the Oak Cliff neighborhood of Dallas) I was overcome with a feeling of home. Austin, I mean. The entire neighborhood reminds me of walking around Austin. It’s such a wonderful eclectic neighborhood that is filled with drool-worthy restaurants and food shops, clothiers, and art galleries. There is a florist that, unfortunately does not allow photos inside, is quite beautiful and imaginative. 

If you’re ever in Dallas and need a place for brunch, grab a carafe filled with mimosas and soak in the surroundings at Oddfellows. Order the beignets (in addition to everything else on the menu) and revel in the honey drizzled goodness. Pick up some flowers at Dirt, grab a slice of pie at The Emporium, and marvel at the chocolate imagination at Dude, Sweet Chocolate. Make sure to wander through the many art and furniture galleries as you walk off those beignets. 

There are great restaurants for lunch and dinner, like Lockhart’s BBQ or Eno’s Pizza, and stop by the Bishop Cider Company and taste a flight of cider. 

Also like Austin, the parking around the Bishop Arts District is terrible so be prepared to hike or valet.


Weekend in Amsterdam

Day 1: 

Anne Frank House: you’ve all read her diary so you should see where she wrote it, get here early or you’ll be standing in an extreamly long line

Yellow Bike Tour: Take a bike tour around the city

Dam Square: grab lunch in this bustling part of the city

Smallest House in Amsterdam: about the width of a window, snap a picture, marvel, and move on

Gassan Diamond Headquarters: they offer free tours every day of the week, you get to watch diamonds being cut and shaped, and they let you get up close and personal with diamonds that are quite big

Red Light Museum: it’s a very ummm colorful part of the city that you shouldn’t miss

Sightseeing Cruise: you’ll cruise down the canals in a glass top boat 

Day 2: 

Amsterdam Museum: this museum shows the history of the city, make sure to see the DNA exhibit because it is incredibly awesome 

Rijksmuseum: the Dutch National Museum 

Leidsplein: Leiden Square: lots of entertainers with great restaurants, go to Cafe America for Sunday Afternoon Jazz brunch

Van Gogh Museum: duh

Day 3: 

Zaanse Schans Tulips and Windmills: outside of the city the fields of tulips and iconic windmills is a must when you’re in The Netherlands

Volendam: a small fishing village that still exudes rustic charm

Marken: this used to be an island but is now connected to the mainland by a dike, it boasts traditional houses and residents in traditional costume 

Extra Credit:

Hash & Hemp Museum: an experience in itself, you see the history of marijuana and included in your ticket is the option to try marijuana… 

Rembrandt House Museum: Rembrandt’s house filled with his paintings

Oude Kirk: oldest church in Amsterdam and squarely in the middle of the Red Light District

Nemo Museum: science center museum 

What is your must see in Amsterdam?


Weekend in Venice

Who wants to go to Venice? Me! You too? Awesome. Here’s your itinerary! Pack your bags let’s go! 

Day 1: Start your day at the Ca’ d’Oro, one of the oldest palaces in Venice, then walk over to the Santa Maria dei Miracoli, which has a fantastic portrait of the Madonna that is said to be miraculous. Walk across the Ponte de Rialto a couple times and pick a place to have lunch while you gaze at one of the most famous bridges in all of Italy. Walk through Venice and stand in the Piazza San Marco and run with the pigeons. Head up the Campanile di San Marco and take in the views then head over to the Basilica di San Marco. 

Day 2: Begin at the Museo Storico Navale, the naval history museum, and walk down the Riva degli Schiavoni, and visit the Santa maria della Salute, a church that was built to commemorate the survivors of the plague. After lunch and head over to the Galleria dell’ Accademia and stare at Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man. After the museum check out the Squero di San Trovaso where gondolas are repaired and were traditionally crafted. 

Day 3: Wake up to another plague church, San Sebastiano, and then head to the Santa Maria Goriosa dei Frari, one of the most important churches in Venice. Have lunch in or right by the Piazza San Marco and then head over to the Palazzo Ducale, the Doge’s Palace, and go through everything! To end your trip to Venice take a fabulous Gondola ride! 

