Guide to Spring City, Utah

2

Guide to Spring City, Utah

A few weeks ago I was invited to go down to Spring City with some friends to celebrate Pioneer Day, a state holiday here in Utah. We were guided around the town by Spring City native, Zina Bennion, whose family settled there in the 70s and helped turn it into the artist destination that it is today. Zina is a wealth of knowledge about many things but especially about Utah history and artists as both of her parents are well-respected artists and she grew up immersed in that community. Today, we are lucky to hear the full guide to Spring City.

And you might be wondering why you even need to know about this little town in Nowheresville, Utah. I would have wondered the same thing before visiting. Guys, this place is a little piece of magic. Only this town and Williamsburg, VA are listed as complete towns on the national history registry. and Forbes listed it as one of the top prettiest towns in America. And I had never even heard of it until a few months ago. We need to change that people!

We’re releasing the guide today just in time for Labor Day, when the annual Artist’s Studio tour and plein air competition takes place. If you haven’t made Labor Day plans yet, I’d strongly suggest going!

So, without further ado, here’s Zina!

Click Retreat Caribbean

7

click retreat caribbean

In January I was invited to teach a photo styling workshop with my good pal, Meta Coleman, aboard Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of The Seas, the largest ship in the world for Click Retreat, a conference for bloggers that focuses on photography and social media in the Caribbean for a week. When I got the email the only words I saw were “January”, “cruise”, “Caribbean” and immediately responded “YES!”. We visited Bahamas, St. Thomas, and St. Maarten.

But, what would make them think I would even like it? I mean, it’s not like the Bahamas had photogenic pink buildings everywhere or anything…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

And it’s not like the scenery was very scenic. Bleh.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Seriously, I couldn’t find a single pink building ANYWHERE in the Bahamas! It was so BORING!

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

It’s not like we had colorful props to work with or delicious fruits to make smoothies with…

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

Meta and I pretended we were recently engaged and on a romantic getaway the whole time taking our engagement photos…Somehow we keep getting invited to rad places around the world…just the two of us without our families…when in Rome!unnamed-12

unnamed-52

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

World Cup bites: sonhos

2
If you’re just joining in, to celebrate the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, we’ll be providing some of our favorite Brazilian recipes here on the blog that would be perfect for your World Cup celebration. First up, sonhos. Sonho literally translated means “dream” and they are quite accurately named. They’re basically a filled donut, so yes, you can imagine I was all about it. I remember walking the streets of Curitiba, Brazil listening to the loudspeaker of sonho car–Brazil’s version of the ice cream truck–and wanting so much to try them. But then remembering that some stranger was selling them from a van….

photography by Laura Sumrak
food and steps by Karlee Bronson
styling and creative direction by Brittany Jepsen


Click below to see how we created them!

Meet Make Do Part 2

Yesterday I talked about the crafting retreat I attended last week in Palm Springs, Meet Make Do. Today I’m finishing up starting with a change of scenery. See this bright of colorful sunshine above? That there is the Saguaro Hotel. It comes into the story in just a bit. But in the mean time…

You might remember from yesterday that we were staying at a really awesome mid-century house, which was perfect for our needs. We all had our rooms and then a central gathering place to craft not to mention a pool and tons of beauty. Serene. Well, we returned home from dinner the second night and found that our place had been robbed. Eeeeeeek. For reals. The two little casitas in the back of the house had been ransacked. Laptop, money, wallets…gone. Two girls lost a lot of valuable stuff, not to mention a sense of safety and comfort in a new place with new people. Erin of House of Earnest was one of those and you have to read her account of it. I admire her for her amazing perspective while being in such a vulnerable position.

The police came and did their thing and because of a lack of feeling safe in our place, our hosts and our sponsor, Bing, decided that the best solution was to find a hotel to stay for the night. Through the horrible events of the night, the highlight of the situation was trying out something new. Enter Saguaro. I can’t say I was super bummed about our new locale.

