Tag Archives | paris

Fontainebleau: France’s Finest

France is known for its high style and cultural avant-garde….one of the most overlooked masterpieces in Paris is hands down Napoleon Bonaparte’s Fontainebleau.   It seems like Fontainebleau must always live in the shadow of its big sister the Palais de Versailles.   Located just an hour south of old Paris is one of the most captivating royal residences in all of Europe.

The official site of Fountianebleau.

Like its former occupant Napoleon, who was always one for over the top self-promotion and flash: as you arrive at the property you are welcomed by a broad courtyard with a dramatic stairway leading to the entrance.  Once inside you can stroll around the palace in awe at the nearly 1500 rooms!

FountainebleuA Quick History Lesson

Fontainebleau has been appropriately called, “the Home of Kings.”  It has played host for more than 700 years to the French monarchy and later to the French Emperor.  The area first welcomed the eye of Louis VII in 1137 and continued welcoming blue bloods and potentates till the end of the second empire in 1870.  Walking the halls of Fontainebleau you can’t help but feel that you are in the midst of history.

The mansion has always had a close connection with religion.  In 1169 the Archbishop of Canterbury, in exile in France at the time dedicated the chapel of the castle.  In 1812 Napoleon held Pope Pius VII prisoner in the cozy confines of the castle’s apartments for nearly two years.

Fontainebleau’s development has been classified into two distinct eras:  the first (from the 1530’s) and second school (From the 1590’s) of Fontainebleau.  These eras not only decorated and designed the palace, they are decorated the halls of the French elite.   The first was created by Francis I partnering with famed architect Gilles le Breton.  Italians Sebastiano Serlio and Leonardo da Vinci also were involved in the design and layout of the villa, gardens and water features.  Leonardo also has another interesting connection with the palace.  One of his lost master pieces (Leda and the Swan) was las seen in the palace in 1625.  It has since been lost.

The second school of Fontainebleau was lead by Flemish artist Ambroise Dubois, Toussaint Dubreiul and Martin Freminet.  At the turn of the 17th century, the word of interior design, originated from the heart of Fontainebleau.

Key rooms to visit

Library

The highlight for the entire tour was for us the Library and map room.  Unfortunately you are prevented from ascending the four stairs to the elevated library.  You can only lean over the red velvet ropes and look into one of the most interesting rooms in the world.

Library  and globe

Napoleons study

Napoleon, besides being a detailed oriented military general, was a city planner, inventor, cartographer, lawyer.  He worked 24/7 on his many various endeavors.  To assist in his workaholic nature, he attached his own personal bedroom to his office.

Cathedral

Our next favorite room if you can call it that is the cathedral inside the mansion.  It actually has two areas, the viewing balcony which the master of the home would view, as well as the nave proper.   The art, woodwork and the sculptures within the cathedral are stunning.

Fountianbleau

Gardens and Lake

The gardens and forests of Fontainebleau rival Versailles.  We actually prefer the wonderful “backyard” of the palace.  A small lake with a wonderful gazebo type structure an island is an idyllic setting.

beautiful lake house

Getting there

The short journey from Paris to Fontainebleau is defiantly part of the adventure.  The train takes you through the south gate of Paris, past the sleepy town of Saint Genevieve de Bois and gives you some fleeting moments to capture some views of the wandering Seine River.  Sounds wonderful huh?  Just wait!

wood carved doorYou will need to purchase the billet Ile-de-France ticket as this is well outside the metro range of Paris.

Take the Transilien (http://www.transilien.com/web/site) Train from Gare de Lyon Station in Paris.

Board one of the many trains that make a stop at the Fontainebleau-Avon stop, these can include: Laroche-Migennes, Montargis, Montereau, and Sens. You can confirm that you are on the right train, by checking the monitors along the train’s boarding lane.  It should list Fontainebleau-Avon.  (The journey from Paris to your stop should take 35 mins.)

Once you disembark at the station, descend at the rear of the station, walk a short ways to the well marked bus stop.  There are three different bus routes for the area.  You will want to take Bus 12 A.

Cant get enough of Fontainebleau?  Check out our post: Fountainebleau:  The Better Versailles

Paris and its surrounds is truly one of the Fighting Couple’s very favorite destinations.  Paris proper offers a lifetime of exploration and learning.   Fontainebleau is one of those perfect day trips from Paris.  Have you been to Fontainebleau?  We want to hear from you!

 

 

6

7 Questions with Landing Standing

One of our favorite parts of hosting a couple travel blog is getting to know other like-minded couples.   We posed our 7 questions to fellow couple travel bloggers Meg and Tony of LandingStanding.com.  In January of this year, the brave couple left jobs, family, and friends and set off on a grand adventure to explore the world.

So what does exactly does Landing Standing mean?

