Trips & Travels

A Lavender Sea

by Tessa on August 23, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Deep breath
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Lavender
Background behind this little blog of mine. When I was coming up with a name, I wanted it to represent something important to me; something that’s made me who I am. Instantly I thought of the sea, of the calm hushing melody of crashing waves that has been a constant part of my life. Then of lavender. Side story. When I was three, I was harshly burned and spent a week in the ICU. After returning home, my mother put lavender oil on my skin for months. It’s said that smell is most strongly connected to memory and lavender is a healing and calming scent for me. A scent so beautiful and wonderful! So you can imagine how intensely delighted I was to find fields of lavender in France! Well… seas of lavender;) It was a sublime moment, to walk through rows upon rows of the most beautiful and most delicious scented flower as the sun set and the wind caused the lavender to ripple like the waves of the sea. That evening won’t be easily forgotten.

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Sisters
SistersCan we pause for a moment and admire how Beatles-esque this looks! And it was completely unintentional. I’m going to frame this one!
Spain
Spain
Spain
Sisters
Sisters
Sisters
Sisters
SistersOutfit details// Millay: Shirt & Skirt- Kling // Tessa: Shirt- thrifted, Skirt- Anthro
Sisters
Sisters
Last night, my mom and I were looking through many of our European travel photos and we’d come upon some and think “woah! I want to go there!” and then laugh and then it’d be awkwardly quiet as our smiles kind of slid off our faces because although we’re so grateful to be in Utah surrounded by family and friends we love and have missed for a year, a part of us still resides in Europe among its castles, and towering cathedrals, and romantic fields.

So I’m feeling like I just have to go find me a daisy patch and make myself a daisy crown again to make myself feel better. Maybe i’ll be a little more dramatic and take it to the next level and read me some Romeo & Juliet with my sister so we can be distracted and lost in our own imaginings. I’ll be Juliet and I’d make her Romeo but we’ll just read us some Hamlet as well so she can be Ophelia. Forget the fact that we both die at the end of our plays because it’s okay, because for a moment we feel so Shakespearean. And for a moment we forget we’re in Utah because in our minds we’re off at some castle, like the one that we made ourselves daisy crowns at in Spain oh so long ago.

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packing painsSo we flew out of Barcelona to California almost  2 weeks ago and you know, it’s kind of a pain to pack everything you have and abide by certain weight limits. I spent hours weighing and re-weighing my suitcase, transferring my stuff among my bags or into other someone else’s bag and then lying prostrate on the ground for lengthy stretches of time. I’m so glad that’s all behind me!! Anyways, the above photo was taken at 2am the day before we left, well I should say the day we left. My sister was all packed and ready to go a few days prior but I hadn’t even started because it meant admitting to myself that we were leaving!
packing painsSomehow we pulled it all together and were out the door, at our designated “departure time” with 15 bags in a range of sizes all in tow. It was depressing to see our pre-furnished apartment void of any sign that we had actually lived there.
our Barcelona home
Adios Barcelona!When we first arrived in Spain, my dad and I picked this door off the street (people do that often, okay? It’s not weird.) and we chalkboard painted it. It was sentimental. But in the end we had to return it to the street in hopes that someone would come across this beauty and treasure it like I had. Taking it down 8 flights of stairs (it doesn’t fit in the elevator) and leaving it on the street was like my official Adios and Thank you to Barcelona for being such a wonderful home!
Adios Barcelona!
airplaneWe got to the airport on time buuuut it took us close to an hour at the check-in counter because they weighed all of our carry-ons as well as our check-ins and there were some weight limit troubles (GAH!). Nevertheless, we did NOT miss our flight! We got there just as they were loading the last passengers! Hurrah!! I’ll have to tell you about when we DID miss our connecting flight on our way to Budapest, Hungary.
Berlin, Germany airportSide note, I swear there’s a technique to dressing for the airport. Some people look insanely comfortable and adorable at the same time. How do they do it!? My modo is if I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing it to bed, I’m not going to wear it to the airport. Anyways, our first flight was only 2 hours from Barcelona to Berlin but as we took off, it started to rain; Barcelona was bidding us farewell! We and our beautiful city were sad to part ways.
Berlin, GermanyWe had a 13 hour layover in Germany; to be more specific, it was an overnight layover!! The Berlin airport was a small one and when we found out that the only terminal open overnight had about 5 benches, all of which were metal, we weren’t particularly overjoyed. To pass time, my dad, brother, and I left the airport and took ourselves on a little 2am walk around Berlin. The airport was on the outskirts of Berlin so it was more like a nature walk, but still beautiful.
Berlin, GermanyBefore the airport closed, and the last few flights were still coming in, we met the nicest man EVER. He was holding a bouquet of roses (which we later found at were for his mother!) but he set them down and played soccer with a bouncy ball with my brother for 45 mins. When his mother arrived and we began talking to him and he found out our situation, he was ernest that we come and stay at his apartment! We actually thought about it but his car was small and his mother was against the plan so in the end we all ended up sleeping on those metal benches even if it wasn’t the most enjoyable. Nevertheless, that guy was the nicest person; he gave my dad his email and asked us to email him when we got home and were safe!
airport sleeping
airport sleeping
airport sleepingThe terminal was also open to the public all night so there were some hobos camped out in the corners, one even had a cot all set up for himself! He had it down. On our benches, we were miserable and we grumbled about how our 9am flight felt like a lifetime away but these photos crack us up now!!
airport sleepingFinally, FINALLY, we boarded the plane and it was a looooooong flight.
airberlin
Newport Beach, CAAnd we’re back in California now!! We’ve spent the past week soaking in the heat of a familiar sun and squishing our toes in the California sand that reminds me of my childhood. I could sit with closed eyes and listen to the tide roll in and out for hours. And for now, I will.
Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach, CAI love California and I love Barcelona and I love that they’re so different. It’s definitely been a cultural shock; and I still want to start speaking in Spanish all the time!! Hah. It’s been exciting to be home in California and be with friends and family but it’s hard to be away from Barcelona which had become home. But home is relative. Home is where you’re with family. And I thank Barcelona for bringing me closer to my family. We’re actually moving to Utah now because that’s what my family does, move around and find adventures in many different places:) I’m excited to see what adventures Utah will bring and what people we’ll meet. Then I’m off to BYU Idaho in September and it’ll be the beginning of the adventures I’ll have on my own. In short, this is a big transition period, but change is always welcome; change brings growth and insight and I’m always open to that!