Extra Credit:
– visit one of the glass makers right outside the city
– Ponte dei Sospiri 
– Arsenale di Venezia
– Collezione Peggy Guggenheim 

Have you entered to win an Inslee by Design Calendar

Weekend in Athens


A weekend in Athens is not nearly enough time to appreciate that city, let alone Greece! But let’s give it a go!

Day 1: Head straight to the Acropolis and breathe in all the ancient history! Hike to the top and walk all around. After your hike walk around the Ancient Agora and pick a place for lunch. After lunch head to the New Acropolis Museum, make sure to look down when you walk in and see the archaeological dig site underneath the plexiglas panes in the entrance way. Take a good look on  Walk into the Parthenon that sits right next to the Museum. On Friday nights the museum holds talks about their pieces. Head over to the temple of Dionysus before you leave! Grab a glass of wine at dinner and toast to Dionysus… 

Day 2: Make sure you’re in comfortable shoes today! Start off your day the Arch of Hadrian, then head to the Temple of the Olympian Zeus and again walk in the footsteps of history. Walk over the the Panathinaiko Stadium (or run over if you’re feeling historic) where the first Olympics was held! After the stadium finish your walk to the Benaki Museum and have lunch before you explore the museum. Walk over to Syntagma Square where the Greek Parliament is and where many protests have occurred. Walk through the Plaka and shop to your heart’s content. 

Day 3: Take a day trip out to Delphi, yes as in The Oracle of. Hike to the top of the ancient sanctuary, check out the Dephi Museum, especially the Charioteer (and his itty bitty eye lashes) and the Naxian Sphinx. Have lunch either at Delphi museum or in the city. On your way home stop at Arachova and walk around the town and stop in the shops that have making rugs and woven items for centuries. Head back over to the Acropolis and have dinner staring at the Acropolis at night! It’s a whole different ballgame when the sun goes down! 

Extra Credit: Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, Corinth, Santorini,and Mykonos. Please head out to the islands, you need to, you really must. 

Remember to check out the other Weekend Itineraries

Where do you want to go for the weekend?


Weekend in Vienna

 Next up in the three day travel itinerary series: Vienna! The city of music! In Vienna there are an enormous amount of concerts that are put on each day. A fantastic one to attend is the one at the Schonbrunn Palace, make sure to check out the schedule so you can be at the Palace for the concert a day they put it on. You can switch these days around!

Day 1: Start out at St. Stephan’s Cathedral smack dab in the middle of the city, it is recognizable from anywhere in the city. Head over to the Spanish Riding School to see the world famous school and watch riders preform, you can’t miss this! Next up is the Imperial Treasury which houses the crown jewels… yep sign me up! Grab lunch at a cafe around the Treasury and people watch! After lunch get in line to enter the Hofburg Palace, an incredible palace filled with many different museums in different parts of the palace. Make sure to go through the Sisi Museum! After you have scoured every inch of the palace head over to the Naschmarkt and take you time going through all the shops!

Day 2: Begin your day with another Palace, the Belvedere Palace, an incredible amount of art, including Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss. make your way through the Stadtpark and take your time looking at all the statutes. Have lunch, or grab lunch and eat in the Stadtpark. Then head over to the Vienna State Opera and feel the history of all the ballets, operas, and concerts that have been held there over 150 years. After you’ve sampled Vienna’s musical culture sample Vienna’s famous Sacher torte at the Sacher Hotel. It’s famous and you’ll be able to taste why. Go for some more culture and see the Musikverein, another famous music hall. Check out their concert schedule and see what you can get a ticket to!

Day 3: Get ready for go old fashioned fun and head out to The Prater, make sure to jump on the ferris wheel and catch a glimpse of the whole of Vienna from the top! Spend the whole morning having fun and after lunch head out to Schonbrunn Palace. Make sure you visit all the gardens and stay for the concert! 

Extra Credit: The Leopold Museum, Art History Museum, Natural History Museum, the Karntnerstrasse (for some extreme shopping), the Butterfly House! 


