The Perfect Night in Madrid

the perfect night in madridMadrid is a magical, lively, and unique place to visit. Madrid is also a foodie lover’s paradise! During my husband and I’s recent trip to Madrid, we decided that we would spend one night exploring the city by foot and indulging in one dish (and drink) at a time. Our desire was to try delicious food, but also to explore some of Madrid’s nightlife. We went out on a Saturday night and the energy of the city was contagious.

Below we have our itinerary with the stops we took throughout the night. Let us know in the comments if you have a favorite spot in Madrid, and we will add it to our list for next time! You can also view more of our Madrid photos on instagram at @foreverjetsettingblog and if you are interested in more about travel in Spain, we have another travel post up for Seville with our itinerary.

The Stuyck Co 

We had not seen any craft beer bars in Madrid, so when we walked by The Styuck Co, my husband said we had to stop in for a beer. He is the bigger beer drinker between the two of us. The bartender was super friendly and made some recommendations, and my husband approved of all the beers he tried! After a few beers we decided to move on to the next place. They did serve food, but we did not order any. Calle Corredera Alta de San Pablo, 33, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Aió

IMG_7797Our next stop was at an Italian restaurant, Aió. We were a little hungry after the beers so we chose some pizettas and vino. Very straightforward but inexpensive and great quality. I really enjoyed the vibe of this place. It was pretty busy but we sat at the bar and decided to make talk with the bartender. We would recommend this spot as a quick stop. Their menu looked great but we decided to just stick with a snack. We still had a long night ahead of us.

Oh, and I heard on Thursday they have all you can eat buffet style for 5 euros… Calle Corredera Baja de San Pablo, 25, 28004 Madrid, Spain

Mercado San Miguel

This market became one of our favorites that we visited while in Spain. In 1916, this market opened and in 2000 it was declared a world heritage site. This market is not a traditional one, but more gourmet and filled with different tapa vendors. I fell in love with one of the cheese stands, because I am such a cheese head! For 14 euros you can get 2 glasses of wine and a cheese board with six different kinds to try. The vendor is Mya Valdalos Quesos Artesanales. We also tried some sherry at The Sherry Corner that was delicious. Definitely visit while in Madrid, there are so many food options and you won’t be disappointed. Plaza de San Miguel, s/n, 28005 Madrid, Spain

Bar Yambala

After eating a lot of cheese and some tapas at Mercado San Miguel, we set out on foot with no plans for our next stop, and then we walked by a hookah bar. We usually do not frequent hookah bars but decided to try it out. The decor inside was pretty funky, with plants on the ceiling and photos of musicians all around. We probably spent a few hours here enjoying our hookah, some cocktails, and people watching. C/coloreros Nº4, 28013 Madrid, Spain, Spain

Museo del Jamón

After a few hours we were hungry again so we set out for Museo del Jamón. For only a few euros we had ordered a couple of beers and had some of the iberico ham. So good! They also have a promotion all day where you can get a bocadillo de jamon for only a euro! This is basically a baguette with ham. They have a full menu as well but I would recommend you go for a snack. Eat at the bar and make new friends. Half the experience was just sitting at the bar talking with some of the regulars. There are a few locations, we ended up visiting the one located by Plaza de Mayor. Plaza Mayor, 18, 28012 Madrid, Spain

Chocolatería San Ginés

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When in Madrid, you have to end a perfect night with some churros and chocolate. I had never dipped churros in chocolate until I visited Spain. I am not a huge sweets person, but this was so delicious and decadent! This place is a must try! Pasadizo de San Gines, 5, 28013 Madrid, Spain

Interested in reading more about our travels? You may be interested in travel to Seville, or Budapest? Read more about our travels on instagram- @foreverjetsettingblog

Cheers to 2018!

The first week of the New Year has almost came to a close! Personally, I don’t know how 2017 could be topped, but I am super excited and motivated for this coming year. For some reason, I always feel like I start out with a clean slate once the first day of the year rolls around. My personal motto for 2018 is, “Why wait until tomorrow?”. I know, sounds pretty cliché, but honestly I am putting this into motion! No more goals and dreams are going on that back burner, they are going front and center.

I’ve spent the first week of 2018 completely reorganizing my house, finances, and office space. I started out first with my bedroom. If your bedroom is messy and cluttered don’t you think the rest of your life is probably a mess? What I mean by that, is that I am never at my best and never completely focused when my bedroom and house is a mess. Next, I started by making lists. Lists of everything. Lists of things I think about or need to get done in order to reach a goal, and I do this before I go to bed. This way I can sleep more peacefully. My mind is always wandering so this has helped a lot actually getting my goals and to-dos on paper.

