For the Love of London

27 Mar 2015


As many of you know—through word of mouth Instagram #sorrynotsorry—I have been a busy little bee as of late. Only a few days after returning from Chamonix, I kissed my love goodbye and set off on my first ever SOLO international adventure.

THE PLAN: London —> Paris —> London.

THE OBJECTIVE: to cuddle with my friends (new and old).

My four-ish days spent in London were very low-key. I meandered around the city, stayed in with the girls, ate at neighborhood gems, and frankly, I just enjoyed the ease and convenience of Angel. With only a three day regroup between Chamonix and London, and a VERY lively Paris weekend on the horizon, I knew I wanted, scratch that!— needed, to take it easy.

STILL, London is my city, and I'll be DAMNED if I don't soak up every last second of the beautiful chaos while I was there.

I've selected just a handful of photos that I captured while around town... Yes, there will be more coming! It was so nice to feel the vibrancy of the city again. It is something that can not be replicated, and it is something that will always be truly missed.

Inside the Streets of Chamonix, France

24 Mar 2015

It’s easy to see why people fall in love with Chamonix. Not only do you get to spend your days galavanting all over the many mountains of the French—or Italian, or Swiss—Alps, you get to spend your nights meandering around the picturesque streets of the Chamonix valley. 

Playing off the slopes is just as important as playing on the slopes (especially when you’re in après ski country), so what better way to recharge the ol’ batteries than being surrounded by quintessential alpine charm!

xx, Alex

ABC's of Chamonix

17 Mar 2015

A— APRÈS SKI: In Chamonix, they take their après ski very seriously, so make sure to get in an appearance at the most popular spots after hitting the slopes. Bars like Chambre Neuf, Monkey, Moo and Elevation 1904 do a big business between 4-6 PM, so don't lollygag getting down the mountain!

B— BAGUETTES and BEERS: A common combination when stopping for lunch on the slopes.

C— CONNECTED: Chamonix is not a ski-in/ski-out resort, but they do a good job of keeping you well connected with buses that take you to and from the different mountains. With bus stops scattered all over the valley, you don't have to walk too far to find one, and they are free! More information here

D— DOG-FRIENDLY: Chamonix appears to be a very dog-friendly village—dogs off leash, and in and out of shops—so go ahead and bring Filo along too!

E— ESSENTIALS IN YOUR BACKPACK: SPF, sunglasses, bottle of water, gum/Haribo gummies, breakfast bar, ID, money, chapstick, map, extra hat and socks, hand/toe warmers, emergency gear (if you're expert/off-piste.)

F— FROMAGEFONDUE & CHARCUTERIE: You're in France. Fill up on meat and cheese. You'll like it.

G— GENEVA: The closest airport to Chamonix. You can rent a car, take the train or book a transfer to the resort. We had great success with, and they had dropped us off at our hotel in 1 hour and 15 minutes. *If you are booking a transfer, they will ask you for you flight times. Make sure to add some additional time there and back just to be safe. You wouldn't want a delayed flight or bad traffic to make you miss your transfer/flight home!

H— HAPPY HOUR: Monkey has the best happy hour deals in Chamonix. Located in the Chamonix Sud, you'll get 2-4-1 beer & wine from 4-6 PM, 2-4-1 cocktails from 9-10 PM EVERYDAY, and on Mondays you get half-priced burgers from 6-8 PM. Monkey Mondays is a MUST!

I— ITALIAN/INDIAN: If you're looking for good Italian food, you don't have to look far in Chamonix. Casa Valerio is highly recommended and has amazing pizza and pasta dishes, and if you want something even more authentic, cross the border, ski a full day at Courmayeur and eat up on the mountain at Chiecco—you won't be disappointed! And if you are craving something spicy, check out Annapurna, one of the only curry shops in Chamonix.

J— JAPANESE FOOD: Japanese food and France might seem like an odd combination, but after all that cheese you might be craving something lighter... Try Satsuki for typical Japanese and sushi options, Munchie for an Asian fusion menu, or Le Cap Horn for a combo of sushi, seafood and French cuisine.

K— KOOKY/KNACKERED: How you will feel after leaving Cha Cha Cha's wine-tasting starting at 6:30 PM. Not only did we get to try some really great wines, we had a blast chatting it up with locals and travellers alike. Trust me, this is a great way to get some inside information about the town!

L— LEGENDARY SLOPES: Chamonix Valley is comprised of more than five different ski areas all with varying terrain and difficulty. Domaine de Balme (Le Tour) and Brévent are great for beginner skiers with 20+ blue runs. La Flégère and Les Houches are great for intermediate skiers with 19+ red runs, and Les Grands Montets and Brévent-Flégère are great for expert skiers with six and seven black runs respectively.

M— MONT BLANC: For amazing panoramic views of the valley, take the Aiguille du Midi cable car up 3842m and experience the enormity of the tallest mountain in the Alps: Mont Blanc at 4810m (15,781 ft.) Though, the ride up is not cheap. If the 57€ per person puts you off, Le Panoramic Restaurant (on the top of the Brévent Summit) will suffice with views at 2525m. Just take the Plan Praz gondola up and connect with the Brévent cable car.

