December 15, 2014

Oktoberfest Grounds, Frühlingsfest.

To round out the end of a near perfect day in Bavaria, we headed back into Munich.  Our guide Andy mentioned that there was a festival taking place at the Oktoberfest grounds called Frühlingsfest.  He offered to drop us off there if we wanted to experience it, which of course we did!  There were large tents set up similar to Oktoberfest, but much smaller in scale.  Oktoberfest has tents for all the Big 6 set up, but there were only two breweries represented at Frühlingsfest.  We were so lucky to get to experience a festival without the extreme craziness of Oktoberfest.  I can't even imagine, because there was so much going on at this festival that it felt like the real deal.  It was nice to have a little cheat experience. ;)


Since it was difficult to get a seat at a tent, Andy took us to his favorite beer garden in the city.  It happened to be our favorite too, as we were there once before!  The Augistiner Beer Garden is seriously the best.

We all stayed there for hours laughing, drinking, and taking in the atmosphere.  It was truly a day of travel I will always remember.  It was our last night in Munich and the send off left me with warm fuzzies for the city and the people.  There is such a sense of community and friendship at the beer gardens.  It is the best of what we travel for, the experience of belonging to a global community and experiencing that transcendent human connection.  It was a perfect moment of bringing together a group to experience something bigger than ourselves.  That is what it is all about.

Here is one last photo of Charles and Andy.  I think that sums it up nicely!  Stay wonderful, Munich.

December 11, 2014

Charles taking photos in Europe.

On our last trip to Europe I made a small side project of taking photos of Charles taking photos.  Mostly because I am weird, but also... why not?  These were not staged and are actually also unedited, but I promise he was really taking photos, just in case you are wondering.

Please enjoy this photo journal.


December 8, 2014

Holiday Gift Ideas.

Time to mix it up a little!  I love shopping for friends and family, so I thought I'd share some of my favorite things in case you are looking for some last minute gifts.  I tried my best to make this a practical list (i.e. no $200 cashmere wraps!), full of things I already know and love.

1.  Hallmark Keepsake Ornaments ($10-15) // These are my go to holiday gifts.  They are timeless and appropriate for pretty much any recipient from a child to your boss to your grandparents.
2.  Anthropologie Gloriosa Mug ($12) // I have this mug at work and the compliments have been endless!
3.  Pottery Barn Monogrammed Leather Bottle Cooler (currently $13) // For the guy or girl who has everything.  Easy, sleek, and personalized.
4. Body Shop Body Butter (currently $10) // This is normally $20, but Body Shop constantly runs sales and coupons, so don't buy it full priced!  This is the perfect gift and the only lotion I use.  I gave these to each of my coworkers last year and everyone still raves about them.  Almond is my favorite!  They use high quality ingredients that are locally sourced, so as a bonus this is a feel good company.
5.  Classic Moleskin Notebook ($12) // Also in green, purple, yellow, pink, red, and more!

1.  Etsy, Jenny and Jude Gold Hammered Circle Earrings ($26) // These are effortlessly cool, beautifully made, and make a great gift.  Warning- you will want your own pair too!
2.  Etsy, Scissor Mill Personalized Etched Glass ($18.50) // My Dad loves his.  The 22 ounce size allows you to fit a lot more liquid in and makes the glass feel extra special, along with the etched birth dates of his children.
3.  Target Pitcher ($25) // This is just so pretty.  I don't own it, but would love to!
4.  Etsy, Lady Poppins Water Color Prints ($20) //  Heatherlee is an amazing talent.  Her travel watercolor is one of my favorite decorations in my home.
5. Fiesta 13" Oval Platter ($25- almost always on sale at Kohls or Macy's) // I own this platter in every color of the rainbow and use them all the time.  Bonus idea- give to your recipient with some treats on top!

1.  Lenox Tuscany Grand Beaujolais Glasses ($35 for a set of 4) // I can't drink red wine without these since I got them as a wedding gift.  They are beautifully made and will make you feel like Olivia Pope.
2.  Etsy, A Heirloom State Cutting Boards ($48) // I've gotten these for quite a few friends and family members as gifts!  They never fail to impress.
3.  Blanton's Bourbon ($49.99) // This stuff is good.  Really, really good.
4.  Pottery Barn Wooden Gallery Frames ($30 for an 8 x 10) // These are the frames we used in our travel gallery wall.  They are SUCH an upgrade from the Ikea frames we used and well worth the splurge.  As a gift these can be personalized with a great photo.
5.  Pottery Barn, Set of 6 Monogrammed Old Fashion Glasses (currently $48) //  How else will you drink your bourbon?  ;)  Even if you don't drink alcohol these glasses are fantastic.  The monogram is a great touch, but they are also really well made and feel luxurious.

