babies, babymoon, beach, dreamy, elodie, happiness, hawaii, love, marriage, photography, pregnancy, relax, travel

{Our Babymoon}

I know not everyone is into the whole “babymoon” idea, but let’s be honest, Corey and I will take any excuse to go on a vacation! I, being the obsessive travel planner that I am, thought long and hard about what kind of babymoon I wanted to go on….

Due to work obligations, other travels we had planned, and the fact that I was getting more pregnant by the week, we only had a tiny five day window in December for our trip. I knew right away I didn’t want to go somewhere cold and adventurous (read: ski trip or anything like it). I knew I wanted sun, mostly because by that point in Portland you are really ready to escape the dreary rain and cold. I also wanted the vacation to be no-fuss, easy to get to (direct flight), and incredibly relaxing. 

Usually when we go on vacation we are planning out every day, choosing restaurants, hikes, attractions, etc etc. We wanted the opposite for our babymoon. Pure relaxation. No agenda. Just the huz and me and me and the huz. We knew we wouldn’t be taking a vacation like that as often once Elodie arrived, so that was our plan.

We ended up going back to our honeymoon destination because we knew how great the Hyatt was and were dying to stay there. We loved the food on the hotel grounds (which was great since we didn’t plan to leave). It was in hawaii – so hello, sun! And there are direct flights from Portland to Kauai, so boom – Kauai it was!

Minus one day of torrential thunderstorms and lightning, the trip was a dream. It was exactly what we had envisioned – pure relaxation and good quality one on one time. I couldn’t recommend the Hyatt in Poipu enough for any vacation – but especially a babymoon or honeymoon! A few photos from our trip below!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}
beach, birthday, dreamy, expat life, happiness, Spain, travel, weekend

{Birthday Weekend in San Sebastian}

First off, hello! Long time no… blog? This weekend, a good friend of mine asked me if I stopped blogging. I took a quick glance at my blog and realized why. No updates in 20 days, and spam comments running rampant on all my recent posts. Oy vey! The good news is, no, I haven’t stopped blogging – not intentionally anyways. Life has just been really nuts these days (although it feels like this is just status quo now…) with work and visitors and weekends away. I’ve been too busy living life to blog about life, which I guess is a good thing! But the truth is, I really and truly miss blogging and I hope to get back to posting more regularly soon…

I have so many posts to catch up on, but for now I just wanted to share some iphone snaps from our awesome time in San Sebastian this past weekend. We were there for my birthday and it was so incredibly special, fun and delicious (because we stuffed ourselves silly with pinxtos and rioja!). 

P.S. For those of you who’ve asked about what iPhone apps I use to edit my photos – I primarily use Camera+ and Instagram, but for the photos below I used a new-to-me app that is quickly become my favorite called PicTapGo. I highly recommend it! Hope this is helpful 🙂

beach, South Africa, travel

{South Africa Day Two}

Yesterday, after 12 hours of sleep, we woke up to rain in Cape Town. 
We surprisingly weren’t that bummed. We just took it as an excuse to really slow down, enjoy a leisurely breakfast and French press coffee at our hotel and get settled into vacation mode.
We had originally planned to hike Table Mountain, but since it had rained that morning conditions wouldn’t be great, so we changed plans and decided to drive to Cape Point instead.
What could take you around two hours to drive ends up taking an entire day because the scenery is so breathtaking you just keep stopping to take photos (and this is typical – not just because I’m photo crazy!).
We didn’t really know what we were getting ourselves into when we left the hotel, which is why I hiked in hot pink pants and floral boat shoes 🙂 But hey, I made it work!
It turned out to be an incredible sunny day with some of the most stunning scenery we’ve ever laid eyes on!
{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}
beach, dreamy, expat life, family, outfits, travel, weekend

{Sister Time in Manhattan Beach}

After our two-year anniversary, I flew out to Portland the next day. I couldn’t go back to the U.S. without a visit to LA to see my sisters, so that’s exactly what I did for one weekend! I finally got to see Manhattan Beach, the adorable beach town my sister Anna lives in, and even got some pool and beach time, which is pure luxury for an Amsterdammer. One night in Manhattan Beach we saw the most beautiful sunset – it absolutely rivaled the ones I saw in Greece! It really did look like the sky was painted with watercolors. My sisters literally had to pull me away from taking photos because we were about to lose our dinner reservation! It was just so stunning. Lucky for me I just booked a trip back to see them again in May, so I’m hoping I see another amazing sunset or two!
  {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}
beach, dining al fresco, dreamy, expat life, Italy, love, outfits, photography, relax, restaurant, travel

{A Relaxing Day in Positano}

Vacations to the south of Italy should be all about relaxation. We put it at the top of our list.
Our favorite way to relax in Positano was to rent lounge beds on the beach (10 EUR/each for the day – worth every penny!) and just lay in the sun for hours.
It didn’t hurt that our view was the gorgeous cliffside hotels and residences of Positano – stunning!
We laid there for hours, only getting up to break for lunch.
There are a few cute and yummy places right in Spiaggia Grande (the beach), but on this day we decided we wanted to lunch with a view (so spoiled we are!), so we hiked up the hill 15 minutes or so to Cafe Positano.
It provided stunning views for a leisurely lunch.
Then we headed back down to our sunbeds that were waiting patiently for us.
Ah, take me back!

