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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

So, we STILL don't have internet at our apartment yet. It's getting really old, and I'm getting pretty tired of working at coffee shops every day. On the plus side, I've become somewhat of a Nob Hill coffee expert. Last night Zach asked me a question about the Starbucks down the street, and I was able to rattle off random facts about the 10 coffee shops within walking distance: "Yea, that one's OK but it has a gross bathroom... that other one is closer, but they have a weird 2 hour limit on Wi-Fi... no, this one closes at 6:30p... that one will make your clothes smell like burnt beans... that other one is the most expensive.... oh, and this one has really rude baristas."

Needless to say, I've been making the rounds with my computer and stash of office supplies. At first, I was hiking around with everything in a grocery bag. But, then I decided I probably needed to grow up and get myself a backpack. (Cause that's what grown ups use, of course.) I found mine at Urban Outfitters, but I know there are also some lovely ones at Etsy, Zara, Asos and Madewell.

What about you? Are you into the backpack trend?


Monday, January 28, 2013

Actually, it's kind of embarrassing. As of Friday, I'd never been to the Golden Gate Bridge. (I know, I know...) Before we moved up here last month, I'd only been to SF once: and on that 10 hour visit, we just didn't have the time to make it up past Fisherman's Wharf.

Luckily, I have a husband who doesn't want me to live in shame in our new city. So, Saturday morning we threw ourselves into the car and headed up north for a mini-hike.

You guys.... I seriously can't get over how BEAUTIFUL Northern California is. The coast, the bay, the islands, the peninsulas, are so stunning. There were points during our journey that I felt breathless.

We ended up at the Point Bonita Lighthouse, which was amazing (I want to live there.) It's perched up on a cliff above the water. The only way you can get there is to hike down a hill, go through a cave, and walk across a wobbly bridge while the wind throws you around and tries to steal your sunglasses.

So, yeah. We loved it.

Starting next weekend, we decided to spend more time exploring our new city: neighborhood by neighborhood. First up is the Marina and Cow Hollow. So, if you have any recommendations of things we just can't miss... let us know! :)


Thursday, January 24, 2013

It's already time for Zach and I to start planning for our second anniversary. Can you believe we've been married for almost 2 years already? Geez, I can't.

To celebrate last year, we spent a whole week in New York gorging on Mac'N'Cheese and cupcakes. This year, after both reading The Paris Wife, we talked about saving our pennies and heading to Paris for a little while. But then our family vacation to Austria happend and... yeah, 2 trips to Europe within 3 months was a little overwhelming on our checkbooks (to say the least.)

So, since we now live in one of the most amazing cities in the world, we decided to take a long weekend and spend it somewhere nearby. After discovering AirBNB a few months ago, I've been obsessed with finding fun and out-of-the-ordinary places to stay while on vacation. In Ireland, we could stay in a castle... but here in Northern California, the options are looking pretty great too:
What do you think? I'm thinking it would be fun to do something totally out of the box - like roughing it in a treehouse. Then again, a weekend relaxing at a winery sounds heavenly. Eep! I hate these decisions...

All images via AirBNB


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

 I hate, hate, hate it when bloggers apologize for not blogging more consistently... but here I am, following suit. I think it's more of an apology to myself though - not to you, dear reader (sorry.) This blog is important to me, so I'm disappointed when I can't spend more time on it.

All that to say, the internet man from AT&T is stopping by our apartment on Saturday (*weeee!) so hopefully life will get a little more normal and I can stop lurking around my neighborhood coffee shops.

Welp, today I'm wrapping up the photos of our family trip to Germany and Austria. During the last few days of our journey, we spent our time in a few little Alpine villages. The first, Berchtesgaden, was something out of a Christmas card. The houses looked like they were made of gingerbread. There were Christmas lights and Christmas trees everywhere. And the whole town center was filled up with stalls selling German street food: sausage, currywurst, gluhwein, etc. (We kinda went crazy.)

My favorite photo is that last one - it's perfectly awkward. Part of our time in Berchtesgaden was spent in a working salt mine underground. We had to put on these silly Battlestar Galactica outfits, and then we took a miniature train into the heart of the mountain. Once we were down there (can you say claustrophobia??), they showed us how to mine the salt from the rock. We slide down a big wooden tobogan slide, and we floated in a boat across an underground lake, and we got a serious science lesson. I wish we could've taken pictures, because it was kind of unreal. I felt like a Tolkein dwarf. It's something I'll never forget.

The next day, we drove 2 hours into the Alps to a little skiing village where no one spoke English. Our goal was to rent cross country skiing gear, which turned out to be harder than we thought. My parents and brother all speak some German, but it was still pretty confusing. All I understood in their conversation was "Arnold Schwarzenegger" and "The United States Marines" but, hey - eventually we got what we wanted.

The next 3 hours were pretty amazing:

Cross country skiing is SO fun. Makes me wish we lived in a snowy area so we could go more often.

That night was our last night in Austria and New Year Eve, so we drove back to Salzburg for the most amazing firework show I've ever seen. If you ever get the chance, try to get to Salzburg on New Years Eve. You can stand on a bridge in the middle of the city and watch fireworks going off on either side... it's insane. But incredible.

And there you have it - our trip to Germany & Austria! If you missed any of the previous posts, make sure you check them out here, here, and here. Thanks for coming along on our journey!


