My name is Diana Elizabeth. I'm a journalist, photographer, graphic designer and FORD model who had memorable days reporting from the LA red carpet for E! Online. I love sharing my life as a creative professional and the things that I discover along the way - with camera in hand.

My husband and I live in a restored 1952 red brick home that sits on a former citrus grove in Phoenix. I love traveling, home improvement projects, sewing, gardening, and John Mayer and Twilight. This is a glimpse into my life and work.

Get In Touch

Category Archives: Travel

IMG_9914

Hi! I thought I’d throw up a quick Sunday night post to say hello from Nor Cal, I’m back home for a week and a half visiting my parents and trying to avoid the Phoenix heat.  After this trip I have a week back in Phoenix and then I’m off to NY for a fantastic wedding I’m photographing!  By the time I return the weather will be just perfect and I’ll stay put in Phoenix, as far as I know – hee hee.

Paris is almost 12 years old and the first morning it was pretty precious – he forgot I was home!  I called his name from the stairs and he kept running back and forth to mom and dad because they are typically the only ones home.  He was so confused until he saw me and realized, I was home!  He forgot!   He was excited all over again as if he saw me for the first time and it was just precious.  What can I say, he’s getting a little old.

I got here Friday afternoon, the Phoenix airport was pretty busy – Friday summers are packed because everyone is trying to get out of dodge, typically for just a quick weekend.

IMG_9853

I have this thing for not wearing opened toed shoes for flights over 1 hour.  The longer the flight the higher the altitude which can make my toes feel super cold!  Overseas flights especially, I’m all bundled up!  These foldable flats by Yosi Samra in so many different styles, I love that they fold up in your bag.

I never know which gate I am by, I always hope it’s by the LGO, but this time I was happy to see Cartel and got the yummiest iced vanilla latte.  I have to admit I am not a Starbucks fan, I find myself nursing the drink all day, it’s just so hard for me to drink!  The only way I can drink it is if I order a tall for the milk to espresso shot ratio, just too bitter for me.

IMG_9855

About to land in Sacramento – yep, lots of farm land!  Did you have any idea?  Betcha didn’t!

With all my traveling lately I sure wish Southwest Airlines would sponsor my blog – as if they needed the publicity.

IMG_9864

I was happy to find my mom finished my seed stitch scarf.  Each row is 99 stitches and there are probably 70+ rows of each skein, I’m bad at guessing, but I’ll also guess that means it’s over 1,000 stitches.  I did bind off in the seed stitch so I kinda felt like I was able to “complete” it even though mom did the tedious part I just couldn’t do anymore!  I need a break from knitting!

IMG_9879

The best snacks come in cute little bowls – now I know where I get it.  My mom gave me a little antique bowl of washed strawberries for a snack.

Is that weird that I caption my photos before the photo? I just think it makes more sense when you scroll down, it’s in order.  I might be weird.

IMG_9906

In other news, I went to church with mom and dad and got to worship with Lincoln Brewster!  He’s the worship leader of our church back home – I seriously look so much forward to it every time I go home that I always try to make it to two Sundays that’s how much I  love my church back home.

IMG_9934

Lincoln Brewster’s new album called Oxygen comes out this Tuesday.  He had a pre-sale at church and dad bought three of them, one for me.  I wasn’t sure how creative to get with photographing an album so I made my dog sit with it.  He looks pretty excited.

Hope you are all having a restful Sunday.

Diana Elizabeth will start seeing high school friends this week!  She also has an equestrian shoot this week too.

Life, West Coast

DSC07779_edited

The day after our kayak trip down the Russian River in Nor Cal, my dad set up a little safari ride in Santa Rosa.  We drove a few miles to Safari West where we walked around and saw lots of animals before our jeep ride tour.

IMG_1719_edited IMG_1670_edited

It was about 45 minutes of walking to see animals in their cages, monkeys, birds, you know, those sort of things.

It was great aside from a 6 year old in our group who spoke every thought he had, and interrupted the tour guide.  I did however find him mildly entertaining when he kept saying, “The animal next to the butt?” or pointing out animal’s genitals or screaming when the animal would go to the bathroom. I didn’t say I had the finest sense of humor. Onward.

IMG_1699 DSC07736_edited DSC07740

This giraffe really wanted a weed that he actually nearly tumbled over the gate when his hoof wasn’t stable on the rock. I thought he was going to fall on me.

DSC07755_edited DSC07750

In the bird area the birds are not shy.  This crane just stood there and cleaned himself when I walked in.  I almost got turded (it should be a word) on when I tried to take a photo of another bird.  The irony.

DSC07757_edited DSC07759

This gorgeous peacock’s feathers makes me think he’s part tiger, leopard and all sorts of other things!

DSC07761_edited

I wanted one of these red feathers I saw on the ground from this little guy but we weren’t allowed to take any – the safari wanted to keep them for the birds so they could build nests.  Would have been an awesome addition to my hawk feather from Ireland!

DSC07763_edited DSC07769_edited

Isn’t the above bird just gorgeous?  I want that guy for a pet.  I’ll trade my bunnies for him.

Also, raise your hand if you totally hate pigeons!  Now what if your pigeons looked like this little guy down here, the blue pigeon?  Yeah can’t hate on him can you?

DSC07771_edited

Jeep ride time.  You can even sit up top, just watch for the branches!