Erin mentioned something in her post that was spot on. We no longer had a place to craft and do our thing AND THEN, the elements decided to turn on us and rain the next day so our plans really went out the window. BUT, the change of plans brought us closer together. We ended up spending time together chatting and really getting to know each other. Some of my favorite moments were late night chats with my roommate, Melanie from You Are My Fave and our last night together as a group gathered in Erin’s hotel room eating cheese and pretending as if we were circled at a campfire. I felt 16. I felt bonded. We talked about what it means to be generous and a good person. I can’t imagine a better ending to what could have been a truly negative experience. Have you ever come out of an awful situation feeling reenergized? It’s incredible how those things happen.

Above, the first night we ate delicious food at Workshop Restaurant. And see the name tags? All the cool writing was done by Striped Cat Studio. The next night the ladies had coordinated an amazing taco bar on top of the Ace Hotel
And we were presented with some lovely goodies like these prints from Minted.
I had really been hoping to get my hands into the amazing florals that the girls had brought the play with from Flower Muse, but sadly, because of the change of events we didn’t get to do so. Sad face. How gorgeous are these David Austen roses???

 This is the view of the Saguaro from my room.

 And Kelly matched the walls.

Back in the day I interned for Jonathan Adler and I finally got to visit the hotel he designed, The Parker, which is impeccable. So so gorgeous. I forced Ashley to take a door shot.

Now, how embarrassing was this. I brought my skirt that I found at a vintage shop years ago. I perfectly matched the bedspreads in the hotel rooms. I compare it to the time I showed up to high school on the first day wearing the same thing as my teacher, DJ Tanner style. You know what I’m talking about. I got a lot of compliments from the housekeepers.

I had to get a shot with the B. And that uncomfortable face I’m pulling is a result of rain and wind in my face.

Well, that’s it folks. A lot of really great times combined with some not so stellar moments. But I’d do it again in heartbeat.

Thank you to so many people for making it happen. Especially Chelsea from Lovely Indeed, Kelly from Studio DIY, Brittni from Paper & Stitch and BING who is the best. Also a big thank you to West Elm for providing a lot of the styling pieces we were going to use (doh!). Jordan Brantley for all the branding and all the others who I mentioned yesterday and above. Can we do round 2 please???

photography by Mary Costa Photography with some snapped from my iphone and one from @lovelyindeed

