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Prague

28 Oct

I’m curious to know about other travelers first experience in Prague. To be completely honest, I’m not entirely sure I’d go back. All the sites were absolutely beautiful. And there were moments where I was truly in awe of its rich history. I can understand why so many people love exploring the city. I guess maybe I didn’t spend enough time there to fully realize it’s charm?

To be fair, we were there less than 24 hours. And two things happened that left a sour taste in my mouth. We were fined on the metro system without a good explanation, and my Fitbit was lost or stolen. Either way, it wasn’t fun. I think I was more upset that all my steps weren’t accounted for because we did a TON of walking. But enough ranting, let me tell you about the parts I did like.

the-wild-child-prague-eveningthe-wild-child-prague-town-center

We took an evening train from Berlin and arrived around 10-ish, enough time to check in to our hotel and grab a beer. I haven’t explored why, but beer is really cheap in Prague. Also, shout out to the train systems in Europe. As Sheldon Cooper would say, “Ooh, I love trains!”

The next morning we wandered a few hours taking in the city. Because we were there such a short time, we booked a tour through Discover Prague Tours. We were given so much information by our guide, and by the end I could have done with a little less. However, the tour had a ton of value for its low price and was definitely worth it. Highlights included exploring the monasteries, a brewery stop, stunning views of the Castle District and St. Vitus Cathedral.

the-wild-child-prague-charles-bridgethe-wild-child-prague-monasterythe-wild-child-prague-monastery-squarethe-wild-child-prague-city-viewsthe-wild-child-prague-castlethe-wild-child-prague-cathedral-outdoors

We finished at the castle gate facing the city, and had enough time to grab a snack and catch the train home. So maybe I didn’t give Prague its do justice, or maybe it just wasn’t for me. I’m glad I visited there, and who knows, if enough time fades I might give it a second chance.

An afternoon in Brighton

23 Sep

This whole week has been miraculous, weather-wise. Mild temps, no rain and even some sunshine. When we woke up Sunday morning and saw rays peeking through the window, it instantly put us in the best mood. I had some pretty good suggestions for how to spend the day. Sebastian’s idea, however, was so much better.

the-wild-child-water

In no time we were on a train heading to Brighton for the day. From where we live, it’s about a 50 minute train ride, giving us just enough time to enjoy a coffee and a lemon muffin before we arrived at the station. First order was brunch, and we made our way to The Breakfast Club. We’re told there is usually a wait, but we were able to walk right in.

I ordered the smoked salmon and scrambled eggs on toast with a side of avocado, and it was very delicious. It also went perfectly with my Bloody Mary ;-) Sebastian ordered his go-to brunch item, The Full Monty, which includes bacon, sausage, black pudding, eggs, potatoes, mushrooms, beans, a grilled tomato and toast (the Brits sure know how to do breakfast!). The Breakfast Club has multiple locations around London, and we were excited to hear there’s one opening near us in October. Yay for brunch!

After we were sufficiently full, it was time to head to the beach. We joined the other smart kids who thought an afternoon in the sun was a good idea and found a nice spot near the water. It was so relaxing to sit and watch the boats and paddle boarders float by. Brighton is rocky, not sandy, and I loved picking through the rocks and shells, looking for the pretty ones.

brighton-beach-the-wild-child

the-wild-child-paddle-boarder

the-wild-child-pier

Since it was mid-September, the pier was fairly empty, so we took a stroll to see if we could find anything exciting. It’s your typical pier though, filled with games, treats, rides and cheesy photo opps. As much as I was dying for a picture, I didn’t make Sebastian take crazy photos (this time). About three hours had passed since brunch, and of course my bottomless-pit-husband was hungry again. We decided to find oysters and wine as an afternoon snack. Side note: How cool is it that I have a husband?! #newlyweds

Earlier in the day we passed English’s, a lovely seafood spot in the city, so we made our way there. We ordered the local oysters, and oh man were they amazing. We also split a carafe of wine, and were feeling pretty good by the time we left for the train station.

the-wild-child-oysters

the-wild-child-beach

I couldn’t have picked a better way to enjoy such a beautiful day. Simply put, Brighton stole my heart, and I can’t wait to go back.

Epic news

5 May

Prior to this little post, I haven’t thought about blogging for months. Oops. Between wedding planning, life planning and trying to getting rockin’ arms at the gym, blogging dropped pretty low on the priority list.