So once in the Jeep, you drive into a gated area where animals are hanging out in their animal gangs.  They can be super close to the Jeep, get in the way, or walk right up to you – they’re just living in their element.

DSC07727 IMG_1742

I purposefully told my mom to cut off my feet as I did not pack an extra pair of shoes after kayaking and had to deal with it.

Santa Rosa is in Northern California, close to the bay for anyone who isn’t familiar with California.  Even though I’m from California I don’t know where everything is, the state is too dang big and I swear new cities pop up.  You won’t get cell service there by the way, I tried.

Anyway, here are some animals, and as my dad says, now you don’t have to go to Africa.  Took a mixture of these photos with my Sony NEX-5R and Canon Powershot S100.

DSC07780 DSC07795 DSC07793_edited DSC07796 DSC07811 IMG_1698

Hope you enjoyed the safari with me!  What’s your favorite safari animal?  I think mine would be that crazy multi-printed bird.

Diana Elizabeth doesn’t remember what the names of the animals were hence the lack of captions, oops, sorry.

Life, Travel, West Coast

IMG_9704
“Beverly Hills, that’s where I want to be!” Oh that Weezer song, those catchy little tunes!  This past weekend, I headed to LA for a quick overnight trip for a social media seminar.  Melayne drove up from Newport to hang out on Saturday.  Little did I know or remember Whitney Houston had over dosed at the Beverly Hilton.  Aside from that, when I lived in LA long ago I drove by always wondering what it looked like inside and 10 years later I finally had an excuse to be a guest.  I was however not thrilled by the $40 overnight parking that I couldn’t get around (even for Diamond Members).  Oh, LA.

As soon as I arrived Melayne and I headed to downtown LA for the Renegade Craft Fair which I first heard about in Martha Stewart. It was pretty much an Etsy in real life!  Imagine the best curated artisans right in person.  They have multiple fairs across the city so check out the site to see if there are any dates coming to you.

IMG_9672

I wasn’t in the market for anything until I came across this 22kt gold over brass cuff with turquoise from a faraway place by Tibet. I have tiny delicate wrists so I was thrilled that this was sized just for me!

IMG_9690

Now this is an idea I wish I came up with - book journals!  Old books that are now filled with lined pages and spiral bound!  We laughed over this one… You could write your crazy thoughts in here woman!  Only $14!

There are about 75 blank pages with a few pages of the original book which make it like a subject notebook.  So so darling.  You could probably find some special covers for a themed gift.

I saw this and immediately said, “This is me!”  Then Melayne brought up a great point – it looked like a journal, less book. I should really go for a book cover!

IMG_9688

I thought this one was perfect – I’m a bit country and a bit of a city girl. *wink*  I swear I battle between them both – I look like a city girl and I love it, but my heart yearns for the country.

Of course now the issue is this totally country looking book doesn’t fit in my glam office.  Perhaps I’m not as country as I think.

IMG_9743

Then it was time for the best coffee – I love vanilla blended – I always pick one up after I stop in to see my agents to pick up any checks from work I’ve done since there’s one in Scottsdale. In LA, they are on nearly every corner like a Walgreens, so lucky!  The only downside is no room for drivethrus!

IMG_9689

I also got to see my long time girlfriend Maayan (who had visited me over New Years) to meet up for dinner and she invited her girlfriend Joanna.  We ate at Craig’s, the food was delicious!  Rumor has it George Clooney went there for dinner to celebrate his engagement.  Then again, go to any place in LA and there’s some celeb story, they are people and they have to eat I suppose.

IMG_9724

Back at the hotel…

IMG_9726 IMG_9729

The next morning I attended The Creative Residency, which had 14 attendees and was hosted by Justina Blakeney and Dabito.  I cannot even put into words how nice it was and how much I love them both.  Justina was just everything kind and lovely, and beyond funny and down to Earth. She was authentic and I can’t sing her or Dabito praises enough – follow their blogs you will be inspired!

Also, if you are into learning more about your social media or branding, check out their site for exclusive seminars. You have to apply to get accepted – they make sure you are the cream of the crop!

kardashian-kollection-jumpsuit-lily

Do you like my jumpsuit?  It’s from the Kardashian Kollection! See the pant version here.  I’m also dying over this denim jumpsuit here.  I’m in an XS but the top was too low cut – not surprised so I added a camisole from Express in size small under it.

I love jumpsuits, even if it’s a pain to go to the bathroom.

Diana Elizabeth took the selfie of the outfit in a bathroom.

Life, Travel

IMG_1643_edited Kayaking down the Russian River in Santa Rosa, Calif.

Saturday was a perfect day to spend in Nor Cal.  I sat in the front of the kayak with my eyes closed and felt the cool gentle breeze blow against my face.  I felt the warmth of the sun on my skin – the sound of the water, birds, I took life in.  I tend to do that when I’m on vacation, traveling brings out a whole different side of me, I become more peaceful, relaxed, and appreciative.  A little confession – I’ve gotten tired of seeing the same boring things, I’ve had it!  So being home in California where I took nearly everything for granted, well, I’m going to enjoy it to its fullest!

Dad planned an awesome two hour trip kayaking through River’s Edge.  You can rent a canoe or a kayak – I’d say go the kayak route.

IMG_1669_edited Tank: Alexander Wang / Pants: Forever21 (similar, love these) / Shoes: Puma H-Street (in black) / Hat: J.Crew

IMG_1583 IMG_1656_edited IMG_1597

What a view for a Saturday, eh?  These photos don’t do it justice, I swear to you it was just as lovely as can be.