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A Rabbit Hole in France

by Tessa on July 4, 2013

in France, Style, Trips & Travels

French tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsFrench tree-lined roadsSunset via A Lavender Sea BLogSunset via A Lavender Sea BlogIt seems that in France, it’s a trend to line the streets with towering trees; and often, major tree-lined streets diverge into smaller tree-lined streets. But who can complain!? Especially when the roads are long and windy and make you feel as though you’re not actually driving through France but Wonderland instead.  And when the sun sets and casts a majestic glow through the canopy of leaves that you can hear rustling in the warm summer breeze, it’s nothing short of paradise. So, yes, I can understand the French infatuation with this wonderful combination of trees and streets. And I can only imagine what this little Wonderland-ish street would look like in the fall when the leaves would be a breathtaking array of autumn hues. Why, if this street were a rabbit hole, I’d fall through it dozens of times! Wouldn’t you!?

In other news, happy fourth of July to everyone in the States!! We’ll be back in America in a week so we’ve barely missed the celebrations of one of my favorite holidays!! No fireworks or bbqs for us but we’ll be meeting at the Arc de Triumph to picnic with some other expat friends today (because you honestly can’t not have watermelon and lemonade on the fourth!!).

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The Best Travel Days

by Tessa on July 2, 2013

in France, Trips & Travels

Pizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaPizza PizzaSometimes when you travel, you just have to wear those really comfy European-like pants (which should probably be ironed again) that you bought at the neighborhood thrift shop and that feel like you’re walking around in pajamas all day. And sometimes you just have to buy pizza from the pizza truck because in France, everything is gourmet and whether you’re buying pizza from a restaurant or a truck, you’ll be eating heaven. And sometimes, comfy pants and pizza truck days are the best kind of days. And on those days, you just have to smile like the crazy man on the pizza box.

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Cherry standIt’s been a while. It’s been a while. We’ve been in France for the past week and a half, driving through all the quaint towns in Provence, WHICH brings me to theses adorable cherry stands! They were all along the sides of the major streets; you’d just pull off the road, buy your cherries, and head back on your way! Genius. Some cherry stands were run out of the big trucks of bearded men while others were run by adorable French ladies and set up with signs and adorable little decorations that I died over:)
Cherry standCherriesCherriesOur baskets of cherries added the perfect touch to our adventure. As we cruised through the south of France, French jazz played on the radio while the breeze that carried the delicious scent of the Lavender fields came in through the windows while cherry pits flew out; bread and cheese was passed around and for a few delightful moments we felt like we weren’t just visiting France but that we belonged there.
Cherry treeWhen we saw this lone but laden cherry tree, we stopped to admire its beauty. How can you not admire its grandeur!? It’s nothing short of majestic. I’d like to buy a small cottage with a large yard and plant a cherry pit in the middle. It’s just a shame it would take soooo long to grow into a tree as grand as this one!
By the cherry treeIn the cherry treeBy the cherry treeFruit standCherry standThese said cherry stands were everywhere and they completely stole my heart!! I believe that after my own cherry tree is big and grand, I’ll start having my own cherry stands! America needs more fruit stands. Right!?CherriesCherriesStrawberriesCherriesCherriesCherriesAlso, I’d eat the sign too, IT’S SO ADORABLE! But I guess hanging it on my wall would be more socially acceptable.

