December 14, 2017

I’ve always wanted to go to Europe for many reasons. I grew up listening to a lot of bands/artist from England/Europe ( Pet Shop Boys, Erasure, Depeche Mode, New Order, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Morrissey), the new wave era in the 80s and foremost being Catholic, I wanted to visit Vatican City and attend the mass that the Pope gives weekly in St. Peters Square.  Since I don’t know anyone I decided to book my ticket and use a tour company that was recommended by my church. I am so glad I did because the tour guides were amazing. At first, I was afraid about the daily activities including daily mass. I am very lazy about going to church every week. I have my moments and I go out of guilt more than anything. Therefore, it’s a blessing that I did and found this tour company.

Vatican city was as amazing as I would hope for. Rome is about as depressing as I have heard so we didn’t do much walking around at night at all, probably because we were exhausted by the time we got back to the hotel. For anyone who is hoping to see the Pope close up as he’s driving around in his Pope mobile, make sure you’re behind a someone with the baby. The Pope will stop and pick up the baby!!


The pope is a very fun and laid back. I’ve never actually stood anywhere waiting for anyone famous in my life. The most crowded place I have been to is probably a Madonna concert or a gay pride in DC and NYC. I am not one of those people that likes crowds or celebrities but I will tolerate the crowd for a good cause close to my heart.  It’s hard to describe the feeling but seeing the Pope and witnessing all kinds of people there to attend this weekly mass is only something that can be influenced by God. Not everyone there is Catholic and they would wear their costumes that represents their culture/religion. It was just the most beautiful sight. It gives me hope that for our differences, love can unite us and all us to love, embrace and respect each other. ( I included this bc I love the Swiss guards)


PARIS WAS BEAUTIFUL AND THE FOOD IS AMAZING.  This is my favorite view of Paris, at Basilica of the Sacred Heart. Remember how I didn’t like the daily mass with have every day, well, because of that daily mass, I got to attend a mass at the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris. One couple from our trip had their vows renewed here. I am not a fan of marriage but if I could get married here, I definitely would get married. We have at least one priest with us everywhere we visited and I love our priest.  He’s very open minded and down to earth. I wish he was the priest at my parish.




I came to Paris and got my mug. However, I wish I had bought the version 2 Paris mug. I didn’t realize it at the time that this was the first version.  I always wanted to stand outside a balcony in Europe since forever, even though I am extremely afraid of heights, it was pretty cool!  On unrelated note, our tour guide did take us down through the tunnel that Princess Diana died in. It was at night, it was empty and it felt very lonely. 


London was our last stop.  I did have high expectations for London because of of the artist, bands, movie stars I like are from England. I was not disappointed at all.  I now understand why British appear to be arrogant and proud. London was so clean and posh, at least where we went and it just had a little bit of everyone wonderful in such a small area. Even the weather was nice 2 out of the 3 days that we were there.  My biggest surprise was seeing Stonehenge. I have heard about this place but never really read too much about it. Until I went there was when I realized the wonderful history of human evolution and our determination to do something that seems impossible to comprehend now.  As a plus, there’s a new England Stonehenge mug!!

stone henge


HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!  I tried to stay away from politics but America is going through a difficult time right now. However, never give up on hope and your dreams. My dreams have slowly come true. Pray for us everyone. We are still a wonderful country and there are many wonderful humans in the world. It only takes a very small percentage to eradicate our accomplishments but good will always prevail. It’s been almost a decade since I started this blog and collecting mugs is still a strong desire for many. For many collectors, getting that hard to find mug, or a mug that holds meaning is another dream come true!


  1. Sarita Fuentes

    I too enjoy finding the Starbucks tumblers but they’re for my friend. Where did you find your San Diego tumbler? I had never seen one until I saw yours. It would be amazing if I could find one for my friend. Thanks for sharing your blog. I loved reading about your travels.

    • Hong Luong

      Hi, San Diego tumbler is not mine unfortunately. It was a picture I got online for informational purposes. I did visit SD 2 years ago but all the Icons were discontinued by then.

      • Sarita Fuentes

        Oh, I thought you lived here in San Diego. Is there a place for trading these tumblers??

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