Meet Make Do Part 1

This, my friends, is how life should be:
Palm Springs pool with palm trees
Am I right? Sun, pool, oversized blow up swan. Bliss.
If you follow me on Instagram you’ll have seen a lot of pictures about the most magical retreat I attended last week called Meet Make Do sponsored by Bing.  It was a craft bloggers getaway organized by three wonderful ladies: Brittni of Paper and Stitch, Kelly of Studio DIY, and Chelsea of Lovely Indeed. They’ve been planning it for months and months and by some mystical power I made it onto their invite list. And I’m sure glad I did! 
The whole premise was for craft bloggers to come together to just make stuff. It’s thanks to the kind folks of Bing, particularly Katie and Natalie, who made it possible. Guys, I have to say that Bing is THE BOMB. They brought us a whole bunch of Surfaces for us to use as we researched our projects and I have to say that having been familiar with it for a bit now, I find the features super helpful. There’s even a travel feature that provides great info for on the go so you better believe we used it for all things Palm Springs.
As a kid my family would go to Palm Springs for a little vacation (which now I find a bit odd to travel to the desert when you live at the beach, but whatever). BUT, I didn’t know that Palm Springs was cool. We would only go to a resort and swam in the pool the whole time. I had NO idea that there were amazing houses and shops and an amazing mid-century vibe. I’ve been puzzled over the years why anyone goes there on holiday. And now I know. This place is the unreal, bizarre even. Beautiful, perfectly preserved houses and the most phenomenal shops. If only I had oodles of money to spend…
So, I arrived to this
scarf
…and I thought, “really?” 
And then I saw the house
Palm Springs mid century home with yellow door
and I was all, “Yup,” I really do.
And then I saw the crafting closet filled with all sorts of goodies that are way cooler than anything I have
closet for crafts
and then this fabric happened to me:
fabric sorting
Like Project Runway, we had a limited amount of time to create something so my anxiety levels were HIGH! I learned that I am a thinker. I dwell on things. Usually I don’t even create unless I have a really stellar idea. But here I just kind of dilly dallied (and ate and chatted) until I realized that here I am in this beautiful place with an amazing photographer, the wonderful Mary Costa,  who WANTS to shoot my projects. Then it was time to get down to business. I went through the fabrics from the brand new Fabric Store in LA, which I would be at ALL the time if I lived in LA (speaking of…why don’t I???) and Melanie from You are my Fave got down with the crepe paper from Shop Sweet Lulu.
crafting with You are my fave
Jenn Elliott of Scout blog got her craft on making a beautiful tablescape with Ashley of Sugar and Cloth. She even stitched some napkins. Erin of House of Earnest got down with the Surface to research her lovely projects.
Palm Springs crafting retreat
I mean, look at the details: huge beach balls, bright colors, SUN! I’m dreaming about it as I type while looking at the grey Utah skies.
meet make do
I was off sugar for two months and sadly it coincided with this trip so I didn’t get to try the cups of cookie dough from Edoughable. Saliva drops.
cups of cookie dough
And, we got a fabulous Swag bag full of all these goodies. I mean…look at it all! Wonderful items from Almond Milk LA, Coveted Things, Etta & Billie, Fat Eye Design, Fletcher and Fox, Landis Carey, Lovely Pigeon, M. Greenwood Jams (delish!!!), Michelle Dwight Designs, Mr. and Mrs. P, Oh So Pretty, Seoul Little, Striped Cat Studio, Twedle Dee Designs, We Love Citrus, Wind and Willow Home, World Reclaimed
goodies
And the group of ladies. Now, it’s rare to bring together a bunch of crafting ladies who are so kind and generous and overall good people. I went in knowing most of them only as an admirer, but I came away feeling like I had gained genuine friends. That’s rare, right? 
craft bloggers in Palm Springs
pool in Palm Springs with blow up swan

And I’ll leave you on this image…because again, this is how life should be. More tomorrow. You won’t want to miss it but find out the reason why we suddenly had to get up and leave this paradise. Dum dum DUM!

all of this wonderful photography is by the stellar Mary Costa, who I wish I could bottle up and take with me wherever I go.

Top destinations for flower lovers

Traveling after flowers

I’ve been extremely blessed to see some beautiful places throughout the world. I like to say that I don’t like to travel, I just like beautiful places–traveling is my vehicle for getting there. I love beautiful places so much that I’ve prioritized it over other things like an amazing wardrobe, furniture, and other fun delights and securities. I took my first trip to Europe when was 12 on tour with the Orange County Junior Orchestra after joining because I heard they were going to France and England (oh yeah, and I guess I liked the music too ;)). I had always been fascinated by the books I read as a girl that were set in beautiful places like the brooding moors in Sherlock Holmes and the floral nooks of The Secret Garden. After a few more trips to Europe, living on the East Coast, and then finally marrying a Dane and living in Denmark, I feel like I am only a bit more conversant in beautiful sites to see. I know there is so much more out there.

Santa Fe
Cloisters in NYC

Beautiful places, particularly gardens and old estates, make my heart burst. I didn’t realize how much a part of me they were until I noticed that other people couldn’t go on a run without stopping at every corner to look at the flowers. (That, and I hate running so I’ll stop whenever I can). I also started to notice that I love flowers. Like, I REALLY love flowers. I love floral fabrics, silk flowers, paper flowers, flower rugs, flower pillows, real flowers. I’m sure you’re not surprised by now 😉

With that flowery talk out of the way, I’d love to get a list going of the top places to go for flower lovers. I’ve asked a couple of people who I know have a similar affinity to flowers to share some of their favorites too, florist Sarah Winward and garden expert and BYU Museum of Art director, Mark Magleby. Additionally, I’d love to hear what YOU have to say. I haven’t found a comprehensive list anywhere, so I’m thinking this could be a help to all of us and help us create a bucket list.

