San Miguel de Allende Travel Diary

Thursday, October 3, 2019

When we received an invitation for our friends' wedding in San Miguel de Allende, we knew that we were going to be in for a fun weekend! Not only would we be able to celebrate the marriage of two of our friends, we would be doing so with a group of our college friends in a city that had been on our bucket list. Follow along for a recap of our trip!

Day 1 

colorful wall in San Miguel de Allende

the courtyard at boutique hotel Hacienda el Santuario 
There are multiple ways to get to San Miguel, but we chose to fly into Queretaro since it was the shortest ride over to San Miguel (1 hour) compared to flying into Leon or Mexico City. It also helped that our friends booked their flights to Queretaro too! From the airport we had a private shuttle take us straight to our hotel. We stayed at Hacienda el Santuario which is a boutique hotel in the heart of San Miguel. We loved the location and service at the hotel. My favorite part was the delicious breakfast that was served every morning in the courtyard. 

Once we settled into our room and freshened up we headed out to find somewhere to have lunch. We decided on a food hall called Doce 18 Concept House since they offered a variety of different foods. While the building and idea behind the shops and food hall was very neat and felt like New York, the food we had was not great. I ordered the quesadillas and they were tasteless and greasy. It was disappointing to start off with a terrible meal but everything we ate after that was delicious! 

The main square in San Miguel de Allende

in front of La Parroquia

buying flower crowns 

in front of Casa Rosada 

the beautiful cathedral, La Parroquia, in San Miguel de Allende

inside La Parroquia 

flowers along one of the streets
After lunch we wandered around the main square where the beautiful church, La Parroquia, is located. We popped into shops along the square and surrounding streets and even stopped by a street vendor stall to buy flower crowns to wear to the wedding parade. We proceeded to meet up with the bride, groom, and friends at La Casa Del Diezmo for margaritas before heading over to the loveliest rooftop bar, Quince. We didn’t have any of the food, but all of the cocktails we tried were delicious- and the view was incredible too! 

view from Quince rooftop 

drinks at Quince 

drinks at Quince with a view of La Parroquia 

For dinner we all met up at Luna Rooftop Tapas bar at the Rosewood Hotel. We ordered a few appetizers and churros for dessert. We spent the rest of the evening chatting, drinking mezcal, and enjoying the view.

Day 2 

Chilaquiles for breakfast at Hacienda el Santuario 
coffee from Panio 
We started off the day with breakfast in the courtyard of our hotel. I was so excited that chilaquiles was part of what they offered since they are my favorite! After breakfast we headed out in search of coffee. We ended up getting yummy iced lattes from Panio. They also had some tasty looking pastries in the display case but we didn’t get to try them out since we were full from breakfast.

Our Lady of Health Church in San Miguel de Allende

Steven enjoying a coke near el Mercado 
With our lattes in hand, we headed to the Mercado de Artesanias. This artisan market was huge! We walked around for a long time just looking into the different booths. There were multiple sections to this market: Mercado de Artesanias, Mercado San Miguel, and Mercado Ignacio Ramirez. You could find anything there! There was art, jewelry, home decor, traditional clothing, souvenirs, spices, food, etc. I bought a blue and white jar, a decorative bell, and a small painting of La Parroquia. 

at Fabrica la Aurora 
at Fabrica la Aurora 
After exploring the mercado we walked to Fabrica la Aurora which is a renovated textile mill that houses cafes, shops, and galleries for local artists. This place was high end and expensive, but if you are in the market for artwork this is the place for you! We enjoyed walking around and looking at the sculptures and art. 

cobble stone streets and colorful buildings in San Miguel de Allende

a piñata purse, margarita, and Victoria beer at Sabroso Taqueria 

Steven enjoying his tacos at Sabroso Taqueria 
For lunch we decided we wanted tacos so we went to Sabroso Taqueria. We sat out on the rooftop and enjoyed our favorite meal of the trip! We ordered chilaquiles, guacamole, street tacos, and margaritas. Everything was so good! We loved it so much we told all our friends to go there and went back to eat there a second time later on our trip. 

For dessert, we had churros at San Augustin. We were lucky that there wasn’t a line when we arrived and were seated right away. We ordered a plain churro for Steve and a cajeta churro for me. They were both delicious!