But I’m back, and I have some seriously exciting news to share. Drumroll please… WE’RE MOVING TO LONDON!!!

Wait, you’re moving? Yes, Sebastian accepted a new job, and we’ll be starting our life together in the UK. Woah! When? I officially move in June, eek! Aren’t you also planning two weddings this summer? We sure are! Our Germany wedding is in July and our Ohio wedding is in August. Are you freaking out? Only a little.

Some days all the moving plans, wedding plans and life in general can feel overwhelming, but most of the time I’m just super excited to start this new adventure with Sebastian. And how brilliant will it be to live in London?! I can’t wait to explore my future home and kick off this next stage of our life.

And with that, all I can say is… cheers! Look, I’m sounding British already.

London | www.the-wild-child.com

image via

What I’ve been doing other than blogging

22 Dec

Oh, hey there friends! It’s been a long time. I don’t have any excuses other than life got in the way. If you follow me on Instagram (@MJSpletzer), you might have noticed my biggest news: I’m engaged! Sebastian popped the question exactly one month ago today, and we’re as happy as clams.

Ring | www.the-wild-child.com

So what else have I been up to these past four months? In August, my parents treated me to a US Women’s soccer game for my birthday, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Then at the end of the month, I traveled to Massachusetts to celebrate my cousin Alli’s wedding. We had a blast, and I died laughing when the shuttle to the reception turned out to be a school bus.

Heinz Field | www.the-wild-child.comSchool Bus | www.the-wild-child.com

In September, I jetted off to Colorado for the US Air Force Academy family weekend. We spent four glorious days laughing, eating and just being together. I also traveled to Westfield, NY, for a little hiking and relaxation.

Family | www.the-wild-child.comTrain | www.the-wild-child.comHammock | www.the-wild-child.comWaterfall | www.the-wild-child.com

In October, the BF (now fiancé) was in town with his friend Maik. We took him to my beloved West Side Market and a freezing, cold Indians game. Later in the month, Sebastian and I spent a week of vacation hiking in Hocking Hills and then exploring and eating our way through Boston. We loved the city so much we’re heading back there for NYE.

Market Hall | www.the-wild-child.comFriends | www.the-wild-child.comRose Lake | www.the-wild-child.comCave | www.the-wild-child.comDoughnuts | www.the-wild-child.comBoston | www.the-wild-child.comOysters | www.the-wild-child.com

November found me in Germany where I was asked the most important question of my life (I said yes!). We spent the week visiting Christmas markets, preparing a Thanksgiving feast and enjoying being engaged.

engaged | www.the-wild-child.comWine | www.the-wild-child.comVeggies | www.the-wild-child.comTurkey | www.the-wild-child.comTreats | www.the-wild-child.com

And now it’s the end of December – hard to believe another year is almost over. I want to slow down time and soak in all the little moments these next few days: snuggling on the couch with my siblings, being in the kitchen with my Mom and cracking jokes with my Dad. There is nothing better than the holidays and being together with my family.

Tree | www.the-wild-child.com

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a fantastic start to the New Year! 2016 is sure to be another wild ride. Cheers! xoxo

On a beach down in Mexico

8 Jul

After four years of blogging, one thing I’ve learned is how quickly time gets away from you. I’m so behind in posts that I wonder if it’s worth continuing, but then I remember how awesome it is to look back and see all my memories in one place. So today I’m sharing photos from our Mexico vacation earlier this year.

Cancun Mexico | www.the-wild-child.com

After months of research we settled on an all-inclusive resort, The Finest at Playa Mujeres. We were a little nervous because the resort was brand new, and who knew if all the kinks would be worked out by our trip. But we quickly learned there was nothing to worry about. The hours spent on TripAdvisor reading reviews were for nothing. The place was fantastic.

From the modern, luxurious rooms to the beautiful grounds, it was the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation.

Finest Playa Mujeres Plants | www.the-wild-child.com

Pool Friends | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Grounds | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Lobby | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Night | www.the-wild-child.com

Some favorite memories:

-Mojitos and tequila shots with our amazing bartender Ivan.

-Meeting new friends – Kevin and Erin from New York and Trent and Melissa from Canada.

-Pool trivia every afternoon at 3pm.

-Kayaking in the clear blue waters.

-Watching the sunrise with my love.