N— NEIGHBOURHOOD GROCERIES: If you're looking to save some money on food, pop into the Super U on the main street, or one of the many 'Casino' grocery shops and grab some stuff for PB&J's.

O— OFF-PISTE: Chamonix has some great off-piste skiing. If you're an advanced skier, feel free to head out on your own. If you're an intermediate skier, think about hiring a guide to keep you in the safe zones. Avalanche gear advised!

P— PROXIMITY: Chamonix's best feature is its close proximity to Italy and Switzerland. The Courmayeur Resort in Italy is a 45-minute bus ride, and it's just slightly longer to the Verbier Resort in Switzerland. This is a great option for people who visit Chamonix during poor ski conditions— they can book a seat on the shuttle and go ski somewhere else for the day.

Q— QUEUES: Luckily, we didn't run into any queues while we were skiing (!!) but we did have to wait in a long queue for our EasyJet flight home in Geneva. We were about 45 minutes late getting to the airport due to bad traffic, but since we added extra time to our transfer pickup we made our flight just fine!

R— RENTALS: Renting gear in Chamonix is a cinch. There's plenty of rental shops around town and the equipment in is great condition. You can find skis, poles and boots for about 25€ per person/day.

S— STUDENT HOLIDAYS: Should be avoided at ALL costs. Check this chart for dates when booking your ski holidays!

T— TRADITIONAL SAVOYARD FOOD: An absolute must while in Chamonix! Fondue, Raclette, Tartiflette, Fondue Bourguignonne, Braserade—there are so many delicious options! Atmosphere, Le Monchu, La Caleche are just a few of the restaurants that offer this menu.

U— UNLIMITED SKI PASS: You have two options for ski passes: the Mont Blanc Unlimited or the Chamonix Le Pass. With the MBU you gain access to all of the ski areas in Chamonix, including the Aiguille du Midi and access to Courmayeur & Verbier (with terms!), and with the Le Pass you only have access to the three main ski areas in the Chamonix valley. You can find out more information and pricing here.

V— VALLE BLANCE: A bucket list item for most expert skiers! This 20km off-piste glacier run is only available to advanced skiers with an assigned guide to help navigate the rough terrain. You start up at the top of the Aiguille du Midi and make your way back down to Chamonix. For more information: click here!

W— WALKING DISTANCE: Chamonix City Centre is not very big, so everyone walks everywhere. Don't worry if you feel like you booked your accommodation further out than you would like, there are great restaurants and bars all over. We stayed at the Le Morgane Chamonix and had a 10-minute leisurely walk to the town square.

X— XTREME SPORTS: If extreme sports are your thing, Chamonix has something for you. From speed skiing to mountain climbing to base jumping to off-piste skiing, this resort makes sure even the biggest adrenaline junkies are challenged.

Y— YUM: You're bound to be tempted by the macaroons, tarts and cakes lining all the windows on the main streets, so if you're in the mood for something sweet, pop into one of the many patisseries! We enjoyed Aux Petits Gourmands and Pie on the main street.

Z— ZILCH: This is about how much WiFi access you are going to have in Chamonix. Your hotel should have access (ours did), but other places I've heard have free WiFi are Bar'd UpMcDonald's, the Tourist Office and Super G at Courmayeur.

Snippets from Valentine's Weekend in Edinburgh

4 Mar 2015

James and I drove down to Edinburgh for the weekend to "celebrate" Valentine's Day (not really, but everyone else was celebrating around us, so whatever) and to attend the Scotland v. Wales Six Nations Rugby Match. It was a low-key two days—we just walked around the city and drank and ate until our hearts and our bellies were full. Overall, a very relaxing and calm holiday and one we intend on making quite often!

I know, I know. I've fallen off the blog-wagon again. 


I'll try to do better, but I just haven't had the desire to engage recently. I'm hoping to get back into the swing of things with my blog and my blogger friends because I feel so out of the loop! It's likely I will always struggle with keeping this blog up-to-date, I just can't decide how much time and energy I want to put into it, and recently it has been pretty obvious that I can live without it... I don't want to let this online diary die because I actually love the end result and the community that comes along with it, but the writing and the curating has just been daunting as of late. You'll probably be seeing more photo-dumps rather than educated blogposts. eh, we'll see!

Soooo, above are my snippets from our first visit to Edinburgh. I am fiddling around with a different editing style, but I like the way that they came out! Life has been pretty good recently; I've been keeping myself busy in Aberdeen. No update on the house—still browsing. I think focusing on decorating the house is partially to blame as to why I have drawn away from the blog and blog world... Too much time and effort being put into thattt and none leftover for other social or creative works. Funny enough, tomorrow is my 28th birthday and I don't even know how that creeped up on me! 

Travel plans? 

James and I are heading to Chamonix for a six-day ski holiday and after that I am heading down to London and Paris to meet up with new friends and old friends. It is going to be a travel-filled month for moi! I CAN NOT wait to get back down to London. I just know that it will be the breath of fresh air that I need.

I can't believe that we are already into March. This. year. is. FLYING. by! Though I am not complaining, I would rather it be flying by then dragging on. Plus, it means warmer weather is on the horizon!
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