Ski the Alps with Me: Austria, Switzerland and Germany.

Ischgl, Austria:

We went on our annual ski trip with one of our favorite couples. It was about a 6-hour drive to Austria but well worth the trip. Dan blew us away with his selection of an Airbnb on this trip. The townhouse had a spa room which contained a sauna and jacuzzi. This place was incredible and after each long cold day of skiing, we thoroughly enjoyed the spa room! We even added a few drops of peace+calming to the sauna…BEST. Idea. Ever. On our way home,we stopped in Reutte, Austria and crossed the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge called “Highline 179.” We did it even though it was terrifying with how windy and cold it was that day.

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Lauterbrunnen, Switzerland:

Dan’s brother was in Europe for a few short days so we decided to take a quick trip to the slopes in Switzerland. Dan and Eric grew up skiing in Pennsylvania. I could tell how happy Dan was having his brother with him for the weekend. We enjoyed everything you could ask for in a perfect weekend: skiing, wine and great company.




The sweetest man I’ve ever met ❤️

Zugspitze, Germany:

The gondola ride to the top of the mountain had me the closest I’ve ever been to peeing my pants as an adult. I was terrified, tachycardic, sweaty and gross. Now I’d like to say that we had a nice cup of coffee at the top but straight liquor was the only thing that would calm my nerves. #illtakeadoubleplease

Meanwhile this beauty next to me was smiling and laughing and taking ridiculously great pictures. Once my heart rate slowed to about 110, we went onto the top deck to see the view.

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The first day we skied the Garmish classic. Now by no means am I an advanced skier but I really enjoy it. Watching all of the snowboarders crash a million times was also incredibly entertaining. And oh my gosh a 3-year-old on a snowboard….quite possibly the most adorable thing ever.

The second day we woke up and went up the Zugspitze gondola a second time. It’s by far one of the scariest things to me. It wouldn’t be so awful except that when the cable car went over the large towers, it stops for a moment and sways back and forth before moving further up the mountain. I’m so thankful for nondrowsy Dramamine, otherwise, it would have been a terrible ride for the 20 other people crammed in the car with us. When my feet hit hard land at the top I thanked the Lord baby Jesus for helping us make it safely to the top (and promised to take the hour long train down). Haha

We skied half of the day and then I had hot chocolate and lunch in the lodge. A nice German guy joined me for lunch and we talked about how he was teaching all four of his kids to ski. Let’s be honest, Dan will have to teach our kids someday because he is SO much better than me! I really missed him this trip because he would ski 1/2 way and wait for me but Abby and I had a blast and I can’t wait to go back next year!

Love,

Jenny

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Merry Christmas: Frohe Weihnachten

Christmas holds such a sweet place in my heart. I love the lights. I love warm thick blankets and sipping espresso while reading a book. I love giving. I love that this season helps pour kindness out of people’s hearts. I love spending time with family and close friends. I love Gram’s peanut butter fudge. I love Christmas markets. I love skiing and snow covered mountains. There are so many things I love about this season but most of all I love Jesus.

2014 was the darkest and most lonely Christmas I had ever had. That Christmas I realized it’s not really about any of the wonderful things listed above. It’s about forgiveness, love and grace. A type of forgiveness I never thought I deserved but am so incredibly thankful for. I feel so blessed to experience all of the wonderful things in life I have thus far. So if you were hurting and lonely this holiday season, I was praying for you because I’ll never forget that feeling. We kept it very simple this Christmas. My sister surprised me with a last minute trip to Germany with her husband. Being able to hold the ones you love in a warm hug is such a wonderful feeling. It’s better than any gift I could receive.  We explored Christmas markets and watched football late into the night. (Yes, my sister is a big football fan too!)

On Christmas Eve Kenly helped me make apple pies. That night we got together with many of our close friends and coworkers. Then we came home to watch football in our pjs (Do you see the trend here…). On Christmas Day I worked at the hospital and came home to watch a movie with my husband and two puppies. From our family to yours we hope you had a wonderful Christmas this year.