How do you start a New Year? Do you have any tips or tricks for organizing your life and keeping track of your goals? I would love to hear about them in the comments! Wishing you an amazing and productive 2018!

 

Adventures In Seville, Spain

Last month I spent a few weeks in Spain and Seville was the very last stop of the trip. Going into Seville, all I knew is that the city had a huge flamenco scene. I didn’t really do a lot of research for this stop, but it ended up working out and we had a wonderful time. You can view more of my Seville photos on instagram at @foreverjetsettingblog and if you are interested in more about travel in Spain, we have another travel post up for Madrid with our itinerary.

So I wasn’t expecting Seville to have amazing food. Every meal we had in Spain was delicious, but hands down our most delicious meals of our entire Spain trip were found in Seville. I personally fell in love with the fried boquerones (white anchovies) and espinacas con garbonzos (spinach with garbonzo beans) at El Rinconcillo. We did hear that this was the oldest bar in Seville. We actually visited twice and both times the food was beyond delicious. Both times we decided to stand at the bar in the back and the staff and locals were so friendly. We ended up arriving between 8P and 9P each time and noticed that shortly after we arrived the place started filling up fast. The flavors were wonderful even though the ingredients were very simple. You could tell it’s all about how the dish is prepared. We went to many other tapa bars and every dish tasted great. I am pretty sure it’s safe to say that it doesn’t matter where you eat at in Seville, all the food will be amazing.

Besides eating a lot, we were actually able to fit in many sites during the few days we were in Seville. Our first stop was at Metropol Parasol. We arrived during the evening so we decided to visit at night so we could see the city lights. The admission of the ticket (only 3 euros) also provided you with a complimentary drink, as well as a postcard from the gift shop.

On our second day in Seville we started the day by visiting the Alcázar of Seville. We had bought tickets online two days in advance. We read the reviews on TripAdvisor and decided that it would be best to buy tickets for the first time slot of the day. The Alcázar was my favorite site during our trip. The gardens were breathtaking and we were able to beat the crowds and get some amazing photos by visiting first thing in the morning. We ended up spending three hours there and even took a coffee break in the gardens.

After The Alcázar, we visited the Seville Cathedral. We opted out of the audio tour, so we roamed the Cathedral freely and took many photos. Unfortunately we visited during the middle of the day and it was hard to navigate through all the tourists. Afterwards, we walked to Plaza de España. It was a nice walk from the Cathedral. The Plaza was very lively, with lots of tourists and musicians playing music.

Before our second day came to a close, we were able to visit the Museo del Baile Flamenco for a show. This was definitely one of the highlights of the trip. The music and dancing was so intense and very emotional. The show was short, only an hour, but definitely was enjoyable and a once in a lifetime experience. I definitely recommend attending a show while in Seville!

Our last day in Seville was very relaxing and was spent shopping for souvenirs, catching up on sleep and visiting the Aire de Sevilla. We didn’t really know what to expect at Aire Sevilla, mostly due to all the mixed reviews on TripAdvisor, but I am so glad we went. My husband and I went together and it wasn’t very busy, but there were a handful of other couples there. My favorite bath was the salt bath. We opted out of massages and spent the entire time in the different baths. We felt the price was very afforable and we ended up walking out completely relaxed and rejuvenated.

After visiting Barcelona, Madrid, and Toledo, Seville was the perfect last stop for our Spain trip. I am still torn and undecided on my favorite place in Spain, it is too difficult to choose. I would love to spend a few weeks in southern Spain, since the farthest south we ended up was Seville. So it looks like I need to plan for another trip!

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What are some of your favorite destinations in Spain? Have you been to Seville? I would love to hear in the comments! Check out my Insta for more photos from my trip!

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2017: A Year in Review

2017 was filled with new countries and places travelled, a new business, home projects, a new job, and new friendships. Oh, and I got married. Seriously, what a year.

In 2018, I am looking forward to visiting a new continent, finishing all our home projects, and growing my business. What are your 2018 goals?  Here are a few of my favorite memories from 2017, in no particular order of course. Do not ask me which destination was my favorite, it would be impossible to choose!

1. Lisbon, PortugalIMG_0990.JPG

The most delicious fresh seafood, cool street art, trendy shops and nightlife, laid back vibes, friendly locals, and easy public transit.

2. Barcelona, SpainIMG_1160.JPG

Super inexpensive pintxos (yum!), lots of city walking and history, and beautiful views.

3. Key West, USAIMG_0002

I loved how relaxing Key West felt and how slow everything was. You could forget your worries and just sit back and enjoy the scenery.

4. Porto, PortugalIMG_2845

Drinking wine on the Douro River was everything.

