A Summer Like No Other

Summer 2017 has been breathtaking, stunning, memorable, and so many other things.

I wish I could put all of it into words, but I really don’t think I can. I mean, how do you explain everything you’ve experienced when you visited so many places and when you’ve created so many memories with your best friend.

I thought the summer that Trevor and I got married would be the best summer of my life. Don’t get me wrong, that summer had so many amazing things going for it, but this one tops it. We worked through struggle and this summer was a celebration of conquering hard things in our life together. Despite all of the ick going on early in our marriage, we got to feel some of the most amazing feelings in the world this summer. We felt a heck of a lot of love. We felt a pulse for adventure and a spirit of exploring. We pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones and found something even more miraculous. We focused on our marriage in ways we didn’t know was possible.

While I don’t think many future events will top this summer’s adventures, I can’t wait to see what is ahead and how I’ll be proved wrong in this way.

(Psst… Hoping to write about Portland soon-ish, but we’ll see…)

XO Elisebeth

Europe 2017: Paris Day 1

We’re finally on to the next city! It probably seems like we were in London forever, but I honestly could have stayed even longer!

LEAVING LONDON / PARIS DAY 1

We decided to take the Eurostar to Paris rather than take a plane as we were pretty sick of flying at this point. I could not have possibly foreseen how much of a good decision this was. On the Eurostar, you stay with your luggage the whole time so you don’t have to worry about your luggage getting knocked around or anything. We bought tickets that were slightly more expensive but included a meal without having to go to a snack cart.

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We also got pretty nice seats with a lot of leg room and table space, which is where I edited a lot of the Amsterdam photos! All in all, the Eurostar was where I looked at some of these beautiful photos.

When we arrived in Paris, we realized we had no idea how we were getting from the train station to our hotel. We also had very limited data and all the signs there were, obviously, in French. Nonetheless, we made it to our hotel and the area was simply beautiful. We knew we were staying in a richer area of town because we had used free nights from a credit card to stay there. For real, this was the major money saver point of the trip. We stayed at the Park Hyatt – Paris Vendôme. It’s a 10 minute (or less) walk from the Louvre and even less from Tuileries Garden where we spent a lot of time.

After checking into the most luxurious place we’ll ever spend time at, we decided to walk around the area and begin finding some food. We walked around for awhile and ended up finding a cute place in the Tuileries Gardens to eat crepes.

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Following such delicious food, we walked around our “neighborhood” which was when we realized just how close we were actually located to the Louvre! We were there in no time. Although we didn’t go in on Day One of Paris, we did take a few pictures outside!

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We had a lot of time between when I had bought tickets for the Eiffel Tower and our time outside of the Louvre. So we decided we’d walk to the Eiffel Tower instead of transit. What better way to see the City of Love?! It was a bit of a walk and I was feeling it by the time we finally arrived but was it ever worth it! The pictures on the walk there are wonderful and the pictures of the Tower upon arrival were as well!

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Since we arrived in the area of the Eiffel Tower about 3 hours earlier than our ticket allowed us to go up, we decided to just sit and enjoy being there. We found a nice spot in the Gardens of Trocadero to people watch. We were offered wine, champagne, and beer and a million souvenirs by all of the people who try to sell them illegally in the gardens. It was just simply a great time to sit and relax and of course, prop up our iPhones and take cute pictures.

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As the evening progressed, we walked to the other side of the Eiffel Tower to Champ de Mars and watched the sky begin to turn colors as the sunset. Talk about a romantic experience!

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Our ticket to go to the top was bought for 10:30 pm because that was the earliest time available online which helped save us a lot of time in line. We bought only to go to the second floor, which was different from my first time there. 2013 trip to Paris, I went to the top during the day versus 2017 trip to Paris, I went to the second floor at night! I loved being able to experience the same thing in such a different way! Here are some of our pictures from the second floor and our time on the Eiffel Tower!

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Watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle from the Eiffel Tower was a little odd, and I think I preferred that viewing experience from farther away.

After we completed our time at the Eiffel Tower, we waited for a bus to catch back to our hotel. This took wayyy longer than we anticipated, but when we did get back we enjoyed the comfort of our beautiful hotel after stopping at a convenience store for some snacks and OJ.

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Day One in Paris was as amazing as the city itself! I can’t wait to keep sharing about Paris  (and eventually even tell you about our trip to Portland, too).

Keep on comin’ back for more travel reads!
XO Elisebeth

Europe 2017: London Day 1

Hello again,

Glad you’ve come back to hear more about our European Adventures! BTW, you can check out the hashtag #tandeineurope to see some of the photos that I’ve posted there from/during our trip.

TRAVEL FROM AMSTERDAM TO LONDON / LONDON DAY 1

Y’all are in for quite the read. We had delays and reschedule-ments and everything in between. At this point in the trip, I was assuming (and hoping) this would be the only hiccups we would experience.

We grabbed a quick and simple breakfast from a café not too far from our AirBnB and walked around the area along the canals. We packed up and hit the road. Our walk to the train station was much easier than our way to the AirBnB – no wrong trains were gotten on, no misunderstandings of where we were going to. All in all, it was feeling easy at this point.

We made it to Amsterdam’s airport with ease and boarded our plane. We had a connection through Paris CDG. We learned on our first transfer through CDG that France will make you go through security again even for connections. Also, thanks to the security requirements, I have more stamps in my passport from France than I anticipated gaining! Our connection from Amsterdam to London, however, was much shorter than our first. We ended up having to run through CDG, which is quite the large airport, to make sure we would make boarding on time. Definitely not my favorite moment of the trip.