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An Evening in Madrid

by Tessa on June 11, 2013

in Style, Trips & Travels

Royal Palace of MadridWe were only in Madrid for an evening but the sun came out of its hiding place, there was some street Jazz (my jam), and gorgeous architecture- I mean that palace (insert gasp)! It’s beautiful! Sometimes I think that it doesn’t matter how much time you have somewhere; if you enjoy it while you’re there then you won’t know what you missed, and you’ll always remember that day and that place as beautiful:)
Royal Palace of MadridRoyal Palace of MadridRoyal Palace of MadridMadrid, SpainRoyal Palace of Madrid gardenRoyal Palace of MadridAnd if you didn’t already know, the Spanish queen and I… we’re tight!! But it’s like whatever;)Almudena CathedralSadly both the palace and cathedral were closed when we went out for our evening walk, but at least there’s so much on the outside to relish and admire!!
pensivepensiveOutfit details: Shirt – thrifted // pants – vintage thrifted // shoes – coolway1000 year old palsPlaza MayorFun fact: pretty much every famous plaza in Spain is a square (or rectangle, whatever) but they’re all gorgeous!! Plaza Mayor in Madrid, Plaza Reial in Barcelona, and la Plaza de Salamanca in Salamanca are all the ones that I’ve walked through and admired. And at night, when they light up!… sigh.Plaza MayorIglesia de San AdresChurros & ChocolateIn this family, churros & chocolate are a must. If possible, we’d have them on a daily basis! We’d add them to the Davidson specialty food groups, which already consist of popcorn, hot chocolate, and crepes. Recently, we’ve been making them at home in hopes that we can perfect the art and not feel starved and desperate for another bite of heaven once we leave Spain!This old ladyThis old lady made my night when we were standing at a stop light and I saw her combing through her hair on her balcony. She looked over, smiled, waved, and blew me kisses!! I have a soft spot for adorable old folks, they’re far too adorable!Alter EgoIt seems that everywhere I travel, I take a piece of that place with me. I tuck it somewhere safe inside me so I can pull it out and reminisce on that day when I please. But it also seems that I leave a part of me behind, caught up in the breeze that touches each beautiful building that it passes by or attached to a street post where it can stay forever and admire the city and the people therein. So maybe if you’re a Madrid, you’ll see me, or more precisely a past memory of me, trapped on the roof of a bus stop, happy to stay and admire the people that pass by below.

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A Baguette Bigote

by Tessa on June 7, 2013

in Culture, Trips & Travels

Bigote/MustacheBigote/Mustache One my favorite things about traveling is the food. I just love food. The bread and the pastries in France are scrumptious! I was spoiled afterwards; anytime I have a pastry now, I compare it to the ones in France! Terrible, but true. Spain, however, is known for its paella and tapas, which are out of this world! And when we were cruising’ down the Danube last year, the food was equally as unique and delicious. Also, I do have to give props to my home country, America, for its burgers. You cannot find a burger in Spain that compares to deliciousness of In-n-Out, Islands, Five Guys, and the list goes on. Oh, and I’m a huge mexican food fan as well! I’ll take a fish burrito or cheese enchilada any day!
Often, when we’re on the road, we’ll grab a baguette (which sounds a little like bigote, Spanish for mustache) and humus and chow down; it’s a tradition now and one I’m in favor of:) I’d love love love to travel to India and Asia and so many other countries and experience the food and culture there as well. India is currently at the TOP of my bucket list! Where’ve you been, what’ve you eaten and loved? Any local places you love too?

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Peace.

by Tessa on June 5, 2013

in Daily Life, Spain, Trips & Travels

Segovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightSegovia, Spain at NightThere’s so much that goes on in life. There’s so much to get done, so much hustling around and worrying about how we’ll finish all the tasks that lay before us. Sometimes, we just need to slow down, take a breather, and remember how stinkin’ beautiful the world is and how blessed we are to live in it! My peaceful moments normally occur at night. Living in a big city, there are lights everywhere at night which would suggest noise and movement but sometimes, its the opposite: it’s perfectly still and quiet. It doesn’t matter if there are 1000 people out walking around at night or if there’s only 1, the street lights will always click on at their designated time; however, sometimes I like to pretend they click on for me. Especially on rainy nights, when the streets are desolate, I pretend the street, the lights, even the night and its beauty belongs to me. We have a fantastic view of the city from our apartment so sometimes, late at night, when all the lights in our own flat are out and everyone’s asleep, I like to sit on our porch in the crisp night air and just admire this city, the moon, the city lights, and the Sagrada Familia all lit up. Time seems to stand still, if only for a moment, but that moment is all I need to relax, recharge, and prepare myself for another busy day.

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It’s a Wonderful World

by Tessa on June 4, 2013

in Spain, Trips & Travels

Teva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainTeva, SpainWhat a wonderful world
So sometimes it hits me. Like REALLY hits me. We live in a BEAUTIFUL world. How blessed are we!? Summer normally has this effect on me. I’m continually reminded of all this world’s beauties, whether it’s the scene of rolling hills from the rundown castle in Teba, Spain or grass pushing its way through the cracks in the cobblestone streets. Summer is my favorite season; it’s a reason to have a sticky watermelon face, to always be dressed for the beach with a wet knot on the top of your head and smell like sunscreen. It’s a reason to run around like children again and to admire the world around you that is lush, ripe, and colorful. Summer is beauty. Summer is happiness.

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