Pool Selfie | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Pool | www.the-wild-child.com

Finest Playa Mujeres Kayaking | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunset Cancun | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunset | www.the-wild-child.com

Sebastian and I often take active vacations where we’re exploring new cities together, but it was beyond nice to just sit by a pool without a care in the world.

If you’re looking for an all-inclusive resort, we highly recommend The Finest Playa Mujeres. We’re already talking about a return trip next year, it’s that good.

Travel plans

27 Mar

Happy Friday! How was everyone’s first week of spring? It’s still a bit cold here, but the snow has melted and it has certainly lifted my spirits. Today I have travel on the brain, and I’m looking forward all the trips I have planned.

There’s nothing better than counting down the days to my next trip. Here’s where I’m heading this year if you’re interested…

Chapel Hill NC | www.the-wild-child.com

I’m taking my annual trip to visit my best friend Lindsay in Chapel Thrill. I leave a week from today! We’re planning a full weekend, and I see hiking, trampolining, camp songs and so much laughter in my future.

Playa Mujeres, Mexico | www.the-wild-child.com

This is the trip I’ve been dreaming about for months. Sebastian and I will be spending five glorious days at an all-inclusive resort in Mexico.

Beach. Mojitos. Sunshine. I’ll say no more.

Churchill Downs | www.the-wild-child.com

During a random conversation, a group of us decided to go to the Kentucky Derby this year. I’m so excited for this weekend! Picture this: giant hats, mint juleps and a spectacular race. What’s not to love?

New York City | www.the-wild-child.com

Is there anything better than a girls’ weekend? How about a girls’ weekend in NYC?! I’m going with some girlfriends who have never been before over Memorial Day weekend, and their excitement for the trip is contagious.

Cedar Point| www.the-wild-child.com

Don’t underestimate what’s in your own backyard! I plan to use some of my holiday time around the fourth of July to spend a day at Cedar Point. I love that we have amazing roller coasters so close to home.

Boston | www.the-wild-child.com

My cousin Alli is getting married near Boston, and I wouldn’t miss the wedding (or an opportunity to visit the city again). I’m looking forward to celebrating the happy couple and eating lots of seafood. If everything works out, Sebastian and I will stay a few extra days to check out Cape Cod, too.

Colorado Springs | www.the-wild-child.com

I wasn’t going to make the trek to Colorado this year, but I didn’t want to miss an opportunity for my family to be together. With both my siblings living out West these moments are rare. It should be a fun Labor Day weekend with my favorite people.

Rome, Italy | www.the-wild-child.com

I try to go to Europe at least once a year. It’s only fair since Sebastian comes here so often. We’ve talked about traveling to Scotland since neither of us have been, but lately I have Italy on the brain. Part of me wants to spend time in Rome again. I have daydreams of a late fall trip filled with great wine, amazing food and a beautiful city.

Add in all the work trips I have this summer, a few Ohio wedding weekends, plus somewhere for NYE and I think I’m set for the year.

What are your travel plans?

Café am Neuen See

26 Dec

Guten Tag! Hope you had a lovely Christmas! As you’re reading this, I’m currently making my way to Germany for a week of exploring, restaurant hopping and relaxation. If all goes as planned I’ll be on the ground Saturday morning, giving the BF a big hug.

Today I wanted to share my favorite spot in Berlin, Café am Neuen See.

On the Lake | www.the-wild-child.com

Pizza and Beer | www.the-wild-child.com

Café am Neuen See is a restaurant and biergarten located within the Tiergarten Park. I love the biergarten, especially on a warm day. You can sit by the lake, enjoy a beer and some pizza, and take comfort in the shade.

Cafe Am Neuen See Biergarten  | www.the-wild-child.com

Cafe Am Neuen See Lake   | www.the-wild-child.com

I’ve actually never eaten at the restaurant, but we made reservations there for New Year’s Eve or Silvester. There’s an awesome menu planned with champagne and fireworks. I have a hunch I’m going to like it.

Biergarten in #Berlin  | www.the-wild-child.com

Café am Neuen See
Lichtensteinallee 2, 10787 Berlin
+49 030 2544930

Vacation rentals

22 Dec

Although we enjoy staying at hotels, Sebastian and I really like renting apartments on vacation. We love feeling like locals, plus rentals typically have more space and are less expensive.