Landingstanding

Land-ing Stand-ing: The act of leaping without looking, loving without fearing, and dominating anything life throws at you while never losing balance (well almost never).

 Give their blog a looksee!

www.Landingstanding.com

https://twitter.com/landingstanding

http://www.facebook.com/LandingStanding

 

1)  We loved your post “Traveling with Women-Why every man should.”  What have been the greatest lessons traveling with the opposite sex?
He Said: You run into a ton of problems when you travel, big and small. My instinct is to try and fix them or at least offer a solution… definitely NOT something that women are always looking for. After numerous attempts and failures to get this into my head, i’m proud to say that I now, almost always, actually  listen to Meg and just say, “I totally understand,” instead of, “here is what you could do.” Total travel relationship saver.


She Said: The biggest lifesaver for Tony and I has been assigning roles to each other while on the trip that work to each of our strengths.  I am not sure if this stereotypically follows specific gender roles, but he is much better with handling our money, passports, and important documents, while I am in charge of hotel reservations and directions to get us from point A to point B.  I am more detailed oriented and like having a solid plan when traveling to a new place, whereas Tony is cool going with the flow and figuring it all out when we arrive.

 

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)  Why?

He Said: Anthony Bourdain. But not as buddies (no way I could  keep up with his partying when he was younger and probably still can’t), but as a special guest on his TV show No Reservations. We watched 2-3 episodes of his show per weekend when preparing for our trip because it was at the intersection of our two giant passions… travel and food. Especially food.

She Said: Harry Potter. Broomsticks, portkeys, apparition, and Floo powder are much cooler means of transportation than coach class on an airplane!


3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?  Why?

He said: We’re in Berlin right now and have been totally stunned by how awesome this city is. Who knew? We are currently in the middle of a project to start our own business and Berlin has an incredibly vibrant entrepreneurial spirit. We have been to a lot of amazing places, but Berlin has skyrocketed to the top of our list of foreign cities we could live in after our travels.

She said: I hate to sound cliché, but Paris was pretty magical.  We used my hotel points to stay in a fancy Hyatt Regency in the center of the city and spent 4 days pampering ourselves and eating our way around the city.  Coming from Peru after just hiking Machu Picchu, this mini-vacation in the city of lights was much needed.  Plus, we celebrated our two-year wedding anniversary while in Paris.. amour!

 

4)  If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

couple travelHe said: I’m worried about Meg with this question… her brain might literally explode trying to pick just one location, let alone one meal… For me it is super easy and simple. Some amazing prosciutto and salami, some wedges of great cheese like pecorino, bleu, and camembert, and the freshest bread I could find. Then drive out to a cliff, with Meg, overlooking some great expanse of nature and just chow down.

She said: Ahhh too many choices!  Tony and I have had some AMAZING meals together, but traveling the world has also made me miss the comforts of home.  For my last meal, I would have to stick to my roots and choose my mom’s famous baked mac & cheese and my dad’s succulent Korean BBQ spare ribs… And of course finish the meal off with a giant bowl of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (Phish Food, New York Super Fudge Chunk, Half Baked… Any of those flavors would do!).  As far as where I would want to eat this last meal, it would be in my ultimate dream destination, Bora Bora, looking out over the Pacific Ocean in an overwater bungalow with my man by my side.

 

5) How has traveling brought you together as a couple?

She said: When we were back in the States, I travelled a lot for work and only saw Tony on the weekends.  We are now with each other 24/7, which has been both wonderful…. and eye-opening!  Yes, we sometimes bicker more than we ever used to back home, but we also have gotten to know a great deal more about each other during the past 6 months on the road and have become a stronger couple because of it.  There are some rare occasions where we want to strangle each other and put space between us, but every time I discover something new during our travels, I am so glad I have Tony there to share the experience.

He said: Still being attracted to each other after food poisoning in a Bolivian hostel = true love.

 

6) You guys have written a number of times about staying in hostels.  We have never been that brave.  What advice can you give to couples about staying in hostels?  How do you pick ‘em?  Seems like they cater to the single traveler crowd.  How do you find “couple” time?

He said: In South America you can definitely find cheap private rooms that are sometimes only slightly more expensive than the beds in dorm room. We always look closely at the ratings on the hostel booking websites before booking to make sure they rank high on location and cleanliness.

She said:  We actually haven’t stayed in a hostel for several months now.  We have become spoiled in Europe with apartment rentals, staying with friends, and leveraging my hotel points.  Hostels were a great option in South America – especially Patagonia where hotels were expensive (and often non-existent), but besides being a great place for meeting other backpackers, they can get old fast for a travelling couple.  Unless it was significantly more expensive than staying in a mixed dorm, we opted for private rooms and we always researched reviews on Hostelbookers.com and Hostelworld.com to find the most suitable hostel in our price range.