Love,

Jenny




















Ireland: The Ring of Kerry

Raise your hand if you’re habitually late to everything in life (except work)….. you are the ones that understand my struggles. However, I want to preface this story by saying this time…it was not my fault. I was working night shift the day before we were supposed to leave for Ireland. My hilarious, beautiful and also chronically late to everything friend Abby was supposed to be our designated responsible person for getting us to the airport. Let’s just say we left quite a bit behind schedule. 🙂

Luckily we were flying from a small airport and the security lines were pretty short. We breezed through security and made it to our gate with approximately 11 minutes to spare. Now if I had my husband with me he would have had a heart attack. Abby on the other hand just laughed and said, “See…. we still have time for coffee!” I love that about her. She is carefree and fun to travel with. We were also meeting a mutual friend Marcie, her family and friend Vera. Marcie is our “on time” friend and had been sitting comfortably in a chair close to the gate for quite some time. She also planned and organized the trip so all we had to do was book our flights. HOW easy! This made it a very relaxed weekend away. Marcie is always game for adventure, which is why I enjoy her company so much! Abby and I laughed as we watched her singing along with her headphones while waiting for the gate to open. Despite being early (or late) we all made it and boarded the plane.

When we arrived in Ireland we picked up our rental cars. FYI you have to pay extra for insurance that covers you in Ireland. If you have ever driven the curvy back roads of Ireland on the edges of cliffs, you’ll understand why. They also drive on the left-hand side of the road. Abby was amazing and picked up the left vs. right-sided driving really easily (and we didn’t have to use the expensive insurance we paid for). We rented a house via Airbnb. It was in the hills near the Ring of Kerry. On our way to the house, we stopped in Killarney a beautiful little town with a massive church. There was an outdoor wedding at the church the day we arrived and it was gorgeous. We shopped at a few stores in town including a little Irish jewelry store. The jeweler told us all about the Irish Claddagh rings. They contain hands, a heart, and a crown. She also explained how they represent love, loyalty, and friendship. Married men and women wear the heart facing toward themselves and the opposite if you’re single. We left the store and had lunch at a cafe across the street.

The next few days we spent driving around the Ring of Kerry. We had lunch at a country club that let us pour our own Guinness. After lunch, we continued our journey around the ring. We stopped at a few beaches and listened to the waves of the North Atlantic come crashing in. This was such a peaceful place. It was even more enjoyable because none of us were in a hurry to leave.

One of my favorite places we visited were the cliffs just north of the Ring of Kerry. I love seeing places like that, off the beaten path. You can travel the world and see all of the popular places the majority of people see or you can just enjoy the experiences you run into along the way. This trip was one of my favorite trips so far because we did exactly that.

We visited the Killarney National park and took a carriage ride around the grounds. Most of the rest of that day we spent at the beach sitting on massive rocks and soaking up the sunshine.

On our last day, we stopped in Killarney again! This time to purchase crystal wine glasses we saw on the first day. We also had some of the BEST waffles I’ve had yet (I thought they were better than the ones I’ve tried in Belgium). I’d be lying if I said I only had one.

I wasn’t a huge fan of Guinness prior to this trip but I loved it in Ireland. I encourage you to try it if you ever visit. Cheers my friends to another country, another adventure and to Abby for driving on the wrong side of the road!

Love,

Jenny

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Ps. I loved the Cappuccinos at Noelle’s.

Birthdays and Princess Castles: Neuschwanstein

I’ve wanted to visit the Neuschwanstein Castle since I first moved to Germany. It reminded me of all the princess castles we watched in movies growing up. It looked so perfect in photographs and I wanted so badly for it to be that beautiful in person. Unfortunately, King Ludwig II died before it was completely finished. The castle was opened to the community and millions of people visit this incredible piece of history every year. Aunt Karin and our cousin Jenny helped us plan a trip to Neuschwanstein the weekend of my birthday to celebrate our marriage.

We were up late the night before at the local Octoberfest celebration. We woke up later than planned and started our road trip. To be honest, Dan started driving and I napped gracefully in the passenger seat. He was so sweet to snap this picture of me…

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We finally made it to Aunt Karin’s house. She made a delicious homemade breakfast and fresh coffee —> we definitely needed that! As we got back into the car to continue our road trip, Aunt Karin talked us into taking the scenic route. We agreed immediately. The fall weather was warm and sunny. The gorgeous German countryside was well worth the extra hour to get there.

