Las Vegas City Guide

Illustrated Downtown Las Vegas City map

I grew up visiting Las Vegas WAY more than I ever wanted to. Being from Southern California, it was always a practical pit stop on our way to other destinations. Admittedly, it’s a welcome sight after miles of thirsty desert, and for a child it’s a fantastical Disneyland of sorts. But you get into walking the strip and realize, “hey wait a minute, there’s something odd about this city of neon lights and magic shows” (alas, it may have something to do with the hundreds of naked girl fliers being passed out by men flicking them in their hands). After an unfortunate experience with my family involving not reserving a hotel for the night and ending up at a trucker motel in North Vegas and finding a surprise in the bathroom (hint: it’s not what a 10 year old should be seeing and no, it was not a dead body), I swore off Sin City. 

However, since moving to Utah it has since become the closest destination with some sort of entertainment component and I LOVE staying in hotels so we’ve been discovering the city more and more and you know what? There is WAY more than meets the eye. I recently met illustrator Abbie Paulhus who introduced me to the lesser-known and totally rad side of Las Vegas and today she’s sharing her favorite spots along with this beautifully illustrated map.

I’m so excited to get to share about this because I’m so passionate about people seeing that there’s more to Vegas than just the strip and “sin city”. Here are my favorite spots in the arts district of Downtown Las Vegas:

Iceland: off the Golden Circle

The Golden Circle consists of a three major tourist sites: the waterfall Gullfoss, the geothermal geysers including Geysir, and the national park and site of the first parliament, Pingvellir. These are all awesome, but you know what’s even more awesome? Going off the beaten track. Well, most things in Iceland are of the beaten track so that’s not very hard. Paul had remembered a crater he had visited the last time he was there so we went on a crater hunt. First, we ran into this red rock mine, which was located next to a mountain. After climbing the mountain we found out that the it was in fact a crater.
THEN, we drove to another site where Bjork had what I think must be the best music venue of all time. She performed on a raft on the water of this crater: 
Darn that automatic timer.

Are you getting the sense that Iceland is just amazing? (As if I haven’t talked about it enough) I do have to thank a few people for giving me some really awesome travel tips. Jenna was an absolute sweetheart for giving a huge itinerary including a Google map that we used. She wrote about her adventures in several parts starting here. MichelleMarlouLinda, Kurt, Brenda, Gnomie and Anne also gave me some really awesome advice. Thank you so much for taking the time to let us know!

Mexico City Guide

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Growing up in Southern California, Mexican food was a staple and Spanish was second nature. I had briefly visited Mexico back when you didn’t need a passport, but I’m embarrassed to say that I really didn’t know much about the thriving culture that is Mexico. I mean, I wasn’t hiding under a rock and I knew and had witnessed many aspects, but until you live it and see it at its best, it’s really tough to comprehend how thriving a culture really is.

Abby Clawson Low, a designer whose work I’ve admired for ages, moved to Mexico City a few years ago and documented her adventures (you can check out her Instagram here and here) and I couldn’t help but gawk at every image. She revealed a side to it that I didn’t knew existed. She brought it to life! She recently released a book about it called This is Mexico City and it inspired me to finally make a visit just in time for her book signing. Along with former Mexico City resident and Utah Valley tamale maker expert, Nadia Coates of Casa Palomi, and my good friends Meta Coleman and Chaunte Vaughn, we hit up Mexico City with two babies and lived to tell about it.

I call our experience an “Ode to Barragan” because the focus of our trip was discovering the work of Luis Barragan. I am forever changed!

Here’s what to see, what to eat, and what to do in Mexico City! Lars approved!

and we’re off!

Paul and I just decided to take a little road trip around the island of Iceland. We’ll be taking the southern route and ending up at Jökulsálón, the glacier lagoon. We are stoked! Thank you for all your tips on Iceland. It seems like everyone who has been here has loved it and I can see why. This place is phenomenal. I’ll most likely be silent for the next few days as we will be *deep breath* CAMPING.*

*Note: I don’t camp. This should be interesting.