{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

beach, blate, happiness, love, travel, weekend

{Back From Edinburgh}

Goodness, has it really been a week since I last posted? I’ve been a bad blogger.
Life has just been so busy lately. Between work, travel and trying to have a social life sometimes I don’t have the energy to blog. 
I still have a zillion photos from Seville to share with you. I’m really hoping I can get those done this week!
But for now, I leave you with a few photos from our day trip (from Edinburgh) to St. Andrews this past weekend. 
Let’s just say we had a really good time. Particularly me. This is my happy dance. 
Or what happens when husband tells me to show him “my moves”. He didn’t know what was coming!
We had the most incredible weekend hanging out with Megan + Stephen (she made me laugh so hard I cried!) and I just cannot wait to tell you all about it!! I wish culling and editing photos and getting all my thoughts down didn’t take so darn long.
Anyways, hope you hang in there with me – lots of good stuff to come 🙂
{Photos by my lovely husband!}
beach, dining al fresco, husband, love, travel

{Nice, France} Part II

On our last day in France we decided we were going to get up early and spend allll day at the beach, just laying in the sun and enjoying the view. Unfortunately, when we woke up it was raining! I was pretty bummed out, but this day actually ended up being one of the most fun. We had already walked around Nice quite a bit, so the pressure was off, we just chilled and strolled, skipped rocks on the Mediterranean, took a ridiculous amount of pictures, stopped for long lunch dates, ice cream dates, mojito dates… You get the idea 🙂 Anyhow, sometimes it’s nice when things don’t go as planned – this trip was a huge testament to that!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}

Dress: Laundry by Shelli Segal, Sandals and Hat: Urban Outfitters
beach, dining al fresco, dreamy, husband, love, relax, travel

{Antibes, France}

Antibes is a charming little city between Nice and Cannes. It’s got everything from whimsical, winding cobblestone streets and fun open-air markets to outlandish multi-million dollar yachts in it’s port. We were surprised how much we fell in love with it! We spent one morning just walking around, dreaming about what it might feel like to be able to hop on one of the giant yachts and sail to the Caribbean. We lunched outside and ended our meal with an over-the-top ice cream sundae. It was a perfect morning, indeed.

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}
beach, dining al fresco, love, travel, weekend, wine

{Nice, France}

We’re back from our long weekend in the south of France. I took sooo many photos and I am planning on sharing them with you throughout the whole week! 

First up, Nice, which actually ended up being our favorite of the three cities we visited. So, the evening we arrived we ran into quite a few hiccups. Do you remember Nicole’s travel tips from her guest post? One of them really came in handy – Be Flexible. She was so right. Things go wrong… Very, very wrong. I could go on and on and tell you our long, drawn out sob-story, but I’ll spare you and give you the gist: airline left our luggage behind in Paris (we packed in one bag – everything was in there) and the rental car company “lost” our reservation. So we were left without bags and a car. The car wouldn’t have been so bad if we weren’t staying out in the French countryside – about 40 minutes from Nice. But these kind of adventures are what traveling is all about, and why I’m so thankful to get to experience them with Corey. Sure, they can be extremely stressful and sometimes tempers flare (I’m not perfect), but they teach you so much about communication and problem solving with your significant other. And the good news is, we came out of five days of taking buses and trains around the south of France stronger and closer than when we arrived in Nice. And we still love each other 🙂 

So, Nice… Oh, Nice. It really stole my heart. The water is clear, the architecture is what you dream up when you think of France, and they have beach clubs along their stoney shores (yes, you heard right, there’s no sand in Nice, just rocks!) where you can pay a day fee and you get a lounger and an umbrella – oh, and a nice ‘lil view of the Mediterranean. No big deal. It was my idea of heaven. Cocktails and delicious fresh crab right at my fingertips. Didn’t even have to step away from my lounge chair or take my eyes off the turquoise waters in front of me. Take me back, please!

After a long day by the sea, we decided to wander aimlessly and see what the town of Nice had to offer. We stumbled upon hundreds of steps that lead you high above the city, where we watched the sun set. It was breathtakingly beautiful. 

We then headed into the “old town” for dinner. We sat outside and shared a bottle of the most delicious white wine and chatted about how much fun we were having – and how badly we needed this vacation. It’s been a crazy few months, and it was so great to be able to truly relax, feel the sun and salty seawater on our skin – and most importantly really connect (and even though I missed Henry – it was nice to have it just be us two).

Hope you’re not sick of Nice because we headed back there on our last day – so I’ve got more photos to show you in a couple days! Tomorrow – Antibes!

{Photos © Liz Denfeld}