MONTHLY UPDATE…PORSCHE TOUR, FRANCE, PAMPLONA + SAN SEBASTIAN
Wow! We’ve crossed off so many BUCKET LIST ITEMS it’s INSANE!
So…buckle up while I break down the past 4 weeks for you!
This edition of the Monthly Update includes…🤯
- Driving a Porsche across 4 countries in Europe w/ a drone team
- Road trippin across France…Avignon, Saint-Tropez, Cannes, Nice, Eze, + Monaco
- Running with the motherf*cking bulls in Pamplona, Spain
- And, falling in love with San Sebastian/Donostia
WHERE ARE ASHLEY + CAMERON?!
JUNE 15TH – 30TH | PORSCHE TOUR + SOUTH OF FRANCE
WOW! Just wow! I didn’t know how I was going to like the Porsche tour as it was more of Cameron’s bucket list item than mine, but I was immediately hooked because I’m learning I have a NEED FOR SPEED!
Day one, Cameron hit 268km [167mph] on the Autobahn. Holy shitballs. Everything was fine until a Jeep pulled out in front of us to pass another car. We were fine but my nervous system took a good hour to calm back down. On the second to last day, I hit 252km [157mph] in Italy with the top down. Bucket list ✅. One thing though…Italian highways aren’t the Autobahn in Germany. There’s definitely a speed limit, which means I’m hoping + praying I don’t receive a hefty ticket in the mail in approximately 4 months. I would’ve kept accelerating, but out of nowhere I felt something on my face, I resisted grabbing it, + it flew out of the car. Well, it ended up being our toll ticket. Let me tell you…there’s nothing like getting an Italian tongue lashing from the toll booth customer service lady.
I chose The Grand Tour, because we stayed at a 5 star hotel that’s been on my bucket list since 2018…Villa Honegg in Switzerland. The pool overlooking Lake Lucerne is to die for. Bucket list ✅. And, the luxury didn’t end there. Next, we stayed at The Chedi in Andermatt, Switzerland which blew our minds! The only thing missing…air conditioning!
PTravelsClub had everything so dialed in. The team worked as a cohesive unit to ensure everything ran smoothly at all times. The vehicles were always clean, stocked with water, + filled with gas. My logistics loving heart was pitter pattering with joy.
The best part…in a matter of 48 hours, I coordinated a FPV drone team, Cinequads, to film us the second morning in Switzerland. We left at 6AM + filmed for 6 hours straight with the most gorgeous backdrop ever. It was an INCREDIBLE experience! The Susten Pass in Switzerland was mind blowingly gorgeous + the footage they captured was simply WOW! They filmed us with their brand-new, $35,000 drone that shoots in 8k resolution. One flew it while the other operated the camera. It wasn’t easy to coordinate, but we managed to get a shot of all 10 cars by this giant waterfall + that file alone is freaking 105GBs! My computer won’t even download the entire thing yet alone open it. I can’t wait until my video editor gets the final version to me. Bucket list ✅.
Have you ever driven a Porshce? If not, is it on your bucket list? I totally understand why people are fanatical over them now. Sport Plus mode is such a RUSH! Vroom vroom! We loved it so much, we’re working with PTravelsClub to host a private tour for 10 couples next summer in Spain/Morocco.
Next, Cameron jetted off to Canada to hangout with his boys while I made my way down to Avignon, France to chill + get some work done.
This Airbnb find was bonkers! The modern design + decor left me feeling like I was chillin at a 5 star resort in a desert oasis.
I was ready to dive straight into content, content, content but the Universe had different plans for me. Apparently, there was a massive thunderstorm the night before I arrived, + it knocked the WiFi for the entire neighborhood. It didn’t help that the hosts were in Italy + it was the weekend. Fast forward…it took a full week to resolve the issue. We’re not in America anymore Toto.
At the same time, I encountered massive issues switching my mobile carrier from Google Fi to Verizon, + that was FUBAR for three full weeks. I’ll spare you the gory details, but I spent three days troubleshooting something that wasn’t my fault. It’s my fave wasting a ton of time. Not! But, I share this to illustrate that it isn’t all sunshine, rainbows, + unicorns while traveling.
So, I turned lemons into lemonade by going lavender field hunting in Provence + planning a 3-day road trip along the southern coast of France. I swung through Marseille [crazy traffic + roads…I got lost as much as I do in Dubai], Saint Tropez [wow the yachts!], Cannes [where I’m buying my next wardrobe], Nice [rock beaches + bathing suits], Eze [OMG! So stinking cute! Just go!], + Monaco [more crazy driving, traffic, + super windy roads]. Bucket list ✅.
