I thought it was finally time to blog about my 24 hours in Paris from last December…considering it’s now officially February, I’m only a few months behind in blog posts.  I flew home to New Zealand ex Paris as it’s way cheaper when flying long haul…it’s a nifty trick to save a few hundred pounds…and I got to eat gluten free chocolate eclairs…a win win situation!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

As I said before I was kinda nervous about visiting Paris, thanks to the media and one of the guys in the office telling me he wouldn’t want to be visiting Paris…I was quite literally crapping my pants on that easy jet flight but I landed…grabbed my bags and jumped onto the bus from the airport into central Paris.  My abode for the night was the Starwood property, Le Meridien Etoile which I thought was a really good base and there were two reasons why I booked it – they had a 2015 point bonus offer on if you stayed in December (which I’ve since used to book a free night in Peru…I’m so becoming a tight arse where hotel rooms are concerned, if I can book it with points I will at the moment) plus the bus stopped right outside the hotel…perfect when you look like a little old bag lady carrying four bags!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

The room wasn’t huge however I was there for only one night and it’s Paris…the city isn’t known for having the biggest hotel rooms in the world (possibly why it’s the city of love, you’re basically on top of each other in your hotel room as they can be super pokey!)…unless of course you stay in a gorgeous duplex suite like this one at the Sofitel Paris Arc De Triomphe .  The room had a few quirky touches so it wasn’t your standard boring hotel room which I liked plus it had plugs right beside the bed so I could scroll through instagram without losing power…you wouldn’t believe how many hotel rooms don’t have plugs beside the bed and it drives me bonkers especially when I lose charge when I’m having my daily instagram hit!

I had arrived quite late in the evening so I went straight to bed and woke up with a spring in my step (okay I might have slept in…the beds were rather comfy!) as I was quite excited about eating chocolate eclairs and going home to New Zealand…four years between visits is a long time.  I managed to connect my uber account to my spg account to earn even more points…I’m becoming a points hag, I truly am!  So popping my uber cherry with a lovely french man…it was very oh la la and we had many giggles on the way to Galeries Lafayette.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

My trip was after the Paris attacks and everything was rather quiet…it was a strange feeling seeing Paris empty and security was tight with bag searches at all the department stores.  I felt really safe in Paris and didn’t mind the searches even though some tourists were complaining.  High on my list was to visit the christmas tree in the middle of the Galeries Lafayette and I wasn’t disappointed…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…it was breathtaking!  Paris definitely won the Christmas Tree war against London and I wish I had my mum with me to see the Christmas tree as she would have had kittens!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

^^I really want to live inside this department store!

The roof top terrace at Galeries Lafayette offers the best views over Paris and it’s free and it’s where I go every time I visit Paris so I can just look out over the roof tops of the city…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…sometimes the best things in life are free.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Every blogger that visits Paris seems to end up at Angelina for a hot chocolate…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…so I thought it was time to join the blogger party and popped into Angelina on the ground floor of Galeries Lafayette…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…I broke a cardinal rule of blogging…I ordered an ice tea instead of a hot chocolate (and then took a photo when I had drunk half of it!)…I’m sure I will lose about 50 bloggers following me on bloglovin’ for admitting that!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

^^My shameful dirty secret from my 24 hours in Paris

Apparently none of the pastries were gluten free…no surprises there so I opted for an omelette…trust me omelettes become your best friend when you’re gluten free in France…don’t ask me why but they just do!  They weren’t sure if the ham was gluten free…then it was the cheese…it got to the point that if they said they weren’t sure about the eggs then I was about to leave.  I had an cheese and ham omelette in the end…and then they bought me out bread containing gluten…they got to see my “are you f****** serious” face…it was rather hard work eating here!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Moving on with a full tummy, it was time to skip down the road to pick up some Laduree macarons from inside Printemps for Lisa (yes these macarons made it all the way home to NZ without me scoffing them…self control people, self control…I can do it…or maybe I just bought an extra two for the 24 hour plane ride home…thankfully these are gluten free…the salted caramels macarons are the best things since sliced gluten free bread!)

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…and I also wanted to see their decorations…I love Christmas and it would be rude not to check it out…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…it was also gorgeous inside and had me smiling away to myself over how beautiful it all was…their christmas windows were just incredible!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

^^Does anyone know what that pink thing attached to the tree is?!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

A close up of the decorations for my mum…she’s always looking for fresh ideas on how to decorate three christmas trees.