Hey, mom and dad!

IMG_1590

While we were too busy smiling for a selfie…

IMG_1606

Just like that, mom and dad passed us!  Look at them go!

IMG_1601

I did row, just a little – for this photo.

photo1 IMG_1607 IMG_1608 IMG_1611

This is when I laid back, eyes closed, and thanked God I was back home.  And that little bit of skin exposed created the most awesome ankle tan which compliments my South of France boat tan.

I thought this looked like an Abercrombie ad, these young boys in this metal canoe.

IMG_1616_edited IMG_1620_edited IMG_1628

You had to row a bit before you got headwind downstream which would make it a bit difficult if you didn’t make it back before 3 pm – the river closes at 5:30.  The person in back is the captain and steers the kayak, while the one up front is…sitting pretty?

IMG_1640

There are parts where you must get out and drag your canoe or kayak across because the water is too shallow.  Mr. Wonderful helped my mom and dad.  We tried to pull the kayak while I was still sitting in it but I suppose even in one inch of water that doesn’t work, and I’m not that light so I had to hop out and get my feet wet.

IMG_1651

Then I said, “Let’s take pictures!”

IMG_1653 IMG_1658 IMG_1660_edited IMG_1661

Then we hopped back into our kayaks and kept rowing.

IMG_1663

To when we saw the finish line, the bridge!  I love this photo.

IMG_1666_edited

If you decide to go tips:

  • The water is shallow, you will most likely be able to stand if you fell in – only some parts are a bit deeper but if you know how to swim, you’ll be fine.
  • There’s little chance you’ll flip unless you run right into a tree at a turn – they tell you to put your weight forward so you don’t tip.  It works.
  • Wear sunblock all over your legs or long pants like I did – dad and Benjamin got burned on their knees. Remember you will be out there for 2 hours!
  • It’s not as hard or bad as you think, super relaxed.  Of course, I didn’t do much work, haha!
  • The Russian River is class one which means, it’s weak sauce, and you can handle it!

Diana Elizabeth’s dad loves to plan adventurous activities, he’s quite active.  He also joked Benjamin went too fast that he felt obligated to catch up and afterwards he was super sore!

Life, Travel, West Coast

*Winner from France giveaway announced at the end of this post*

paris-blog-post-cover

Quite a few of you mentioned you wanted to visit Paris so I thought I should dig up my Paris photos from a several years ago and show you around.

I had visited in the fall to visit my girlfriend Fawn who was temporarily living in London to help start up a new branch.  I stayed at her flat in London for a few days before we headed to Paris.

TAKING THE TRAIN FROM LONDON TO PARIS

We headed to Paris on the Chunnel by Eurostar and spent two and a half days in lovely Paris.  I do suggest booking this ahead of time as last minute can be quite pricey, just like an airline ticket.  Also, don’t get a coffee thinking you can get on the train aroind the time posted on your ticket.  The depart time listed is when you should be on the train at that time. We got sweetly scolded by an employee asking where we had been.

Late Americans.

chunnel-france-london-paris-3 chunnel-france-london-paris-2 chunnel-france-london-paris

WHERE WE STAYED IN PARIS

I had done some research and found the most adorable and most probably expensive hotel.  But, it made me squeal.

I found Hôtel Le 123 Elysées from a search and oohed and ahhhed over the details. Our room was two single beds placed next to each other which worked fine for space.  It was the most gorgeous hotel that it made me squeal – what a way to experience Paris!  To book, click here.

paris-france-le-123-hotel paris-france-le-123-hotel-6 paris-france-le-123-hotel-7 paris-france-le-123-hotel-8 paris-france-le-123-hotel-5

The hotel is located in an incredibly fantastic place in the city in Paris, right by the Avenue des Champs Elysées.  This avenue is where you will definitely want to go, also the bus tour has multiple stops along this busy road.

WHAT WE SAW

Just a few blocks around the corner, here I am by the Arc with my baguette!  I didn’t want to eat it, I really just wanted to walk down the avenue with it and take a photo.  Do I look Parisian?  How about ParASIAN?

arc-de-triomphe-paris-france-2

After we grabbed a bite to eat – it was rainy and a bit overcast, we used our Hop-On Hop-Off bus tour I preordered and decided to just see Paris for a few hours and decide what we wanted to really see the next day.

On our second day, it was our full day there.  We decided to walk and utilize the bus tour again (we got a 2-day pass) to get us to where we wanted to go. There was so much to see but Fawn and I really just wanted to shop and walk around to be completely honest. When in France, do what the French do…shop!

eiffel-tower-france-paris-2

I had a few things on my wish list to see, Notre Dame was definitely one.

notre-dame-paris-2 notre-dame-paris paris-france-3

I know this bridge is famous, but I forgot the name.  Someone fill in the blank for me.

paris-france-2

As Fawn and I walked around the streets with a mission in mind – shopping, a bus nearly run us over and through a narrow opening of a building.  We poked our heads inside, curious.  It wasn’t a pedestrian entrance but we decided to proceed by walking through and we stumbled into the Louvre! You should have seen how big our eyes got as if we just discovered a hidden treasure.  We then got carried away with excitement, clearly.

the-louvre-paris-3

the-louvre-paris-4 the-louvre-paris-5 the-louvre-paris-2

My Top 10 Paris book told us all the things as must-sees in the Louvre - the Mona Lisa included.  She’s only 5×7 in person by the way.  I know, she looks 8×10 on TV, camera adds weight.