 

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

Couple TravelShe said:  It wasn’t so much of a fight as me being a complete bee-otch.  We were on the overnight bus from hell from Uyuni, Bolivia to La Paz.  The journey was supposed to be 9 hours long, but due to road floods, the bus had to go off-roading to get to La Paz and it ended up taking 15 miserable hours to get there. With little to no snacks packed, a bus seat that didn’t recline, and a broken window that blew freezing air into my face all night, I was devastated.  Hungry, cold, and tired was the trifecta to my perfect storm and Tony got caught in the eye of it.

He said: Very true. I think I blacked out from the sheer ferocity of it. Nail your windows shut and hide in the basement… Hurricane Meg is a once in a century storm!

 

1000Fights: That was a blast!  As you notice quickly when you discover their blog, in most of their pictures they are in each other’s arms.  You really get the impression that this is a strong couple.  Thank you Meg and Tony for sharing, and we hope we meet you guys out on the road someday.

13

Our 7 Super Shots

The Fighting Couple was nominated to participate in the HostelBookers 7 Super Shots contest.  Basically it is a chance to highlight 7 of our best pics from our travels.  Fun huh?   Selecting some of our faves was really tough.  We literally have tens of thousands of pics.   I love these kind of “best of” type posts.  They really bring back some great memories.   We hope you enjoy.  With our further adieu, here are our seven.
You can click on a picture for a larger view.

A Photo that takes my breath away

Far and away one of our favorite destinations is the Amazon.  The Peruvian Jungle offers so many adventures and lessons.  We captured this sunset our first night in the jungle.  It was so amazing!

Sunset in the Amazon Jungle

A photo that…makes me laugh or smile

You know those pics where someone is doing something “interesting”  in the background?  Yeah?  Well we had one during our visit to the Louvre in Paris.  We didn’t realize that we captured this “moment” until we got back from our trip!  Like they always say, when in Paris!

the paris grope!

A photo that…makes me dream

We miss Africa!  This shot of an African Lion we took while visiting Kruger Park in South Africa.  It makes us dream of going back to Africa!

Large African Lion

A photo that…makes me think

We spent the morning at Ephesus, Turkey.  One of the most interesting and enlightening attractions is the Celsius Library.  It has been restored and one of the icons of history.  Luci captured this shot when I was deep in thought…Ok..I look a little dumb.

 

Ephesus Turkey

A photo that…makes my mouth water

So I am guessing that half of the food pictured on this category will be from Italy!  We found a little cafe down from our hotel in Venice.   While Luci flirted with the handsome waiter, Mike gorged himself on the amazing food!  We cant tell you how good this was!  It was flat out amazing!

A photo that…tells a story

Bosnia.

Bullet holes in Bosnia

A photo that…I am most proud of (aka my worthy of National Geographic shot)

Anyone who has been to Machu Picchu knows just how hard this pic really is!  There are so many people!  We waited and waited and at the right moment, Snap!  The day was perfect, the sun, the green hills.  What a special place.

The view from Machu Picchu

 

Those are some of our best pics!  Which is your fave?

 

Head on over and see the 7 Super Shots guidelines post which features a number of fantastic photos.  We would like to nominate to following bloggers for the I am taking part in HostelBookers 7 Super Shots‘  Contest!  

Cant wait to see their pics!

 

http://www.fourjandals.com/

http://www.donteverlookback.com/

http://www.passportandatoothbrush.com/

http://www.vowstotravel.com/

http://mrmrsglobetrot.blogspot.com

13

7 Questions with Beers and Beans

In our continued series of featuring some of the best couple bloggers we want to introduce you to Beth and Randy of  Beers and Beans.   They offer some great couple travel ideas and some amazing photography.

Meet Beers and Beans:

beer

Beth & Randy in Iceland

Beth and Randy are a freewheelin’, 30-something couple with a 7lb hound named Chachy. Beth is a professional photographer and Randy is a professional journalist, and they blog about their adventures on their eclectic travel website Beers and Beans.  Their travel stories have also appeared in USA Today Travel Tips, the San Diego Reader, San Diego Uptown News, BootsnAll Travel Network and other travel websites. You can also find them on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ Pinterest.

We asked the traveling duo our 7 questions:
1)    We love your ebook on how to get off auto!  What would be one thing you would recommend to budding photogs that want to take better travel pics?

He Said: Listen to Beth.
She Said:  Read the book or any other book that helps you learn the basics of creating your own exposures. If you have the time & money – take a class. Understanding exposure (and how to create good exposure) is the most important thing anyone can learn if they are trying to take better photos. Also, shoot all the time – keep pushing yourself.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be?  (this person can be living, historical or
mythical?.)