ALSO! I have an idea for a documentary on this theme, so if anyone out there is a filmmaker I’d love to talk to you about it! Ha! No, really.

My favorite destinations for floral lovers

  1. Monet’s Gardens at Giverny in France. As cliche as it is, Monet is my man. I first went there when I was 13 with my orchestra. We got to perform right in the gardens! I will never forget it. I’ve been privileged to go back to Paris a few more times and always put this on my itinerary (one time I missed the train and accidentally Ubered there from Paris. It was not cheap).
  2. Tage Andersen’s residence and gardens at Gunillaberg in Sweden. You know I’ve now written about it like 5 times. Tage Andersen is pretty much a modern Monet. He looks like him and dresses like him. He bought a palace in Sweden and has turned it into his living masterpiece. They are gardens (including a patch where he’s planted 4000 bulbs) with animals and buildings topped off with his fantastical sculptures that he designs and makes himself. I’d LOVE to see a documentary about him and hoping someone makes one!
  3. Carl and Karin Larsson‘s Sundborn home and garden in Sweden. I got to go when I was first studying in Copenhagen. I’ve been a long time Carl and Karin Larsson fan and it was everything I dreamt about and more. Carl was a painter and illustrator and Karin did textiles and they filled their home with the most incredible details. You weren’t allowed to take pictures inside their home so look it up!
  4. Karen Blixen‘s home and museum in Denmark (I went a few years ago and just realized I haven’t written about it yet!). Her home is set against the ocean. It’s so serene there. Paul studied near the property.
  5. The lavender fields of Provence (My mom and I visited in 2012 and missed it by like two weeks and I was so heartbroken!)
  6. Stourhead in England. I nearly died of beauty there. It’s mostly just gardens. This is also where the new Pride and Prejudice was filmed.
  7. Dumbarton Oaks in Washington, DC. I think this might be the loveliest place in the world. I lived a few streets from it and had a season pass when I was going to grad school in Georgetown. That, and the cemetery next door, are pinch-yourself-I’m-dreaming worthy in spring and fall. Here’s a little post. It was created by Beatrix Farrand as commissioned by Mildred Bliss. I’ve become OBSESSED with Beatrix Farrand Read more about it here. I’ll be sharing more about her in an upcoming post!
  8. Hillwood Estate in Washington DC. The gardens are delightful and the interiors are crazy ornate.

    Portland during rhododendron season
  9. Domaine du Chaumont was a chateau and gardens that we stumbled on when we visited France a few years ago. They are the site of an International Garden Festival. When I was there in 2017, they had designated “rooms” in a large garden for different designers. It was during October so it had this magical fall quality. This is a MUST!!!!! You can read about my post here.
  10. Adleman Peony Farms and Schreiner Irises. In 2015 Paul and I visited Portland during rhododendron season. It was amazing! We took a day trip down to Salem. I had done some research and found a pocket of flower farms there. I had no idea what I as in for. If you want to be truly blown away with the variety and colors of peonies and irises, it’s a must!!! And now I see some of my favorite florists who go there regularly.
  11. Utah’s poppy fields. Utah has its own beautiful poppy fields that are off the beaten path (you can find them here). The history of how they came to be is nebulous (I’ve heard so many variations!) and I haven’t taken the time to research it properly. Photographers are pretty protective of its location because they don’t want competition, but it’s really remarkable. And a bit sad because it gets so trampled!

Last year we had a trip planned to Japan during this time and I was hoping to see flowers in another part of the world but we’ll have to do that some other time. I’d love to hear all your recs!

I asked some of my favorite flower lovers for their suggestions and here’s what they said.

Sarah Winward 

Sarah makes the loveliest arrangements. She’s got an impeccable eye so I trust her judgment!
  1. Around the end of June, purple lupin are blooming all over Iceland, they practically cover every hillside. They are up to four feet tall and the dark purple color looks amazing against the green mossy landscape.
  2. Israel has red anemone that cover lots of hillsides in the spring. I think this is so memorable for me because a red anemone isn’t the type of flower that I am used to seeing grow in the wild.
  3. Jasmine vine in New Zealand completely covers jungle areas. The smell is intoxicating and I wanted to clip entire walls of it to bring home.
  4. Locally in Utah, I love the Mt. Aire trail up Millcreek canyon. In the late summer there are wildflowers and butterflies all over the trailside.