Of course you can’t go into Printemps without browsing the shoes…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…it would be rude not too really!  I may have talked a lady into buying an expensive pair of shoes…she deserved them…I could tell!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

^^^PRECIOUSSSSSSSSS!!!!!  I talked myself out of buying shoes…and then also out of buying some jewellery…it was a close call.

Then I spotted a rather glamorous tiled floor, it was time for a shoefie!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Just around the corner from Galeries Lafayette and Printemps is Helmut Newcake aka gluten free heaven…I may have had a few items boxed up to take away with me for my flight…I panic on flights now over my gluten free meal (first world problems I know) so I pack accordingly…gluten free chocolate eclairs are compulsory on all long haul flights going forward…and I may have eaten one in the shop also…that will be just our little secret!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

But in all seriousness, if you’re gluten free then you just need to visit as look at all these glorious gluten free pastries…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…I may just go back to Paris just to eat gluten free chocolate eclairs.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

It was time to head back to the hotel and collect my things before heading out to the airport for my flight home with Cathay Pacific…it was my first time using uber and I think I’m hooked!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

^^The view heading back to the hotel after going around one of the world’s craziest roundabouts.

While I didn’t visit any of the main tourist attractions on this trip…I enjoyed a sleep in, a bit of shopping and a whole lot of eating…24 hours in Paris is definitely not enough time however I will be back to enjoy the delights of this european city!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

So if you only had 24 hours in Paris, what would you visit?

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Paris, France on your next vacation for only 24 hours then here is my guide of things to do and see in the French capital when you're short of time. Paris can be a perfect shopping destination and I've included my handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

xx

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Okay where the hell has 2015 gone?!?  I feel like I’ve blinked and missed half of it…I do have sleeping beauty tendencies so maybe that’s what has happened!  So Where Did the Wind Blow Me in 2015 and I’ve added a few other reflections from the year…let’s go for a quick ride back in time.

The Staycation

Emma and I took off to Bath for a romantic weekend…be warned she does steal the covers!  We had a great weekend discovering the delights of Bath and eating the most amazing gluten free savoury scones for breakfast at the Pump Rooms.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Bath

This years ANZAC Day service was a rather special one, so I made the effort to attend the dawn service in London which meant we stayed over night at the Intercontinental Park Lane…a fabulous hotel in London and even better when you can use your IHG points for a free night!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-London

I was very lucky to get invited to Sting and Paul Simon concert at the O2 with SPG and stayed the night at the Aloft beside to the Excel centre…this is a really good base and the rooms are extremely comfy, just don’t put your neck out like I did while drying my hair…a Charlie’s Angels hair flick that went wrong, doh!!  I had a great evening especially as I got to catch up with Anna again at the concert!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-SPG-Aloft

G and I spent a weekend in Oxford and I really really really tried to love Oxford however I’m a Cambridge girl at heart.  We still had a great weekend even though it was soggy and I ended up with a soggy bottom AGAIN!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Oxfordshire

Day Tripping

Buying a car has given me a huge amount of freedom to explore England so I try and do a day trip every weekend to explore the English countryside (there’s something about going exploring to relieve the stresses of a week at work).   Cambridge is super close to me and even with my Dory tendencies I managed to remember to get tickets to the Cambridge Open Weekend…I’m still surprised that I was that organised to get tickets!  Bluebells in springtime, heading into London to go on Yannick’s gluten free walking tours (Macarons and Mews plus his new Piccadilly and Petit 4’s), visiting the cute village of Elstow in Bedfordshire, taking a million photos of the cute little beach huts at Wells Next the Sea and the super gorgeous Lavenham (I’ve yet to blog about this cutie pie town!) were some of my favourite day trips of 2015.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-England-Day-Trips

Castle Hunting

I castle hunted like a ninja in 2015 and my castle hunting list continues to grow for 2016!  I’ve got a few memberships however for me the best one was definitely the Historic Houses Association membership, this has saved me more than a few pennies.  Definitely some of the highlights of 2015 were discovering Deene Park (my favourite castle!), Rockingham Castle, Dover Castle, Woburn Abbey, Kirby Hall and Burghley House plus many many more.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Castles-England

Passport at the Ready

G and I popped off to Brussels for a few days in February for our birthdays…and of course we ate afternoon tea and a lot of chocolate and I mean a lot…we were definitely Master and Miss Piggy.  There are more photos of food then Brussels!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Brussels

May called for a tier point run to Marrakech for G so I tagged along as who wouldn’t…it’s not a bad place to head too for a few days…Marrakech has definitely changed a lot since my first visit way back in 2003 and I was told that I saw the real Marrakech not the touristy Marrakech that everyone sees today.  We had what you would call a mixed kind of holiday in Marrakech but we still enjoyed it thanks to staying in a hotel that Winston Churchill loved.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Marrakech