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When we arrived we scoped out the castles and did some shopping. We stopped for pizza, beers and of course cappuccino! I loved the atmosphere of this chill little restaurant named “Relax” in Fussen, Germany.

We were exhausted from a long day of travel so when we finally made it to our hotel on the border of Austria and Germany we slept so hard. The next morning we woke up to a delicious European breakfast including freshly baked bread, rolls, meats, cheeses and fruit. We had such a great experience at this hotel!

We went back to the Neuschwanstein and Hohenschwangau castle. Dan and Aunt Karin were waiting in line to get tickets. I was picking up cappuccinos and hot, freshly baked pretzels. What an amazing breakfast! We didn’t end up getting tickets to tour the castle. I remembered reading blogs saying we should buy tickets ahead of time but I forgot to! oops! We didn’t want to delay heading back home (It’s football season! The Eagles were playing at 7pm Germany time and Dan wouldn’t miss a game).

We took a carriage ride up to the castle and toured the exterior and the courtyard. The views from where the castle sits nestled into the mountains were breathtaking. It was everything I could have ever hoped it would be.

Thanks for spending my birthday with me Aunt Karin!

Love,

Jenny

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It was already dark when we arrived to the hotel but we woke up to these views!!

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Watching the sun rise

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Hot pretzels and cappuccino for breakfast #2 🙂

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The view from the castle

 

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Until next time my friends… I’ll be sipping cappuccino and dreaming of where life will take us next.

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Diffuse this>>> My Journey to Better Sleep

Holy. Moly. It looks like all I do is travel and work. Well, let me tell you it definitely feels that way to me too. Most of the “grown up” things I should be doing get put off (ahem laundry) especially after I come home from a long weekend of travel. I am notorious for being the work. work. work. travel. travel. travel. work. work. work type. I rarely give myself down time to relax, let alone sleep.

If you’ve ever flipped back and forth from day shift to night shift, you know how hard it is to get some sleep (no matter how stinkin tired you may be). Let’s just say I was desperate for some quality ZZZZZZZZZZZZ’s. I was up for hours….days it seems. I was talking with Shannon, a friend of mine who has four beautiful babies (triplet toddlers+ baby Stella) that she magically manages to get to sleep (most nights). I asked her what she uses to help with sleep. She said she diffuses oils… duh. At this point, I was willing to try anything that wasn’t medication. So I took the leap. I ordered the dang diffuser and the oils I didn’t know anything about.

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What I didn’t know, is that it would be the <BEST-DECISION-EVER>. After a long night shift, I picked up our mail including my first package from Young Living. I started by diffusing lavender and cedarwood after a long night shift. Let me tell you… I have NEVER slept so hard. I thought I died. I woke up feeling like a completely different person. 7+ hours of sleep during the day was unheard of for me (not to mention it was a hot summer day in Germany with no air conditioning!). Now I diffuse that same combination that I’ve nicknamed the “sleep cocktail” every night. That’s what made me a believer. So if you’re exhausted and need some sleep or have littles that just WON’T close their eyes, don’t panic… just message me and I’ll lead you to the best sleep of your life. If you don’t want to wait just order your own right here–>  Sweet Dreams! I’ll even send you a free Cedarwood because I want YOU to sleep as well as I do!

I’d love to have an extremely large cup of cappuccino and chat with you about it (in person or facetime)…because the only thing I love more than sleep + travel is coffee and espresso!

Sweet Dreams my friends,

Love,
Jenny

 

ps. I’ve also mixed up a DIY Lavender and Cedarwood linen spray… So EASY! The gorgeous cherry blossom trees above are from my trip to Washington DC. I so WISH I had this sleep cocktail then… when my Jet Lag was OH so Real!

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Octoberfest: Beers with the best of friends. Ramstein, Germany

Octoberfest is one of our favorite times of the year in Germany. Honestly we really enjoy the locals singing and dancing on tables, the dressing up in Dirndel’s and Lederhosen… and of course the liters of Beer! 
I had to include the picture of Krissy drinking a bud light before we left home #America haha 
Enjoy! 