Mark Magleby, Director of the BYU Museum of Art

Mark was my thesis instructor during my undergrad at BYU. I went on study abroad with him and his family to England, Scotland, France, Belgium, Italy, The Netherlands about a decade ago. He specializes in 18th century art and architecture and his scholarship focused on the gardens of Stourhead as well as the creation of a database of English garden history. You can see why I would turn to him!
  1. The greatest of all the English flower gardens may be Sissinghurst Castle garden with is color coordinated garden rooms.
  2. Another would be the kitchen gardens at Rousham, which are riotous with flowers in the spring and summer. The most famous parts of the garden are designed by William Kent.
  3. I also think that the herbaceous boarders are excellent at both Hampton Court and Kew Palace.
Now, what about you? I’d love to hear your recommendations and add them to my list!

Gunillaberg part 2

Have you put Gunillaberg on your bucket list yet? Well, prepared to do so after this post. If you love some beautiful interiors, you’re in for a treat. 
If you’re just joining Lars now, I posted part one about our roadtrip to Gunillaberg, Sweden, summer palace of floral artist Tage Andersen (my creative hero). I showed the lovely grounds and animals in part one and today I’m showing the interior of the palace itself, which Mr. Andersen designed from the furniture to the flooring. It acts as both a house and a gallery. He exhibits artwork by a few different artists.
This chair in the office is my favorite.
And let’s talk about flooring. Because the painted wooden floors rocked my world.
A sofa that he designed with triangle pillows, of course.

 A close-up of the window-paned linen bedding. How gorgeously simple is it?

Beautiful stone bathtub.
And a selfie in the three-way mirror.
ROOTS ALERT! Or as we call it nowadays, ombre.

Guys, there’s more! As you daydream about this place this weekend, be excited for the next installment, which I’ll show more of the architecture of the grounds.

Happy weekend! 

Gunillaberg, Sweden Part 1

When I found out that floral designer/sculpture/magic maker Tage Andersen had a summer palace in Sweden, I knew I had to go with my mom when she came to visit me in Denmark last summer (yes, I’m THAT behind on blog posts). It’s about 4 hours from Copenhagen by car and it will blow your mind. You must go here before you die.
It’s called Gunillaberg and it was owned by the first Swedish representative to America before America was America. Mr. Andersen bought it a few years ago and has turned it into a museum? wonderland? farm? gallery? All those magical things. This year there’s a brand new orangerie even. I’m going to walk you through. You start by entering through two topiaries. Topiaries mean that you know it’s gonna be good.
Then you pass some cows on both sides and I didn’t get any good photos but there were then dozens of potbelly pigs. POTBELLY PIGS!
Then, you pass this beautiful barn

 before coming to this little hut draped in burlap and checkerboard. It’s the sign-in, of course.

Mr. Andersen has created a number of topiary courtyards. This one is complete with whiskey barrel planters, which makes me feel really good because our rental right now has a few in front so I feel better about having them in our yard.

No Scandinavian locale is complete without chopped wood.

 or a bunch of roosters running around.

 More of those whiskey barrels.

And here I spotted Mr. Tage Andersen. I didn’t have the guts to chat with him this time around for fear of turning into Superfan, which I had already established when I tracked him down in Copenhagen at his downtown studio.

 Swedish flag.

 And oh, the details! Nothing is basic. Stacked branches to hold the water barrels.

“I think it’s T double E double R double R double I double F double I double C, C, C”. What movie?

 And now, we get to the palace doors.

 Just a sculpture of a tree. NBD.

 Ok, that’s all I’m going to leave you with for now. And the amazing part? It somehow gets better.