Paris-Inspired Design: A Bastille Day Bash

How to visit Paris without leaving home

Bastille Day is akin to the USA’s Independence Day in that it marks an important historical turn towards democracy. The bastille building itself was an armory that citizens of Paris stormed and set political prisoners free on July 14, 1789. Modernly, people celebrate in different ways all over the country! My favorite tradition takes place each year in the gardens of the President’s residence, the Palais de l’Elysee. The President hosts a picnic!! Isn’t that amazing? Take your own trip to France tomorrow by celebrating Bastille Day!

Cue the inspiration for my Bastille Day celebration: I’m throwing myself a picnic. Make your picnic simple and clever with these printable placemats!

Our Paris cake toppers from illustrator Jessie Kenelos Weiner, author of Paris in Stride are available for FREE! Download your own and make breakfast extra sweet tomorrow morning. Plus, you can count this as tomorrow’s homeschool geography lesson 😉

How to celebrate like a Parisienne

Lars girls love garden parties and all things French, so this particular celebration is downright delightful. I whole-heartedly suggest you decorate with some adorable France printables, as they are an easy way to play with the stylish theme: Paris-inspired design. Take color cues from there! The tricolore of red, white, and blue is simple and classic – just like French design. Don your best Breton striped top (blue and white of course), chic trousers/skirt, and a pop of color in the form of red lipstick. Stay up late and light off fireworks to celebrate the end of the day. 

Print off our Paris crown and invitation suite here for your next party. Whether you are celebrating Bastille Day, a garden party, a birthday party, or anything else – this party is sure to be tres chic.

How to decorate and dress like a Parisienne

I can’t write about Paris without mentioning how much I adore the style and design identity of this city. With each encounter, I feel creatively inspired. You got your first taste of this with our tips on how to recreate the iconic style of Monet’s French home. And everyone knows Paris has the best fashion. They even have a best baby’s clothes! As I figured when I visited while pregnant with Jasper. Here are a few of my favorite tips and tricks for incorporating Paris-inspired design in your home and wardrobe. 

1. Don’t overdo it

You’ve probably heard this quote from Coco Chanel: “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take at least one thing off.” I’m pretty sure she is talking about accessories here…  Still, the advice stands – Paris-inspired design/fashion tends to be somewhat minimal. The pieces themselves can be extravagant and ornate, but use a light hand when decorating and accessorizing. 

2. Mix the classic with the eclectic

Part of what makes Paris so magical is its history. There’s just so much that has happened in that ancient city, and all of it feels magical. Select pieces that reflect the growth of the city! Ornate mirrors and crown moldings look fantastic juxtaposed with chic European modernism. Picture a chunky strand of gems or pearls atop a simple black suit jacket. Or fabulous shoes beneath a pair of pleated shorts. Invest in a few significant Paris-inspired pieces, then really showcase them. 

3. Embrace romance

The feel of Paris is really worth celebrating and if you’ve been, you know that feeling is one of romance. It’s almost as if some city official found a way to transform Edith Piaf’s La Vie en Rose into a scent and then pipe it through every vent in the city. If you’ll take a moment to recall the romantic moments of your life, I’m sure you’ll discover what I have: it’s all about the details. The same idea goes for creating a romantic feel for a space or look! Pick one romantic touch, like long-stemmed candles, your grandmother’s hand-embroidered pillows, ornate frames surrounding photographs from memories you love, sheer curtains, or a touch of crystal. Little details like these can make even the coldest rooms come alive. 

Paris-inspired Decor

 

France-inspired art prints to hang on your walls

We firmly believe anyone can pull off a beret, and this print from Monica Dorazewski agrees! Or for a more subtle reference to the city of love, transport your self to the Palais-Royal with this Stripes is Rhythm print from Jaqueline Diedam.

