{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}

{South Africa Day Seven}

Two days in a row! Look at me! hehehe

So, back to the South Africa posts… Our seventh day in South Arica was a fun one! We started our morning with coffee from Deluxe Coffeeworks. If you’re into good coffee (we’re Portlanders, so you know we are…) then you must stop here if you’re ever in Franschhoek. We strolled the adorable downtown (which is basically just one long street) and then headed out for a day of wine tasting. We visited La Motte, Tokara (this one ended up being our favorite), Thelema and La Petite Ferme. There are obviously so many wineries to visit and there were many on our list that we missed, but we loved all the places we went – great wine and amazing views. Couldn’t complain!
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{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 🙂

{South Africa: Days Five & Six}

Hello, hello! It’s been a while, hasn’t it? Well, the good news is I wasn’t eaten by a lion 🙂
We got back from our safari 8 days ago. I can’t believe we’ve already been back so long.

I want to continue on with a couple short posts giving a general overview of each day of our stay in SA, then I’ll do some more detailed posts on where we stayed, our itinerary, restaurant suggestions, the whole deal. I’ve already gotten several requests for a detailed itinerary to follow, so I will definitely be working on that!!

On our fifth day in Cape Town we finally got to take things a little slower. We slept in a bit and then made our way up to Table Mountain. We booked our tickets on the gondola ahead of time as we’ve heard the lines can get pretty long. Luckily there weren’t any lines at all! Cape Town is just full of amazing views. We didn’t think we’d be up at the top of the mountain long, but of course we ended up taking our time walking around and enjoying the scenery. It was a warm and beautiful day! 

Later that day we ventured over to Camp’s Bay – the more “posh” beachside area in Cape Town. We strolled along the beach as we got lost trying to find our restaurant and wished we would have come down earlier and spent the day soaking up the sun (took note for next time!). We ended up getting appetizers and cocktails and watching the sunset at The Bungalow. I must admit, while it was a nice experience, it wasn’t really our scene. One of our friends had told us it was very “South of France”, but I would have gone further to say it was more Miami. I felt a little out of place, but it wasn’t anything a couple drinks couldn’t fix 🙂 We ended up seeing a beautiful sunset and having tons of fun. 

On our sixth day in Cape Town we checked out of our amazing hotel (can’t wait to tell you more about it!), and drove an hour outside of the city to wine country! We didn’t even make time to drop our bags at our guest house as we had lunch reservations we could not be late for! Going into this trip we actually had a lot of recommendations. A meal at Maison was at the top of our friend’s list, so we booked weeks in advance to make sure we wouldn’t miss out. The second we stepped in we understood why they had said it was their favorite meal of their entire trip. Everything was flawless. The decor, the service, the food, the wine, the grounds. My my my. We ended up spending a good 3+ hours there just making ourselves at home and contemplating never leaving (maybe they wouldn’t find us if we hid in their awesome bathrooms?). It was an afternoon to remember. There will definitely be more to come on this place! 

After checking into our cute little guest house in Franschhoek we made our way to Dieu Donne Vineyards to enjoy the view (and a glass of wine of course). I wish my camera could have captured the insane beauty of the landscape. It literally took my breath away. We were so excited to be in wine country and couldn’t wait for a full day of tasting the following day! 
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Congratulations Mr. & Mrs. Graham!}

Our weekend in Scotland was absolutely perfect.
Megan and Stephen tied the knot on a rare + gorgeous sunny day in Glasgow.
We then wined and dined and celebrated the happy couple at the ridiculously amazing Cameron House in Loch Lomond.
It was an incredibly beautiful day that honored an incredibly beautiful couple. 
Keep an eye out for wedding photos and recaps over on Megan’s blog.
Once she’s finished recapping I’ll post some photos over here too!
Thanks again to the Grahams for letting us be a part of their special day – and an even bigger thanks for trusting me enough to photograph this momentous occasion. I truly hope I did your wedding justice – it was pure perfection!

Love you guys and congrats again!
{Photo © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{High Tea}

\\ high tea \\
n. Chiefly British
A fairly substantial meal that includes tea and is served in the late afternoon or early evening.
——
High tea happens to be one of my favorite things about Europe. It’s a concept I know exists in the U.S., but nobody really practices. But in England it’s, like, a totally real thing. People really do drink that much tea and eat cute little sandwiches and a good helping of cake. Can you imagine a more wonderful way to spend an afternoon than by sipping tea out of perfect vintage china teacups, nibbling on tasty puff pastries and sandwiches, and devouring five pieces of cake? Well, that’s exactly what my good friend Jeanelle and I did on New Years Eve day. It was wonderfully girly and the perfect way to catch up after both of our Swiss Christmases. Ah, we live a charmed life (when we’re not getting stuck on Dutch trains and commuting 2-3 hours a day… but we’ll forget about that for a second!). My goal is to make it to the Orangery in London next time we’re there (who knows when that will be – but it’s only a 50 minute flight, so I’d say sooner than later! Plus, I need to meet these girls when they get here!). It looks right up my alley.

Have any of you experienced high tea? Do you love it? Clearly I do 😉

P.S. Jeanelle and I had high tea at this most adorable place in The Hague – Bloem. We highly recommend it!



{Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Snow Day!}

Well, remember last week when I said “Hopefully I won’t have anymore snow photos to share with you anytime soon”… I clearly spoke to soon because Sunday morning we woke up to a beautiful blanket of fresh white powder! But seeing as it was Sunday and I didn’t have anywhere to be (more specifically, a train to be on headed towards the office…) I was giddy with excitement. I practically jumped out of bed, threw on 17 layers of clothes and took off for a snowy morning walk with my boys. It was early enough that most of the city was still sleeping, so we had the fresh snow all to ourselves. I loved every minute of it! Now that it’s back to work for the week I am back to hoping it doesn’t snow again… At least until the weekend 🙂
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{Our Swiss Chalet}

Staying in a Swiss chalet was very much like my dream of staying in a Tuscan villa. So cliché, yet so necessary. When Corey and I realized we wouldn’t be making it home for Christmas we knew we had to go somewhere super awesome to help temper the sting. And we couldn’t have picked a better place to spend a week relaxing. We were in the most beautiful, tiny Swiss Alp town of Val d’illiez. There’s not much to do there except stare at the gorgeous mountains and cuddle up by the fire. Exactly what we had in mind! I started every day with a bubble bath (pure heaven!) and ended each one with a glass of wine, a cozy fire and a Christmas movie. The only thing missing was our little Henry. There will be many more posts about our trip to Switzerland to come… For now, here are a few photos from our dream Swiss chalet
 {Photos © Liz Denfeld Photography}

{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}