Happy shopping! 

December 5, 2014

Blog Hop Friday!

Hi everyone!  The lovely Casey from We Took the Road Less Traveled is featuring me on her site today. She is the best!  :)  I am also co-hosting a blog hop with her.  If you are visiting for the first time, welcome, I am happy to have you here!

I have been under the weather, so a long post isn't in the works, but I couldn't leave you without a photo!  This was taken in Austria with my beloved Kate Spade iPad cover.  Equal parts nerdy and cute. I never leave on a trip without her loaded with good movies.

Feel free to link up below, I look forward to meeting you!


Welcome to the
No prompt, just fun!

Hosted by: Casey @ We Took the Road Less Traveled

Rules for hopping:
1| Follow your host & co-hosts (first 3 links), pretty please! 
2| Link up your blog's homepage or Bloglovin' page.
3| Hop around, meet new bloggers, and leave them love!
4| Have fun? Spread the word and share this blog hop with your friends!
5| Want to be a co-host? Click here for more info! 

Grab a button and share the blog hop love!
We Took the Road Less Traveled

December 2, 2014

Bavaria, Linderhof Palace.

I hope you enjoyed my brief introduction to the world of King Ludwig II in my Neuschwanstein Castle post.  Later in our Bavarian day of adventure we visited another Castle he constructed, Linderhof.


Linderhof is much different from Neuschwanstein. It was Ludwig's smallest castle and the only castle he actually lived to see completed.  He modeled it after Versailles (he was big on themes as I mentioned), and clearly had great admiration for 'sun king' King Louis XIV.  The entire castle is an homage to the kings of France.

No photos were allowed inside, which is too bad because it is exquisitely detailed with murals, portraits, and gilding, as well as hundreds of Ludwig's many collected treasures.  Opulence at its best.

The bedchamber is the largest room in the palace, set up to accommodate an audience from the bed, as the French kings would do.  Ludwig never entertained an audience though, as he was a recluse.  It was basically just a reminder of his power.  To himself.

There is a great tour of the rooms here if you are interested in the details inside.  The small colored cabinet rooms (pink, yellow, lilac, blue) were exquisite. All ornately decorated with portraits of French royalty.  Also of note are the Eastern and Western tapestry rooms, and of course the hall of mirrors which included an ornate ivory candelabra.  Ludwig would meditate on eternity here at night with the candle light reflecting infinitely in the mirrors.  Sounds intense, right?

I also have to mention the dining room, where he fashioned a table that could be lowered/raised to bring his dinner up to him so he never had to interact directly with his servants.  He certainly took solitude very seriously, but this also shows his aptitude for mechanical inventions.

The formal gardens surrounding the palace also echoed the French gardens of Versailles.

Up a hill from the gardens is arguably the most interesting part of Linderhof, the Venus Grotto.  An artificial cave built into the rocks of the hill, complete with a small lake and lighting that could be changed based on Ludwig's mood (a major advancement at the time).  Ludwig designed it so he could watch private performances of Richard Wagner's operas while sitting in his raft.  It was an entire grotto built for performances for one, down to the acoustics and layout.

There are smaller outbuildings on the property, also themed to Ludwig's fantasies.  The Moorish kiosk was my favorite.  It seems like you could visit so many places just on the grounds of Linderhof... from France to Italy and beyond.  Ludwig built himself his own fantasy world.

The area in which the castle is situated is remote, calm, and very beautiful.  It is a smaller palace, and not nearly as famous as Neuschwanstein, so it was far less crowded and truly seemed more peaceful.  Since Neuschwanstein is unfinished, it didn't seem as authentic as Linderhof, a place Ludwig actually spent many years.

How could you not be curious about King Ludwig II's life story and what was going on in his mind?  So much mystery.  One thing I can say for sure, he made a gorgeous palace in Linderhof.  Not a detail unplanned to perfection.