Spice Gets Married (AGAIN!)

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Don’t let the title fool you. Two weddings, same man, under 2 years :-) Yup! Thats how life works sometimes when you are in a multi-cultural relationship like ours. I got double the wedding fun! And ever so fitting is that in 10 days we will be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary from our first wedding. A lot of people have asked us which day will we celebrate and the answer is both! Something German for our October 26th anniversary and something American for our August 18th anniversary. We’re lucky enough to have two awesome days to remember…why not celebrate both! :-)

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Hit play on the video below and listen to the song I walked down the aisle too. This song is more of a party song from the 80′s early 90′s but this version lets you actually hear the lyrics. It was beautiful and made a bunch of us cry! Even Toblerone! But how cute is it that a man that has been with me for 6 years, married for 2 would still cry when he sees me walking down the aisle. Beautiful moments all around, people!

During the past two years I have had MANY expats ask me about the wedding planning process from 3,000 miles away. You want my advice? DONT. DO. IT.  Not only did things come out a bit differently than if I had actual time to do things but the amount of stress compressed into the few days before the wedding is just not healthy. Weddings are stressful but imagine seeing your decorations and things you ordered online for the first time one week before the wedding day. If I had a month to go home and organize all wedding things, I would have in a heartbeat. It would have saved us all from combustion!

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We held our wedding in a house we rented for the week in Cape Cod, MA. It was the most beautiful setting for our wedding day. It wasn’t on the beach but I didn’t really want that necessarily. We just wanted it to be in our favorite place on earth.

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We had over 65 guests and every single person there came from out of state or out of country. Think about that for a minute. 65 people (including kidlets) that came for this moment. This special day. It’s this kind of feeling that just can’t be described but that fact that our destination wedding pulled in that amount of love and friendship was just jaw dropping. We were speechless.

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My darling cousin did my hair and makeup and surprise!!!!!!…… My dress is PINK! Wouldn’t want it any other way! We took wedding pictures at the gorgeous Mass Audubon Nature park and wildlife sanctuary. It was a perfect spot. We had the ocean, we had sand, we had forests, we had ponds. So many different cool aspects for a great backdrop. One would even say magical.

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It was 78 degress, sunny (hot in a massive dress), slight seabreeze, and little tiny bugs just LOVED getting up in between the layers of pink tulle I was wearing! My groom looked crazy handsome in his blue suit specially bought in Germany. Our wedding party looked fantastic! It all turned out well considering this was all primarily discussed through email before hand. Everyone looked perfect for the part!

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The morning of our wedding I woke up around 7am and asked Toblerone to walk with me around the yard to take it all in. That was the one and only moment of “calm” that I felt! lol…but I suppose thats normal! Everything was slowly getting set up and we had lemonade and iced tea set up for our guests as they arrived. They got “fan” programs, noise makers, some got rice butterflies to throw in honor of our grandparents who were looking down on us.

Alot of what I did was DIY. I found a bunch of templates online and the real deal of it is…no one cares about the paper products at a wedding. The name cards, escort cards, programs, all of that gets thrown out or drinks spilled over it. I knew that going in so I did ALL of that myself. Even our invitations. I found a lot of great stuff over at weddingchicks.com. But doing a simple search for “templates” is very helpful! Don’t spend a dime on stuff if you don’t have to!

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The ceremony was perfect and personal. Private and intimate. Everything we wanted. AND…done in two languages thanks to our very good friend who did the whole ceremony for us. Just perfect! We had a “stone and time capsule” ceremony.  On each seat we placed gold painted stones that each person was instructed to hold tightly and say a blessing, prayer, wish, and simply put their love and energy in to while Toblerone’s Dad and brother serenaded us with a trumpet duet. These stones were collected and placed into a box with wine and a love letter for us to open on our first anniversary. This was my absolute favorite part of the whole ceremony.

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The reception started off with me sobbing basically while I thanked everyone for coming all this way just for little old us. Our Cape Cod Clambake was fantastic and people raved about the meal. It was a lot of food and for a great price. More importantly kind of fun! I literally was cracking a lobster in my wedding gown. I highly recommend it!