He Said: Henry Miller
She Said: Hmm… Anyone in my family. My family is really fun to travel with.

Beth3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?  Why?

He said: Paris. I simply love exploring that city.
She said: It’s really a toss up between Paris & Venice. I guess I would have to say Paris because the light is the best I have seen anywhere. I always feel really creative and inspired when I am there and I never want to leave.

4)  If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said: I would love to eat at the WWOOF farm we volunteered at Cerreto Libri in Tuscany.  I would eat anything there – the food was unbelievable!
She said: Definitely Paris – something vegetarian. Believe it or not I have only eaten out twice in Paris and both times my mind was blown at how amazing the food was. I’ve been ruined – now I need to stockpile money just for eating in Paris!

5)This question is for Randy…What exactly are “man-nessities”?  (By the way…you look great in a towel!)

He said: Oh the video….I didn’t think anyone even watched that! Thank you for the compliment as well. Man-nessities include…..prophylactics and dress socks.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: I would end all the wars because it would free up large amounts of money and resources to help treat and solve a lot of other world problems.
She said: Greed. If greed was abolished and replaced with generosity then the world would much a better place. Greed is the root of all evil.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: We’ve had 2 really bad fights on the road. One in Sorrento, Italy and one in San Felipe, Mexico. The San Felipe one was the worst by far. We were bar hopping with two friends and everyone had a WAY too much to drink. My friend’s husband decided he wanted to see what a wet t-shirt contest would look like – on his wife and no one else. So completely out of the blue he took a beer and poured it all over the front of her shirt while they were sitting at the bar having a conversation – in front of everyone. You can imagine how well that went over. The night really went downhill after that.

In her anger, my friend took off and we couldn’t find her. We searched all over for her and the thought of leaving her alone and drunk in Mexico was making me more anxious and nervous with each minute. After an hour of looking around town we decided to go back to the ratty RV we had rented for the night to see if she was there. Thankfully she was. At this point it was really late – around 3am and we all needed to sleep it off. Just as everyone crawled into bed drunken Randy decided the night had not yet ended for him and announced he was going back out by himself. It was a very bad idea and I told him not to go because he shouldn’t be wandering around Mexico at night, drunk and alone. Only bad things would happen.  He kept fighting with me, determined to go. We ended up having a huge screaming match and I threw my shoes at him as he walked out the door. I was so mad at him because I knew I would be worried about him the rest of the night.

Of course I was right and nothing good happened – he got robbed by two guys on the beach. Given the fact that he was obviously wasted and stumbling around I think he got off pretty lucky.

He said: Yup, that about sums it up. But at least I wasn’t the guy who tried to create his own, personal wet t-shirt contest – although do I applaud the ingenuity.

1000Fights: Now thats a couple that knows how to fight!  Impressive.

I know that was seven..but you guys are too cool for just 7.

8)  We loved your series:  Blood, drugs, and Sangria: How to vacation in a war zone.  It is clear that you guys really love Mexico, so tell us…what was the scariest moment for you guys?

She said: Hmm… basically anything involving Randy and alcohol in Mexico is scary to me! He has so many stories it’s a wonder he’s still alive. One time that was particularly scary for me was on the same night as the above story in San Felipe. We were all leaving a bar and we were walking across the street when a cop car pulled up next to us. Two Policia jumped out and grabbed Randy for no reason. They tried to throw him in the back of the car but I grabbed onto his hoodie and wouldn’t let go.

We had not done anything wrong and there was no reason for the cops to grab him so I put up a fight. I spoke a lot more Spanish then and I ended up in a large & loud verbal disagreement with the cops. This was all while playing tug of war with Randy in the middle. I was pulling with all my might to keep him out of the car. It was scary. I didn’t know what was going to happen but I knew there was no way I was going to let them just throw him in the back of that cop car. Fortunately after a few minutes the cops realized it wasn’t going to be an easy grab so they gave up and let him go. They got back into their car and drove off. We still have no idea why that happened but I think they were planning on making us pay a bribe to get him out of the car. In any case, it was so random and happened so quickly that it was pretty frightening.

He said: This was a while ago and I was drinking in Tijuana with a friend and we got separated. While looking for my friend I ended up befriending two deported gang members in the red light district. To make a long story short, I drank with them on their stoop for a while until they decided to shake me down and rob me. That was pretty scary. I thought for sure I was going to get stabbed as well but luckily they left and I took off in the opposite direction.

1000Fights:  A huge thanks to Beth and Randy.  What an amazing couple.    One of their mottos is, “Lets go Travel”.   So….Lets go!