By the time we made it to our gate, we hopped in line and began boarding shortly. We all made it on the plane pretty promptly but got delayed on the plane for some reason I don’t remember. Our flight got delayed about 20 minutes on the Paris side and then we sat in the plane even longer once landing in London. For only a 40 minute flight, we spent a lot of time on that plane. When we finally got off of our plane, we grabbed our luggage and got onto the Tube to go to our hotel. I had scheduled a Jack the Ripper Tour for that evening at 7 pm and I knew we weren’t going to make it on time. It was about 6 by the time we got off the Tube and were starting to walk to our hotel. I called up the tour company and they so willingly offered to reschedule our time with the next day’s group! (Seriously, shoutout to Discovery Tours. You rocked. Read my Yelp review.)

Once we finally checked into our hotel, we just kind of SAT. After our less than perfect AirBnB experience in Amsterdam, hotel-living was feeling amazing. Trevor is the King of “travel hacking” and we got our nights in our London hotel for free! Seriously, the only reason we were able to do even half of this trip was that he invested so much time in finding amazing deals on travel.

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Our cute hotel

Eventually, we got pretty hungry and decided to grab some food. After some Yelp research, we found a place that we thought would be a good fit because they apparently serve the best fish and chips. We wanted to make sure we had fish and chips at least once over there, so why not the first night?! We walked over to the cutest little place, which ended up being really fancy inside. We were asked if we had a reservation, in which we awkwardly responded “No” to and received an odd look. Yelp didn’t prepare us for that! They ended up finding a spot for us, although we were definitely not receiving the top end service or experience that was raved about. Nonetheless, the food was fantastic! We split a plate of fish and chips with mushy peas since it was getting later in the evening. I was so surprised that Trevor was loving the mushy peas! No excuses about peas in the future now…

After a hearty dinner, we walked around the area near our hotel a bit. We weren’t in central London by any means and couldn’t see any significant landmarks without a bus or Tube ride. I was glad we selected a more neighborhood-like area though. The streets were clean, there were very few homeless people in our hotel’s immediate vicinity, and there were smaller shops nearby. We ended up stumbling upon a cute little store that apparently sold film! We were hoping to return when it was open but never did.

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Night 1 in London ended with an enjoyable shower (since we only ever did a quick rinse in Amsterdam) and enjoying some Doctor Who on Netflix before being fast asleep in our oh-so-comfy hotel bed!

There’s a lot more to read about our time in London and I’ll keep sharing the rest of our journey through Europe, so check back later for more!
XO Elisebeth

The Start of Summer 2017

Hello!

I am here to finally write a post other than those from my “Date Nights” series! While I super love sharing our love with y’all, I’m sure it gets annoying reading basically the same thing over + over + over again. So here we are… a post that is not directly about our Date Nights.

It is freaking summer already.

How did this happen?

Wasn’t it just snowing and we were complaining about subzero temps?

Here in Minnesota, the heat got turned to HIGH really fast this year. I’m all for warm weather + a chance for a good tan, but it’s gotten a bit too hot for my general liking. Last weekend Trevor + I walked around at Grand Old Day since we live a few blocks away + I got a little pink in the shoulders, which has now transitioned to the first tan of the season! Now to work on my pasty legs a bit…

Anywho, summer is off to the most wonderful of starts! Earlier this week we finally booked our plane tickets AND hotel room for PORTLAND. I cannot wait! I repeat, we’re going to Portland. In July. For almost a week. I. CAN’T. WAIT.

(Here’s the part that kind of drifts back to “Date Nights” series territory)

Trev + I have always had this plan to travel as much as possible, thus our upcoming trips to both Europe + Portland for this summer. We’ve both made it a priority so far to do one good vacation together each summer (last year we did DC + NYC) + I hope this continues as our marriage progresses. June’s Date Nights will be our trip as a whole as we spend time exploring together + doing some kinda pricey things. We’ve saved so much money on both of our trips that we’re able to spoil ourselves a bit in both trips + I am so beyond excited for them.

So that’s the start of my 2017 summer! I’m hoping to have a lot to share about Europe after we get back, but also no promises because sometimes I super suck about this whole blogging thing….

Praying your summers are off to an equally wonderful start!
XO Elisebeth

What I Read – Summer 2016

Please bear with me…This was meant to be posted over a month ago…….


SUMMER IS OVER? Yeah, that’s right…I start student teaching next week, which means summer is over.

I have always been quite the bookworm, and summer is the perfect time to take advantage of soaking up literature.

So what did I read this past summer?

Yes Please by Amy Poehler

This past year I have been really into memoirs/autobiographies, for example during the school year I slammed through The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls and got caught up in this whole business. Yes Please is the perfect combination of funny and real talk. Honestly, it made me want to go out and live a bit more. Amy Poehler’s tone was exactly as could be expected and kept me wanting to keep reading all night long. Definitely suggest this one!

The Unveiled Wife: Embracing Intimacy with God and Your Husband by Jennifer Smith

I actually bought this book a long ways back and intended to read it before I got married. Clearly that didn’t happen. The Unveiled Wife is an amazing book about marriage and the key role that God plays in it. If you’re getting married soon, or are married already, I suggest you take a look, or at least check out her blog: unveiledwife.com

Bossy Pants by Tina Fey

Bossy Pants was all in all, a great read. However, I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more had I read it before Yes Please by Amy Poehler. I had a lot of expectations for tone, that were just rather lacking in comparison. But I did learn a lot about Tina’s life and now feel I could be on a first name basis with her.

Kabul Beauty School: An American Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez

Memoir/Autobiography #3 for you today. Kabul Beauty School gives you an inside look at the culture in Afghanistan. And let me tell you, it is eye-opening. Like there were times I was crying over the shock that this book revealed to me. I am so thankful for mission-minded people like Debbie Rodriguez.

I normally read more during the summer, but I’m certainly happy with what I did get around to. What did you read?
XO Elisebeth