Fill your home with the art of French artist Julie Marabelle. We carry some of her stunning papercut art in the Lars Print Shop and they have added a touch of a French garden to my bedroom. You can read more about her life in France here.

Other fun French items

Everything you need for Paris-inspired design filling your home. If you are planning a trip to France, our favorite guides are Paris in Stride which you can read more about here. As well as Paris by Design by my good friend Eva Jorgensen. You can also find our guide to small shops in Paris here. As well as our itinerary from our last visit to France, here!

 

Enjoy! 

Roussillon, France

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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

Guide to Provo, Utah

Guide to Provo Utah

This post has been a long time in the making, folks. I’ve been wanting to do a feature on Provo, Utah, where I’ve now lived for three years, but as you know, it takes awhile to feel situated and like you’ve been able to experience a lot in your town. I’m a terrible social planner. But I know you’ve been on the edge of your seat waiting for it to come out, so so sit back, it’s time to explore everyone’s top bucket list location, Provo, Utah. AND, good news, while you’re traveling to get here, you can color it in with this handy dandy coloring page. See download below.

I first lived in Provo as a student over 15 years ago and it has changed so much! Back then I didn’t have a car so I didn’t really know what I was missing out on, but even in the three years we’ve now lived here, it’s changed dramatically. There’s a horde of tech companies moving here as well as company headquarters and offices as well as a thriving music, art, and social media influencer scene. Ha! I don’t know if that’s the proper term for it, but I don’t know how else to phrase the YouTubers and bloggers who reside or have come out of Provo or Utah in general. For some reason, there are a LOT!

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Provo is a popular destination for Mormons, and being Mormon, I often get asked where to eat, where to stay, what to do. I also find that a lot of people from the North take the Utah I-15 route to go South to see Utah’s great national parks: Bryce, Zion, Arches to name a few. Utah is a gorgeous state and there’s a lot to see, especially if you love nature. I love looking at nature, but admittedly, I’m not the biggest nature go-getter. I prefer to mosey really.

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Provo is about 40 minutes south of Salt Lake City, and one of the last cities before you travel south down to the national parks and further south. For that reason, it’s another popular stop along the way. Being a university, there’s more diversity than you’d expect and a lot of interesting people. I’ve found that a lot of people are moving here from all ways of life and I love that it feels more and more diverse. After living in major cities for the last decade before moving here, I was expecting it to feel more small town and I’m so pleased with the direction it’s going. There’s more and more rad things to do and people are really latching onto it and making it their own.

Provo City Guide and coloring page

Many of the residents here are, as you might expect, Mormon and with that comes a lot of unique living patterns. For example, Mormons don’t drink alcohol so the preferred vice of choice is soda and sweets. Thus, a thriving soda and sweets scene is prevalent. Never heard of such a thing? Neither had I! But the NY Times caught hold of it when a lawsuit went down between two competing soda places. Food for thought. Pun intended.

Here we go!

TO EAT

Lars Top 12. Warning: there’s a LOT of pizza choices. Mostly because they are the best ones and not necessarily because I only love pizza.