After lunch I did a little shopping. We’d walked by this store called Sindashi earlier and I knew I wanted to try a few things on. Sindashi sells handmade and hand painted clothing with the coolest designs. I tried on a few pieces and ended up buying a skirt and top with a blue painted design. I love that the clothing is basically a piece of art! 

ready for the callejoneada 

callejoneada to celebrate Jordan and Jose 

with the beautiful bride in San Miguel de Allende 

Our evening plans were dedicated to wedding festivities. This was my first time participating in a Callejoneada which is basically a wedding parade that winds through the streets of San Miguel with the wedding party, guests, and band in tow. It was so much fun! Following the Callejoneada we went to Zumo for a cocktail party to celebrate the bride and groom!

Day 3 

Lavender latte from Lavanda Cafe 

View from El Mirador in San Miguel 

a cactus at El Mirador in San Miguel 
The wedding day finally arrived! The wedding ceremony was at 2pm so we decided to wake up early and get some exploring in before we got ready for the wedding. We started off with lavender lattes from Lavanda Cafe. We’d had breakfast at the hotel so we just walked up to the window and ordered our lattes to go. From the cafe we started the up hill walk to El Mirador which is a look out point with a great view of all of San Miguel. It was a steep walk up but we were prepared and really enjoyed getting to see the city from above. 

at the wedding reception 

congratulations Jordan and Jose! 
We headed back to our hotel where we showered and got ready for the wedding. The ceremony and reception were held at the visual art school, Instituto Allende. Everything was so beautiful! Our friends Jordan and Jose had a beautiful ceremony that was in both English and Spanish to honor the joining of two hearts and two cultures. Following the ceremony we were treated to a lovely cocktail hour where a saxophone player filled the air with jazzy music as we ate hors devours and sipped on cocktails.

For the reception we were led into a beautiful room that had flowers and lanterns hanging from the ceiling and to top it off a great view of La Parroquia! It was a magical place to have a wedding reception! The rest of the day/evening was such a blast! There was dinner, a dessert bar, a constant flow of drinks, tons of different entertainment, and non stop dancing. Overall it was an epic way to celebrate the bride and groom.

Day 4 

a colorful building in San Miguel de Allende 

Colorful door in San Miguel de Allende 
spicy margarita at Sabroso Taqueria 

This view of San Miguel from Calle Aldama 
After such a fun day and night we had a slow start to our morning. We got ready and headed out for brunch hosted by the grooms family. It was so fun to catch up with everyone and relive the previous evenings festivities. After brunch we wandered around San Miguel before heading back to the hotel for a nap.

For a late lunch we went back to Sabroso Taqueria for another delicious meal of tacos and guacamole! We also strolled through the Mercado de Artesanias one last time before meeting up with friends.

Our evening was spent sipping on cocktails at various bars including La Azotea.

Day 5

breakfast at Lavanda Cafe 
We ended our trip to San Miguel with breakfast at Lavanda Cafe where we had waffles, chilaquiles, and lattes. It was the perfect meal to end a wonderful weekend!

Paris Travel Diary May 2019

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Trocadéro | May 2019 | Photo by Doug from L'
Amour de Paris
I finally made it to Paris! I’ve been dreaming of going to Paris for years and I finally convinced Steven to make the trip with me! Steven visited Paris with his family years ago and didn’t have the best experience. It was frustrating to hear that about a city I dreamed of going to and every time Steven would say that I would respond “I am going with or without you so you might as well come with me!”. I am so so glad he did, because after our trip he has completely changed his mind! We both absolutely adore Paris and would love to go back someday! Here is a recap of our trip.

Pont d'lena May 2019 | Photo by Doug from L'
Amour de Paris

Day 1

Lunch at Les Antiquaires | Mushroom Risotto & Ribeye

We took the train from London to Paris early in the morning and arrived close to noon. Since our Airbnb wouldn’t be ready for a few hours we decided to take our luggage with us on a walk through the Tuileries Garden followed by lunch at Les Antiquaires. We got there right before the lunch rush and were sat immediately at a table out front. I ordered the mushroom risotto and Steven had ribeye. We both enjoyed our food and were grateful for the friendly service especially since we had luggage with us.

Once we were finally able to get into our Airbnb we dropped off our things, changed, and headed out to explore Paris.