Roussillon, France

8

I’m getting through my pictures from last year’s trip to Provence slowly but surely. A couple of weeks ago I talked about Gordes, and just 10 km away the landscape dramatically transforms into iron-rich soil and you come across Roussillon. It’s such a noticeable change in the appearance of the red cliffs and consequently, the colors of the town. Whereas Gordes feels blindingly white because of the limestone, Roussillon feels much more Mediterranean. Like a clay pot. The houses are saturated in bright, earthy colors. It’s a bit less formidable and a bit more reachable. Mom and I walked the town and discovered, like many other towns in Provence, the haphazard arrangement of the town plan, which is conducive to lots of nooks and crannies and, thus, lots of fun unexpected doors and windows. It’s a door-lover’s paradise! 

Colors of sorbet, non? 
I loved the iron-work detailing throughout the town. These metalsmiths had a good time.

 Watermelon house? Please and thank you.

 The view.

 Isn’t this a fantastic covering for a balcony? I note it here so that someone can use the idea for their own backyard.

 And we left at sunset. Sigh.

I dream about this place. Where do you dream about? 
More pictures from Provence: Gordes, our entry,  the town we stayed in Apt, walking around Apt

Provence–Gordes

I’ve been lucky to see what I consider some of the most beautiful places in the world. However, rarely has a place made such an impression as Provence. I’ve been having dreams about it. It’s a place that I would love to return to again and again and again. Which means that I need to get rich and buy a villa there, bien sur. When my mom came to visit me in Copenhagen in September we took a side trip (after MUCH drama including missing our flight–my fault–and thinking we could compensate by driving–nope!) to the south of France. I’ve talked about parts of the trip herehere, and here. Gordes was one of the most beautiful towns we visited. It felt more like a museum town in that it was quite pristine and glowing as the town is built of limestone. I wouldn’t say that you need to stay here if you’re visiting unless you use your holidays to lounge, swim, and walk around. My mom and I just loved soaking in all the architecture and as she said, her favorite part was looking at all the building materials. Nerd alert! But, alas, it WAS the best part. Look at the lovely shades of shutter colors! I mean, come on! 
Some of the photos might seem a bit repetitive, but it’s because the details were so lovely. There are complicated details in the ironwork on the windows and handrails. Some I just took pictures of because I wanted to remember details for my future villa. You know.

I must also mention the kindness of the people. The French in the South of France are kind, warm, and open. That, combined with the sun was the perfect escape from cold Denmark. 

I love what this person did. The town attracts loads of tourists and I’m sure they made braids on their doors to keep peeping toms like me out of their house.

A functioning water fountain! Yes, I stopped on the side of the road to quickly get this shot.
Leading into the town of Gordes is the Lavender Museum or Le Musee de la Lavande. Provence is the lavender capital and sadly we missed it all by a month or two. BIG SAD FACE. So we had to hit the lavender museum. I’d say it’s worth it if you like factory tours and such, like Mama and me. It shows the processes of how they make it and the history. We found it quite fascinating. At the end they lead you to a boutique where you can find all sorts of lavender products including an ointment that helps alleviate aches and pains. Sign me up! 
And, of course, it wouldn’t be a trip without pictures of doors and windows. 

 Majestic, non?

 Complete with bistro lights. Sigh.

 Here are the iron-work details. See what I mean?!

 Oh, and just a laundry rack. Covered with IVY!

 Too much for me.

 Swimming anyone?

 Have you ever been to Provence? What were your favorite places? In other words, where should I buy my villa?

The Sound of Music tour

19
Preface: April Fool’s day is possibly my favorite holiday. But I’ve got nothin this year. FAIL! No need to read with caution.
Melinda came to visit me in Copenhagen in August (only 8 months ago. I’m way on top of life) and she asked, “where do you want to go while I’m there?” I had only one suggestion: THE SOUND OF MUSIC TOUR in Austria. Melinda knows Vienna (here’s the Vienna review) quite well and hadn’t been to Salzburg, so she, too, was all about it. Of course, we knew we had to wear outfits appropriate for the tour, but I didn’t have time to make outfits from cut-out curtains so I had to make due with a floral skirt. Melinda had found this divine yellow two-piece ensemble at FN92, a vintage shop in Copenhagen, that reads “mixed pickles” so, obviously, that was a given.
I grew up on The Sound of Music and I suspect a lot of you did too. I mean, did you imagine yourself running through fields singing “The hills are alive” or putting on puppet shows yodeling? I bet so. In other words, this was a dream come true.