Exploring was awesome. But, the best part was crossing off all these cities as potential places for our European hub. Don’t get me wrong, it was GORGEOUS, but it was a lil too pretentious, boujee, + crowded for my liking. It was like a big swinging dick + Barbie doll mecca. Plus, I’m more of an Alps + beautiful lakes type of gal. Northern Italy…I’m coming for you!
When I returned to my lil desert oasis, I cranked through as much work as humanly possible in two days. My favorite part about France was cooking for myself, eating clean, + experimenting with different fasting lengths based on my cycle [future biohack share].
Re: France. People aren’t lying when they talk about French food reigning supreme. Grand Frais supermarket is hands-down the best supermarket I’ve ever been to. The produce was beautiful. I bought the juiciest mango of my life from there. And, I stumbled upon the BEST BUTTER IN THE WORLD! Like…lick it like a popsicle good…which I’ve never done before. It was so good, I smuggled an entire brick to Paris for Cameron to try it. While I was en route, I sent him on a mission to find a beautiful baguette in the CDG Airport. He ended up walking through two different terminals to find one. This resulted in one of my fave memories…us sitting on the floor of our hotel room, stuffing our faces with a rotisserie chicken [also smuggled from Avignon], baguette, butter, + almond butter. He was so hooked, he looked like a drug addict needing a fix sitting on the edge of the bed. The butter has since flown with us to Pamplona, Spain + made the drive to San Sebastian.
Oh, oh, oh…I’m glad I remembered this last point. I’m all about breaking stereotypes…I didn’t encounter a single instance of French rudeness. I kept expecting it, but it never came. Everyone was so helpful, friendly, + nice as long as I politely asked if he/she/them spoke English. This might be different in Paris…but I won’t find out until next year [haven’t been yet]. But, I can confidently say southern French people are quite lovely.
JULY 4TH – 19TH | PAMPLONA + SAN SEBASTIAN, SPAIN
WTF was I thinking?! I still can’t believe it was my idea to run with the bulls. And, our dumb asses didn’t only run it once, we ran it twice.
Some close friends told us about it a few years ago. I’m still shocked I’ve never heard of it before, since it brings in ~1M people each year. Experiencing the opening ceremony from a balcony in the main square was WILD! The energy was electric. I’ve never seen so many people in one place. A sea of red + white as far as the eye could see + the smell of Kalimotxo [red wine + coke] on the tips of our noses. The crowds easily rival those of Woodstock.
We ran the very first morning [July 7th] and I wasn’t that nervous, because I didn’t watch many horror videos beforehand. A buddy from AZ who’s been running since 1986 randomly spotted us + told us to follow him. Him and his son convinced us to start running in a different spot + deterred us from going into the Plaza [aka stadium] for fear of injury. The race was a complete blur. The rockets went off, the cops pushed + shoved us to go, fellow runners were shoving, + the bulls zipped past us so fast it was over before it started. In the frenzy, I got slammed down to my knees which rattled me. I got up, dusted off, + we kept running hand in hand just for the experience. Little did I know 4 more steers were coming in hot behind us. So, I quickly pressed up against the side of the street to let them pass. At this point I realized we had all that extra time to make it inside the Plaza. I thought we had to make it into the stadium before the first batch of 6 bulls + 6 steers, but they sent 4 more steers afterwards to wrangle any stragglers from the first group. Then, the doors get shut immediately after those 4 steers make it into the Plaza. I was SO BUMMED!
The last thing I wanted to do was run again [aka tempt fate for a second time], but part of me felt like I didn’t get the full experience. The adrenaline rush didn’t even come close to skydiving, the wind tunnel, or doing 252km in a Porsche. So…as the day went on, I mustered up the courage to run the next day [the only day we had left] + convinced Cameron to do it with me. He reluctantly agreed, but we were both on the same page about doing it as strategically + safely as possible. Our objective was to stay out of harm’s way, run behind the mean aggressive bulls, + make it into the Plaza before the remaining steers got there + they slam the doors shut.
Getting up at 5AM a second day in a row was brutal! I wasn’t feeling my best + was WAY MORE nervous than the first day for some reason. Being thrown to my knees must have subconsciously rattled me more than I thought.
The second day was a completely different experience than the first day. There were so many more people [weekend crowd]…especially young, drunk people. We got a few looks from youngins wondering what the “old people” were doing here.