As for the music, I did it all myself. I spent WEEKS….no make that MONTHS working on a playlist long enough to keep the crowd going! I used an app on my phone called Wedding DJ which was great through all the testing but suddenly stopped working by cocktail hour. Thankfully I had the playlists on my computer in iTunes and we used that the rest of the night. I never left the dance floor. For some reason I felt like if the bride was on the dance floor…people would always dance. No one wants to leave the bride alone up there! Right?! I also didn’t have a sip of alcohol. I was sober through the COMPLETE thing! It was awesome! :-) Nothing classy about a drunk bride!

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The party ended around 2am and I ended the night with two of my best friends in my bed talking about the day and life in general while Toblerone hung out with the late-late night crew in the tent. Catching up and just loving the moment. It was the most stressful day of my life and I would NEVER do it again but it was the greatest thing in the world to have everyone we love there (and a few missing!).

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So again for all other expats out there planning a wedding from afar…take the time to sort out the big stuff as best as you can and be prepared for nothing and everything to go wrong on your special day. I received one piece of advice from everyone and that was “Just enjoy the day.” But as a perfectionist, that’s impossible and I wish I could have enjoyed it more. Looking back at it now though, I wouldn’t have changed a thing! Wouldn’t be our story if it wasn’t a little bit crazy and out of hand!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

 

Time To Say Goodbye…

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Our journey in Germany ended on several high notes. One of them being the “Going Away” party Toblerone’s parents organized for us. Through all the stress of packing we managed to just take a moment to put all of that behind us and enjoy one last party with the people in our lives there.

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We were able to have the party at the Sportheim in Toblerone’s home town which was a great tribute to him and his many years of playing soccer for this town. In addition to us moving back to the states and starting this new chapter, Toblerone had decided to officially hang up his soccer cleats to end his semi-professional soccer career. It was all just bittersweet!

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We had about 60 family and friends that came to bid us farewell and we had a blast seeing everyone together. Toblerone’s cousin auctioned off items of ours that we no longer could use in the US (electric items) and so that was hilarious to see who bought our christmas lights or our blender, etc. Most importantly, I’m glad a piece of us is in the homes of those we care about.

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It was a perfect send off with wurstsalat and kasesalat…and I may or may not have had too much to drink. :-) 10277801_10154668873630593_2664036994396427145_n

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxo

Getting Settled In

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We’ve officially been in the states for 5 days now and it has been…hmm…what is the word. Peaceful? Eye-opening?

All the anxieties I picked up in Germany are shown in full color here in the US. For example, I was at the deli section in the grocery store yesterday and I saw that the sliced chicken breast that I love was empty in the case. So I asked the young girl behind the counter if she had anymore and she said she would just have to slice some up. Instantly, I got nervous and anxious and very timidly asked her if it would be ok if I asked her to cut me up some. She gave me the strangest look and said, “Of course! Thats my job!”  In Germany people would huff and puff about helping you out. This shield will hopefully break down eventually. IMG_9998

People in general are SO friendly here. We took Harley out to swim at a little park area and an older man got out of his jeep to take some pictures of the water. I got really nervous about Harley because as we know, he loves to go up and say hi to everyone! The man said, “Oh hello there!” and Harley went back to the water to play. We had a great conversation with him for a while. Its just so easy to meet people and make friends here, I just completely forgot. This shield will hopefully break down eventually too.

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We have a cleaning lady come every week to our apartment. She’s so happy and friendly and we ended up talking to her for a long time, keeping her away from her job! oops! But she was talking to us about dogs and letting us in on the know-hows about the area, she called the Vet she goes to to let them know about our pup needing to come in to get his check up. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel so alone. This shield will hopefully break down eventually too.

Its all just a matter of figuring out which culture to fit in with. I did my best to fit in with the German culture when I was there and now I have to relearn what it means to be an American. Although, I’m not so sure I will ever be like how I was. And I’m happy with that. I’m a better person because of the time I lived in Germany and for that, I am truly thankful!

So 5 days in and we are looking at our second round of houses today. The first round was ok but man, some people just do NOT take care of their homes! The search is on for our perfect place and we are optimistic and excited! Our container should be arriving in a few weeks so we are slightly rushed to find a place because we have no where to unload all this stuff! Yikes!

