aspiring kennedy: lovely places you need to see

Introducing my friend, Lauren Knight from her super duper blog, Aspiring Kennedy. You may have noticed my guest posts on her blog and taken a trip over there yourself already. If not then do! Originally from Dallas, she now lives in London with her hubby Tyler and adorable (like beyond a joke adorable) little girl, Viola. She's incredibly well travelled throughout Europe, partly because of her job and partly because she LOVES to explore new places. Despite being from across the pond, even just within London she knows exactly where to head to make the most of the city around her. So here she is, in what will be a regular feature. Pick 6 will be a window into some of this acquired knowledge and a chance to enjoy her charm.

It took me several times across the pond to venture off the normal American-visiting-Europe path. Like most people, London, Paris, Rome, & Germany sat on the itineraries for each of our first trips.Obviously, these cities are popular for countless reasons…but might I suggest six places that you might not have ever considered? But six places that could absolutely rock your world? None of them are too far off the beaten path either. Trust me, I'll walk you through it.

1. St. Andrews

I love St. Andrews so much.
You don't have to be a golfer or royalist (guilty!)
to enjoy this place either.

I adore wandering through the tiny town
and enjoying quiet moments along the quiet coast…
typically with a cone of Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream 
from the town's beloved ice cream shop, B. Jennetta's, in hand.

The prices are reasonable,
it's easily accessed by train or bus from Edinburgh,
the charity shops never disappoint in kitschy treasures
and the food at the small cafes is affordably tasty.

I love it there,
and I don't know a person who hasn't adored it 
after venturing that way, either.

2. Prague

Obviously, this one has to make it to my list:
It's where Tyler & I honeymooned!

Something about this city's fairy tale architecture
and lamp lit cobblestone streets,
makes a trip here unforgettable.

And the goulash isn't bad, either!

Accessible via rail or budget airlines,
Prague is a gorgeous city 
that has your name all over it.

Okay, not your name…
but you'll be glad you went.

3. Verona

Verona is a household name
thanks to every high schoolers favorite love story,
Romeo & Juliet…
but the experience you'll have 
in this wealthy city
is anything but textbook.

The restaurants serve homemade food with great presentation,
the gelato cones are heaped generously,
and the streets unfold with stereotypical Italian splendor
at every turn and piazza.

Spend two nights here
and I promise,
by the end of it
you'll be spouting romantic feelings
towards this little gem
in a way that might make Shakespeare blush.

4. Avignon

Most people first venture to the riviera 
when heading to the South of France…
but if they only knew what treasures
awaited them so nearby
they may change their plans entirely
and head towards Provence.

I'm embarrassed to say 
that my first time to Provence was in recent years.

After uncovering the glorious of Avignon
and it's neighbors, Aix-En-Provence & Arles,
I'm not sure I'll ever get enough of this tiny area
sat near the Rhone river.

Every moment feels dreamlike
as you float through the small daily market stalls 
and sit in cafes while wine glasses clink 
and small poodles snooze by your feet.

If it was good enough to lure the papacy 
out of Rome for a stint
and inspire Van Gogh to create his masterpieces,
I can promise: 
you'll love it, too.

5. Portugal's Algarve

I can't say that I was expecting much
out of our trip to the Algarve.

In fact, I didn't have a clue what to expect- 
but, woah, am I glad we whimsically chose to go there.

We constantly refer to it
as one of our favorite spots ever.

Sunny, affordable, stunning views, great food
with easy flights form London…

man, I'm having a hard time not clicking 
to a new window for a budget flight there right now.

6. Iceland

Isn't that, like, completely out of the way
when traveling Europe?

Obviously, but…
not really.

IcelandAir offers great prices
on transatlantic flights
with layover options at no added cost
for a stay in Iceland.

Quick dip in the Blue Lagoon
and a weekend in Reykjavic?

I couldn't recommend this idea more
as the past two treks we have taken there
have rocked our world.


So while you're planning your European vacation,
add in a few days somewhere off the beaten path
and enhance your trip with a stop off 
to one of these (dare I say, "life changing?") destinations.


  1. man, just re-reading this makes me want to go on a vacation!

    thanks for having me, teri! i love The Lovely Drawer!

  2. Ah, Provence. So sad I have yet to venture there. One day. Lauren can we just hire you for our tour guide! What a great post!

  3. I'm SO glad you enjoyed the Algarve!! I hope next time you get to spend some time in Lisbon too, my true love :)