Weekend in London

It’s time for the next installment in the three day itinerary series! This time is my favorite place in the world: London.

It’s London baby! 
Day 1: Begin your morning early at St. Paul’s Cathedral! Head over to the Tower of London and see the Crown Jewels and the famous beheading site! Walk across the famous Tower Bridge, head into a pub and grab some lunch then tour the HMS Belfast. Then take in a performance at the Globe Theatre! Spring for a seat and a cushion. The penny seats may sound great but you really don’t want to stand the whole time. 
Day 2: Start your day at the British Museum and marvel at everything that museum holds! Take a stroll through Covent Garden and look through everything! That place holds so many hidden gems and grab lunch at a place that looks good! After lunch go let your food settle as you ride the London Eye! Then head on over the Thames and see Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey and the Churchill War Rooms! Tonight would be a perfect time to catch a show in the West End!
Day 3: Head on over to Trafalgar Square, see the monument, and the lions, and take a quick trip through the National Gallery! Walk down the Mall and be in place in front of Buckingham Palace at 11:30 to see the Changing of the Guard! Get lunch quickly and go on your tour of Buckingham Palace! Take a walk after the tour through Hyde Park and have tea at Harrods (make a reservation!). After your quintessential English experience go see the Victoria and Albert Museum. 
Extra Credit: 
– Tate Modern
– National History Museum
– Take a half day trip out to Hampton Court
– Kensington Palace
– Queen Mary’s Rose Garden
– Sherlock Holmes Museum
 I look damn sexy in that bowler hat

London! Someone take me back! I will have your babies marry you love you forever buy you a souvenir!

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Weekend Trip to Paris

No no no I am not going to Paris for the weekend (but if anyone wants to take me I will gladly go!) I am starting a new series, based on my own travel experiences and my severe case of wanderlust, of how to see a city over the course of a long weekend!

Three days. In Paris.

Let’s do this.

Day 1: Go straight to the Eiffel Tower! Do not pass go, do not collect $200. Be at the Eiffel Tower as soon as it opens. Actually, get there 20 minutes before and grab a crepe at a street vendor or at a patisserie. When you get down from your amazing experience hop on the metro (it’s very easy to navigate, even if you don’t speak French) and go to Notre-Dame. Tour the cathedrale and it’s catacombs then walk around the Ile de la cite: Sainte Chapelle, Place Dauphine, Pont Neuf, and Place St-Michel. Eat lunch at a cafe on the Left Bank, there are some amazing places in St Germain. Walk along the Left Bank and go see the Musee d’Orsay. If you have time before dinner hop on the metro and see the Hotel des Invalides where Napoleon’s Tomb is! Pick a great spot for dinner on recommendations from your hotel or one of the many guidebooks!


Day 2: Start your day at the Louvre! Take a full half day soaking in all the exquisite art and then leave both amazed and a tiny bit depressed because you wish you could stay. Eat lunch at a cafe by the Jardin des Tuileries. Walk through the jardin, see the Musee de l’Orangerie (where Monet’s Water Lillies are shown), check out the Place de la Concorde as you get to the beginning of the Champs Elysees. Walk down the Champs Elysees and buy some macaroons at La Duree and look at all the very expensive shops. End your walk at the Arc de Triomphe! Dinner again wherever you choose! I never ate a bad meal in Paris!


Day 3: Catch the RER out to Versailles and see it all! Tour the main Palace, the gardens, the Grand Trianon, and Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet. Take the RER back to Paris and hop on the metro to head to Montmartre and have lunch! See the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur and walk through Montmartre looking at the artists colony. Take a Seine Dinner Cruise and enjoy your last night in Paris! Toast to the Eiffel Tower as you go by and see it sparkle!

like that photo bomb on the right? haha yeah…

Extra Credit: if you’ve got extra time or get to stay a little longer these are other things you can add
– Jardin du Luxembourg
– Pere Lachaise Cemetary (seriously)
– Take a cooking class
– Take a day trip to Chambord or Chennonceau
– Euro Disney is only an RER ride away!

Who’s ready to go to Paris?

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