Notre Dame May 2019
We stated off by walking around Saint Germain. If we hadn’t just had lunch I would have loved to eat at one of the cafes along Boulevard Saint-Germain. Cafe de Flore and Les Deux Magots were both very lively and inviting. We made our way up Rue Dauphine to Place Dauphine. After spending some time taking in the tranquility of the park, we hoped to walk over to where Notre Dame is at, but of course the area was closed off because of the fire at the cathedral. I was very sad when I heard about the fire at Notre Dame and I am glad that it was not completely destroyed and that it will be restored. Even with the scaffolding and the aftermath of the fire Notre Dame was still a beautiful sight.


Instead of a full sit down meal for dinner we opted to pop into a few places on our list for treats. Our first stop was ad Odette where we ordered delicious cream puffs. The next stop on our list was Berthillon Glacier where I ordered the coconut ice cream. It was so good that I regretted not getting a double scoop, but with one more stop on our list I wanted to make sure I had room! Our next stop took us through the latin quarter which felt like a really cool neighborhood. There were people hanging out everywhere, bars and cafes lined the streets, and there was an all around cool vibe about the area. We decided on crepes from Au P’tit Grec. I had a strawberry Nutella crepe since I was already on a roll with desserts, but the savory crepes looked great too! We were lucky and were able to snag seats inside the tiny cafe before the line formed outside. After finishing our crepes and feeling full and content we made our way to the Luxembourg Gardens.

Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens)
Jardin du Luxembourg (Luxembourg Gardens)

Le Jardin du Luxembourg was one of my favorite gardens in Paris! There were people everywhere lounging, eating, reading, and just enjoying being in such a beautiful place.

Day 2

Sunrise at Trocadero, Paris | May 2019 

Sunrise at Trocadero, Paris | May 2019 

Our first full day in Paris started bright and early before the sun came up! We were up around 4am because we had a sunrise photo shoot booked with Doug from L’amour de Paris. We arrived at the Trocadero at 6am and were surprised to see there were already people out there! It was such a magical and beautiful sight to see the sun come up with the Eiffel Tower in the background and made the early wake up call worth it. We were able to snap a few of our own pics before our photographer arrived and we started our anniversary photo shoot.

We had such a good time during our photo shoot. Doug was very friendly and also very knowledgeable about the city. If you are visiting Paris I highly recommend booking a photo session with him!

We were done with our photoshoot before most of the cafes were even open, but luckily we found Le Petit Suffren near the Eiffel Tower and warmed up with coffee and crepes.

Roses near the base of the Eiffel Tower 

One of the observation decks on the Eiffel Tower

Trocadéro Carousel | May 2019
After breakfast we walked through the Champ de Mars towards the Eiffel Tower where we bought tickets to take the elevator up to the top observation deck. It was really cool to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower. I will say though that my favorite view of the city was from the top of the Arc de Triomphe!

For lunch we went to Sanukiya. I had the curry udon which had the perfect consistency and balance of spice and sweetness. Steven had the lunch set which came with udon, an omelet, and crispy chicken katsu.

Iced Mocha from Café Kitsuné at Palais Royal

Jardin du Palais Royal

Roses at Jardin du Palais Royal
We made our way to the Palais Royal and spent time walking around enjoying the rose gardens with an Iced Mocha from Cafe Kitsune in hand. From there we walked through the Jardin des Tuileries to Musee de l’Orangerie.

Claude Monet's Water Lilies at Musee de l'Orangerie
Claude Monet's Water Lilies at Musee de l'Orangerie

Musee de l’Orangerie was at the top of my list for museums because of the oval exhibition rooms specifically built to showcase Monet’s Water Lilies. It was incredible! I could have spent all day just taking in the paintings. How I wish I could own one of his pieces. Monet is my absolute favorite painter. While I could’ve spent all my time in the two oval rooms, we did explore the rest of the museum where we saw pieces by Henri Matisse, Alfred Sisley, Paul Cezanne, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

Our evening plans consisted of casually strolling down the Champs-Elysees where we popped into stores that caught our attention. Honestly a majority of the stores there were stores you could find anywhere so while the tree lined street was beautiful I wasn’t all that impressed by what it offered.