Pretty much right after Marrakech, I flew to Croatia to see my family for a few days…it’s a hard life…it did take Easyjet three attempts to land at Split airport and an overnight power cut due to an electrical storm left me with 3% battery life right before I was due to leave for the airport so it did have it’s moments!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Croatia

We popped over to Hong Kong and then onto Malaysia for two weeks, flying in First Class with British Airways…it was nice to actually switch off properly and it was my first two week holiday since 2012…it was during this trip that I realised that I was really taking this blogging business way too seriously and pulled out of the game in a big way.

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Hong-Kong-Malaysia

I managed to tick Strasbourg off my 2015 Travel Wish List back in October and I wasn’t disappointed…what a truly fantastic part of France and I would happily return to the region again…the Alsace Wine Route made me a rather happy little bunny!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Strasbourg

December saw me flying home to New Zealand (you’re currently getting spammed on instagram) and as my Cathay Pacific flight left from Paris, I managed to have 24 hours in the city to explore (a post still needs to follow…I will pull my finger out on that one soon I promise!).

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-New-Zealand

Scoffing Gluten Free Afternoon Tea

I’ve eaten a number of gluten free Afternoon Tea’s this year and I’ve got the rolls to prove it.  My personal three favourites of 2015 are definitely Brown’s Hotel, The Lanesborough and of course Claridge’s…you can’t go wrong with either one!

Where-Did-the-Wind-Blow-Me-and-a-few-other-reflections-My-2015-Review-Best-Gluten-Free-Afternoon-Tea

Lessons Learned from Blogging in 2015

I learnt a few big lessons from blogging this year…some good and some pretty shit.

The good – I made some great friends through blogging and found them extremely supportive in times of need or when I needed a bit of blog advice.  I really love the interaction with the community that follows along in my journey, especially the non-bloggers that take the time to email me, thank you!  The opportunities that have come my way thanks to this blog have always being appreciated but once again a big thank you to the brands that I’ve worked with in the past.  I had a blog refresh this month and it feels great to have a new look…a bit like finding a new pair of really comfortable knickers that actually look a tad sexy, that’s how I’d sum up my blog make over.

The shit – I will be brutally honest and say that I fell out of love with the blogging community this year (not all but a lot); there are some unkind people in the blogging community, the blagging seriously needs to stop (and one of the reasons why I almost quit twitter – if you want something, pay for the bloody stuff yourself!) and the reviews that aren’t honest.  I value my community so if I find out that a blogger has lied then I never share their posts with my community EVER AGAIN…I’ve worked hard to gain peoples trust and don’t fancy throwing it away with one tweet.  And don’t get me started on the whole follow and unfollow crap way of building social media stats – seriously getting followed and followed by the same blogger three times in a week was beyond annoying…more annoying than the DM on twitter asking to follow them on Facebook…if you want me to follow you then please show me some personality and give me a reason to follow with some interaction rather then spamming me with links to your blog (and I’ve being guilty of this also so I know it’s not easy!).

Going forward, I am no longer accepting anything complimentary on my blog as I want to receive the same experience that my readers will be getting rather than a “blogger experience” and I don’t fancy getting involved in the competitive nature of blogging; I find it fascinating to watch but don’t fancy participating…I think they should do a “I’m a blogger…get me out of here” youtube show, it would be so bloody hilarious.   What you see is really what you get…a blog all paid for by me and all about me me me me me!

My weight

Well I got fatter…what else can I say but since I’ve come home to NZ for Christmas my body confidence has improved hence why you’re seeing photos of me on instagram now.  Weirdly I feel people are more judgemental in the UK especially when it comes to looks while in NZ, the casual laid approach to fashion and life is a lot less judgemental…I’m sure people will disagree with me here but that’s just my opinion on things and you know what they say about opinions…they’re like arseholes, everyones got one.

So that’s my 2015 in review…I do feel like I’ve blinked and missed things but hey ho that’s life and you don’t have to be out exploring every second of every day…there’s nothing better than having a day of rest to recharge those old batteries and never feel guilty for doing so…it’s your life!

xx

If you liked this post on Where Did the Wind Blow Me and a few other reflections – My 2015 Review then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!

