In two weeks (holy crap) I’ll be traveling to Europe! I’ll be in Dublin, Ireland (June 21 – 26) and then Paris, France (June 27 – July 4). During the French leg of our trip, we’re going to take a day trip by train to Brussels, Belgium.

I can’t even explain how freaking excited I am. I’m going because I had funding through my department to attend the annual conference for the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, which is in Dublin this year. I’ll be giving a poster there about my recent research. Luckily for me, my boyfriend also secured funding through the department, except he’s more awesome than me and was one of the few selected to give a talk! Since we’ll be there together, we’re taking a week vacation in Paris afterward.

I. Am. So. Lucky.

I’ve never been to Dublin or Paris or Brussels, so I’m turning to you, fair readers. What should we definitely check out while we’re there? What’s the food or restaurants we definitely need to try, cheap or expensive? Are there any quirky fun things to see that most tourists miss? Best nightclub in Paris to go dancing? Cool things in the 4th arrondissement (where we’re staying)? Any general cultural tips on things that two dumb American tourists shouldn’t say or do? Best chocolate I should buy in Brussels to hoard for the trip home? Certain French phrases I should memorize but will probably accidentally say in Spanish instead? Any suggestions are welcome!

Oh, and my English readers…yes, I’m very sorry for hopping over you. The Olympics craziness scared us away. But I’m definitely coming eventually (especially if you invite me to speak, wink nudge), so spare me the “Ewwww Paris” comments. One day!