September 19, 2014

Mirabell Palace and Gardens in Salzburg, Austria.

Salzburg is one of those cities that basically oozes charm without trying too hard.  It's adorable, well kept, and you can really see a lot in one day!  It was about a 1.5 hour train ride from Munich, and it is well worth *at least* a day trip.  The train ride itself is breathtaking... (excuse the glare), but take a gander at these vistas rolling into Salzburg...

After getting off the train, we headed to the Mirabell Palace and Gardens.  It is a lovely baroque style palace and grounds.  The best part is that scenes from the Sound of Music were filmed here!  Maria and the children run around the fountain below and through the gardens while singing!

Inside the palace is incredibly ornate.  Marble, gold, crystal chandeliers, it has it all!


As beautiful as the inside is, the gardens (with city and fortress views) were my favorite part.  I could sit and people watch there for hours.  Especially on a day as beautiful as this one was!


More of Salzburg to come, so if you love Sound of Music as much as I do, stay tuned!

p.s.  Today is my birthday!!  Woo hoo!  Don't worry, I am celebrating somewhere tropical that I am likely over-graming here. ;)

September 16, 2014

Women and Travel, Katrin.

I am excited to introduce you to the lovely Katrin of Land of Candy Canes, the latest contributor to my Women and Travel series!  I love Katrin's enthusiasm for life, art, travel, and the well being of animals.  I know you will too!
xo Ashley

Hello Ashley's readers, my name is Katrin and I am a German girl who is married to an American boy and I love to travel. When Ashley asked me if I would be interested in writing a guest post for her blog I got totally excited and obviously said yes. It is such an honor! So thanks so much for having me and for reading!

Favorite travel memory.
I don't know where to begin because there are so many great experiences I've made while traveling. You never know what to expect and that is what excites me most about traveling. Some experiences I will never forget are the following: climbing on an arch in the Canyonlands National Park, surviving a rafting trip in the Colorado river, celebrating my birthday at a rooftop terrace next to the Canal Grande, seeing an olm in the Postojna Cave in Slovenia, losing a poker game in a casino in Las Vegas, getting kicked out of a sex shop in Amsterdam (I illegally took a picture), eating the best watermelon ever in Crotia, a boat ride in Bruges, befriending mini horses in the Netherlands, and crawling through holes in Mesa Verde National Park.  Those are some of the great memories I've made while traveling which I will never forget.


What it means to be a woman in today's world.
I truly enjoy being a woman. I love that I can feel free to make my dreams come true. I can travel wherever I want to, have my dream job, I can do girly things on the one hand but be tough on the other...there aren't really many limitations anymore. We are fortunate to have these opportunities now, but it makes me sad that there are places on this earth where women are not that fortunate. There's still a lot of work to do and we should not take those things for granted.

Feeling happy.
I am happy when I am able achieve a goal, travel to a place I have never been before, spend time with my loved ones which includes the furry part of the family, animals in general make me very very happy. I am happy when I can read, a store full of books warms my heart. Spending time outdoors always makes me feel better and calms me down. I love cooking and baking. I enjoy going to a flea market and finding treasures, even more when I discover a market while traveling. I think it is important to learn how to appreciate all the small things in life and see the positive in them.

Traveling empowers me. 
Traveling empowers me because I can learn so many things while discovering a new place. You learn about another culture, you meet people you have never met before, you see new places and you are in situations that you have never been in before which require you to adapt. All these things enrich your life. You will never forget these things and they make you stronger, wiser, and more independent. So I am always happy when I have the chance to talk to locals while traveling.


The best piece of advice I have ever received. 
It's always worth fighting for something that is important to you. My mom taught me to stand up for myself and that I can make my dreams come true and achieve my goals (no matter how crazy they might seem). She was a great role model and taught me to be independent.

September 13, 2014

Old Town San Diego, Fred's Mexican Cafe.

I am obviously impartial, but I think San Diego is one of the greatest cities out there!  We know Mexican food, and if you want to spend a sunny afternoon enjoying some fantastic Mexican food I highly recommend Old Town San Diego.  Last time my sister and Aunt were in town, we headed to a new restaurant, Fred's Mexican Cafe, mostly because it was dog friendly and Zora got to come with us!  They even had a doggie menu.  She was in heaven!  We really enjoyed the food and being outdoors.  You really can't go wrong with Mexican food anywhere in Old Town though!  (Just be sure to go somewhere that makes fresh tortillas- we also love Cafe Coyote and Old Town Mexican Cafe!)

^^ Favorite things we tried- K.A. Rita 10 and the queso appetizer!!!

My sister had to leave straight from lunch to the airport and got in some Zora loves!  That dog is something spoiled, I tell you.  Pretty sure she thinks she's a lap dog too. ;)


Isn't Old Town San Diego the cutest?  Hopefully you'll enjoy it too if you stop by San Diego sometime soon!