  1. Bruges. MY FAVORITE fries in the world. I love them. AND they come with various sauces for dipping (my favorites are the lemon pepper dill and greens). NOT TO MENTION, their delicious waffles. The Lars favorite: liege waffle, creme fraiche, and strawberries on Waffle Tuesday ($2 waffles).
  2. El Gallo Giro. I love me some Mexican and this is my favorite in the area. It’s authentic and they’ve got some delicious fresh juices (unlimited refills!). 
  3. Communal is perhaps the only restaurant in the area where you’d go for a really nice meal. There aren’t too many options for a date night that’s not cafeteria style and this one is nice for the farm-to-table aspect. I find that they have a very stable menu, which means that we don’t go too often because it often feels like there’s not too much change. Their chicken is delicious. 
  4. Black Sheep a fun spot for Native American/Mexican/Southwestern fushion. They’re known Navajo tacos but personally I love their hog jowl tacos and buffalo nickel burger best. Get their cactus pear lemonade for the whole table.
  5. Station 22 is a great place to bring out of towners because of the great ambiance. It’s a Southern-inspired cuisine and the decor reflects that. They’ve got a large selection of old-fashioned sodas, in true Provo fashion.
  6. Slab. I love Slab SO much. A “slab” is basically two pieces of pizza put together. I LOVE the rosemary potato bacon. I get it every time, but they have so many options that I should try.
  7. Pizzeria 712. YUM!
  8. Cafe Rio is a Utah chain but there’s a reason it’s spreading. Two words: pork salad.
  9. Ginger’s Garden Cafe is located in Springville, just south of Provo. It’s right by our studio. It’s all healthy and good. Delicious smoothies. Plus, afterwards, you can take a yoga class.
  10. Nicoitalia. Good take-out pizza.
  11. Good Thyme is a cafeteria style restaurant intended for work lunches, but it’s farm-to-table and good.
  12. Terra Mia pizza. Another delicious pizza place.
  13. Owl Bar at Sundance.

Other yummy eats:

  • Bombay House. It’s not my favorite Indian in the world, but most people around town think it’s the best. 
  • Treehouse Room at Sundance for a fancier meal.
  • Brasas. Yummy Mexican. Plus, they let you try everything before you buy it.
  • Foodtruck round up. All the food trucks in the area come together every Thursday. Fun vibe, although I wish they had more seating options. 
  • Kolaches. A Czech pastry that come in savory or sweet. 
  • CupBop. Korean bbq. Good for variety. 
  • JDawgs : hot dog, JDawgs sauce bottle *
  • Malawi’s Pizza.
  • Aubergine. Delicious healthy food. 
  • Art City Trolley. Restaurant inside the iconic Springville trolley. 
  • Roll it up. I had a delicious experience there when they changed chefs last year. So delicous.
  • Guru’s 
  • Cubby’s. I love their tri-tip salad.
  • 180 Tacos 
  • Bam Bam’s BBQ
  • Waffle Love
  • Mountain West Burrito. They used to have one located closer to our house, and I thought that one was better. It just hasn’t felt the same since. 
  • Straptank Brewery. I haven’t actually been, but it’s brand new in Springville and I’ve heard good things. Plus, the building and vibe is rad.

TREATS

DRINKS (the non-alcoholic kind)

  • Pop n’ Sweets. Old time soda and candy from all over the world.
  • Swig/Sodalicious. I’m not much of a soda fan (or anything with syrup) but locals love them. Which one is better? I have no idea. Try one of each and make the choice yourself.
  • Mend Juicery. Delicious juices and popsicles.
  • Ivie Juice Bar

TO DO:

  • Sundance. I always take visitors to Sundance. It’s cozy and beautiful. They have zip lines, ski lift rides, skiing. Plus a number of workshops and classes. It’s beautiful.
  • Sunriver Gardens. My favorite nursery in the area. Lovely plant collection and setting and fun gift shop. They even have workshops and such.
  • Velour. Provo has a surprising number of successful bands that have made it big and they typically start here.
  • Rooftop concert series. Every first Friday during the summer the city gathers to hear some of the best at this free concert. 
  • Foodtruck round up. Every Thursday.
  • Provo farmer’s market. Every Saturday in Pioneer Park.
  • Quarry Climbing. To be honest, I have NO experience with this. Ha! But maybe you’d like it.
  • Hiking: Provo Canyon, Rock Canyon, Squaw Peak. Well, everywhere really.
  • BYU MOA. I interned there in college! Great exhibitions and collection.
  • Harmony classes. The best local craft classes. 
  • Beehive Bazaar, Bijou Market, 3 Dotters Vintage  and other markets. Spread throughout the year. Look at their calendar to see when they are.
  • Provo Beach Resort. It’s the closest thing we have to California. 
  • Movies in the park (rock canyon) 
  • Springville Museum of Art. This is the site of my very first internship. I made the museum newsletter. It was my first exposure to InDesign.
  • Soap Factory 
  • Riverwoods. If you need some retail therapy.
  • Float the provo river
  • Color Festival in Spanish Fork.
  • Utah Lake (rent at outdoors unlimited)
  • Crandall Printing Museum: printing press
  • Thanksgiving Point: Visit for tulip season!
  • Stadium of Fire: Biggest 4th of July celebration in existence. At least it feels like it. It’s so closet to my house it’s a little too close for comfort.
  • Provo City Center temple is brand new and beautiful. Lovely for a walk around. It used to be the old Provo Tabernacle and was burned down in 2011 and recently completed as an LDS temple. 
  • Provo temple. The older 60s temple. A peaceful walk around.
  • Movies 8. $1 theaters!
  • Classic Fun Center. You know I’m all about the skating. Here’s where to go.
  • BYU campus.