Arc de Triomphe

View from the top of the Arc de Triomphe

At the end of Champs-Elysees was the Arc de Triomphe. The Arc itself is very beautiful and much larger than I expected. We bought tickets on site and climbed up the winding stair case to the top. The climb was so worth it! The views from the top were incredible! Streets shoot out in every direction from the Arc giving you great views of the city. I particularly loved the view of the Eiffel Tower from this perspective.

Dinner at Gambino

Dinner at Gambino
After a fun filled day Steven and I were starving and walked back towards our part of town for dinner. Luckily there were lots of great restaurants by our Airbnb so we decided to have dinner to Gambino which was on our street. We settled into our cozy table for wine and pizza. It was the perfect ending to an incredible day.

Day 3

Louvre Museum
Mona Lisa at Louvre Museum 
Louvre Museum
Because of our early wake up call the day before, we decided to sleep in a little so we wouldn’t be exhausted. It felt so good to wake up slowly, eat a chocolate croissant, and get ready for another great day in Paris.

Our first stop of the day was the Louvre Museum. Based on the recommendation from our photographer we entered through the Carrousel du Louvre instead of the pyramid. Good thing we listened because the line was so much shorter at that entrance and we didn’t have as long of a wait.

I was not prepared for the magnitude and popularity of the Louvre. I knew of its status as the world’s largest art museum, but I was still overwhelmed by the scope of what the museum offers and the crowds of people that visit every day. While we could have spent days at the museum, we chose to focus on some of the main pieces like the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, and Winged Victory of Samothrace. Every major art piece was surrounded by a crowd and it took some time and patience to make our way to the front to get a look at the art work. While it was nice to get to see so many master works, the Louvre was my least favorite museum in Paris.

Escargot at Bouillon Chartier

After wandering around the Louvre for a few hours we were hungry and ready for lunch. We made our way to the historic Chartier Bullion where we had escargot and steak frites. While the restaurant was charming and service was fine the food was just ok. It wasn’t terrible, but there was nothing special about it either.

After lunch we decided to do some shopping at Galleries Lafayette. While we were there they had a kind of trampoline set up hanging in the center of the store. It was neat to go out on the colorful trampoline and set the store from that perspective. We walked through a couple of the floors before making our way to the top in hopes of going out onto the terrace. The terrace was closed but we were still able to enjoy the spectacular view of the Garnier Opera House and the Eiffel Tower from the cafe windows!

After a fun filled morning, we walked back to our AirBnB for a short afternoon nap.

Happy Hour at Capri Saint-Honoré
Upon waking up we headed out for happy hour at Capri Saint-Honoré which was also on the same street as where we were staying. We opted for cocktails and some yummy truffle fries. From there we walked across the love lock bridge and made our way to Musée d’Orsay.

Clock at Musée d'Orasy
View through the clock at Musée d'Orasy
Claude Monet at Musée d'Orsay
I loved Musée d’Orsay! The building itself is so beautiful and offers a rooftop terrace too! When we went it was much less crowded than the Louvre which was a huge relief for me. We saw pieces by Van Gogh, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and also a giant clock where you can see through all the way to Sacre Coure.

Sunset on the Seine 
Sunset at Pont Alexandre

Sunset view of the Eiffel Tower on Rue de l'Université

Night time view of the Eiffel Tower from Pont d'lena
The Eiffel Tower Sparkling 
The Eiffel Tower Sparkling 
We left the museum and walked along the Seine at sunset. There were lots of little pop up bars and restaurants along the Seine and people were hanging out and enjoying the warm evening. We picked up some beverages and slowly made our way over to Pont d’léna where we picked a spot to drink some wine and enjoy the view while we waited for the Eiffel Tower to sparkle. Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle was magical! While we were there the sun set around 10:30pm so the first light show didn’t happen until 11pm!

Day 4

Breakfast at Holybelly 5

We started off the day with brunch at Holybelly 5 where we had coffee and the most delicious pancakes! They don’t take reservations so be prepared to wait. We were the 5th in line and waited about 20mins- totally worth it!

Sacré Coeur
From brunch we took an uber out to Sacré Coeur which is a stunning Basilica that sits at the summit of Montmarte. There were crowds of people sitting outside enjoying the view of the city and hanging out. We were able to walk into the church and explore on our own. We’d hoped to climb to the top of the Dome but it was closed the day we visited.