They packed us in there like sardines for over an hour. Then, it turned into a mosh pit for the longest ~20 minutes of my life. At this point, I couldn’t move my arms + my stomach was in knots, I was wondering wtf we were doing + was considering bailing. Finally, the cops moved the barricade, + we walked towards our strategically planned spot. Luckily, we found a recessed door frame to stand in…avoiding the majority of the pushing + shoving from other runners. Our plan was flawless. So we thought. With t-minus 3 minutes to go, 3 people open the door + stand in the doorway. They cheated the system by renting a place right on Estafeta Street. They immediately took our perfect spot! After some careful + quick negotiating, we all fit in the doorway + agreed to push in the door if it got too intense…which we ended up doing. With this strategy, I successfully recorded the bulls zipping by. It’s too bad Cameron didn’t have his RayBan Stories with him. The crowd was crazy, but we finally pushed our way out there + started running like crazy. I was blown away by how many people were barely running. I was shouting at people to go faster, because the final 4 steers were going to be up our asses in now time. It felt like the longest + shortest ~2.5 minutes [typical run length] of my life.
So what’s the deal with the Plaza? I’ll tell you. The stands are completely PACKED, people are still partying from the previous day, + after the bulls/steers enter the stadium, they corral them, + lock all of us all in there for 45 minutes. No one can leave! Then, they let 1 year old baby bulls [don’t get it twisted…the baby bulls are HUGE + MEAN] out one at a time to go after everyone in the rink. And, people are crazy enough to taunt, touch, + throw their clothes on the bulls. We stayed inside the rink for ~20 minutes, because we had 3-5 layers of bodies in front of us…which felt relatively safe. But, as time went on the layers grew more + more sparse + things can change in an instant…which we saw + experienced first hand. So, for the second half we watched from the other side of the wall.
I can’t explain the CRAZINESS of this entire experience. It was pure mayhem + chaos! And, it’s truly every person for themselves. Things get real primal real fast when safety is compromised. People were getting TRAMPLED, THROWN + BULLDOZED by these bulls + the crowd was eating it up! I danced out of that stadium + was on cloud 9 for hours. This was the precise feeling [aka pure adrenaline] I was looking for the day before. It scared the shit out of me, but I’m so glad we ran the second morning. The trip was exponentially better getting to take part in the Plaza shenanigans. Bucket list item ✅.
Side note, the poor police force + waste management employees. What an impossible + exhausting job. The mountains of trash + nostril assaulting smells were completely DISGUSTING! I’m genuinely curious how they feel about these 2 weeks each year. Hopefully, the rest of the year is pretty chill + makes up for it.
I’m so glad we booked the trip with Bucket List Events. It didn’t go 100% smooth, but it was way better than us trying to plan + coordinate it all ourselves. I’m so glad I did it, but it was a one and done kind of bucket list experience for me. I left with mixed emotions about the entire event + tradition as a whole. I’ve decided to keep it light here, but if you want more details about the dark underbelly of this annual tradition, feel free to comment below.
So CUTE! This lil city lives up to all the hype IMO. And, the Basque influence completely changes the vibe from southern Spain…in a good way. Bucket list ✅.
It’s the perfect size, not too big or too small, just the way we like it. It’s less susceptible to the European heat waves as well. It has cute beaches without the beachy vibe in the city, + the Urumea Itsasadarra River flowing through the middle of it makes it picturesque. Not to mention all the awesome walking, running, + biking paths. And, the best part…way less SMOKING! My lungs, liver, + kidneys were so happy.
So…why haven’t we contacted a realtor + started looking for places to buy? I’ll tell you. Our only + main complaint with Spain is the dinner time. Restaurants open for dinner at 8:30PM, which is a complete deal breaker for us. I like eating between 5-6PM. I’d even opt for a super late lunch, but kitchens close around 1-3PM. So, there’s no winning + living somewhere where we can’t dine-out simply doesn’t work.
So, we last-minute decided to visit Biarritz, France since it’s up the coast. French restaurants typically open around 7PM which is tolerable. Plus, it has my all-time favorite supermarket, Grand Frais. Unfortunately, it was too touristy + beachy for my liking, but I’m super optimistic about northern Italy [Verona, Lake Garda, Dolomites], which is a stone’s throw away from France. So it might be the perfect solution. We’ll know for sure next year.
Okay…it doesn’t get much crazier than that in a 4 week span!
In June alone we visited 7 different countries. Crazytown!
