Showing posts from 2019

A Day in Chicago

After our time in St. Louis, Alex and I headed to Chicago to visit my friend, Emma. I spent a lot of time in Chicago growing up and I love that city. We only had a short time in Chicago, so here is what we did in one day in Chicago:

Millennium Park
Millennium Park is a large public space in downtown Chicago. Millennium Park has restaurants, a skating rink in the winter, a garden, a pavilion for shows and concerts, galleries, and the Crown Fountain ( a large fountain surrounded by two glass towers which show people's faces). There are always events taking place in the park, like concerts, group workouts, food festivals, etc.
Cloud Gate (the Bean)
Cloud Gate (usually referred to as the Bean) is a large sculpture in Millennium Park. It looks like, you guessed it, a giant bean. It's a great photo op because when you walk near it or underneath it, it distorts your reflection. Fun fact: cleaners come twice a day to polish the entire Bean and rid the surface of fingerprints. 
Willis T…

St. Louis's Best Food and Restaurants

In my last post, I shared some of my favorite St. Louis adventures so in this post I thought I'd share some of my favorite St. Louis food stops (in no particular order). These are all either unique to St. Louis, or started in St. Louis (or Missouri) and then expanded beyond.

Famous Foods Let's start with two classic St. Louis foods 1. Toasted Ravioli
Toasted ravioli is a deep-friend ravioli and it was created in St. Louis. You can find them in restaurants all over St. Louis but if you leave without trying one, you're missing out.

2. Gooey Butter CakeGooey butter cake is a St. Louis creation and it's kind of hard to describe. It's a love it or hate it type food, but I think it's delicious. It's very rich, thin, and buttery. You can get it at a lot of St. Louis restaurants or at the grocery store.

Restaurants Imo's Pizza
I'm normally a thick-crust pizza type of girl, but there is something about Imo's thin crust pizza that I love. Imo's also u…

The Best St. Louis Adventures

This summer Alex and I took a 5-week trip across the United States. Our first stop? St. Louis, Missouri, my hometown, and (in my humble opinion) the best city in the world! I loved playing tour guide and showing Alex around all my favorite spots, but also some of the more well-known St. Louis tourist destinations. Here are some of our favorite places we checked out in St. Louis!

1. The Gateway Arch
The Arch is the Gateway to the West and the iconic symbol of St. Louis. Remember when the US bought the Louisiana Purchase from the French and sent Lewis and Clark out to explore our new land? Well, they started their journey in St. Louis. The Arch was built as a memorial to their exploration. For a small fee, you can ride a tiny, egg-shaped elevator up to the top of the Arch and get great views of St. Louis to the west and Illinois to the east. The elevators are not for the faint of heart (aka, if your claustrophobic and/or scared of heights, this may be a struggle for you, but worth it in…

Pretoria(ish) Adventures

In my last blog post I showed you 3 awesome Pretoria activities, however, if you are staying in Pretoria but don't mind adventuring an hour or so outside town, here are 4 more Pretoria(ish) adventures:

1. Walk through the Apartheid Museum
The Apartheid Museum documents the tragic history of South Africa during the Apartheid era and showcases the life and work of Nelson Mandela, a key player in the anti-Apartheid movement and the first black president of South Africa.
2. Find the origins of humanity at the Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind is a paleoanthropological site and one of South Africa's UNESCO World Heritage sites. The Cradle of Humankind is 47,000 hectares large and includes a lot of activities like game drives, canopy tours, and art galleries, but the main attraction is the Maropeng Visitor Center (basically a museum) and the Sterkfontein caves. In the museum, you'll learn all about the significance and importance of the Cradle of Humankind. The COH (as …

3 Pretoria Activities

In March my Dad came to visit for six weeks! It was awesome spending time with him and showing him around South Africa. Playing tour guide (and tourist) in my own city reminds me how lucky I am to live in Pretoria and South Africa. While my dad was here we got to travel a lot, hike in the Drakensberg, visit Lesotho, and go on a game drive in Pilanesberg. However, we also did a ton of activities a bit closer to home. Here are my top 3 Pretoria activities:

1. Watch the Blue Bulls play at Loftus Versfeld
Rugby is a quintessential South African past time. Similar to American football and equally confusing. We got our tickets from the official Blue Bulls website for 50 rand each in the mid-top section. P.S. the South African accent makes "Blue Bulls" sound like "Blue Balls" - cracks me up every time (I know, I'm five).  2. Visit the Voortrekker Monument

The Voortrekker Monument is a memorial to the Voortrekker people (ancestors of modern-day Afrikaans people) who mo…

How to choose a South African Safari // Pilanesberg

Where to go on safari in South Africa? Firstly, in South Africa, "safaris" are called game drives. Safari is a very Western term but they can be used interchangeably. If you want to go on safari in South Africa, there are countless options. Kruger is by far the largest and most popular safari destination in South Africa. The park covers 19,485 km² (~12,107 miles²) so it's pretty expansive. Although I've been to Kruger many times and had great experiences each time, there are countless other game parks in South Africa that are just as incredible and highly rated. Check here for a list of the best game reserves in South Africa.

How to chose a safari destination.Location: Location is key. For instance, if you are staying in Cape Town, Kruger is about an 18-hour drive or 2-hour plane ride away. Luckily, there are equally fantastic parks near Cape Town such as Gondwana Game Reserve. If you are staying in Pretoria or Jo'burg, Pilanesberg is close by. In Port Elizabeth…