17

Finding the Marquis de LaFayette

Gilbert du Motier, marquis de Lafayette

Whats in a name?  A lot if your name is: Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de La Fayette.  One of the unsung heroes of the American revolution is a young Frenchman commonly known as Maquis de LaFayette.   Being a student of history, and an unashamed admirer of the founding fathers of the United States, we sought out the famed burial site of LaFayette during our recent visit to Paris.  Luci calls me a LaFayette fanatic…  Our quest to find the final resting spot of the Maquis was an adventure in itself.

Our quest started off back in the states, I had read a few blogs that had made mention of some of the folklore surrounding the burial place.  Some of the tales are indeed true, most are not.  Many of the blogs that I had read mentioned difficulty in finding the cemetery.  This proved very true!

Armed with a few of the accounts on how to find the location, a metro pass, and a quarter (we will explain later), we set about our journey.  The grave is located in the Picpus Cemetary in the 12 arrondissement of thecity of Paris.    The first step is fairly easy.  Take the sea green line and get off at the Picpus stop.  The entrance to the cemetery is at 35 rue de Picpus.   This is where we ran into trouble.  You will be smack dab in the middle of housing developments.  You will ask yourself, how can there be a cemetery here?  Signage is limited.  There is a large cement wall with a heavy wooden door. Once you get through the door, there is a small church, the Chapel of Our Lady of Peace.  Behind the church is the small graveyard.

Our timing was poor, by the time we found the right place and figured out that we were supposed to go through the big door into the church yard, it was 12 pm.  Cemetery closed.  We walked up to a care taker explained our situation in limited French.  He said, no, we are not open in perfect English.  We open back at 3pm.  We were devastated.  We had come all this way to see the grave, we had such a hard time finding the place, and we were turned away!  Cue fight!  We went and dejectedly sat on the steps of the church to plan what to do.  We couldn’t stay here for three hours.  We were starving.  What to do?  As we sat “discussing” what to do next, the curator came over and asked us in French if we were from the states.  We said “qi”.  Why was he talking in French now?  He went on to say a bunch of stuff that we didn’t understand, but one word we heard that we did catch was, “l’exception”.  Yay!!!  We thanked him in three of four different languages and headed behind the chapel.

Picpus, Paris, France

 

Regardless of what country you are from, when you are in another country, and you see your homeland’s flag, it is special.  From across the small graveyard we saw the stars and bars.  It sent tingles down our spines.  The American flag has flown over the grave since his burial.  Even during the Nazi occupation!  As a tribute to his service to Washington, visitors leave an American quarter dollar with George Washington’s image on his grave.  In light of what the dollar is worth compared to the Euro, it is no wonder no one bothers to grab them!

One of George Washington’s wishes was to have Lafayette buried in the United States.  He wanted to have a large tribute made to honor his service to the US.  Lafayette refused.  He wanted to be buried in his family’s plot in Picpus.  In light of this desire, arrangements were made to send barrels of Virginia topsoil from George Washington’s estate at Mt. Vernon.  Lafayette was buried in American soil.

Washington and Lafayette at Valley Forge

A little history lesson for those of you wondering who in the world we are taking about.  From our friends at Wikipedia:  “In the American Revolution, Lafayette served as a major-general in the Continental Army under George Washington. Wounded during the Battle of Brandywine, he still managed to organize a successful retreat. He served with distinction in the Battle of Rhode Island. In the middle of the war he returned to France to negotiate an increase in French support. On his return, he blocked troops led by Cornwallis at Yorktown while the armies of Washington and those sent by King Louis XVI under the command of General de Rochambeau, prepared for battle against the British.”

The American people owe a debt of gratitude to the French people and particularly to the Marquis de Lafeyette.  Bring a quarter and take a great side trip in Paris.

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3

My Glen Ivy Escape

The words Glen Ivy SpaLos Angeles Spa makes me go weak in the knees. Located only 60 miles southeast from Los Angeles in Corona, Glen Ivy is an oasis of spa heaven. I first discovered Glen Ivy 10 years ago when I escaped to Los Angeles for the weekend to get away from my husband and children. My friend took one look at me and said, “You need Glen Ivy.” Boy did I ever. I was a working mom in my mid-20s with two kids, a heady job, and dirty house. (Now that I think about it nothing has changed in 10 years, except my age.) I needed a break or mid-life crisis. I opted for the break.

When my friend told me we were going to a spa, I figured it would be in a strip mall with mediocre massages, shag carpet, and maybe a free glass of water if I was lucky. Not even close. As we drove up the entrance it was clear to me Glen Ivy wasn’t just a spa; it was a complex, so vast it would make a Vanderbilt or Kennedy blush.

We walked up to the admittance office and then I beheld what I was to experience. The attendant handed me a map. A spa that needs a map? Yep. It’s that big. We walked into the area and I was as doe-eyed as a five-year old’s first trip to Disneyland. There were signs to the mineral baths, Roman baths, lap pool, the hot pool followed by the cold plunge pool. Fourteen pools total. We hit the mud first.