So I was totally waiting for the first day of winter to pass for me to write this post on an autumn city break to Strasbourg…it has nothing to do with the fact that I’m so badly organised and just haven’t found the time to download what felt like 10,000 photos.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Strasbourg was on my 2015 travel wish list and after having a busy few months with the 2016 budget at work after my return from Hong Kong and Malaysia, I booked a flight to the French city in October.  I was slightly gutted not visit in summer however I think I may have chosen the perfect season to visit Strasbourg…Autumn rocks!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

I arrived rather late on Friday afternoon and the fabulous concierge at Sofitel Strasbourg managed to organised my life for the entire city break.  I had struggled to find a day trip along the Alsace Wine Route but he found me a tour in seconds and then booked me in for dinner (not the first night, that was cake for dinner…judge away) and booked me onto the canal cruise and told me where to visit.  I was prepared to kidnap him and bring him back to Bedfordshire to organise my entire life…he was that good and he had a sexy French accent, what more could you want.

Armed with a vintage map (i.e. not google maps on my iPhone but a proper paper map), I ambled around Strasbourg…my first stop was Petit France before it got super busy with crazy selfie stick tourists…seriously how pretty is this place…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…so…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…so…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…so…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…pretty!  Just so you know…the houses aren’t petit, they’re rather large…false advertising right there folks!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

My second stop was for my cruise which I always find is a great way to see a city and at times you do feel like you’re stepping back in time.  Unfortunately the roof was on so photos were truly impossible to take and then the number of people with selfie sticks just made me want to shove them where the sun don’t shine.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Needing to burn a few calories, I headed off for a romantic stroll along the canal with my shoes…who said romance is dead..there was a lot of snuggling going on!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

I know people say that you can get lost and just wander for ages in Paris however I’ve never really had that feeling when in Paris but with Strasbourg I did…between the shutter porn…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…buildings covered in autumn leaves…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…little cafes with yellow striped awnings covered in autumn leaves…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

….more pretty lamp posts with autumn leaves…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…and peeking into back gardens as they were too pretty not to photograph…I may have been in my happy place (and there wasn’t a piece of cake in sight!)

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

And there were the oh so French bistros…

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

…and an old fashioned carousel to make me extremely snap happy.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

In need of some guidance from the big man in the sky…I popped into the Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathedrale Notre Dame de Strasbourg) to light a candle or two…it’s bloody hard to get it all in one photo and there was no way I was going to lie on the ground like some tourists were doing with their mega sized cameras and lenses (size apparently does matter!  I do wonder if men with big lenses have small….camera bags).  

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Wandering around a French city is good for the soul!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

This is me trying to get a bit arty farty with Strasbourg; I’m not a lover of blurry photos so…hmmm!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

I checked out two Museums on my city break to Strasbourg; the Strasbourg History Museum and the Alsace Museum and I can say with my hand on my heart that I thoroughly enjoyed the Alsace Museum the most…and it’s not because it’s super cute inside with the autumn leaves in the tiny courtyard.  I may have walked through both museums in the wrong direction…I’m such a ditz!   I would recommend getting the audio guide as there is nothing in English in the Alsace Museum.

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

And I couldn’t leave Strasbourg without a shoefie!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

If you’re looking for some gluten free tips for Strasbourg then this post here will help you out…I can vouch for every one of them…just call me Miss Piggy!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

Strasbourg Travel Tips

  • Strasbourg is a perfect place to venture too for a city break, you can explore most things on a long weekend or just add an extra day to your itinerary to visit the Alsace Wine Route
  • The airport to central Strasbourg is a super easy train journey – if this fool can do it then so can everyone else.  Just buy the train ticket from the little machine prior to boarding and it costs just under 5 euros.
  • Strasbourg is pretty flat but I would recommend wearing flat shoes as the footpaths can be cobbled in areas
  • If visiting the Alsace Museum make sure you get the audio guide as nothing is in English…I learnt the lesson the hard way!
  • You can buy a pass to get into the Strasbourg tourist attractions – Lucy from On the Luce has a great post on this!
  • The Barrage Vauban offers a great view overlooking the city
  • Make sure you book your tickets in advance for the cruise so you get the time that best suits you…they apparently can sell out during the summer months.
  • An autumn city break to Strasbourg is the perfect time to visit the city, it’s not too busy, the temperatures are slightly cooler and the expensive high season hotel rates have dropped
  • I recommend staying at the Sofitel Strasbourg – you can earn Accor points for future stays or you can transfer these over to your Iberia or British Airways Executive accounts (you get double the avios points if you transfer over to an Iberia account)

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

I’m pretty proud of myself for getting this posted in 2015…woohoo go me!

