edinburgh from above

Edinburgh’s Calton Hill & Collective

Calton Hill is one of Edinburgh’s top lookout spots (there are several of them in the city), a place you can climb up to to get a sweeping view of the cityscape and its surroundings. And that’s its main appeal. The view really is beautiful from up there. You’ll find it on tons of postcards … Read more

Princes Street Gardens in Edinburgh decorated for the holidays. To the right, a small, temporary train tunnel is lighted bright blue with a small track running through it. Behind that, shrubbery decked out in white lights leads to the red houses of Santa's Village. Slightly elevated above that on the left is a line of red-topped vendor stalls and the large ferris wheel lighted in blue sits behind it. In the far distance, a striking building is lighted in light green and gold.

A Very Edinburgh Christmas Market

Edinburgh’s Christmas Market (aka the Edinburgh Winter Festival) is a lot like any European Christmas market. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Except, not really. In our experience, what sets one Christmas Market apart from another is its use of space, the way it infuses into a city, curling along its thoroughfares and … Read more

Pizza Express salad pizza 1

Pizza Express – The Olive Garden Of The UK

While I know that Olive Garden is known for pasta instead of pizza, I can’t help but think of Pizza Express as the Olive Garden of the UK. Why? Because they seem to be everywhere, they are always packed with people, and the prices are super affordable. Plus the food is pretty good. In fact, … Read more

Edinburgh Old Town Skyline Dusk

The Unintentional Guide To Edinburgh

Edinburgh. It’s always Edinburgh. Every time we end up there, we think it again – this is our favorite place in the entire world. The cobbled closes. The castle above the city. So much about this place is like stepping out of time. Yet, nothing of this city’s fabled past lies dead and buried. Its … Read more

Plaça de l'Ajuntament

Visiting Plaça de l’Ajuntament in Valencia, Spain

You could describe Valencia’s Plaça de l’Ajuntament as a lot of things. You could say it’s the heart of Valencia, and that would be pretty close to true. It does lie almost exactly in the historic center (which I guess would make it more the stomach than the heart, but still…) and it’s also home … Read more

The exterior of the Mercat Central or Central Market in Valencia. Stairs leads up to three arches, which sit under ornate rounded awnings and comprise the entrance. The building itself has two rises. The main one is at the right side, where the roof rises diagonally on both sides before meeting a rectangular shaped protuberance in the center of the roof. To the left, a smaller triangular shaped section of roof rises. Eight arched windows line the front of the building, taking up its own section of wall. The windows vary in side with smaller windows on the sides where the roof if at its lowest and larger windows in the center where the roof is at its highest. Stained glass designs are at the top of each window, with the main center window having a circle stained glass design. Slatted blinds cover these windows. A group of people stands at the top of the steps at the righthand market doorway and the yellows awnings of horchata and churros stands are at the bottom of the market. To the left, a brick building with a slanted roof and tiled decorative work stands.

Visiting Valencia’s Mercat Central

European markets are some of the best things. Seriously. The quality of product and variety of product and sometimes the strangeness of product you can find in them is simply unsurpassed. Sure, they’re just big farmer’s markets/fish markets/meat markets. But they’re like big farmer’s/fish/meat markets everyday set in (typically) very cool buildings. Mercat Central de … Read more

a display of an asian soldier riding a horse sits under Chihuly's Fiori di Como display - a display of multi-colored glass in yellows, reds and blues mounted in the ceiling in the lobby of the Bellagio hotel

Chihuly in Las Vegas

If you like Dale Chihuly’s work – and we do, we’ve seen it all over the country – you’ll probably be stoked to know Chihuly has a permanent presence in Las Vegas. (Well, permanent for now. You know how things go.) His work appears at the Bellagio, and it’s free. Chihuly created the ceiling display … Read more

Casey pencil

The Unintentional Guide To Casey, Illinois

Casey, Illinois is the tourist destination that I never knew I needed in my life. As a result, this may truly be the most unintentional of all the guides here on Enter the Lens. And it’s all a result of the combination of our unwillingness to fly economy more than 3 hours and a surprise … Read more

Bellagio lobby 2

Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens Las Vegas

The Strip may not be one of our favorite places in Vegas, but we won’t deny the casinos do décor very well. Not just in the kind of everyday grandeur that fills resorts like the Venetian, Caesars Palace, and the Wynn, but in seasonal décor, the small (and sometimes not so small) arrays that bring … Read more

resorts world conrad hotel lobby

Resorts World Conrad Las Vegas

Staying on The Strip is one of those things we never really intend to do as locals, but we recently ended up there anyway. You see, we’d booked the 20,000 Leagues dinner at Lost Spirits and assumed that we’d be far too intoxicated to make the 25-minute drive home afterwards. (That was a correct assumption!) … Read more

Five beef taquitos are topped with guacamole, queso fresco and pico de gallo on a blue and white plate.

