The Tourist in My Selfie

It was exactly one year ago today we boarded a London-bound plane to kick off our 10-day jaunt through England, France, Belgium and the Netherlands. Our trip started with a bright-eyed, sprightly airplane selfie and ended with an languid, much deserved airplane nap. No wonder we take those photos at the beginning of trips.

 Getting ready to take off for London. Kudos to  Virgin Atlantic  for the best flight I've ever been on!

Getting ready to take off for London. Kudos to Virgin Atlantic for the best flight I've ever been on!

Anyhow, the selfie really is a form of tourism art. Nothing shows off the eagerness, the unabashed desire to immerse yourself in something bigger, than the well-positioned landscape selfie.

I was surprised at just how many vacation selfies I was able to dig up from my Facebook page alone. Where's the best vacation selfie you've ever taken? 

 Our first (and only) night in Brussels!

Our first (and only) night in Brussels!

 Honolulu, here we come.

Honolulu, here we come.

 Pre-Chicago resident tourists at  Cloud Gate . 

Pre-Chicago resident tourists at Cloud Gate

 Cruising the canals of Amsterdam, thanks to our  Boaty Boat .

Cruising the canals of Amsterdam, thanks to our Boaty Boat.

 Enjoying the "luxury" bus amenities (aka, "open bar" in the form of community tequila handle) en route to  Chichen Itza . 

Enjoying the "luxury" bus amenities (aka, "open bar" in the form of community tequila handle) en route to Chichen Itza

 Trying to catch a glimpse of  Will and Kate  (no dice).

Trying to catch a glimpse of Will and Kate (no dice).

 Shopping the day away in beautiful  Breckenridge .

Shopping the day away in beautiful Breckenridge.

 Taking in the sights of the  Vegas  strip.

Taking in the sights of the Vegas strip.

How Celebs Do Spring Break

Wondering where the rich and famous are getting their spring break kicks this year? Not surprisingly, most vacationing celebs are hanging poolside at sunny destinations from Miami to Maui. Here are some of the highlights.

Britney Spears: Hawaii

Everyone's favorite pop princess took some well-deserved time away from her successful Vegas residency for a family trip to Hawaii's world-renowned waves. She managed to squeeze in plenty of bikini-clad mother/son bonding time with Sean Preston and Jayden.

 Source:  I  nStyle

Source: InStyle

 Source: Instagram

Source: Instagram

Tom Brady & Gisele Bundchen: Costa Rica

Tom Brady made every Patriot fan's heart skip a beat, and not just from shirtless Instagram pics. His daredevil leap off of Costa Rican cliff didn't catch on; Brady said he's "never doing that again."

Jessica Alba & Cash Warren / Chrissy Teigen & John Legend: Carribbean

Jessica Alba, Cash Warren, Chrissy Teigen and John Legend on one pool deck: none of us stand a chance. The couple besties passed the time on a beautiful sun-filled spring break somewhere in the Caribbean. 

 Source:  PopSugar

Source: PopSugar

 Source:  Huffington Post

Mariah Carey: St. Barts, France

Ms. Carey celebrated a fabulous firework-filled 45th birthday on a chic getaway with friends in St. Barts. Any truth to the Bret Ratner romance rumors? Mariah's staying mum.

 Source:  TimeInc

Source: TimeInc

Gigi Hadid: Miami

Gigi Hadid did spring break just like most girls her age: partying poolside in Miami alongside boyfriend Cody Simpson and fellow models at the Victoria's Secret Pink Spring Break soiree, of course.

 Source:  DailyMail

Source: DailyMail

 Source:  Fabzz

Source: Fabzz

Shopping Geneva's Picturesque Third Street

Chicago is surrounded by an intricate web of suburbs. Lots of these burbs are busy mini-metropolises packed with box stores, mega-malls and chain restaurants -- the stereotype that keeps many city dwellers from striking out to explore.

Geneva, on the very outskirts of the suburban spread, is one of those hidden gems well worth a trip. At just 40 miles from Chicago's center and right on the Metra West Line, it's perfect for a girl's day trip to wander the boutique-lined downtown. Or for a romantic getaway, the Herrington Inn & Spa within walking distance to the train offers a quaint stay for a quiet couple's retreat.

 The Herrington Inn is an all-season escape, but in warmer weather there's a fantastic gazebo for romantic dining. Chris and I actually considered this venue for our wedding before we ultimately decided on a space in Lake Geneva, WI. Source:  Facebook

The Herrington Inn is an all-season escape, but in warmer weather there's a fantastic gazebo for romantic dining. Chris and I actually considered this venue for our wedding before we ultimately decided on a space in Lake Geneva, WI. Source: Facebook

A few weeks ago, I was in Geneva with my mom and sister, who just happens to live there, for a relaxing day of girls-only shopping. We started off our trip with a quick brunch at Egg Harbor Cafe and then spent the afternoon wandering from boutique to boutique on popular Third Street -- including a few stops for chocolate and cupcakes, of course.

 Near the end of our shopping trip, we stopped in for cupcakes at  The Latest Crave . That's my mom and sister enjoying our chocolate peanut butter and chocolate  selections -- delicious!

Near the end of our shopping trip, we stopped in for cupcakes at The Latest Crave. That's my mom and sister enjoying our chocolate peanut butter and chocolate  selections -- delicious!

Geneva has something for everyone, with a variety of clothing, home decor and stationery shops, among many others. Below are some of my favorite stops on Third Street to check out next time you're in the area.

If you're looking for even more ideas off the main drag, check out my Geneva Jauntful Guide for a full weekend's worth of places to try!

Denise's Adornments, 221 South Third Street

This is a relatively new shop in Geneva, and it's by far one of my favorite places to visit. Anyone who loves a monochromatic color scheme of grays and whites will have a field day in here. Denise's features French-inspired home decor along with an eclectic selection of frilly clothing. I fell in love with a faux fur vest and their understated glam jewelry collection. The storefront looks small, but the store goes on and on -- make sure you make it all the way to the sale rack in the back.

DenisesDecor.jpg

Graham's Fine Chocolates & Ice Cream, 302 South Third Street

Graham's is a Geneva staple. In the entryway, there's a large glass viewing window where you can watch the confectioners molding, dipping and icing the chocolaty treats. I like to visit this shop to buy individual truffles or chocolate-covered pretzels for carry-out. For a cafe environment, just down the street is Graham's 318 Coffeehouse, where local espresso enthusiasts gather over fancy hot chocolate and pastries. 

 Source:  Facebook

Source: Facebook

Cocoon, 212 South Third Street

I've never left Cocoon empty-handed. This shop has so many great home accessories, along with a huge stationery section with cute notebooks and journals to fit every personality. This is my go-to gift store, with so many can't-find-it-anywhere-else specialties. Upstairs, there's a huge children's section, along with a row of Little Miss Sunshine-themed mugs and books -- a great way to express your feelings to your significant other. Mr. Perfect, anyone?

 Source:  Chicago Now

Source: Chicago Now

 Source:  Facebook

Source: Facebook

Anastazia Treasures for the Home, 447 South Third Street

Anastazia's home decor collection is seasonally driven, and when we were there in late winter they were already thinking about Easter and spring -- something very welcome in my book. Most notably, they stock my favorite soy candles from Sugar Mint Candle Co., a natural candlemaker based in nearby Montgomery, IL. They smell so fresh, burn cleanly -- and were recently featured in an Oscar party swag bag this year!

 Source:  Facebook

Source: Facebook

 Source:  Facebook

Source: Facebook

 Source:  Facebook

Source: Facebook