Mud? Yes. Your admission gets you access to every pool plus Club Mud. There’s an entire area dedicated to mud. Not just any mud, but Glen Ivy mud, a red clay mixed with the natural hot springs that will tighten your skin. Plopped on giant wheels, you grab a handful and  slather the special mud on your body. Let it dry in the California sun and then wash it off. Your skin will feel soft and revitalized.

I liked the Club Med, but I really liked the Grotto. For an extra fee, you can experience absolute soft skin. You walk into the Grotto area and then go down an elevator and enter a cave aka grotto. Your attendant will take a paint brush and paint you with a light green cream. It smells divine because it’s made of aloe vera, shea butter and coconut oil. Go deeper in to the grotto and sit in the “hydrating chamber.” You’ll feel like you are breathing butter, but the longer you sit the better your skin will feel. Then go rinse off. My hands felt soft and subtle days after I returned to the desert of home.

Los Angeles SpaA visitor to Glen Ivy could spend all day just drifting from mud to grotto to roman bath to mineral bath to sauna, but Glen Ivy also has traditional spa treatments. On my first visit, I was treated to scrub, wrap and massage.  Heavenly. Since, I have tried other Glen Ivy’s treatments including the clarifying facial.  Check out their pedicures and manicures as well. A massage or facial will cost roughly $100 per treatment.  On my last visit, I discovered the Glen Ivy Getaway package that included your choice of one 50 minute Swedish massage, 50 minute Glen Ivy facial, or a 50 minute body treatment, as well as grotto admission, and lunch for only $139. Admission is extra and will cost you $46 or $59 depending on whether you are there on the weekdays or weekends. If you buy a service that’s 50 minutes or longer, your admission is discounted.

Plan your day wisely. I like to get my treatments early in the visit, then eat lunch and spend the rest of the day vegging by the pools and ending the day with grotto. You’ll be wasted by the time you leave so expect to be in a fog.  Don’t forget to go to the gift shop. I like to pick up a container of mud and the grotto paint. That way when I’m back home, looking at my dirty house, exhausted from my job, frustrated by my mediocre mothering, I can open up the container, breathe deeply and let Calgon, I mean, Glen Ivy take me away.

Los Angeles has so much to offer!  If you are looking for a great Los Angeles accommodation to go with your spa visit.   Look no further!

2

Tell us your Mistletoe Moment!

Our contest is now over.  Stay tuned for the winners to be announced.  

The Fighting Couple hopes that you have a Merry Christmas and many Happy Mistletoe Moments in 2012!

 

 

We are looking for the best Mistletoe Moment from 2011!  The lovely winner will be awarded a $150 Visa gift card!  Yay!  Finally it is OK to Kiss and Tell!

 

Couple Kissing in waterSo what exactly is a Mistletoe Moment (aka MM) you ask?

Simply put, it’s a moment in time when you and your special someone get taken in by your surroundings, the sights, and smells but most of all, each other!  You could be with 10,000 tourists in St. Mark’s Square in Venice or in the middle of the Amazon where you are surrounded by 1,000 bugs!  It could be anywhere/anyone?/anytime but it MUST be magical!

To get your creative juices going, here is our MM from this year:

We were visiting Paris, (great place for MMs!) we stayed in a charming little boutique hotel. Our cozy room had an ornate little balcony overlooking a sleepy little Parisian thoroughfare. There was a great little bakery in the distance and the magical scent of a 1000 flowers created an ambiance that was truly magical. We stood hand in hand taking in the backdrop of Paris in the distance. What a moment!

 

How to enter?  Just two easy steps:

 

1) In 50ish words or less, tell us about your “Mistletoe Moment” in the comments section below.

2) Give us a “like” 1000Fights on Facebook here.  Then leave a comment,: “I had a Mistletoe Moment!” Here.

 

Please meet our panel of “Celebrity Judges“.

 

The Fine Print    (sorry, but its really not that bad.)

1) Mistletoe Moment must have taken place in 2011.

2) Entries will be accepted till midnight December 20th, 2011.

3) Final selections will be made by our awesome panel of judges. (To be announced soon!)

4) We will announce the winner on our webpage on December 22nd, 2011.

5) This contest is not valid where prohibited. (What a terrible place to be!)

6) Please keep Mistletoe Moments rated (PG-13 or PG, no G’s allowed!)

7) Prize will be delivered via Paypal, or another agreeable method.

8) The last one we promise…remember its ok to Kiss and tell!

 

Please share our little contest with your friends!!!  Just click below to share on Facebook or Twitter.  (Thank you!)

 

 

 

 

28

Two Must Have Travel Gadgets

Periodically the Fighting Travel Couple reviews helpful travel  gadgets and gizmos.  This installment features two items that make couple travel easier!  We are even going to give you one of our lucky 1000 Fighters one of them!  Sweet huh?