SHOPS

HOTELS

There aren’t too many hotel situations in Provo. You have to go outside a bit for something really scenic and pretty.

Provo guide and coloring page

DOWNLOAD the Provo coloring page here. 

I’m sure I’ve missed some. What are YOUR favorites?

Stay tuned, I’ll be doing more city guides including nearby Utah cities like Salt Lake and Park City.

Don’t miss our Guide to Colorful Walls in Utah Valley and Salt Lake 

Photos by Anna Killian 

Lars Bucket List Trip: Carl and Karin Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden

carl larsson's house

larsson home

There are certain places in the world that mark your memory and change your vision of the world. Visiting Carl Larsson’s home in Sundborn, Sweden was one of those places. Sadly, when I visited a few years ago, I didn’t take great pictures, and you’re not allowed to take pictures inside. BUT! Lars contributor, Meta Coleman, captured it on a recent trip and documented some lovely details and wrote about her experience. Her story kicks off a new series called Lars Bucket List Trips where every now and again I’ll share places to add to your bucket list. Perhaps they’ll inspire you too. 

As a child I had a large Carl Larsson print in my room. It was of a girl sitting in her bedroom holding a tulip. I felt very connected to that little girl and to the beautiful day to day family life painted by Carl Larsson.

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.

Roskilde

Thank you so much for the birthday wishes! You guys are the best. After working yesterday we headed out to Roskilde to attend the Royal Danish Ballet’s summer series. Coincidentally, our first date was this exact event three years ago so it was very apropos. Roskilde is Paul’s favorite town so we spent some time exploring the city including the cathedral, churches, harbor, and charming streets. If you ever get to Denmark, Copenhagen is great, but the smaller towns are more walkable and cozy. 

Hot Craft Summer: A Summer Bucket List from Team Lars

I think we have put together a pretty good summer bucket list, if I do say so myself. From travel dreams to growing gardens, Team Lars has a great summer planned. And all of us are doing something crafty! Read on for summertime inspiration!

Brittany wearing a striped yellow dress in front of a pale orange wall eating canteloupe sorbet

Hot Craft Summer: The Ultimate Summer Bucket List

Brittany

Garet

  1. Bracelet making party with my gals
  2. Make a family video + have an outdoor movie night
  3. Make homemade peach ice cream
  4. Go on a long Saturday morning bike ride at a county park

colorful ice cream sundaes in pink, purple, and yellow

Jane

  1. Do more creative photoshoots – more personal work.
  2. Go on more morning walks & bike rides.
  3. Go on a road trip to see an outdoor musical/play

three photos by Jane Link hung on a wall with an aloe plant next to them.

Hailey

  1. Start traveling a little bit
  2. Get a tan haha (who amongst us can deny this desire??)
  3. Perfect my capsule wardrobe

doors in Cuba

(Speaking of travel, read up on Brittany’s trip to Cuba from a few years ago here!)

The Sound of Music tour

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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.