Fun fact: my uncle was originally cast in the film role of Frederick, the oldest boy. Sadly, they found a boy at the lats minute who had a real British accent. Blast you authenticity! 
I had been dead set on doing the Sound of Music bus tour, but after reading the Yelp reviews, we weren’t so certain anymore. They were so across the board. We  looked into the walking tour with The Sound of Trudy, but she was all sold out for the day we were there. We decided to gamble on the bus situation and ended up on Panorama bus tour, the original. The tours are frequent and down to a science. I forget the name of our tour guide, but you can tell had had done led the tour millions of time joked after calculated joke. But I LOVED it. I ate it up. The bus takes you to the two houses that are used as the front and back facades, the gazebo of 16 going on 17, the chapel where Maria and the Captain are married, past the Red Bull headquarters (highlight!), and winding through the Alps with great views of the lake and flower-boxed houses (remember this post?). Oh, and a gladiola farm. HEAVEN (minus the Red Bull, that’s all the April Fool’s jokes you’ll get today from me).

Was it worth it, you ask? Definitely. Would I recommend it? YUP! Again, the reviews on Yelp were so mixed up that I can imagine a bad tour guide could happen, but who cares?! You’re in Salzburg with the Von Trapps? You’ll get caught up. Oh, and did I mention at the end of the tour while you’re cruising back to Salzburg, the guide puts on the soundtrack and you sing. I mean, I sang, I couldn’t really hear anyone else. But the girl from China came up afterwards and congratulated me on my voice. All I could say was, “I know it quite well”. This was only a day trip from Vienna, a lovely 3 hour train ride, and if I were to go back I might spend the night and do more Mozart stuff, because I also love him.

The End. 

Two days in Austria

6
My travel posts are SO behind. I’m still catching up from August! At least it gives me the opportunity to remember what the sun felt like so long ago. *sigh*. My dear friend Melinda* hopped over to Copenhagen to spend her birthday with us and we were so so honored. She decided we also needed to hop countries and knowing that I’ve been dreaming up Austria for a long time now, we decided what better time?! Mostly, it was for the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, but more on that later. For now, it’s Vienna. House Trip was kind enough to sponsor our stay while we were there and we had a terrific experience with them. It’s a site where you can rent out your apartment/house while you are away. We selected an all-white apartment along a canal next to the Kunsthaus Museum. A kind lady met us there to give us our keys and show us around.
I loved the view of the courtyard and looking onto the colorful tiled building in the back. And are you looking at that herringbone flooring? So lovely! Melinda knows Vienna pretty well so she took me around to some of her favorite spots. In particular she was excited to see the Klimt murals at the Kunsthistorisches Museum because for the first time they provided stairs up to the ceiling so you could take a close look. 

Melinda took me to this wonderful confectioners, Demel (careful, music on their site!), where we loaded up on beautiful illustrated chocolate bars and of course a stop at their outside ice cream bar. Adorable right?

We passed by the Vienna Secession building. You know, I find it so odd how a bunch of artists at the turn of the century had so much money that they could build such a lovely building. Anyone know the history of it and how they could do that? That just doesn’t seem to happen these days.

When I travel to destinations that I’ve been dreaming about for ages I seem to forget that once upon a time they were not crawling with tourists. But crawling with tourists they are (see above).

Our stay in Vienna was sponsored by HouseTrip, but all content and opinions are my own. Thanks House Trip!

*Melinda’s dress is a good story. She found it here in Copenhagen at a delightful vintage dress shop, F.N.92. The pattern says “mixed pickles”. I don’t know what that means, but I love it. While she was shopping she thought she recognized Eva Mendes, but dismissed the idea because she was wearing flats and clearly Eva Mendes doesn’t wear practical sight-seeing shoes. Well, turns out she does! It WAS Eva Mendes.