5. Madrid, SpainGPTempDownload (2).JPG

Madrid had very cool little neighborhoods within the city, excellent nightlife, and I even had my first pick pocket attempt right after we took this photo.

6. Toledo, SpainIMG_0958

Exploring Toledo was magical. We decided to stay the night in the town since most tourists leave before the sun goes down. It felt like we had the entire town to ourselves.

7. Seville, SpainIMG_1711

Beautiful royal gardens and some of the most delicious food in Spain.

8. New York, USAProcessed with VSCO with c1 preset

All about the happy hours, busy streets, and the energy of the city.

9. Budapest, HungaryDCIM100GOPROGOPR0611.JPG

The Christmas Market was a good time and we even went to a beer bath.

10. Detroit, USAIMG_0490

Detroit has so much to do, and so much of it is free! There are also so many trendy bars and shops. I love how the city is growing and building again.

 

Follow me on Insta (@foreverjetsettingblog) to see what I am up to in 2018! I’d love to see all the big things you’re doing in the coming year.

Three Days in Budapest, Hungary

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The Hungarian Parliament Building, the largest building in Hungary and the tallest in Budapest

Honestly I had no idea what to expect when I visited Budapest a few weeks ago. It was the first place I’ve traveled where I actually have roots. My maternal great grandmother was from Hungary as well as my paternal great grandparents. I will say though, Hungary obviously cannot be explored in only three days. Next time we go back we are definitely giving ourselves more time. When planning my trip I knew that I definitely had to relax in a thermal bath, have a drink in a ruin pub, visit the Budapest Christmas Fair, and sample as much Hungarian food as possible in only three short days. Other than the above mentioned, I had made no other plans for Budapest, just to walk around the city leisurely.

My husband and I decided to stay at an Airbnb. Our flight landed around midnight and thankfully our Airbnb host was able to coordinate a ride for us. After dropping our luggage off, we decided what better time to check out a ruin pub than at 1 in the morning?! We weren’t let down either. The ruin pub we went to, Szimpla Kert, definitely lived up to the hype. If you are wondering what ruin pubs are, they are housed in abandoned buildings or warehouses where the building is literally crumbling around you. You will see everything inside from interesting psychedelic art, to mismatched furniture. Besides for it being very crowded, Szimpla Kert felt charming and comfortable and there was an endless amount of decor to look at and admire. We each had a beer and we would have had another one because the place was just too cool, but it had been a long day so we headed back to the Airbnb to sleep.

Our first full day was spent walking, and eating, and walking some more. My husband and I believe in walking everywhere on our travels. There is no better way to explore a city than walking it. Plus it’s free and we tell ourselves that it’s a great way to walk off all the food we eat along the way. We walked all over Buda and Pest, went to the Central Market, explored the Buda Castle, saw the beautiful Parliament building, and ate our fair share of lángos (deep fried dough) and chimney cake (dough that is spun, rolled in sugar, and than roasted over charcoal) at the Christmas Fair. We did try lángos with sour cream and cheese on top, which was delicious, but we preferred ours plain. Usually on our travels we have a nightcap, somewhere close to where we are staying, but this night we were wiped from all the walking. Besides, we had about 4 (or 6) mulled hot wines throughout the day. If I didn’t mention this before, we went in November and it was pretty cold our entire trip.

The following morning we woke up early because we had an appointment at the Thermal Beer Spa, located inside the Szechenyi Baths. I can’t believe this is still really a thing but it was a good time and my husband loved it. Just picture all the beer you can drink in 45 minutes while soaking in a hot bath. Your own tap is located directly next to your tub. You just help yourself! After our time was up at the beer spa, we spent a few more hours at Szechenyi Baths. Since it was so cold outside, we headed directly to the hot outdoor bath first. This one was our favorite. It was neat to admire the beautiful building while sitting outside, and I think it was even more of an enjoyable experience just because it was so cold outside. I do have some tips though, remove your jewelry before entering the baths and do rent a cabin! The cabin was plenty spacious for my husband and I, and it was nice to leave everything in our cabin instead of in a locker in the locker room. We bought a ticket online to the Thermal Beer Spa two days ahead of time, and the ticket included the cabin rental and admission to the Szechenyi Baths as well.

Afterwards, we visited the House of Terror and I am so glad we went. We learned a lot about 20th-century Hungary and the nation’s relationships to Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. You are able to rent audio guides, but we did not. There were paper print outs in each room in English, so this involved a lot of reading, but we did not mind. No photos or recording allowed though! If you have small children with you, just go ahead and skip this, but it is definitely worth the visit.