Will update you all later with our travel over here (and how to travel with a dog) as well as our going away party and Omi’s 90th birthday party!!!

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxo

Counting Down The Days

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We can almost count on two hands the days we have left here in Germany. It’s been slightly hectic but not too much that it feels as if everything is spiraling out of control. I’ve been packing to keep me busy since I left my job at the end of July. The wedding came and went and now here we are. Next chapter! Just like that!

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I’ve been actively searching for homes and there is a massive amount to choose from! Our Realtor sent me over almost 90 properties to start sorting through a while back and we’ve finally figured out what we are looking for. Location is key for work and also easy to get to stores, city, etc. And my number one main “must-have” is a fence for our dearest Harley Noodle Jones Butt Butt. I just want to be able to let him outside so he can run free around his “own space.”  Waterfront is also ideal but not a necessary factor at the moment since there are so many lakes around us!

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Today Harley and I ventured out to our favorite spot, “The Butterfly Field” and through the woods…which is also a mansion for ticks and other such things! He had a little bit of a photo shoot and loved all the snacks he was getting! Living it up in the place we called home the last three and a half years.

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There are many new houses being built directly behind us blocking our entire bedroom and bathroom windows. In a year from now, our house won’t be the home we once had. This town won’t be what it once was. Things are changing, people are coming and going and that’s just how life is!

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Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxo

 

Third Annual Hiking Trip In the Alps

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My annual meeting with the Alps happened again. This time we traveled a couple hours away to the Lünersee in Austria. This was actually a tough climb and a lot of steep parts but hey…when in Rome!!

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With our group of 25 people we climbed up the first portion to a lodge (6,495 feet above sea level) for lunch and a few drinks. Note to self…don’t drink beer before you hike another 3 hours! Muscle will not function properly! Lucky for us there was a band there playing all the special German songs in their drindls and lederhosen which our group naturally helped out here and there! :-)

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After lunch we headed out to our overnight lodge which was a good 3 hour hike. Straight up. It was pretty rough and quite a few people struggled but the thought that carries you through is the beer you get to have once you get there!

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7,824 feet above sea level we arrive at our lodge for the night. Sleeping is literally bunk beds but not the kind you’re thinking of. We are sleeping 5 across…one right after the other. In my room alone we fit about 18 or so. Lucky me…this meant no sleep with all the younger, crazy guys!

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In the evening we were served a 3 course meal (not bad for so far up the mountain. Remember…everything needs to be brought up there!). First course was a flädlesuppe, also known as pancake soup. Then on to Deer meat goulash. I opted for noodles of some sort. And dessert was icecream with pineapples. Not a bad set up! After dinner the music started going, people were singing loud, playing cards, and drinking away. A standard night up in a lodge over 7,000 feet high in the middle of the Alps. Right?

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The next morning…after ZERO sleep, we headed even farther up the mountains behind us and at this point, I started panicking I’m not sure what it is in my old age but as I get older the more afraid of heights I am. I’m not necessarily afraid of heights, let me rephrase. More like my body just starts to turn to jello and I feel wobbly. Like I will lose my balance at any moment and plummet to my death. But nonetheless, I survived…obviously!

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Hiking down is of course a lot less horrible and less work but when you haven’t had a lot of sleep the only thing you think is, GET ME OFF THIS DAMN MOUNTAIN! Or at least…those were my sentiments.

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A killer view like this is worth it though. How often do you see a massive lake high up in the middle of the Alps. It’s one of those gifts that the world gives us. And for a very brief moment nothing else seems to matter. The world has a funny way of putting things into perspective for us.

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

So Much To Share, So Little Time

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Hi All! I have been MASSIVELY M.I.A. for over a month now. My deepest, sincerest apologies! But something tells me you didn’t even notice I was gone! :-)

I have so much to share with you all and so much to tell about the wedding in the US and our vacation there, new hiking trip in the Alps and all that.

We have exactly 19 days until we step onto a plane to our next chapter in life. I’ve been busying myself with packing even though there is a moving company coming to do that for us on the 25th of this month. Keeps me focused though! I can’t sit around all day and look pretty now can I?!

