Friday, March 28, 2014

James and I are happy to announce...
There are lots of life changes happening for us. I hope to update more soon!

3 years...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

December 30th marked 3 years of marriage for James and I. Out of curiosity, I looked up what the traditional gift was for year 3 it said that it's leather and the modern gift is crystal/glass. Well it's save to say, we didn't follow this guideline (does anyone follow this? maybe when you reach the platinum and diamond levels?).

We spent the few days around our anniversary in Paris. One evening we walked over the "Pont de l'ArchevĂȘchĂ©" by Notre Dame Cathedral.
As you can see this is one of the famous love locks bridge in Paris (the other being Pont des Arts). We decided what a better way to mark this anniversary than to add a love lock to the bridge.

Conveniently there are often people selling locks on the bridge so you don't have to go searching too far!

 Here I am writing our names and wedding date on the lock with permanent marker.

 James is getting the keys ready, double checking that they really match the lock.

 We have found the perfect spot for the lock to go.

Making sure it's all secure...

Since it came with 3 keys we decided that each of us would make a wish on a key and we would keep the 3rd key (how cute would it be to make a necklace or something out of it as a keepsake?)

Sealing it with a kiss

And into the Seine River the 2 keys go!

The night sky was beautiful and Notre Dame looked picture perfect.
This was such a fun thing to do and a great memory to have for years to come. We hope that years from now we will be able to find our lock amongst the sea of love locks!

Kicking off 2014 in Venice

Monday, February 3, 2014

The end of 2013 was a great one! We were lucky enough to have my mom and some friends, Jen and Haylie, visit us. We spent a few days wandering around Paris and showing them the sights! It's always fun to see the city through a fresh perspective that is full of excitement and awe.

Enjoying hot wine in the Christmas Markets of Montmartre

It's also quite magical to share Paris with others during the Christmas season as the lights and decorations are impressive.
The ceiling in Galleries Lafayette

The Christmas Tree amidst all the glam

Some of the light displays at Printemps
After a few days in Paris, we then jetted off to Venice to ring in the new year!

We rented a wonderful apartment that was in a quiet area just off the path of the main action. We found the apartment through which I would highly recommend to anyone who wants to travel and have the option of staying somewhere a little more home-like than a hotel.

We arrived on the morning of New Year's Eve and spent some time wandering around the city.

Due to our SUPER early departure from Paris a nap was needed before we could go check out the night activity. Venice has a firework display in St. Marco Square but our apartment owner suggested seeing the fireworks from a different area as the square is known to be packed with 60,000+ people. 

We had a late lunch that consisted of pizza (when in Italy isn't it mandatory to have as the 1st official meal). For dinner we just did some snacks and cocktails. We attempted to walk to an area to see the fireworks but if anyone has been to Venice you may remember that getting "lost" is the name of the game. Therefore we never found a great perspective to see the fireworks due to buildings blocking our view. 

Our night wasn't as spectacular as I think we were hoping it would be but nevertheless ringing in the New Year is Venice was pretty amazing. 
The ladies getting festive with Carnival masks

In addition to seeing the big sights, like the Rialto Bridge, St. Marco Square, and The St. Mark Basilica, we had some great food, and really enjoyed our time wandering the streets of Venice and taking in this magical city!
On one of the Vaporettos (water buses)

The most amazing biscuit/cookie/peace of heaven that we made our daily breakfast treat with coffee

St. Mark's Square in the evening

St. Mark's Basilica

More of St. Marco Square

Gondala races perhaps? ;)

Rialto Bridge

Venice is how I pictured it to be and so much more! It was even more special to be able to share this experience and make memories with some of my favorite people!!!

Chateau de Chenonceau

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Another day of exploration=perfection in my book!

About a month ago we ventured out to another area of France and our first stop was Chateau de Chenonceau (point A on the map). Other than the Chateau de Versailles, it is said to be the most visited castle in France. It was built between 1515-1521 over a bridge of the Cher River and was nicknamed "Chateau des Dames" (Castle of the Ladies) due to the strong history of the women who lived there. 

 I really enjoyed that this castle allows you to see areas of daily life, like the kitchen, the fireplace where bread was baked, and the butcher room. They even had fires going in some of the fireplaces which was fabulous since it was a cold, rainy day!!!

The castle wasn't as "grand" as the Palace of Versailles but I really enjoyed seeing all of the tapestries and architecture! The grand gallery was one of my favorite parts of the castle.

A couple of interesting facts-during the First World War the owner turned over the chateau for use as a hospital for the injured; and during the second World War, one end of the castle's gallery was in the Occupied Zone and the other in French Free Territory- and this corridor between the two zones was used to move people between them. 

After visiting the castle we went for lunch in a restaurant that was built into rock, which is typical of places in the area. As we were driving you could see homes built into the side of the cliffs. It was quite impressive.

Lunch consisted of a starter, main plate and desserts. I chose the salmon for a starter, one of my favs!

The desserts all looked great and between all of us there was quite a variety.

After lunch we continued on to the city of Tours (point B on the map). This is the city that one of our nieces lives and attends school. We spent some time walking around the city and my favorite part was the "old" area with some really great style of buildings.

We were also able to see the cathedral before ending our walking tour.

We finished the evening making sushi with the family and hanging out at our niece's apartment. It was another great, adventurous day!!!