{Wine Tasting + Picnic at David Hill}

Things got so busy right before our trip to Portland I didn’t even get to blog about our two-year wedding anniversary. It fell on a work night, the day before I was leaving for home, so to be honest it wasn’t the most incredible anniversary ever. But we did make time to go out for an amazing meal (in a greenhouse!) and for some quality time together before I left Corey for two weeks (torture!).

When we were home, partly as a little celebration and partly just because we hadn’t been back since our wedding day, we went out to the winery where we tied the knot. Corey’s parents and my mom joined as we did a little wine tasting, then enjoyed a picnic among the vines enjoying a fantastic pinot noir. Being back was so special – the place hadn’t changed a bit.  

**Update! Apparently you guys like my dress 😉 Thanks! It’s from Zara. Unfortunately I got it on super sale while I was in Bruges with my sis, and I don’t see it online.

  {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Santorini Sunsets}

The sunsets in Santorini are famous. I’d been hearing about them for ages, and it was one of the things I was most excited to see while we were there. Our days pretty much completely revolved around two things: dinner and the sunset. If it weren’t for those two things I’m not sure we would have left the hotel at all – or ever changed out of our swimwear for that matter! Most nights we watched from our terrace with a glass of crisp white white made on the island. We went to Oia twice to watch the sunset. Once we watched on the rooftop of our hotel and on our last night we walked further into the village of Imerovigli, where we were staying, to watch. Hands down my favorite place to take in these breathtaking sunsets was from our very own private terrace, but let’s be honest, there wasn’t a bad seat in the house pretty much anywhere on the island 🙂 
Hope you enjoy this photo overload of the famous Santorini sunsets we got to experience.
 {Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Absolute Bliss // Santorini,Greece}

So. Greece.
We’ve been back for almost three weeks and it has taken me this long to be able to even begin to talk about this incredible trip.
I kind of feel like a freak about Santorini. It’s hard to explain. We had such a memorable vacation that part of me doesn’t even want to try to blog about it because I know I won’t be able to explain how remarkable it all was. I couldn’t even think of the words to express how blissful it was. How romantic it was. How perfect it was.
But of course here I am trying to do just that. I’m a blogger, after all!
I’ll begin where every great trip to Santorini should – a fantastic hotel. 
The best part about the island is the views. So find a room with a ridiculous terrace overlooking the caldera and you’ve got it made.
We knew we wanted to go all out for this trip – we weren’t looking for a budget hotel – so as you can imagine I spent countless hours on TripAdvisor, on hotels.com, on boutique hotel websites, the list goes on, trying to find the perfect place.
And what did it end up coming down to? A personal recommendation. A rave review from Ms. Ashlee Gadd (one of my favorite bloggers out there!).
Goodness I am glad we listened to her!!
We stayed at Absolute Bliss in the town of Imerovigli. And it was just that – Absolute. Utter. Bliss.
Now, most people who know about Santorini know about Fira and Oia. Fira is the busy heart of the island – where all the action is. And Oia is where you watch that famous sunset. But if you’re like us, we’d never heard of Imerovigli. Don’t let that sway you against it. After having seen all three, we couldn’t have been happier to stay in Imerovigli.
It sits between Fira and Oia (walking distance to Fira, a cab ride to Oia) and is the most relaxed and luxurious town on the island – and also happens to boast the best views of the caldera. And as my Greek coworker told me “It’s where all the celebrities and rich people stay”, so you know it’s good (no, we’re not rich or celebrities, but we sure did feel like it for a week!)!
At Absolute Bliss the owner Sofia treats you like royalty. She knows how special a visit to Santorini is and she does everything in her power to make it the best vacation of your life. She’ll help you book four-wheelers to explore the island, plan a boat excursion, or recommend you some of the most incredible Greek restaurants. She’ll also back off and leave you to enjoy your gorgeous room and private terrace if that’s all you want to do while you’re there – which is exactly what we did JWe pretty much left our room once a day – for dinner. Sometimes for the sunset, too, but we found that the best place to watch it was from our terrace (yes, even better than watching it in Oia).
So all this to say that if you’re planning a trip to Santorini you’d be wise to choose Absolute Bliss. Feel free to email me if you need any advice or have any questions! Without further ado… the first of many, many photos you’ll see of our trip!
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Amsterdam Date Night: Pomp Station}