If you’re new to the rental scene, some of the well-known sites are Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. We prefer Airbnb and have stayed at some pretty awesome places.

This duplex near Avignon, France, was so lovely. The owners, Emma and Herve, were beyond great, and we loved cooking meals at night and relaxing in the garden.

Rental in #France | www.the-wild-child.com

Avignon rental apartment #France  | www.the-wild-child.com

Rental duplex in #France | www.the-wild-child.com

The apartment we stayed at in Rome was perfect – just a few blocks from the Vatican and not far from a Metro stop. Our host, Cory, was so sweet. He even provided us with a map of the city with restaurant suggestions.

Rome Kitchen  | www.the-wild-child.com

Rome Apartment  | www.the-wild-child.com

Airbnb has some awesome roundups if you’re looking for a truly unique vacation. Here are some of the places I’d love to stay:

Treehouse in Hawaii

Treehouse  | www.the-wild-child.com

Converted train caboose in Malibu, CA

Caboose | www.the-wild-child.com

Houseboat in Amsterdam

Houseboat | www.the-wild-child.com

Clock tower suite in London

Clocktower  | www.the-wild-child.com

If you could stay anywhere, where would you choose?

P.S. All photos are from Airbnb, except the one with Sebastian.

Eating in Berlin, part 2

19 Dec

Guess what?! This time next week I’ll be on my way to Germany. Sebastian and I debated New Year’s Eve plans, but we both decided it would be fun if I went there this year. I can’t wait to be back in Berlin, a city I fall in love with more and more every time I visit.

As I prepare for the trip, I thought it would be fun to share some of the awesome restaurants we tried on my last visit. Please excuse the lack of photos for some locations.

Melbourne Canteen
Pannierstraße 57, 12047 Berlin – Neukölln
+49 030 62731602

If you’re in the mood for a laid back breakfast, this is the place to go. Sebastian often comes here on the weekends for brunch and newspaper reading. When we went together, I ordered scrambled eggs with avocado and toast and some tomato juice, although I should have opted for the Bloody Mary. Next time.

Ständige Vertretung
Schiffbauerdamm 8, 10117 Berlin – Mitte
+49 030 2823965

Located on the Spree, this is a great spot for a cold beer and some people watching. Sebastian says his Dad loves to come here when he visits Berlin.

Standige Vertretung  | www.the-wild-child.com

Drinks at Standige Vertretung | www.the-wild-child.com

Fratelli La Bionda
Bergmannstraße 31, 10961 Berlin – Kreuzberg
+49 030 63901770

We went here for date night during my visit. It was the perfect place to sit outside, share a bottle of wine and enjoy some authentic Italian cuisine.

Burrata | www.the-wild-child.com

Steak Tartar | www.the-wild-child.com

Pasta

Buchkantine
Dortmunder Strasse 1, 10555 Berlin – Moabit
+49 030 94883728

This bistro is located along the Spree and is actually quite close to Sebastian’s apartment. We went here for a late breakfast one morning. It has a lovely deck that is built around a giant tree. There is also a bookshop inside, but we never checked it out.

Buchkantine in #Berlin | www.the-wild-child.com

German Breakfast | www.the-wild-child.com

Chez Michel
Adalberstraße 83, 10997 Berlin – Kreuzberg
+49 030 20845507

We met our friends Maik and Kristine here for dinner. We sat outside at a tiny table and shared different dishes. It’s a no fuss kind of place – you order at the counter and they bring the food to you. But the food itself is simple and good.

Monsieur Vuong
Alte Schönhauserstraße 46, 10119 Berlin – Mitte
+49 030 99296924

I’ve shared this restaurant before, but I’m doing it again anyway. I love the cozy atmosphere and the amazing Vietnamese food. I know no matter when we visit, we’ll always get a great meal. Do yourself a favor and check it out.

Monsieur Vuong  | www.the-wild-child.com

Spring Rolls  | www.the-wild-child.com

The California Breakfast Slam
Innstraße 47, 12045 Berlin- Neukölln
+49 030 6869624

This is one of those restaurants that feels so European yet so American. I can picture walking into a place like this in Portland or Ohio City, but here it is on the streets of Berlin. If you’re looking for fancy decor, this is not the place for you. The food was fantastic though. Order the pancakes and thank me later.