We’ve been looking at homes to buy and researching things to do in the areas around us in Michigan. We can’t wait to start this chapter! Harley Jones has NO clue what is going on…thankfully! He will be going in to get all his shots updated and to pick up some good drugs to keep him calm during his excursion back home. I’m worried that he will remember what it was like coming over here for him and he may have a panic attack. At least, I know I will. Heck, I need drugs for this trip!

I’m going to start with throwing you a few pictures from our wedding and then the rest of the tales and stories will come later this week hopefully! Must.Find.Time.To.Blog.

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Take Me Home, Country Roads

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It’s almost time…that time to make the HUGE trip back to the states! So much has been happening and to be honest the blog has suffered. It’s been sitting on the back burner for quite some time now. I’ve completely been enveloped in stress. I’m planning the wedding (which is exactly 27 days away now…OMG!), still working full time, trying to organize what gets packed or trashed in the house…the list goes on! But I won’t bore you with the details!

Slowly I am really starting to get excited about whats to come! As soon as the wedding is done, we will fly back to Deutschland for 3-4 weeks to pack up our house and then ship out at the end of September! There is no time left to do anything! But Toblerone and I share constantly what we are looking forward to. Granted, my wants are very different from his. He wants the total American dream. The house on the water, a boat, fishing license (thats hard to get here in Germany), a big Mercedes, etc.

My wants are something a bit more sentimental. The things I lacked here are the things I am in dire need of. I never realized I wanted these things so badly in my life until I didn’t have them. Thats always how that goes though…isn’t it?

Here is my list of MUST-HAVES as soon as I put my feet on American soil!

1. Library card – A library with ENGLISH books in them. omg…and the smell of libraries. Give me it all! They have libraries here in Germany but I didn’t have any close by that actually looked like a library and/or had English books in them.

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2. Flat walls to paint – I’ve talked about this a little bit but this “stucco” idea that they have for the walls (inside and out) is ANNOYING to say the least. It takes AGES to paint walls and I am just beyond excited to paint our new house without having to go over the same spot 800 times. You don’t know how I’ve suffered…..

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3. Compassionate doctors – I won’t get into this too much but when my GYN tells me he doesn’t understand why we aren’t pregnant because he never had a problem. How he would just look at his wife and she was pregnant. Yeah…this is just a small taste of what doctors are like here. FULL of compassion and sympathy…am I right?!??!?!

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4. Craft stores – Oh dear heaven! I don’t care how many people boycott Hobby Lobby. I will buy out that store!! I miss those stores terribly. The VERY TINY “hobby” stores here are literally the size of my kitchen and have mostly felt. Germans really love getting down and crafty with felt. Which I personally feel should only be used in Kindergarten. But I digress…. Pinterest has turned me into a pretty craft person and thats all I want to do now..make my own stuff!

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5. To watch Ellen DeGeneres –  When I was really homesick I would watch small snippets of the Ellen show. For some reason I could just get lost in this and not feel sadness anymore. It’s weird, I get that. But you wouldn’t understand unless you were in my shoes! BRING ON THE ELLEN!!!!

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6. Plethora of food options and fad diets to try – Stores here are very standard. The foods in every grocery store are mostly the same. Same brands, etc. I used to think the Germans lived in a sort of Utopia. Everything the same. When I go home we have Wegmans (if you don’t know what that is, your life is not complete until you step inside one of those!) and there is also Whole Foods and a bunch of other ones too but each one is different to me. Each one offers something another one doesn’t. I can’t wait to just spend a day walking around and getting familiar with cereals again. Lucky Charms…oh how I’ve missed you!!  Plus all these new fad diets people get into. That’s always fun to try out and then quit after a couple days. Thats my style :-)

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What do you think? Is my list totally awkward and weird? I hope it is! Because these are the things I just NEED in my life.

America here I come!!!!!!! AND THE HOME OF THE BRAAAAAAAVVVVVVE!!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxoxoxo

 

Luck Would Have It

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Most of you know that I have been planning our big American wedding from over 3,000 miles away. And not only am I planning it overseas but we chose a location that we are familiar with but have never lived in. I’m from upstate NY but we chose Cape Cod as our dream wedding location. Good choices….all around good choices. ***sarcasm*cough*sarcasm**

This year has been filled with really amazing things. Toblerone got a job transfer to the US, we sold our house in a week without a real estate agent (That would have been an extra €20,000), and this wedding has been coming together pretty easily. All these really great things have been happening to us and I was always just waiting for the other shoe to drop. I never have good luck! Thats just not my style!