Last week when I was sick I was all sorts of high maintenance.  I was whiny and pathetic and probably a bit demanding of my oh-so-sweet husband. Of course Corey, being the saint that he is, waited on me hand and foot without complaining a bit. To say that I was thankful for all of his help and love is an understatement. When I was feeling better, I decided to show my gratitude by taking him out for a delicious steak dinner. So, Saturday night we got fancied up a bit and headed out for a night on the town.

We started with cocktails at Freddy’s – the old-timey bar in the super luxe Hotel De L’Europe. I had a mint julep, he had an old fashioned. Then we made our way to Pomp Station, a fun restaurant in the east part of the city known for their steaks. I don’t eat beef, but Corey has told me it’s really hard to find a good steak in Amsterdam, so I thought I’d give him the opportunity to give this one a try. We shared a bottle of wine, started our meal with some oysters (fancy!) and even topped it all off with dessert. It was a decadent meal accompanied by a live jazz band (isn’t live music the best?!).

Even though we don’t have kids and most nights could be considered “date nights” – when we go out for a fancy meal together it really is a special occasion and feels like those first dates we had way back when. Nothing refreshes a relationship like good conversation over a good meal. If you’re in Amsterdam looking for a great steak and a great atmosphere – I’d give Pomp Station a try!
{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}

{Back to Reality}

…yeah, you can say that again! Corey and I got home from Santorini Sunday night only for me to get deathly ill!
I’ve been home from work the last couple days trying to recuperate. Ugh. 
I have so much to say about Greece. And so much to show you…
What I’ll say for now is it was the most luxurious, indulgent, romantic, magical, awe-inspiring vacation we’ve ever been on. Not exaggerating one bit.
I thought Positano was it
And then Greece happened. 
sigh
We will definitely be returning!
Here are some iPhone snaps to hold you over (even some non-instagrams!)
Captions at the end!
2. our hotel room
3 & 4. our private terrace. i know.
5. view (to the right) from our private terrace
6. our first santorini sunset
7. hangin’ by the pool, admiring the stunning view
8. watching the sunset from our private hot tub!
9. walk from Imerovigli to Fira
10. mad about this guy
11. picture perfect sunset in Oia
12. sending postcards & drinking coffee on our terrace our last morning in Greece

{Amalfi Coast: Path of the Gods}

One of the things I miss most about Portland is hiking. We had so many awesome hikes within an hour and a half of our city – from coastal hikes to gorgeous Columbia River Gorge hikes. The Netherlands is super flat (which is great for biking), so we haven’t been on a hike in ages. When we read about the Path of the Gods in our guide book we knew we had to do it.
Our B&B was located in Nocelle, right on the path, so it was super easy to just walk out our door and get going. The entire hike actually takes you from Positano to Praiano, but it takes 6 hours, and let’s be honest, we were still on vacation so I wasn’t interested in that extensive of a workout! 🙂
The walk took us about 2.5 hours from our doorstep in Nocelle to Praiano (another gorgeous, quieter coastal town on the Amalfi Coast). It had the most breathtaking views that for some reason I could not capture with my camera! I hesitated even posting photos, as they really do not do the views justice at all. Around every corner the view got better and better and I was just in complete awe. My heart was so happy. I was smiling the entire 2.5 hours and squealing with excitement! At one point we ran into a herd of sheep and mountain goats! They were maneuvering the cliffs so well – I was so impressed! It was such a fun and unexpected sight.
Once we got down into Nocelle we walked 20 more minutes to the tiny marina in town for a long, lazy lunch right on the water – but more on that another day. 

{Photos ©  Liz Denfeld}