Breakfast Platter  | www.the-wild-child.com

Pancakes | www.the-wild-child.com

Gastón Tapas Bar
Weichselstraße 18, 12045 Berlin – Neukölln
+49 162 8199853

I loved this restaurant – it’s probably my favorite out of all the stops on this list. We ended up here on a Friday night with a group of friends, ordering rounds of beer and sharing tapas. If I ever live in Berlin, you’ll find me here often.

Gaston Restaurant  | www.the-wild-child.com

Markthalle Neun
Eisenbahnstraße 42/43, 10997 Berlin

There are several market halls like this in Berlin. This one reminds me of the West Side Market in Cleveland except on a smaller scale. You can find anything here from flowers to goat cheese to fresh bread and fish. We went for the meat, specifically Big Stuff Smoked BBQ. I can’t even describe the amazingness, so enjoy the photos below.

Markthalle Neun #Berlin | www.the-wild-child.com

Lemonade | www.the-wild-child.com

BBQ in #Berlin  | www.the-wild-child.com

P.S. In case you missed it, here is Eating in Berlin, part 1.

Outdoors in Oregon

12 Dec

I’m glad (well kind of glad) I ended up way behind in my travel posts. It’s nice to reminisce about summer now that every day is spent covered under an avalanche of blankets. Let’s take a trip back to the great state of Oregon. As my parents and sister say, it’s one of the best kept secrets in the U.S., and I’d honestly have to agree. It truly is a beautiful place to visit.

spencer butte trees | www.the-wild-child.com

This past summer, me and my cousin spent five days in Eugene with my sister. We had an absolute blast together trying new restaurants, checking out breweries and laughing a lot. One of our favorite days though was spent outside enjoying all that nature has to offer.

Spencer Butte difficult route| www.the-wild-child.com

Hiking in #Oregon | www.the-wild-child.com

Spencer Butte #Oregon  | www.the-wild-child.com

spencer butte summit  | www.the-wild-child.com

We started our morning with a hike up Spencer Butte, a small “mountain” near Eugene. Just for fun, and because we had no place to be, we opted for the difficult route. The hike wasn’t too bad, about a 2,000 foot climb to the summit, and the views were worth it. Even on a cloudy day you could see for miles. We rested at the top, took some hiking selfies and discussed plans for the day.

spencer butte landscape | www.the-wild-child.com

hiking selfies  | www.the-wild-child.com

Hiking Trail #Oregon  | www.the-wild-child.com

Forest in #Oregon  | www.the-wild-child.com

On the way down it was decided we’d grab lunch, change our clothes and head for the coast. The Pacific Ocean is about an hour from Eugene and we had a great day for driving – mild temperatures and plenty of sunshine.

Florence #Oregon  | www.the-wild-child.com

Sandy Path | www.the-wild-child.com

Upon arrival we were greeted by a wall of sand. But once we made it over, the views were anything short of spectacular.

It was my cousin’s first time seeing the Pacific Ocean, and we loved watching her take it all in. We spent a while walking along the beach, breathing in the salty air and collecting sand dollars. There’s something wonderful about the ocean. It makes all the worries in my life seem so small.

Pacific Ocean #Oregon | www.the-wild-child.com

sisters | www.the-wild-child.com

Pacific Ocean #Oregon#Oregon Sand Dunes | www.the-wild-child.com

Cousins  | www.the-wild-child.com

Our parents had visited a few months before and recommended we check out the sand dunes during our trip so we made our way to Sandland Adventures. We arrived just as a new tour was about to start so we quickly bought our tickets and climbed onto the giant dune buggy.

Dune Buggy in #Oregon | www.the-wild-child.com

Sand Dunes | www.the-wild-child.com

Yes, it was super cheesy at times, but also the best way to explore the dunes and learn some fun facts. For example, the Oregon sand dunes are the largest expanse of coastal sand dunes in North America and have been constantly shifting and changing for centuries. Now you know. The company also offers a faster tour where you speed through the dunes, but you get sand thrown all over you and miss out on the history lesson.

Dune Buggy  | www.the-wild-child.com

#Oregon Sand Dunes | www.the-wild-child.com

After the tour was over, we were beat. It was time to head home, clean up and gorge ourselves on bar food and microbrews. When it was time to leave Eugene, we all agreed on another trip next summer. But my gypsy sister is moving again… this time to LA! California better be ready for us next year! As for Oregon, I’ll definitely be back because it’s just too good not to visit again.