F: Paris, France

sunset in Paris, France
La tour Montparnasse (April 2014)

Focusing has been difficult the past few months, so I'm taking an alternative approach to A-Z this year: looking back at past travel, editing or re-editing images from travels before, and responding to travel-related questions. Hope you are able to join me on this journey to my past!

For Day F, I went with this sunset shot from Paris, France. Back in 2014, I was lacking HDR image skills, so I decided to tackle this image for a second time. I'm quite pleased with the results. I think it's time for a return to Paris; I need to shoot another Paris sunset-scape. Don't you think?

Other places I considered for this post: Florida; Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Here are today's questions –

16. Where is the most romantic place you have ever visited?

Hawai'i. Maybe Lāna‘i? But really any of the islands would work. Lāna‘i stands out because it is so peaceful, quiet, and remote there. However, any beach at sunrise or sunset will do. There isn't a place that isn't beautiful in Hawai'i. (Well, except maybe Honolulu! But even it has perks!)

Coming up second is Carmel-By-the-Sea, Californa. It looks like a fairytale there. It doesn't seem real how quaint it all seems. (To be fair, it is not a "quaint" place at all; houses there look expensive.)

Sharm-El-Sheikh was the perfect "romantic" destination during our travel to Egypt. I couldn't quit gawking at how lovely it all was. My camera never left my side during my time there. And the sea was a gorgeous turquoise.

17. Which country has the friendliest people?

Germany stands out to me. Justin and I were supposed to meet some friends at their parents' house, but we couldn't find it. Justin asked someone on the side of the road and was told exactly where to go.

And then, our Airbnb host for our first stay in Germany provided chocolate muesli and red wine for us to consume during our stay in his apartment! He was the absolute sweetest attending to our every need before we even knew we had a need!

Of course, the whole reason we were there in the first place was for a wedding, so those Germans are pretty nice too. <3.

That aside, the people in Egypt were incredibly kind to us as well. They all seemed to have one anothers' backs; it felt like such a strong community. Everyone there was very personable and all up in your space, and, because of that, it was like the Egyptians cared tremendously for one another.

18. What destination have you found to be the most overrated?

Florida is the most overrated. "Go check out the beautiful beaches," they said. Ha. Overcrowded with spring breakers ALL YEAR. And, if not spring breakers, they've recently had a seaweed problem. We won't even talk about Florida beach culture – motorcycles, big trucks, bikini-clad women overemphasizing their bodies, lots of beer, trashing the beach, playing loud music on the beach, just … ugh.

If you are going to Florida, try:

• Laguna Beach and the 30a area. Stay in Florida; don't go into Alabama. BUT, if you must, the Bushwacker, an alcoholic milkshake, might be worth trying.
• Clearwater Beach and St Pete both have gorgeous beaches. St. Petersburg is a cute little city nearby.
• Head south to Sarasota to see the Ringling Brothers museum. It's really cool. The area isn't really worth exploring otherwise, though.
• Miami has my heart. The beach is terrible, though you can try for Key Biscayne. Definitely eat Cuban food in Little Havana and check out Espanola Way near South Beach. Skip the Key West and the keys unless you are into cheap beer, crowds, and lots of tourist attractions.
• Orlando is great for Disney World but otherwise is hot and humid all year. (And this is from someone who loves Disney World!)

Other places that are overrated?

• Prague? I didn't really get the vibe of the city.
• Also wasn't into Venice. Or Cinque Terre. I think European cities are complex and difficult to understand in only a day or two, specifically for this American.
• the Eiffel Tower. Why be on it where you can't see it? Though it is great for seeing everything else in the city!

Have you ever visited a place only to instantly regret it? What would you consider a "romantic" destination?

See other posts in this year's A-Z.


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