European adventures for work

I'm currently on a flight back from another whirlwind trip in London and Paris. The largest education conference in the world happens the same time every year in London, which my team always plays an active role in. This year, we had lots to showcase and it was kind of nuts!  We announced lots of goodies including two new Expeditions: one of Buckingham Palace and one of the Great Barrier Reef with David Attenborough. We also worked with Buckingham Palace to release a YouTube 360 video, which got lots of love, announced that the Expeditions Pioneer Program has reached over 500,000 students since launching the program on September 28th, and we announced new locations for school visits :)

The press got really into the Buckingham Palace Expeditions and we saw coverage from lots of major publications. My favorite was the video the BBC News produced: Virtual tour of Buckingham Palace launched by Google. Beyond the launch, my manager was delivering the keynote on day one of the conference and I was asked to do the live demo on stage #NoPressure! We had six school children from a nearby school go on an Expedition for the first time and they loved it...the audience loved seeing their reactions.
The other major highlight was attending a meeting at 10 Downing Street and getting a tour......Needless to say, London was kind of a blur but soooo much fun!

                                                         My team in front of 10 Downing Street

Following Friday at the conference, I headed back into London to spend the night and went out with our team for dinner. We had a large group, so I made reservations at my favorite Indian restaurant (shocker!) as it was the only place that could accommodate such a large group on such short notice. It was slightly embarrassing as the hostess totally recognized me and said, "Oh, you're back so soon!" I was just there a little over a week ago when I was shooting the Buckingham Palace footage. I stayed at a new hotel, The Great Northern Hotel, which I just LOVED. The decor was just so beautiful and I found myself just admiring the floors, walls, furniture...pretty much everything. I would definitely recommend this hotel.

On Saturday, I took the train to Paris and spent the weekend walking, eating, and shopping. It was really nice to be outside for most of the day exploring and I managed to eat at a restaurant that my mom loves called Chartier. This restaurant is inexpensive and one of the oldest "bouillons" in Paris. You are seated at any table with any number of guests (I sat with three college seniors on holiday from Australia) and the waiters write your order on your paper tablecloth. It was a really fun experience and I'm glad I pushed myself outside of my comfort zone and did this. Following dinner, I grabbed a delicious banana and nutella crepe and then headed home. On Sunday, I slept in, went to the gym, and then just walked before meeting some of my team for dinner. We had meetings all day Monday and before I knew it, the trip was over. While I love Paris, I'm really excited to be heading home to see my cute hubby! For more Paris recommendations, you can see this guide that my mom and I have put together (mostly my mom!).

I definitely recommend giving this restaurant a try :)
 The crepe and ice cream place across the street is also worth a stop!

On Sunday, I strolled through the Tuileries Garden and through the surrounding neighborhoods.
A view of the Eiffel Tower from the garden.
I treated myself to some French Onion Soup for lunch...just what I needed!
This was my meal last night and it was insanely delicious. The mashed potatoes were some of the best I've ever had. And now, I need to spend the week in the gym!

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