Thursday, January 17, 2013

The nice thing about living in SF now is that we get to see my brother more often. Arden works for a company that has him flying all over the US - but he seems to be in Northern California more than anywhere else. Last night, he called us up, said he was in town, and asked where we should meet up for dinner.

It was then that I realized I had NO idea where to eat. Thanks to Yelp, we ended up at Barbacco, where we feasted on brussel sprouts fried in duck fat (yum!) but the evening did make me a little homesick for all the LA places we used to haunt.  

I'm really missing...

So, SF friends - fill me in! I keep hearing amazing things about the foodie scene here, but we don't know where to start! Which restaurants should we try ASAP?


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

So, on our new apartment lease (by the way, we moved into a new apartment!) it requires that 80% of our hardwood-floored place be covered with rug(s).  So, that means I've been on a crazy internet hunt for the perfect combination of comfort, pattern, and price to lay down on our floors.

Here are a few that I've stumbled across so far... I'm still trying to decide if I want our rugs to be more neutral or more bold. Which options do you like better?

Also, if you've bought rugs before - any tips? Help a newbie out please!

1   //   2   //   3   //   4   //   5   //   6


Monday, January 14, 2013

 I don't care how close/loving/amazing your family is, on a week-long trip to a foreign country, with plenty of time spent in a compact rental car, sometimes it's nice to take a break and get a little space.

So when we got to Salzburg, the halfway point of our trip, we all decided it would be best if we went our separate ways for the day... and thank goodness we did! Zach wasn't feeling well, and probably wouldn't have been happy on the 5k Alpine hike my parents and Arden did.

Instead he & I spent the morning wandering through little alleyways, eating truffles, exploring churches & old castle fortresses, and singing various choruses from The Sound of Music. (How could you NOT?)

For those of you who haven't caught on yet, or who maybe haven't seen the Sound of Music 200 times like I have, yes. This is the town where the classic musical was filmed. And, if you thought it was beautiful in the movie, it's 10x better in person. Seriously.

Oh, look! It's the Von Trapp Family home! (Well, from the movie, at least...)

Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart - which of course is exploited in the best way possible: rubber duckies. These little guys (along with Mozart-themed chocolates) were everywhere. I regret not picking one up for our new claw-foot tub. 

 I think that last picture is my favorite from the day. Not only does my husband look amazing (hubba, hubba!), but it also highlights two of our favorite spots in the village: Hohensalzburg Castle (up on the hill) and Salzburger Dom (the green-roofed Catholic cathedral.)

Next up: our snow day in The Alps!


Thursday, January 10, 2013

Can I just be real with y'all? I'm having a really tough week. I never realized how hard it would be not having a home base to retreat to at the end of each day.  Instead, we've been hoping around from one Air BNB condo to another, and each time I find my anxiety levels going through the roof. I just want to go home... And, I don't mean LA, or Portland, I just mean like, my own house, with my own stuff, and my own kitchen, and my own bathroom. I just want things to be normal again.

My body hasn't been responding well to all this stress. My face is one big pimple, I'm still wearing the clothes we brought with us to Germany (which are now starting to stink,) I almost started crying when I walked into Forever 21 yesterday (in my defense, that place is cray,) I think I'm getting sick, and I've pretty much been living in bed. Luckily, this latest hotel room has cable so I've been able to re-watch each season of Friends.

Sorry, I normally don't like using my blog for depressing posts like this. But, sometimes it feels good to be honest.

Has anyone else ever felt like this? Just want to make sure I'm not alone... Sigh.

PS - We didn't get the apartment I mentioned on Monday (wah!) but, we applied for another yesterday. Crossing our fingers that all this madness is almost over!

via pinterest


Monday, January 7, 2013

On our third day in Germany, we were supposed to drive from Munich to Salzburg. But somewhere along the way, it was decided that our route should be changed so that we could detour towards Neuschwanstein Castle (aka: the original Disney castle.) On the day we were there, old Disney himself must of been there with us in spirit, because it ended up being a really magical afternoon.

Okay history buffs, here's a fun lesson: Neuschwanstein Castle was built in the 1870's... which actually isn't really that long ago (considering most of the castles in the surrounding area were built in the 1500-1600s.) The king who built it was weirdly obsessed with fairy tales, and wanted to live in a fairy tale castle. But he was arrested for being insane, and eventually died (mysteriously,) before the project was completed. Years later, our friend Walt used it as inspiration while designing the castles at his theme parks.

Soon after we arrived, it started snowing - which made our hike to the tiny bridge that overlooks the castle terrifying. It didn't help the the bridge was literally built 100 years ago... and that the slats of wood would move when you walked on them. I was not a happy camper (don't let that smile fool you.)

Although fun, our little detour got us waaaay off track. So, we decided to take a quick shortcut to Salzburg through The Alps (umm, what?)

Seriously guys, I don't think I've ever seen scenery so beautiful. I took hundreds of photos through the car windows, but I just couldn't seem to capture how amazing it was. Sorry, these little photos are so lame in comparison to just being there.

Along the way, we made a pit stop in Innsbruck for some Gluhwein and apple strudel (...when in Austria.) At that point, we were all exhausted, so we only stayed long enough for a quick stroll around the town square. But, someday I'd like to come back and spend a full week in this skiing village. It was insanely adorable.    

Ahhh, so pretty!

We finally made it to Salzburg late that evening. But, I'll talk more about that tomorrow.
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