Love,

Jenny




Until next time, Prost!🍻💗

Norway: Chasing Waterfalls Part 2

It was a sweet morning. We spent almost an hour sitting on the docks like this waiting for the express boat from Luftus to Eidfjord, Norway. Once again, I was cold. Dan held me as we watched the sunrise. The sun hit the water just perfectly as we talked about the snow covered caps of the mountains across from us. I wanted to press that moment in time into my memory forever. No matter how cold it was, I loved this place. I loved the freedom, the serenity, the quiet spaces I never allow into my everyday life. It reminded me that life shouldn’t always be fast and furious… that sometimes the best moments in life are the slow, lazy mornings like this one.

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We enjoyed the quick boat ride to our next destination: Eidfjord. Dan was nervous because our bus connection was 5 minutes after our arrival. We made it without any difficulties. The bus driver looked at us funny as we showed him our passes and boarded the bus. I didn’t really think much about it at the time, maybe because I’m used to people staring at us in Germany Haha (more on that later). We were headed to the most famous waterfall in Norway,Vøringfossen. We stopped at a museum halfway to the waterfall. Despite the wind when reached our destination the sun started to shine, You’ll see my crazy windblown hair below. To be honest the pictures of the Vøringfossen waterfall didn’t capture the magnitude of its beauty. The hundreds of gallons of water pouring down the mountains… you just have to see it for yourself.

As we boarded the bus and headed back down the mountain, Dan looked at our book of tickets and realized we were supposed to go on this tour the next day. OOPS! No wonder the bus driver looked at us so funny! We were still too early to check into our hotel room. So Dan sat on the dock and watched me work out while we passed the time until check in. (In all fairness his arm was still broken).

They let us check into the hotel around 3pm  and the receptionist said there were a lot of nice restaurants in the area but the Thai food street vendor was her favorite. SAY no More! We absolutely love Thai food. Lets just say we ate there more than once…. No shame in our food game.

I honestly can remember if we took a bus or boat but eventually we ended up at the train station in Voss that was supposed to take us back to Oslo for our flight home the next day. Let’s just cut this story short…. Basically, we misplaced the tickets 9 minutes prior to departure…. And Dan raced down the stairs/under the tracks and back to the train station store to purchase more tickets… only to realize they were sold out. It was a FIVE-hour train ride back to Oslo and if we didn’t make this train we were missing our flight the next morning FOR SURE.

Never in my life have I been stressed while traveling (just ask Dan… this personality flaw makes him crazy! Haha). However, I was stressed in these moments as I tore apart all of our bags and finally found the tickets. Dan had set them down across the aisle and two rows up from our seats as he loaded our backpacks in the overhead bins. I asked the people next to us to watch our stuff… as I raced off the train and after him. Dan didn’t have an international cell phone plan at that time… so I had the choice to run and find him or leave on the train to Oslo without him… and just have him figure out his own way back to Germany. I thought going after him was a good plan until I heard the 2-minute warning for the train leaving. Right about then I realized we had all of our important documents in my backpack because we just got married in Denmark prior to our Norway trip. Meaning…….I left all of our PASSPORTS, Birth certificates and SS cards on the train. —->NOT the brightest decision I’ve ever made. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I was panicking at the time.

By the grace of God, I made it back to the train. I stood at the door continuously opening the doors… Praying Dan made it back in time. He did. Thank God. 30 seconds before we took off (<—–I’m not exaggerating). Once my tachycardia subsided… we started playing blackjack and laughed about how we were just talking about how we flawlessly pulled off a complicated trip (3 flights, 5 water taxis, 4 bus rides, 1 ferry, 1 train ride and 5 different hotels). We had obviously spoken too soon. There is a picture below of Dan exhausted… and these sweet little girls across from us that were traveling alone on the train back to their home (it’s a much different world here), you’d never see that back in the states. They were much better behaved that Dan and I. We were laughing, playing cards, writing postcards and sealing them with a kiss. The last part was me… rather than Dan. 😉

I love places that leave me in awe of the beauty this world holds. I’m willing to travel as far as it takes to see places like this because they change you and your perspective of the world.