 

The Travalo

Problem:  Fancy perfume and cologne  is extremely expensive, comes in fancy glass vessels, and is heavy!  On top of that, try to get that much liquid on an airplane.  Not gonna happen.  So what to do?

Problem Solved:  The Travalo is one of the most unique  travel products we have come across.  It is a great solution for the chic traveler.  So heres how it works, take the Travalo, uncap your fave fragrance place the little Travalo over the straw of the fragrance and gently pump it full of the elixir.  Its just that easy.

The nice people at Travalo have given us one to give away to one of our loyal readers.  That could be you.  All we ask is that you leave a comment below with your fave fragrance and where would you love to take your Travalo (Milan, Tokyo, or Paris).  We will pick a random reader and send them one of these!  So, who are you wearing?  Our lucky winner will also be entered to win a $400 travel voucher from Travalo.  YES!

 

 

 

www.idmybag.com



Problem:  You, like us and 99% of the traveling world bought a black piece of luggege.  Why do we do it?  We own three large black roller bags.  Occasionally we place bets on how many other colored bags show up on the baggage claim.  So black baggers, what do you do?   Tie string onto the bag and hope that it stays put?  Spray paint your bag pink?  NO!

Problem Solved: With a bag tag or bag strap from our friends at www.idmybag.com you will never again take the wrong bag.  we we love about IDmyBag is that they use really great materials and craftsmanship.  What good is a bag strap if it rips or tears?

The real value in these tags is preventing theft.  How likely is it that a thief is going to snatch a bag with a tag like this off the carousel?  Very unlikely.    The good folks at www.idmybag.com offers custom stitching and colors!  Cool!  Want to avoid couple fights?  Buy one, better yet buy two.

 

Do you want us to review a product?  Shoot us a message. 

 

Disclaimer:  We are not paid for our reviews.  That wouldn’t be very fair?  We do receive sample products to review.   We will do our best to give you candid and honest reviews.  We always put reviewed products to the test in the field.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7

10 Easy Steps to Become a Francophile

Fran•co•phile [frang-kuh-fahyl]

1. Friendly to or having a strong liking for France or the French.

2. A person who is friendly to or has a strong admiration of France or the French.

 

Recently, I posed a random question out into the twittersphere: “What language do you wish you spoke fluently?” An extensive and enlightening convo resulted. The consensus was French. Why? What is it about France?  Is it the hot French teacher we had in high school with the sexy accent? Is it that French is the language of love? In response to the unified desire to become more French, we have come up with the 1000 Fight’s 10 step program to become a certified Francophile.  Go grab your beret, some Foie gras and a glass of Chateau something-or-other and lets begin. Step one:

1-Attitude

How many Frenchmen does it take to change a light bulb?

Anwser: One. He holds the bulb and all of Europe revolves around him.  — Author unknown

French attitude is world renowned and refined as its fine wine. To develop a little of the French outlook on life: Limeys and Yanks are to be despised! They are the great culturally unwashed. Key to being a true Francofile you must develop a healthy belief that France is the place that everyone wished they lived. One down nine to go.

2-Parlay-vue fran-say

I was told once, “Anyone interesting must speak French.” Entry into the elite Frano-club requires a command of the language of love.  According to our friends at Wikipedia, only 5% of the world’s population can speak French.  Must learn it to love it.  Start learning today!  Je souhaite que nous nous battions!

 

3-Become a Foodie Snob

The French do a lot of things well: building Eiffel Towers, kissing, and writing beatnik poetry, but one of their best contributions to humanity is their honed skill in the culinary arts.  The French love really great grub.

French food is definitively a cut above. There are over 5000 restaurants in the city of Paris alone! Some historians even believe that the concept of restaurant-ing was developed in France. Whether you are a fan of crème brulee, crêpes (YUM!), quiche, or even brandade de morue- you must have an opinion. In a millisecond, you must decipher if your Aligot is made with Tommee cheese or not. Good luck with that.

4-Un Nouveau Nom

Let’s face the facts. Names like Hank, Mark and Martha are just not going to cut it. To make the complete Franco conversion, you must take on a new moniker. Names like Gerrard, Jean-Pierre, Marie-Élise are ideal. You need lots of hyphens and lots of lines over vowels to be considered a true convert.

5-Get Your Chic On

Fashion is a tricky one. Unique rules apply to both men and women. Hommes- go dig into your wife’s closet and find all of her Clam diggers. Anything that leaves two to three inches of skin between the shoe line and the hem. Style! Femmes- attire must have interesting larva and antenna sticking out at unique places.