El Dorado Cantina – Our Favorite Mexican Food In Vegas

Since Riley has a lot of food allergies and sensitivities, we always try to find restaurants that have organic ingredients or do things like farm-to-table. That’s how we found El Dorado Cantina in Vegas. Cause they use organic and non-GMO ingredients for their dishes. Though, it took us a really long time to visit El … Read more

An "alley" inside Lost Spirits distillery. To the left, metals chairs line the wall. Chinese lanterns cross the "alleyway". Leafless tree cutouts with detailed trunks appear along the alley, along with intricate doors. The entire scene is softly tinged in a deep red glow.

Lost Spirits Distillery Las Vegas

Have you ever wanted to have a drink on a submarine? Or explore the labyrinthine streets of a circus town? Lost Spirits Distillery in Las Vegas describes itself as part modern cirque show, part rum distillery, part cocktail party, but that scarcely does the place justice. (It can also be a bit hard to visualize.) … Read more

The Ethel M Chocolates sign over the factory shop. The sign is hued in purple and blue, and the overhang below has white lights and is decorated with holly.

Ethel M Chocolates Cactus Garden & Chocolate Tasting

Do you know what the “M” in Ethel M Chocolates stands for? I didn’t when our chocolatier asked us that at the beginning of our tasting there. (Though I would have had I actually perused their website thoroughly. The answer is literally right in the footer of their homepage.) The answer, it turns out, is … Read more

lobby of the Palazzo in Las Vegas. The focal point is a column with a female figure on a pedestal surrounded by a circular based and flower display. The floor before is inlaid with beautiful tile work. The ceiling has a golden brown color and decorative insets in a deep turquoise. In the forefront on the right, a large bronze-colored column is paramount.

The Venetian (Palazzo) Las Vegas

True story. We were once walking through the Venetian in Vegas and overheard a woman say it was better than the real Venice. It isn’t (it might be a bit cleaner and smell a bit better), and it has to be one of the dumbest hot takes we’ve ever heard, but there’s one random woman’s … Read more

The different colored rocks of Red Rock Canyon Las Vegas.

Why You Must Visit Red Rock Canyon In Las Vegas

Most people who come to Vegas for vacation never seem to venture far from The Strip. They get a car from the airport to their casino hotel and split their time between casino floors and other attractions on The Strip, which mostly means drinking and gambling and gluttony. Maybe a show or two, if they’re … Read more

Nightscape of las vegas from airport. In the foreground, the roads to the airport. Stretching across the background, the Strip with the pyramid of the Luxor on the left.

The Unintentional Guide To Las Vegas

Las Vegas. Ah, home sweet home. As a couple, we have lived here longer than anyplace else. Five and a half years and counting. In two separate spurts. I’d like to say ending up here… twice… was intentional. But it wasn’t. The first time we decided to move to Vegas, we did it because we’d … Read more

Valencia ninjas sunset

The Art Of David De Limón In Valencia

When you are walking around the city center of Valencia, it’s impossible to avoid the art of David de Limón. It’s around so many corners, you feel as though you are being stalked by it. And that’s a good thing. De Limón is responsible for what has to be the most iconic (it’s certainly the … Read more

valencia cathedral holy grail

Valencia’s Holy Grail

If you’ve been searching for the Holy Grail – and let’s be real, who hasn’t? – Valencia, Spain has one entrant into the race. It’s located inside the Valencia Cathedral in the Capilla Del Santo Caliz (the Chapel of the Holy Chalice) – I know… just a little on the nose, right? – and it’s … Read more

The upper portion of Valencia cathedral. To the left is a brick tower with an ornate design and windows at the top that rises higher than the decorative wall above the cathedral entrance. The wall is curved inward and has many ornamentations. At the top there is a cross and statues and columns are visible, though none are large or close enough to be made out in detail.

La Catedral del Santo Cáliz (Valencia, Spain)

Sometimes you’re walking around a city and you get to a place you’re not quite ready for yet, but it’s where you are, and you’re already there, and it offers some relief from the heat – some, let’s not get too enthusiastic here – and you think Welp, may as well do it now. And … Read more

Jardín de la Generalita Valencia

Jardín de la Generalitat (Valencia’s Mid-City Oasis)

You know how sometimes you’re in a very beautiful spot in the middle of a very beautiful city, and you just suddenly wish you weren’t there? Sometimes it’s because you’ve scheduled that slightly-too-long trip and are ready to be home. Sometimes it’s because the place isn’t what you expected and disappointment sets in. Most of … Read more

valencia 1 brighter 1

The Unintentional Guide To Valencia, Spain

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with Spain because it’s energy really speaks to me and I love parts of it (like the cheap wine), yet I hate other parts of it. Valencia is the perfect Spanish city to demonstrate this strained relationship that I have with Spain. There are things about Valencia … Read more

birkholm bakery solvang

Searching For The Best Bakery In Solvang

After learning that the town of Solvang, California is known for their Danish bakeries, I immediately knew my mission. Sample all of the bakeries to find the definitive winner for my own selection of the the best bakery in Solvang. Little did I know that I would also uncover the new title holder of best … Read more