We spent the rest of our day going up and down the stairs giggling, searching, and finding 9 out of 10 favorites.  We couldn’t find the Lacemaker and asked a worker where she was only to find she was on tour in Japan!

Here we are proud of our check off list.

the-louvre-paris

A walk back to our hotel…admiring the lovely Arc de Triomphe – did you know there are several of these throughout France?  The one in Paris is the original and most well-known of course but there are several versions.

arc-de-triomphe-paris-france

The loveliest sight of them all.  The top is blue so it’s the French flag colors. It was a rainy, drizzly night, just how I like it.

eiffel-tower-france-paris-4

What is it about flower shops in Paris that make us stop and take our breath away?

flowers-paris

Just a few sights from taking the last bus round back…

paris-france-travel-blog paris-france

Back to our sweet hotel…

paris-france-le-123-hotel-4

Where the lights were glitter…

paris-france-le-123-hotel-2

And the floor sparkled…

paris-france-le-123-hotel-3

Sweetest dreams, Paris.

GIVEAWAY WINNER

I genuinely loved reading all of the places you hope to visit in France some day and I know the French Tourism PR enjoyed reading them.  I know you are wondering about the French Goodies winner!

Winner: Faline / 1st runner-up: Carissa  / 2nd runner-up: Hogan

I decided to do a few extra goodies.  Every time I travel some place special I’m bringing something back for one of you, I like hearing from you all.  That way, you’ll have more chances to enjoy a few goodies from other places.

BLOGGING BREAK

Just for a week, I haven’t taken time off from blogging for a long time since I decided to blog daily.  I’m going home to Nor Cal tomorrow for 10 days and I have a lot of reading, lake walks, and time with my parents to enjoy.  You can see what I’m up to on Instagram (@dianaelizabeth_).  I’ll be back the following Monday.  I appreciate you all reading and commenting, have a fantastic weekend! xx Di

Diana Elizabeth’s college dog Yorkie turned parents dog is named Paris.  He’s pretty darn cute.  Yes, she said he.

France, Travel

france-outfit-floral-pants Pants: Morning Lavender

Ten full days of France, plus two days of travel, means a whole lot of packing.  Somehow, I came back with half my clothes and the other half of my suitcase was full of things I bought.  Sorry product links won’t happen much since a majority of these items are older or vintage.  If they are still available I’ll list them.  Remember, you can be creative!

It takes the same amount of time to dress plain than it does to dress cute (thanks for saying that Brenna).

DSC05693
“Pardon my French” shirt

Remember, I already planned leaving a lot of my clothes and shoes behind (I left a pair of my Sam Edelman ballet flats behind, as they got ruined in the rain in Aix). Oh well, I replaced the space with something better!

I also got photobombed a bit, especially by vespas. I didn’t mind. I mean really, how many places can you get a vespa in your photo?

See this one.  He looks like he was speeding up to get in my photo.


Dresses were easy.

And those vintage skirts I never wore, finally looked great in France!  But really, doesn’t everything and everybody look better in France?

Bag: Madewell

Adding a top (crochet or lace) over a tired maxi skirt also helps.  I belted a scarf to make it more unique.

If you forget something, just buy a new top, like I did!  Fabric made in France, I bought this top from one of the markets in Aix-en-Provence and paired it with linen pants I brought.

An oldie but goodie Anthro top with shorts.  Welcome to my palace!

DSC06986

The perfect dress to boat down the Canal du Midi, don’t you think?

There were also quite a few outfit changes as it was warm and only lightly humid – but we were also very busy all day so a quick shower before dinner was always necessary, so I had two wear two outfits a day.  Good thing I packed enough!

Here’s something you might get a kick out of, in France, they only have sales twice a year, they last for about a month and a half.  It’s law, they aren’t forced to do it, (trust me, I wanted Hermes to have a sale but they didn’t), but it’s the only time they can do it, as I was told.  ”SOLDES” is said like “Sold” and that means sale.

DSC07564

The day we arrived into Montpellier, it was the first day of the big sales. It was craaaazy.

DSC07560

Isn’t it also crazy that on Sundays the stores are closed, most anyway.  The Galeries Lafayette (high end) is open, but closes early – by the way, sales they have on their tags apply only if you have their card.

As a huge shopper I couldn’t imagine life with sales only twice a year.  Gosh dang we are lucky in America, aren’t we?  The freedom of sales anytime! *wink*  Although I gotta tell you, French fashion is just stunning, the quality, creativity, I took interest to multiple French clothing lines.

I fell in love with this 100% silk scarf from Souleiado - (different print). I was looking for a memorable piece of jewelry as a souvenir but couldn’t find anything unique enough and saw this scarf which was created in France and begged to drape my shoulders and be twisted on my head.  Some of you might know Liberty London, Souleiado prints are very popular in Southern Europe, and um, quite pricey.  Their items are gorgeous, see their fashion look book, the photography is stunning!

IMG_1535

I also found this unique soap holder, of course, made in France.  Marseille is known for their soap – made from olive oil.  Isn’t this cool?  Good news, if you really like it, I found one online too here while looking for refills. Mr. Wonderful said I probably should’t mount it unless I could find refills, and, done.