So far the only stress I really had was making our DIY invites. That was NOT fun at all. But I refuse to spend boatloads of cash on pieces of paper that people throw away anyways!
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And then 3 months before the wedding I get an email from the owner of the house we were renting for the week on the Cape. This house is where we planned the ceremony, reception, and our week vacation with our family. He said in the email that he had lost his job and was no longer able to pay for the home (his second home) and would have to sell his house in July. Which means, our wedding could no longer be held there.

INSERT TOTAL FREAK OUT MOMENT!
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Talk about a meltdown. We were 90 days out at this point and I have to find a house in the middle of a touristy island, during high season, and a place that will allow us to hold our event. Otherwise, we would have to change EVERYTHING we already planned. No caterer, no tent company, nothing.

I left work early and went home to start hitting the streets to get this under control. I searched like crazy and one house stood out to me. This house was GORGEOUS. And even stranger was the one week we needed just happened to be available still. This place was meant to be. It all worked out in the end and our new beautiful ceremony, reception, and family vacation spot is more perfect than I could have imagined it. Better than the last! Can you say “Blessing in Disguise”???

Take a look at our new digs!!!

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The worst part about all of this is the fact that on our invites that I worked so hard to put together, the incorrect address is printed on them. So, my job now is to send out a new updated letter to our guests to let them know of the new place. But, that I can handle especially since luck wants it this way. Luck be a lady tonight!

So tell me…did you have any massive meltdowns or drastic things gone wrong with during wedding planning?

Only 66 more days to go for us. I just hope everything holds together now!!!

Until next time, Readers!!! xoxoxoxo

The Big Secret Reveal!!!

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For those of you who have been following along on the Facebook blog page you have seen the “hints” I’ve given about the big secret I’ve been keeping from you all!
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I was waiting until I was able to tell my work which I have as of yesterday so I am free to announce it to the world!
But just to clear up the rumors…

No…we are not having a baby…..

Nope….not getting a second dog either…

Moving to France??….God no.

Win the peanut butter lottery? Not exactly but close!

It’s even better than that….WAYYYY better!!!

Wanna know now?

Am I annoying you yet?

Can’t keep your pants on you’re so excited?!!?

Ok…well…here it goes!!!

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Toblerone and I are MOVING!!!!! Where, you ask?…..BACK TO THE USA!!! :-) He got a great job transfer opportunity and we are taking the 3 year contract to travel to Michigan! We are just so excited about this next step in our lives. We have so many new memories to make! This “East Coast” girl is about to be a “Mid-West” girl! :-)

I was saying all along that this year is without a doubt our year. Everything is coming together perfectly. We are really really blessed! We have our massive week long celebration of our wedding in Cape Cod, MA in August and then we fly back to Germany quickly to oversee the packing of our house and ship out our container. We will fly back to the states, to Michigan sometime towards the end of September.

Tell me we are crazy! I just know we are but we both feel like this is the next chapter to our story. Our super incredible amazing story.

As for the blog, I will try my best to keep it up because being an expat is just as important as re-expatriating. I’m not sure I fit in anymore to be totally honest. I’m changed now. I speak two languages, I understand a second culture completely and half of my heart will truly be left here in Germany. It’s a hard transition no matter what we do. The hardest part of falling in love with someone from a different country is knowing that somewhere down the line someone will have to make a sacrifice as far as where you will live goes.

I’ve been here a little over 3 years now and I feel so incredibly grateful that I got to have this opportunity. It is possible that maybe one day we find ourselves back in Germany but we kind of like to fly by the seat of our pants. And so the story goes…

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So there you have it. I no longer have to keep this secret in because it was truthfully eating away at me! I’m not good at keeping my own secrets!

Thoughts? Comments? Know of any “Must-See/Do” things in Michigan??? We are looking forward to hearing what you think!

