small piazza church Christmas lights ladies at outdoor cafe table

Vegan & Gluten-Free: Rome

When we decided to visit Rome while in Europe this winter, I worried I wouldn’t find many vegan and gluten-free options. As I embarked on my research, I learned that Italy has a very high rate of Celiac’s Disease and food safety is taken seriously. Many restaurants offer gluten-free pasta and pizza. Though if you have Celiac’s Disease you...

Art Nouveau Paris Metro sign, rainy pavement, stone building in background

Paris: Le Haut Marais

Le Haut Marais, also known as the upper Marais, comprises the northern portion of the 3rd arrondissement. It makes a lovely home base in Paris. The area feels more like a neighborhood than the better known, more crowded and touristy section of the Marais in the 4th arrondissement. Le Haut Marias is filled with historic architecture, museums, restaurants (many...

Vegan & Gluten-Free: Paris

You may think it would be miserable to visit Paris as a vegan with gluten sensitivity. However, I have successfully navigated the culinary gem with this lifestyle, staying true to my values and not getting sick while enjoying amazing food. In recent years, restaurants catering to these foods have been opening regularly in Paris. Although it takes time to...

fountain Ferris wheel Louvre museum cloudy sky

Aligning Expectations

I’ve discovered that, for me, the key to planning enjoyable and meaningful travel experiences is beginning with realistic expectations. There are many reasons to travel, styles and personalities of travelers, experiences each person wishes to have, and perhaps different physical needs. Acknowledging these factors and aligning my expectations allows me greater focus when planning an itinerary. I’ve learned to...

Slow travel: A nap in Paris ©ruedevarenne.com

Slow travel: A Nap in Paris

Last summer, as we prepared for our fall trip to Paris, we decided to put the slow travel philosophy into practice. For the past couple of years, I’ve been reading and listening to podcasts about the slow living movement. It encompasses elements of mindfulness, inspiring you to be selective about how you spend your time, to take life at a more...

Chocolatería San Ginés, Madrid ©ruedevarenne.com

Chocolatería San Ginés

Tucked in a pedestrian passage off of the Puerta del Sol and attached to Iglesia San Ginés, the Chocolatería San Ginés has served chocolate con churros since 1894. This interpretation may not be what many are used to, but the combination is divine. The hot chocolate is similar to a rich, dark pudding; rather than a beverage, it’s used...

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