Did you notice the pink scrubby towel under it?  Have you ever considered going to a supermarket in another country just to see what they use?  Of course see the “Made in France” logo, as in France, not much is made in China.  The kitchen cleaning towels were under 3 euros.

IMG_1533

I also knew I had to get an olive wood piece and loved this ladle, it was 14 euros.  The tablecloths under it are French fabrics, so so so so divine.  I bought two, plus six matching napkins.  The cost of the tablecloths vary from 20-35 euros.

IMG_1532

So this is all the stuff I bought.  No wonder I didn’t have room.  Yep, that’s pink sugar and olive oil in an Eiffel Tower glass.  I had a quick layover in Paris and since I didn’t have much room the last time I was in Paris to buy much, I figured I’d dump all my euros and buy a few more things.

IMG_1525 IMG_1527 IMG_1529

There’s a lavender sachet – also a must-buy especially in Aix, and more towels, candy, and I also came home with six tea towels, my favorite souvenir of choice, but again, I won’t be keeping them all.

Speaking of not keeping things, I did also bring back stuff with you in mind, truly.  The fact that this took up space in my suitcase means I really really love my readers.

giveaway

How about this adorable tin I picked up from the Roy Rene Calissons factory.

IMG_1540

But wait!  That’s not it!  I also got a soap from Nice, a towel from Montpellier, candy from Aix – note this candy has almonds so if you are allergic to nuts don’t eat it!  There is also a small glass wine stopper from Château La Coste in Aix. Everything is made in France so it’s a special treat!

IMG_1537

  • Leave a comment below with what city you’d like to visit in France – Nice, Aix, Carcassonne, Marseille, Montpellier, or Le Boat down the Canal du Midi?

US residents only because I’m not sure how to ship internationally, sorry, I still love you international readers! Comments close tomorrow, Thursday at 5 p.m. Arizona time, I gotta make it brief so this is a quick giveaway –  I have to mail this out before I take off again!  Winner selected at random so just leave a comment :)

Diana Elizabeth only felt slightly guilty when she left things behind, but she needed the space and she knew some things would never come out of the closet again.  A photo in it was all she needed!

France, Style, Travel

cover-montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-126

Staring from Nice and working our way slowly west, we had to return to a city with an airport to eventually return home to the States.  Montpellier is a very large city filled with lots of students and international students, a young crowd. We only had half day and really a few hours to see Montpellier after a lengthy drive from Le Somail after leaving our Le Boat fun down the Canal du Midi.

About Montpellier

There’s quite a bit of history in this city, lots to see if you take the time to grab a tourist map and see the Historical Montpellier.  There is a lot to see while you can also check out the shopping on your way.  Since we only had a few hours I wasn’t able to give as much time as I wanted to this city, but it’s a lovely location to walk the streets, of course lots of decisions when it comes to food.  There’s a pretty park that you can’t miss right in the middle of the plaza area.  Visit the Montpellier tourism site here.

Things we saw and where we ate

We were starving so we found a little spot to eat.  It was around 3 p.m. and many restaurants were no longer serving lunch as they were out of food and getting ready for dinner.  So eat when the French do or starve.  But we did find a place that was serving, so just ask around.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-116

For lunch I decided to cater to my sweet tooth and get a banana Nutella crepe with vanilla ice cream.  I should also clarify that it’s pronounced “krepe” not “cray-pe” as us Americans say.  I’m not sure where we put the “A” vowel in the word but I’ve come to the conclusion we have butchered many words.  Did you know “tampon” means stamp in French?

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-114

The drink of choice in France, Orangina!  I have loved this drink as my local LGO has this and it’s a treat.  I drank way too many of these.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-113

Oddly enough during lunch a storm rolled in and just poured on us, but only for a few minutes as we waited for it to pass so we could explore the city.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-119 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-123 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-121

The Arc de Triomphe.  Now I know you’re thinking as I thought, wait, isn’t this in Paris?  Well, apparently there are many of these in the country, not just Paris.  This one was created in the 17th century to honor Louis XIV and was built where one of the gates of the rampart used to be.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-124

We got the access to go up top as we were press and wow look at this view!  Thanks to Crystal for this awesome photo, my favorite.  She was so patient with me taking photos of me, I am so thankful.

I believe I was yelling, “I love France!!!!!” from the top of the Arc. I mean, what better place, right?

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-129 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-128

Can I stay, pretty please?

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-130

Let me also briefly tell you about me waving around the wrong flag around town.  But first, let me explain that I know what the France flag looks like before the mishap.  I had purchased a blue, white, and red striped flag from a tent selling World Cup memorabilia.  I started waving the flag around town, taking photos with it (including the top of the Arc) and I reviewed the photo off my camera right.  ”Wait a second,” I said, “Those stripes are going the wrong way, is my flag broken?”  I freaking bought the Netherlands flag.  And this dumb American was waving it around the Arc taking photos.  HOWEVER, for the record none of my other blogger friends even noticed, nor the France gal giving us the tour, so it was an easy mistake, but I caught it in time!  THANK GOD!  You know, before I started waving it around the streets at night during the World Cup game and got spit on.