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Unfortunately, we didn’t find the authentic Hungarian food we were looking for, but I am sure if we had more time on our trip we would have ventured outside the city center since there were many restaurant suggestions that were given to us. I have heard though, that the most authentic food you are going to find in Hungary is in someone’s kitchen. Hopefully on our next trip, we will befriend some amazing cooks. My great grandparents are from Sopron, close to Austria, so our next Hungary trip will need to start there.

What sites or destinations should we visit next time in Hungary? I know there is so much that we missed out on, but we did have an amazing time. We are already planning our next trip, and I would love to take one of my parents with us next time.

Cheers!

For $40 off your first Airbnb booking, click here!

Photo Journal: Des Moines

I was in Des Moines for business a few weeks ago and decided to check out the city on my days off. Oktoberfest was going on while I was there, and honestly I never thought I would have so much fun in Des Moines! I also found people in Iowa to be so kind.

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Here are some of the places I visited.

Hotel: Staybridge Suites West Des Moines I have stayed here before for business and since I had such a wonderful experience, I had to come back! Monday thru Wednesday they offer a complimentary social hour, complete with food as well as beer and wine. They also have a daily complimentary breakfast. I especially loved the walking/running trail behind the hotel. I went on a few runs during my stay. I am very picky when it comes to hotels, since I spend 200+ nights a year in them, but this hotel is definitely one of the cleanest I have ever stayed in. All the staff are very friendly and courteous. A few employees even remembered me from last year! An Uber ride is about $11-$18 to go downtown.

Oktoberfest I especially loved the music and even though there was too many young intoxicated people for my liking (I know I know it’s OKTOBERFEST) I still had a great time. I really enjoyed Hessen Haus, their food was great, and it was in the middle of all the action. I would recommend going during the day before it gets too wild.

Beechwood Lounge This is a place that caught my attention while I was walking by it. I love, love, love dive bars and this place definitely looked interesting from the outside. I am glad I stopped. The bartenders were very friendly and the drinks were cheap. It also wasn’t extremely busy, which is a major plus on a Saturday. Pretty sure everyone was at Oktoberfest. This place was one of my favorite drinking spots during this trip and I will be sure to go back.

El Bait Shop Unfortunately it was way too hot to sit outside because the outdoor sitting area looked pretty dope. I have a feeling that this place is busy most of the time, we couldn’t find a seat at the bar. Really tasty, greasy bar food here.

High Life Lounge Loved this place! I honestly could have came back here a few times for a drink. This place and El Bait Shop share a kitchen are next door to each other.

Quinton’s Bar & Deli I have to recommend this place just for their Shredded Pork Nachos. Amazing and totally filling. The bartenders were nice enough and this bar is located in the East Village, by some great boutiques and antique shops.

Porch Light This place was my favorite boutique that I went to in Des Moines. They carry some antiques and home decor. I ended up buying a few things for my house.

I definitely enjoyed the East Village area the most. Hopefully next time I come it will be during baseball season. I would have loved to catch an Iowa Cubs game! Check out my insta for more photos of my trip.

Photo Journal: Kansas City

Recently I visited Kansas City for work and I very much enjoyed myself. I have been in KC numerous times for work, but have never been able to see much of the city. I had a few days off so I ventured out and went exploring. Below are some photos from my adventure.

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Here are some of the places I visited.

Hotel: Harrahs North Kansas City This is my second time staying here and I had a great stay. The rooms are simple, yet clean and since I drive a trailer, the huge parking lot is a plus. Harrahs is cheap (usually) and I use Orbitz (hello Orbitz Rewards) and Ebates so I feel like I’ve already won once I buy the room. Downtown is close and a $7-10 Uber ride away.

Liberty Memorial Tower Killer view of the city! I did not have time to visit the WW1 Museum, but I’ve heard great things. I’m definitely going to visit next time I am in town.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art Beautiful museum! I was surprised to stumble into a courtyard where they served mimosas (and other delicious items). I spent a good few hours here.

Bo Lings I am a sucker for a good happy hour and the decor of Bo Lings was a plus. The staff were very friendly and all the food I tried was delicious. I went to their Country Club Plaza location.

Pt’s Coffee I stumbled upon this place as I was walking in the Crossroads neighborhood (a super cool artsy neighborhood) and took in some AC and a cortado. Definitely take a walk through this neighborhood. Lots of art galleries. I wish I could have spent more time in this area.

Up-Down I love retro games and always have to stop at arcade bars when I see them.

Green Lady Lounge This was definitely my favorite place I visited in KC! As soon as I entered, I felt like I was going back in time. I love live music and dark places so instantly I was in love. This place has live jazz 7 days a week and never has a cover! They mainly serve drinks but do have a hummus and cheese plate. When you visit, don’t be that guy on your phone the entire time. Enjoy the music and drinks.