France Travel Inspiration - visiting Strasbourg, France on your next vacation then you've picked one of the prettiest cities in France to visit!  Here's my Guide of Things to Do and See in Strasbourg France...it's a perfect city to visit for 2-3 days plus there are some handy gluten free food traveling tips in there as well.

xx

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I’ve flown home to New Zealand for Christmas and while I booked my flight a few months ago to try and get a reasonable priced flight over the festive period (and let’s be honest, there are no cheap fares over the Christmas period); I know there are some Kiwi’s that still haven’t found an affordable last minute flight home.  So here is my tip on how to find cheap flights to New Zealand for Christmas.

Last-Minute-Cheap-Flights-to-New-Zealand-for-Christmas

The UK loves to tax, tax, tax and tax us some more…even when we’re going on holiday and the longer the flight, the more tax you’re going to pay and those airline taxes to New Zealand are huge!

So here is my big tip…get a short haul flight from London to Amsterdam, Paris or Frankfurt and then fly to New Zealand from Europe not London, as the long haul taxes are a lot less from Europe vs England!

I flew from London Luton (I live in Bedfordshire) to Paris and then had a connecting flight from Paris to Auckland via Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific.  I’m flying in Premium Economy ex Paris for the same price as an Economy flight ex London and I have much better flight times with the Paris flights.

If you are looking at flying home definitely check out the options out of Europe rather than London as you will be pleasantly surprised.

I did a quick skyscanner search using the dates of the 19th December to the 2nd of January so you can see how different the prices are. If your dates are flexible then you will most likely be able to find even better offers then the below…and this trick works all year round!

London – cheapest flight is £2,020 in economy!

Last-Minute-Cheap-Flights-to-New-Zealand-for-Christmas

Paris – £521 cheaper than London!

Last-Minute-Cheap-Flights-to-New-Zealand-for-Christmas

Amsterdam – £465 cheaper than London!

Last-Minute-Cheap-Flights-to-New-Zealand-for-Christmas

Frankfurt – £465 cheaper than London!

Last-Minute-Cheap-Flights-to-New-Zealand-for-Christmas

Obviously you will need to find a flight between London and Europe however if you’re flexible then you should be able to pick a flight for £100-200 which still makes flying ex Europe a hell of a lot cheaper than London.

Let me know if you find some cheap flights to New Zealand and if this little tip helps you out.

xx

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Weight: Unknown but feeling like a heffalump today

“What is it about mothers and the phone which, immediately you say you have to go, makes them think of nineteen completely irrelevant things they have to tell you that minute?” – Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason, Helen Fielding 

Kelly Michelle's Diary Week 48

My Life Goal, ze Weight

I was doing rather well with my eating and then it all hit the pot midway through the week when nothing could go right…you know those weeks when you have a huge to do list after work and then every night it takes you almost two hours to get home rather than 35 minutes due to horrendously bad traffic.  I gave up at that point and succumbed to sugar!

Shake Your Booty

Yeah this didn’t happen unless you count getting a sore ankle from crawling along in first and second gear for almost two hours, three nights in a row.

What I’m Up Too…

So tonight I’m flying home to New Zealand with Cathay Pacific ex Paris; it was well cheaper than London and had better flight connections…there was no way I was going to have a 19 hour layover in Hong Kong.

After a week of fretting about flying to Paris with Easyjet ex Luton…the guys in the office didn’t help with telling me that they wouldn’t want to be taking a flight to Paris right at this moment in time due to the writing found on secure parts of the easy jet planes around France and the guys getting arrested in Luton on terrorism charges…I have basically being shitting bricks all week…I could build a two storey house, that’s how much I’ve being fretting.  G managed to calm me down on Thursday night as I was thinking about changing my flights.

I’m in Paris now and after a good nights sleep and a bit of shopping, I feel more like myself.

Kelly Michelle's Diary Week 48

Paris looking good this morning!

Kelly Michelle's Diary Week 48

I’ve also made a number of gluten free purchases for the flights home…I’m not the most trusting of souls when it comes to airlines providing an eatable gluten free meal and I have now lowered my expectations to basically sit at “it’s going to be shit” and anything better will obviously blow my socks off.

So that’s me in a nut shell this week…I can’t wait to sit on the plane and just go to sleep for a few hours.  And yeah I forgot to do an Instagram shout out this week as well…doh!

So what’s all your gossip?!

xx

If you liked this post on Kelly Michelle’s Diary Week 48 then why not come and join me on TwitterGoogle+InstagramFacebook and Pinterest – I won’t bite!