Tsk tsk, what happened was the flag I purchased was displayed sideways, so I saw it the CORRECT way of the France flag.  So for the record, that guy probably knew I wanted a France flag but sold it to me anyway.  I want my 3 euros back.  I suppose I made some funny memories for everyone else at my expense.  I shall never show you those photos on my blog.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-132 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-136 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-134 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-138

We saw a medieval Mikve used by the Jewish who used it to purify their bodies before a lot of the holidays. This was also an exclusive because we were press.  I believe I was told it was around since the 11th century but again, I’m bad at numbers so I could be wrong. They build where natural water comes in and it is very cold. They dip themselves in it, not to wash themselves. Observe how clear the water is which is also 10 degrees Celsius.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-141

A little dinner at La Panacée.  Even though this was really amazing to see inside, we decided to enjoy tapas outdoors since the weather was so lovely.

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-144 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-146 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-147

The kitchen staff was so excited we were Americans they made us a special plate!

The World Cup was on TVs set outside by restaurants and everyone was outside cheering which was an amazing experience to observe, listen, and cheer for France.  I was genuinely rooting for France to win all their games.  I know, I’m not quite patriotic, they still let me back in the States but when one spends 10 full days in France exploring it in unique ways, well, of course I’m going to fall madly in love with everything about it!

montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-148 montpellier-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-149

Oh, goodnight France, what a way to end a lovely trip. We said our goodbyes with long hugs and sweet words, sad that our adventure had come to an end – that moment you wish wasn’t happening so soon, that time when you know as soon as you said hello that before you would know it, you’d have to say goodbyes.  I will forever treasure my time with my sweet blogging friends and hope one day we can travel again together, as we all bring a unique background and specialty to the blogging world.

Have you seen my 3 minute video tour of France?  Click here.

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o) + Canon Powershot S100

Diana Elizabeth is ready to give you some tips about visiting France, a few more travel tip advice and also a France giveaway!  Stay tuned and make sure you don’t miss it.

France, Life, Travel

cover-le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-155

When we were asked if we would be willing to extend our France trip by a few days to go boating down a canal, I was beyond ecstatic!  The lovely people at Le Boat wanted to show us what it would be like to experience boating in France.  Um, OK, dream come true.  After our brief yet lovely visit in Carcassonne, we rode in a car to Homps, a little area where boats were docked and we spent our first night on a boat in our individual rooms (rooms sleep two) and private bath. Our particular boat had 4 rooms and 4 bathrooms, a kitchen below and an amazing deck above, including room to lounge (as you see me doing above), seating in the back and an outdoor grill!  We spent two nights on Le Boat, with one true full day from Homps to Le Somail.

First, this video that will explain it all!


{On mobile?  Click here.}

About Le Boat

Anyone can rent a boat to sight see down the canal.  Le Boat offers several different types of boats all over Europe so you can go at your own pace while enjoying your mobile hotel.  It’s kinda like cruising only private.  If you enjoy boating anyway, this is definitely the route for you to take.  I grew up on a lake, though our Sea Ray was nothing like this amazing boat provided by Le Boat, and you won’t get any motion sickness, the boat doesn’t rock even while in motion and the canal is very smooth.  At night, you dock and anchor so there are no weights and again, the canal is a quiet body of water.  To plan your boating vacation with Le Boat, click here.

We woke up the next morning and walked to a little market.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-135

I had to take a few photos, this little gem is for sale by the way.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-132

Then I got all nosey and peeked into someone’s backyard.  Look at this garden!  When I came back, a little old lady was outside checking on it and I thought to myself, that’ll be me one day.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-133

The tiny market had pink and orange, and green toilet paper.  Do you see how the French just have more fun, even in el toilette?  If only I had more room in my luggage you know I would have bought some pink toilet paper.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-134

About our boat

Here’s the inside of our boat, I’m with Crystal and Beth.  We called our boat the Princess Cruise line since we had the Captain and honestly, the three of us can’t do anything that involves sportiness.  So we pretty much lucked out and were thankful that we had Captain to go through the locks and manage on his own.  We would have been useless!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-136

Our friends – four of them had to go on another boat.  Thankfully Dave had a sailing/boating license and was experienced so he could handle the boat.  Again, anyone really could, but it was much easier with him since he was on a boat full of girls.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-138

The Locks

Here is a lock, after the water has gone down.  You need to watch the video I’m including at the end of this post to see how it works.  Le Boat will help and explain how to go through the locks, as there are several down the canal and you must take turns.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-139 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-140

Feeling on top of the world in France!  John Mayer playing a sweet breeze, oh the life!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-142 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-149 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-147 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-150

Duck!  Watch out for those bridges!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-201

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-154

Who let this crazy drive the boat?
le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-164

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-166 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-165

Scheduled was an exclusive wine tasting at Château de Paraza.  We had a bit of a climb, but it was worth the view.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-170 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-173 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-176 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-177 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-174 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-178

I really wanted a donkey after meeting these two who took a huge liking to Amanda but backed away from everyone else in the group.  Donkey whisperer!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-180

Now onto wine tasting in this chateau.  This has been in the family for generations and they have lots renovations planned.  It’s amazing yet mind blogging the details and upkeep of such a lovely place.  I asked if they planned on having weddings here one day and they said they were planning on it.  So, I’ll be your photographer if you want, just saying.  I mean, I’d be perfect for it since I already scouted the place.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-181 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-186 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-188 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-187 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-189

This little spot is the kitchen area where the cooks way back in the day used to hang out and make the meals.  I thought of Downton Abbey of course.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-191

However, the stairs hit this very low ceiling.  Here’s Dave showing.  I mean really, could you imagine carrying food and all sorts of things having to duck so low?