 

Love,

Jenny

 

Loftus, Norway

 

Our express boat

 

 

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Eidfjord, Norway

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Eidfjord, Norway

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Voss Train to Oslo

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When we finally arrived at the Oslo airport… we had delicious waffles and cappuccino.

The Culinary Beer Hike: Landstuhl, Germany

It started out as a typical fall day in Germany. Cold+Grey skies+Rain. We didn’t let that stop us. We bundled up with scarves and warm socks, put on our rain boots and hit the trails. 

The beer hike started at the Berg Nanstein castle. We bought tickets for 8 Euro each, which included our glass and discounts on all of our beers along the way. 

We grabbed a beer for the hike and started walking. At the second stop we ate smoked BBQ pulled pork and fresh German bread. We refilled our beers and we were on our way again. 

At another stop we tasted the smoked salmon, grabbed a cappuccino (Espresso is always necessary) and dessert. It was some sort of delicious cherry coffee cake. AH-may-ZING!!! Thankfully my friends didn’t give me the option and I had to share…because believe me, I would’ve eaten the whole thing ;). We even had a group skype sesh with friends back home at this stop. 

We kept walking and it kept raining. Overall we had a wonderful time and thanks to my hunters and my umbrella, I stayed completely dry. I definitely learned something from our Norway trip! Waterproof is the way to go 😉 

In Germany, every activity includes beer. Prost! 

Love,

Jenny

It rained and rained and rained…

These two jokers never quit!

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Paris: A Life-long Love Story

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t eating five macaroons as I wrote this post. I don’t regret it, not even a little bit (but you’ll also see me at the gym as soon as we get home tomorrow)! What a sweet, sweet ending to a weekend full of love.

It all started with a 2.5-hour train ride from Germany. Dan napped intermittently and listened to his usual sports podcast which drew a lot of attention to us… Mostly because it makes him rotate between giggling like a school girl and full on belly laughter.

As we were getting off the train in Paris, I noticed the man in front of me was extremely well dressed. Ironed dress shirt, dark jeans and nice leather shoes. He stepped off the train and was met immediately with a long slow kiss by a beautiful blonde woman. I smiled and politely stepped around them. That moment I knew we were back in the city of love.

Dan and I took the metro to our hotel. We spotted a Starbucks and stopped in for my first PSL of the season (🖐🏼high five to my other pumpkin spice obsessed groupies! Feel free to send ALL THE PUMPKIN SPICE care packages my way ;). )

Dan was borderline Hangry (hungry+angry) so we also stopped for salad, pizza, and wine. Later that night we met up with Eric and Meg, Dan’s brother and sister-in-law. We walked in the rain to rendezvous with a few of their lifelong friends: Chris, Whitney, Travis and Veronica. (Thank God I packed an umbrella! I definitely learned from our Norway trip!).

We celebrated many things that night drinking wine in the park with the Eiffel Tower twinkling above us. To Jimmy and Sarah, an incredible couple beginning their life in marriage. To Chris and Whitney, an exciting engagement. To Eric and Meg, together again after a long deployment. To Dan and I, tying the knot. To Travis and Veronica, on a European vacation. But most of all, we celebrated life long friendships. Friendships worth holding on to despite multiple moves, decades passing and lives changing dramatically. To all of those things, we sipped wine under the stars and the twinkling lights of the Eiffel tower.

Buzzing on the sweet bubbles we consumed, we walked to a nearby cafe for dinner and conversation. We stayed late into the night and met with Jimmy at an Irish pub for one last drink as a single man.

On Saturday we had a lazy morning including room service breakfast and multiple cups of cappuccino. Dan caught up on sports center and started getting ready about 13 minutes before we left the hotel. It always amazes me that he gets ready so quickly. (And still looked so fancy by the way!)

We didn’t want to be late so we arrived at the church extra early. Dan was rushing me out of the hotel (like usual…🙈 )and I forgot to grab my coat. It was chilly but not unbearable.