I’m tired just thinking about it.
We hope you’re ready for more bucket list experiences, because we’re off to ICELAND with Butterfield + Robinson next! And, our guide has been sending us updates about the ongoing volcano eruption! After that, I’m off to the Faroe Islands + Washington D.C. It’ll be the first time I’m exploring our nation’s capital. Can you believe it?
We can’t wait to take you with us!
And trust me…you won’t want to miss it!
VIDEOS YOU’LL LOVE
We immediately fell in love with Florence, Italy! Amazing tours, history, art, gelato, cooking classes, The David, + Cameron’s favorite…sticky toffee pudding. We think you’ll love it too.
Biking through Tuscany with Backroads was an EPIC EXPERIENCE! Getting our booties kicked by day, staying at 5 star resorts, + dining at Michelin star restaurants by night. We absolutely love staying active on the road. Would you love to go on this type of trip?
TRAVEL HACK OF THE MONTH
THE WORLD’S BEST TRAVEL ADAPTER!
I did a lot of research when selecting my travel adapter. This bad boy doesn’t exist on Amazon either. It’s a UK based company called MyTravelPal, + their universal adapter is amazing! The only issue I’ve run into is the diamond shaped European outlets. This one only has the circle shape. My only other complaint…I don’t have two of them, but my minimalist mind can’t justify lugging around a second one.
MyTravelPal® Pro: Universal Travel Adaptor
Oh WOW! It’s currently on sale for 30.52 Euros! Definitely go + grab one. This is not a sponsored shout-out btw.
BIO HACK OF THE MONTH
Last month, I shared the importance of eating your food in the right order to minimize glucose spikes. Hopefully, you picked up a copy of Glucose Revolution by Jessie Inchauspé. And/or, followed her Instagram account…Glucose Goddess.
This month, I’ll share my journey with CGMs [continuous glucose monitors], some of my more interesting findings, + how it altered my eating habits.
The brand I used was Nutrisense [not sponsored]. It’s a lil more expensive, but I loved how it’s more geared towards athletes/healthy folks, the app’s user-friendly UI, + free nutritionist for 30 days.
For the first 30 days, I was extra good with my diet as I wanted to minimize my glucose spikes. That’s the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do. It’s hard to suppress the lil Miss Overachiever in me. The CGM shows you exactly how your body reacts to foods in real-time. This is particularly helpful when you’re feeling a bit naughty. Translation, when you’re PMSing + eat ½ a pint of ice cream right before bed or smash a cinnamon roll mid-day. This is precisely what you want to test. When you’re smack dab in the middle of an intense craving that you give into. Other factors include your sleep quality, stress, + activity levels. So, eating the same thing at the same time on two different days where one day you slept like shit + are stressed will yield very different results.
For me…Acai bowls, Neapolitan pizzas, Thai + Indian food sent my glucose SOARING! And, the pizza gave me a double spike which is indicative of too much fat from the buffalo mozzarella. Conversely, I had a scoop of ice cream mid-day without any fiber, fat, or protein with it and I hardly spiked. Go figure.
As a result, I removed these foods from my diet, + eat ice cream for lunch everyday. Kidding! I try to cut all of them out the majority of the time. I also learned my body is the most glucose sensitive in the morning, so I always opt for a savory vs. sweet breakfast.
I can’t stress this enough…everyone is different, so you need to buy one + test for yourself.
TIPS | Getting a CGM for 2-3 months is sufficient to understand the fundamentals. When you have more things to test + confirm slap-on another one. Glucose peaks approximately 90 minutes after eating. In the Nutrisense app, I logged exactly what I ate as a note with a time stamp, made some educated guesses as to why I got that result, and the nutritionist either validated or expanded upon my assumptions. It’s easy to install + surprisingly doesn’t hurt. Since I’m a lil smaller, the needle felt uncomfortable a couple of times but the discomfort went away after a few days. It’s important to get the positioning right the first time, because you’re stuck with it for 14 days. Getting the thing off is WAY MORE challenging than putting it on. Try rubbing lotion or oil around the perimeter first. Lastly, even if you sign-up for 3 months, you still have to cancel the subscription in the Nutrisense app; otherwise, they automatically convert your account to monthly. And, after they ship a sensor, you can’t return it or get a refund.
Have you worn a CGM? If so, reply + I’d love to hear your findings.
If not, are you curious about CGMs + want to test one out? I’m happy to answer any questions you have.
Next month, I’ll teach you about the importance of tracking your sleep.
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