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-192 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-193 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-184 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-195 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-197

We jumped in a jeep and got a gorgeous eyesight of a tour of all their vineyards.  They are one of the oldest estates dedicated to growing vines in the South of France.

IMG_1476 IMG_1473

Look at this chicken coop! The girls were clucking and were so excited to see people I had to run over and snap a few photos for inspiration and to share.

IMG_1479 IMG_1480
Now those are real French hens.

Now trust me when I say French food is absolutely amazing, no doubt about it.  However, sometimes when you’ve been away from home for so long, you crave the familiar.  Even the things you rarely eat back home, like a burger.  All of us freaked out when we saw a burger delivered to another table that well, some of us had to order one.  This was at L’eau à la Bouche.  We fell asleep with happy tummies.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-203

The next day Francois from Discover France showed us the different bikes we could take to discover France.  OK so maybe I took a picture to show you again how beautiful France is, and the people.  Shame on me.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-204

A little bit about Discover France – you can do a bike tour in Spain, Italy, Holland/Belgium, Czech Republic/Austria, Switzerland, Croatia, and Sonoma County, California.  I want to try the Sonoma County one since my friends and family are in Nor Cal.  And you can also do the Tour de France route.  They will plan your entire tour, give you a GPS and itinerary so you can stop for lunch, sight seeing, wine tasting, whatever you want, just tell them and they will plan it for you.  Just another way to discover France!  Click here for more information.

If you are not athletic as myself you can choose to ride an electric bike, one little pedal it goes so fast!  Weeeeeee!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-205

Here we are with our Captain, such an amazing guy!  Thanks Captain for keeping us safe and your amazing company, you truly were such a fun captain to be around, the experience would not have been the same without you.  Also thanks for cooking lunch for us.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-210
Time to say goodbye to our Le Boat and go onward.  Goodbye sweet room!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-206 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-207

Onto Montpellier tomorrow!

Have you seen my 3 minute video tour of France?  Click here.

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o) + Canon Powershot S100

Diana Elizabeth thinks when she looks back at photos she sees people who are part of her memories forever.  

France, Life, Travel

carcassonne-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-130

We only had half a day in Carcassonne before we had to head out to catch outrboat.  However, in the few hours we were there, I absolutely fell in love, we all winced that we didn’t get more time there, and we agreed this gem of a spot deserves another visit.  I hope to come back and enjoy this medieval town one day – they even hold a concert inside those walls!

About Carcassonne

This ancient city has been around 1,000 years before Christ.  In 1 B.C. it was part of the Roman Empire, before becoming a part of France in the 13th century.  This Château Comtal was built in the 12th century and restored in the 1800s.  There are 21 abbeys, castles and the like within the Carcassonne nearby area.  There are also concerts within these walls, lots of shopping that would keep any girl entertained for hours, restaurants, and great places to take photos.  If I were to return I’d stay in the hotel inside (it’s 5-star), and enjoy at least two days to explore.  For more information, visit Carcassonne’s site.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-114 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-111 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-115

I’m so tiny!

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-116

A jumping photo in honor of my friend Melayne who always jumps in front of things.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-117

The inside is like it’s very own village.  Stores galore!  I was a happy shopper.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-120

This is the 5-star hotel inside the La Cité Médiévale, called Hôtel de la Cité.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-121

A beautiful church.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-122 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-125

I kinda squealed looking at the garden below.

le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-129 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-118 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-127 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-128 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-113 le-boat-canal-du-midi-french-boating-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-131

And that was our evening!  We had a little dinner in a local spot and hopped in a car to take us to Homps for the night to start our adventure on a boat down the Canal du Midi!  See you Monday on a boat!

Have you seen my 3 minute video tour of France?  Click here.

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o)

Diana Elizabeth says hope you have a great Fourth of July!

France, Life, Travel

cover-marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-310

I hope by now you can tell how uniquely different each city is from one another.  Marseille (pronounced – Mar-say) was one of my favorite cities and you’ll see why, this post is loaded with photos with lot of adventures – including fish eating my feet.  Just wait.

About Marseille

Marseille is a port city, France’s oldest major city.  The harbor is full of fishing boats, and on Sundays the port area is filled with an arts and crafts market – which is perfect to visit since most stores are closed on Sundays (customary). This city has quite a long history, as people have lived here for over 26 centuries. The sights of the city are breathtaking and worth the hike.  To plan your trip, visit the city of Marseille site here.

We had one heck of a ride into Marseille, due to a subway and bus ride (not recommended) – take a taxi straight to your hotel.  But, we came out of the subway with happy faces, looked up at the reflective ceiling above, and took a pic.  I love our little blogger travel family. Crystal (mommy), Vivienne (travel photog), Amanda (fitness + health), Kristen (travel vlogger).

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-112

Day 1 – The View, Soap Making + Fish Pedi

To see an amazing view of the harbor, check out Le Palais du Pharo.  It’s up on a hill, not much to see other than well, a pretty spectacular view of the old port.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-113 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-117 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-123

We headed down along the port into the old city.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-124 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-129 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-130 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-139 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-144 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-146 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-147

Here is La Vieille Charité which is just lovely to take photos, and a little restaurant is in there as well.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-158 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-156

Darling, right?