The wedding was in the most beautiful church I’ve ever seen, La Madeleine. Talk about memories of a lifetime. Witnessing the joining of two hearts in such a beautiful, historic place was incredible {and in two languages…English and French}. A huge thanks to Whitney for passing out tissues to each of us before the ceremony began. The instant Jimmy saw Sarah the happy tears fell. –>and I bawled like a baby. No big deal.

One of my favorite parts of the ceremony was when the pastor said… “No matter what beliefs you had coming to this ceremony, we are witnessing love today. Where there is love, there is God. God is love.”

In the middle of the ceremony, everyone stood for the passing of the peace. Forgoing handshakes, in true Partisan style, we all exchanged kisses on both cheeks instead. The wedding was intimate and sweet and overflowing with emotions of joy and love.

In France, after the wedding is complete the guests leave first. Then wait in anticipation for the bride and groom to emerge from the doors and walk down the front steps of the church. (I actually really loved this part!) the happiness radiated from them on those beautiful old church steps.

Thankfully it was a brisk walk from the wedding to the reception. Our group of 8 people stopped at a cafe in between for 25 various drinks with espresso in them. The waiter probably felt like a barista.

Hyped up on espresso and ready to party we made our way to the reception at the Westin. The cocktail hour was held in a beautiful courtyard. It had floor to ceiling pillars 😍 and enclosed glass that the guests (including me) couldn’t resist staring at.

We ate delicious food, drank sweet cocktails and danced far past the sunset and into the night. Then we crashed hard for about 10 hours of much-needed sleep.

The next day we drug ourselves out of bed with the promise of at least 6 espressos throughout the day. Dan and I took a taxi to the Louvre.

We met back as a group for a relaxed picnic lunch in the Tuileries Garden. I loved how lazy Sunday’s are in Paris. It’s not uncommon to see couples napping in the chairs surrounding the fountains. The children rented little wooden boats and played with them in the fountains, gently guiding them with wooden sticks. They even had goats eating grass on the edges surrounding the fountains.

After our picnic, we wandered down towards the Arc de Triomphe. Of course, we stopped for a few cups of espresso and some leisurely shopping but we made it there eventually.

After a long exhausting day, we finished our Paris trip with pasta and one of my favorite Italian red wines. As dinner came to a close we said our sad goodbyes. Until our next adventure as a group, safe travels!

Dan and I caught the ICE train back to Germany for a few much needed days of rest. After a weekend full of love, family, and lifelong friendship we were reluctant to leave Paris.

Cheers to a lifetime of happiness for Jimmy and Sarah, who proved that love happens when you least expect it. 🙂

Sometimes the love of your life is just one international flight away!

Love,

Jenny

I’m in love with your laugh, even when it makes ALL the european travelers stare at us.

ps. Excuse me, sir…. what’s in your bag? 😉
 
Starbucks in Paris
First PSL of the season
 

Our “breakfast in bed” at the Marriott Ambassador hotel.
“In the back of the Cab”….. Jason Derulo’s song kept playing in my head here. Also, what is he looking at?!? haha  
La Madeleine. Paris, France.
 





My sister in law, Megan and I waiting for the happy couple.

Can you tell they’re related?


Reminds me of my Grandma Jo every time…She’s always been a Chanel No5  fan. 

Our exhausted smiles as we watched the sunset at the Arc de Triomphe.
Traveling home in my new Zara jeggings… IN LOVE with them. 25 Euro and they feel like Yoga pants. WINNN! 
 

ps. We drank our bodyweight in espresso this trip and I loved every moment of it.

Mallorca: Piña Coladas and Cliff Diving

Mallorca, Spain is one of the Balearic Islands located right next to our favorite one (Ibiza)! We went to Mallorca, Spain for Labor day weekend in 2015. I can’t believe I haven’t blogged about it. This one is gonna be just pictures… because I can 🙂 Enjoy.

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We went cliff diving here. Despite the glomy grey skies, we had a wonderful time. Right after this the as the storm rolled in and we took a drive to the northern side of the island. 

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We sat at the tables below every morning for breakfast. Each morning we started the day with a cappucino and a pina colada. 
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Wishing for sunshine today,

Love, 

Jenny