Until next time, Readers!!!!!xoxoxoxoxo

To Be In Two Places At Once

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Vacation…yup. It was awesome and MUCH needed. Toblerone and I took 4 days with the idea to travel to the Austrian Alps and to skip across the border to check out Italy! I was pretty pumped to add another country to my list of “countries I’ve visited.”

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We traveled to Stubaital which is a valley that runs through the Austrian Alps. The really really incredibly massive and beautiful Alps. It was actually pretty different from other times that I’ve been. We drove up on top of the mountains and then there were little ski lodges and ski towns up on tops of these massive beauties. It was quite bizarre actually!

We enjoyed the naked spa as usual (heehee) and Tobi skied down a massive glacier. We took a quick little trip over to the Swarovski Museum in Innsbruck, Austria. This was actually probably one of the best museums I have ever been to. I was VERY surprised. I thought it was just going to be a room full of jewelry and such but they turned this place into a massive interactive art museum. Each room used crystals in it’s exhibit completely different than the last. What a really incredibly place! I saw it on Pinterest actually and never imagined I would be close enough to go visit it. And sure enough! I was stoked at first about the unique fountain outside but the inside was the best part!
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Toblerone and I also tried to be as young and fun as we once were so we went to a few bars at night but we really just wanted to go home to bed! My how the times have changed! But we played darts and watched the youngins down their drinks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Date Night for these old folks!

Darts!!!!!

Darts!!!!!


We filled our bellies with yummy 6 course meals…ok more like stuffed ourselves..forgetting completely about the fact that I have to fit in my wedding dress in 4 months. Lord help me! But it was worth it!

Then the last two days we headed to Italy. Granted, we stayed close to Austria so the scenery looks similar but the atmosphere is different. You can somehow feel it. I was so bummed about the service at the hotel in Austria and we crossed the border into Italy and something in the air changed everything. Maybe it was the fact that their stores are open on SUNDAYS!!!

I got to cross off something from my bucket list in the coolest way! I always wanted to be in two places at once and well… :-) Right on the border crossing into Italy for the first time in my life I was in Austria and Italy. Two places at once! Totally rad! 232323232-fp83232-uqcshlukaxroqdfv7;49=ot-2346=34-=357=XROQDF-2--6438-3-239ot1lsi

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We were in a town called Vipiteno, Italy which was just across the border of Austria but what a darling little place! Everyone knows German but prefers to speak Italian of course. It was so fun to watch people switch back and forth between the two languages. And it’s really no joke…Italian is one of the most beautiful languages in the world. I could have listened to them all day long. We got to enjoy a mini wine tasting in one of the liquor stores and had fun looking at all the different foods they had there.

We started off in a little mini cafe/wine bar and to my surprise, we weren’t the only ones drinking wine at 10 in the morning! But the Italians are so cool about it all. They had a glass of wine, an espresso close by, and a water. You can tell they appreciate the good things in life. Food and drinks!
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Our hotel was gorgeous! Sadly we only stayed one night but we were just so in love with this place. So relaxed and there were many people but it was kind of nice.
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Not to mention..the dinner was INCREDIBLE!!! I can’t even put it into words. The dessert was a massive room filled with mini desserts! Omg…I took horrible pictures because I felt like such an American but you can get the idea! It was really really amazing. I over-ate on purpose. No shame!

PicMonkey Collage

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Before I left I was able to pay homage to a special part of my step-dad’s family. His mother is from Austria and his Dad from Italy. I made sure to light candles for them all in a church in Austria and in Italy too. It was so special for me to be able to do that in one trip. His family had lived in the US for a long time so after they had died, I don’t think (to my knowledge anyways) that anyone was able to give their souls peace in their homeland. Was pretty special. But magically enough, both churches had incredible views of the Alps and I felt like these two spots couldn’t have been better to do this.

The church in Italy

The church in Italy


Outside the church in Austria

Outside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

Inside the church in Austria

If a trip has to end…then please let all trips end like this one did. On an incredible high note. Money well spent!

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(P.S. In the next week or so I will be posting up hints in the form of pictures to a MASSIVE REVEAL OF A SECRET I’ve been keeping since January! Please follow me on my facebook page to get these hints and be in on the fun!)

Until next time, Readers!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxo

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