6-Master the PDA

This is another fun step to practice. The French aren’t exactly shy about expressing their romantic affections in public. You must “make out” in parks, on the subway, at cafés, on the bus, getting off the bus, and in line for the bus.

While taking pictures of the pyramid at the Louvre during one of our recent trips and in the back ground, an amorous couple were going at it.  I guess the pyramid wasn’t all that interesting. Go for it! Its research.

7-Know How to Ride a Bike in a Skirt and High Heels

Yep. Easier said than done:

8-Limit Productive Work to 4 Hours Per Month

For most of you this may be the most difficult step. Try you must. Take out your calendar. Take out four months for summer break. Take out another 4 months for winter break. There are three weeks of national holidays in France, so take out another month to be on the safe side. Set aside a month to be on strike due to overburden of the work schedule. There you are. (This should be the easy step. Viva le France!)  Life is meant to be lived not worked.

9-Know Your French Geography

French tend to love all things French. What could be more French than France? You must know how nice it is in Nice. You must know where to take ski holidays in France.  Take the time to get outside Paris and see the French countryside.  Spend a holiday in the French Alps.  With all of this new found vacation time in step 8, you will have plenty of time.  Bon Voyage!

10-Get Some Je ne Sais Quois

Even after completing steps listed above, the final and most important step is developing some je ne sais quois. What is that “certain something?” Where do you buy that certain something? What school do you attend to hone those skills? I don’t know. I am still stuck on step six.  You are on your own.

 

That’s it! 10 easy steps to becoming a certified Francophile. They say the ultimate compliment is emulation. So France, we salute you and your snails. Did we miss anything? Can you offer any great hints on connecting with your inner Franco-ish-ness? Leave a pithy comment below.

10

7 Questions with Here, There, and Elsewhere

Do you ever get a kind of insight when you meet someone for the very first time? You say to yourself, this person is going places?  Is it charisma?  Well we feel this way about our 7 Questions featured couple this week.  They are really destined for some great adventures!   So… meet:  Bryan and Laura.

Blog:  Here, There and Elsewhere

Twitter: The DeLuca’s (follow them as they have hit the “2000 barrier”)

 

1) How many countries visited between the two of you?

Team DeLuca has been to 22 countries collectively…Bryan having visited 12 and Laura ten. Not too shabby for a pair of (strong to quite strongly attractive) amateurs.

2) If you had to travel with someone else besides your travel partner, who would it be? (this person can be living, historical or mythical?.)

He Said: Morgan Freeman, so he could narrate my entire journey.

She Said: I would travel with one of my best friends, Katie. She and I met six years ago at an alumnae gathering where I proceeded to unknowingly make fun of one of her high school acquaintances, and we’ve been friends ever since. She and I have similar interests – could sight-see one day, then watch a Real Housewives marathon the next while ordering room service in our PJs – and get into quite a bit of trouble when we are together.

3)What has been your favorite destination in your wanderings?

He said: Switzerland because it’s so tranquil and picturesque. And the sheep are cute, too.

She said: I feel like such a typical girl when I say this, but definitely Paris. The sights, the smells, the random men in their underwear splashing around in fountains. It’s just delightful.

4) If you had to eat one last meal, what/ where would you eat?

He said: This is a tough one, but I’d have to pick steak and lobster at a really nice steakhouse. You know, man food.

She said: Hands down, I would have a Tex-Mex feast. A little queso here, some sour cream chicken enchiladas there, and a nice margarita to wash it all down.

5)How do you pick the places you visit? Spontaneous vs. planned?

He said: A little bit of both. I like knowing what I’m doing but I like getting lost, too.

She said: I spontaneously let Bryan plan most things.

6) If you could solve one problem in the world what would it be?

He said: Cancer, that bastard.

She said: Human trafficking, those bastards.

7)You knew it was coming….What has been your greatest travel fight/disagreement?

She said: Well, I was working until the 11th hour prior to a weekend jaunt to New Orleans. Apparently I was the cause of us not only almost missing our flight, but also our bags having to travel on a later one. Then I got food poisoning and my husband went to a vampire party without me. I’d say that was quite the travel adventure and fight. Oops!

He said: Fighting about the fight Laura just mentioned.

 

1000Fights: Wow!  This couple has spunk! Ok, lets get the obvious out of the way.  We know that they are likely the odds on fav for our Hot Blogger Contest.  Luci says that they are going to make beautiful babies…I am not really sure what that means.  Anyway.  H T & E are headed on a whirlwhind trip and we wish them the very best in their travels and adventure together.  As a parting shot, we want to share one of their recent tweets:

HTandE The DeLuca’s
30 minutes ’til our guests arrive, and my hubs and I just slow danced in our kitchen. #lovebirds
5:27 PM Aug 27th

Bryan and Laura-Come back and tell us when the fighting starts!

 

 

 

 

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