Peonies in Montmarte
Moulin Rouge
We spent the next few hours wandering around Montmarte. We walked by the cutest (and pink!) cafe, La Maison Rose. We intended on grabbing drinks there but it was lunch time and they were only sitting people who were there to eat so instead we continued exploring. Each little street we walked down was absolutely charming. This part of town was definitely more hilly and I was glad to be in comfortable shoes. Some of the other spots we saw in Montmarte were the Place du Tertre which was a street packed with artist stalls, the “I love you” wall, Van Gogh’s apartment, Moulin Rouge, and the Montmarte Cemetery where the Degas tomb is at.

After exploring it was time for some shopping! We walked over to L’Appartment Sézane which was of course on my list of places to go to since I love seeing what the French brand offers in their online shop. I picked up a few dresses to try on and fell in love with a gorgeous pink and gold dress that I knew would be perfect for wedding we would be attending in Mexico. The store itself was bright and airy and very very crowded but it was still nice to be able to see the product in person.

Umbrella Sky Exhibit at Le Village Royal | May 2019
We walked over to another shopping center, Le Village Royal, to see their colorful umbrella sky exhibit. I’m not sure if it is a permanent exhibit or not but it would be worth looking up if you are in the area!

Macarons from Ladurée 
I popped into Laduree for some macarons before heading home to take a nap. Yes, another nap! That was the beauty of staying in the center of the city - we could go home for a quick nap before heading out again for the evening!

Bar hopping in Montmarte 
"No Entry" Speakeasy below Pink Mama
Pink Mama in Montmarte

Pizza and Tuffle Pasta from Pink Mama
For our evening, we headed back out to Montmarte. We got on the wait list at Pink Mama and bar hopped while we waited. I don’t remember every bar we went to but that area had lots and lots of options so it was the perfect spot for a night out! My favorite bar however was the “No Entry” speakeasy that was in the basement of the building where Pink Mama is at. Based on a tip from a local we made our way down to the basement and opened the meat locker doors to reveal a cozy speakeasy with creative and delicious cocktails.

Dinner at Pink Mama was one of our favorites! The restaurant itself is beautiful, the service was great, and the food was delicious! We ordered an appetizer, pizza, truffle pasta, and dessert. We definitely left dinner feeling happy and full!

Day 5

Château de Versailles

Château de Versailles 
Hall of Mirrors Château de Versailles

Gardens Château de Versailles
Gardens Château de Versailles
For our last full day in Paris we decided to take a day trip out to Versailles. Getting to Versailles was very easy. We walked over to the train station, purchased a round trip ticket, and enjoyed about a 30 minute train ride out of the city.

If you are going to Versailles, I highly recommend purchasing your tickets online ahead of time. We bought time specific tickets and all we had to do was show up to the designated area, show our tickets, and go through security.

While we were at the Chateau de Versailles we did the palace tour and walked around the gardens. Doing both of those things took us about 3 hours and that was with us skipping the things that didn’t interest us. I really enjoyed touring the Kings apartment and the Hall of Mirrors but other than that I think that the gardens were more impressive than most of the palace tour. The gardens are massive! We walked around for a long time and still did not see everything. We also realized while we were there that they also offer temporary exhibits and a tour of the Estate of Trianon - but it being our last day, we opted to head back to Paris.

French Onion Soup at Le Petit Vendōme

Pont Alexandre

Paris after the rain

Notre Dame at sunset 

Museé d'Orsay in the distance

sunset at the Tuileries Gardens

Louvre at night

Louvre Pyramid at night
The rest of our afternoon was spent wandering around the city. We had a lovely dinner at a little cafe called Le Petit Vendōme where I had the best French onion soup. We walked across Pont Alexander and made our way through Saint-Germain. I really wanted to spend some more time at the Luxembourg Garden, but we walked up right was they were closing - next time! We picked up some wine and walked back towards the Louvre where we sat and watched a spectacular sunset over Paris and even got to see the Eiffel Tour sparkle one more time! Overall a wonderful evening and ending to our trip to Paris!

Pont d'lena May 2019 | Photo by Doug from L'Amour de Paris

Jardins du Trocadéro May 2019 | Photo by Doug from L'Amour de Paris

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