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-151
marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-150

This is the Marseille Cathedral, look at those pretty stripes, such a fashionable little church.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-161

Then we headed to the Marseille éternelle museum which will forever be full of giggles in my memory for non artwork related reasons.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-163

Then off to the fairly new MuCem Museum.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-164

Just walking around outside is worth it.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-168 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-170 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-172 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-174

And then I saw a Fish Spa!

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-186

I mean, the 15 euros for 15 minutes was worth every euro it just for the photos.

But first, gotta clean my feet.  I figured the fish couldn’t be that picky, but maybe they are.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-184 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-185 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-189

It felt like bubbles. I’m not ticklish so it worked out just fine.  But, maybe you want to see a video?


{On mobile?  Click here}

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-190

Then after we posted the photos on social media we started getting feedback on how that wasn’t a good idea, and we decided oh well, if we have a fish food disease we have a pretty cool souvenir – and story.

Here are French children lined up ready to play games.  I had to throw in French children because that sounds so much cooler than just children.  Fries aren’t the same, but French fries, well, I’m hungry, how about you?  See?

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-194

Had a little lunch with a great view at the Regard Cafe, I just ate a little salad in a jar but I of course had to end the meal with an espresso.

photo2

We then learned how to make our own famous Marseille soap at Grande Savonnerie made with just sodium, water, and olive oil.  Who knew I’d be so enthusiastic about making soap?

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-200 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-205

Then it was dinner time at the Rowing Club, a place with another gorgeous view of the harbor.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-207 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-209

I tell you I attract photo bombers.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-212 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-216

I ate a lot of lamb while in France, my meat of choice.  The French really do get me – chocolate croissants, lamb, duck, I mean let’s just get married France!

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-218

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-220 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-222

Us, posing with our French dessert.  This was a rose macaroon.  Some of the bloggers thought it tasted like they were eating perfume, ha!  I actually thought it was so interesting I enjoyed eating it.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-223

Day 2 – Bus Tour, Cathedral

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-227

I wish my neighborhood just had a gorgeous two-story carousel, don’t you? Sheesh my city isn’t quite as charming as you, Marseille.

We hopped on a bus and got a tour of beaches – Marseille actually has one sandy beach (imported sand).

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-228 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-230 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-236

Another great view of the city is from the top of Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde.  But wait, look at these stairs.  Even the little boy is contemplating if he wants to go up or not.  I’m with you kid, but out of peer pressure and not wanting to be ashamed, I’m going to do it!

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-257

Not gonna lie, I didn’t make it to the top of the actual Notre Dame, I rested at the base and took in this view.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-251

Then back on the bus and check out this amazing amazing AMAZING place – Palais Longchamp, known for its impressive fountains and is a natural history and fine arts museum.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-264

Time to eat again in this lovely open air restaurant called Mathazar, owned by chef Michel Portos, a former 2 Michelin stars chef.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-272

And, this is what 7 p.m. looks like, the sun stays up past 9 a.m.  It seriously looks like it’s 4 p.m.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-274 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-275

A walk back across the harbor, some adorable little French boys sat at the dock and said, “Hello.”  I responded, “Hello.”  And trying in an American accent said, “Hello,” in return.  I was horrified at how they think we sound.  I shook my head and grinned.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-277 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-283

Day 3 – At Sea!

Like my hat?  It was the best price, free.  We needed some protection since being in the sun all day was taking a toll on some of us.  I just put it on because a free hat is just fantastic – courtesy of some alcohol company, this was a promotional hat but J.Crew sells one just like it here.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-285 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-293 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-296 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-299 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-300 marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-303

When you spend quite a bit of time in a country and experience nearly everything it has to offer, you really truly fall in love with it.  I adore this photo, oh that sailboat, and that flag.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-307

A little lunch in the park because our not-so-awesome-four-star-hotel-which-should-be-a-two-and-will-not-be-named wouldn’t let us bring outside food to eat in there.  ”That is not possible,” is a very often used phrase that is quite annoying. Tscha! In America everything is possible!

Anyway, this park across the street was quiet and cute.  Lunch was from Green Bear Coffee.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-309

We hopped on the city bus to the train station.  Crystal dropped her bag and the doors closed and we watched as the rest of our crew scratched their heads wondering why the bus took off with us still on it.  We both were screaming, laughing and almost crying.  The bus thankfully just had one more stop which was closer to the train station and we decided – we have no time, let’s just get to the train.  Neither of us spoke French but managed to get help and find it.  I snapped a quick pic of our crazy urgency.

marseille-france-south-of-france-streets-travel-blogger-writer-journalist-press-tour-international-travel-diana-elizabeth-american-french-vacation-french-riviera-310

Then I filmed a video to explain the chaos of being separated from our group and what on Earth we would do next without them since we couldn’t find them. I guess we’ll just hang in first class by ourselves…to be continued…

{On mobile?  Click here.}

DSC07163

See you in Carcassonne tomorrow – a medieval city!

Have you seen my 3 minute video tour of France?  Click here.

Equipment used: Sony NEX-5R (c/o), 50mm f1/.816mm f/2.8 + 18-55mm (c/o), 18-105mm f/4 (c/o)

Diana Elizabeth and Crystal had an enjoyable time in first class with old French men who were adorable – apparently they weren’t assigned to the car they were in, but the others who were in the different car and so, they got lucky.  We thought they knew each other but in fact, they didn’t but were friendly.  They were as sweet as can be.

France, Life, Travel

Google Analytics integration offered by Wordpress Google Analytics Plugin