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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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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Because This is Reality

by Tessa on June 3, 2013

in Family, Spain, Trips & Travels

in Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spain
Just thought you’d like to know the routine. The weekly, daily, hourly routine. It’s all fun and games when this kid is jumpin’ around in front of the camera, but when I’m going through the photos and every few pictures, BOOM! there’s Silas or when a spectacular photo comes along and there he is, floatin’ in the air, his tongue sticking out and all… my head explodes! However, each time I see that adorable face of his with his chin up like Pinocchio’s, all of a sudden he could do nothing wrong in my eyes.
in Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spain
But to convince you (and myself for that matter) that my work (i.e. posing) ain’t completely  fruitless and that this adorable/mischievous child’s photobombing skills are only utilized part-time, I’ve included some of our only good photos my favorite photos from our day in Salamanca, Spain.
in Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spainin Salamanca, Spain
In short, I think I can say that this post most accurately describes my life more than any other post i’ve written. Therefore, since this has been a peak into what this life of mine really looks like, I guess you can call this a true and honest introduction. This kid, both these kids, make my life so enjoyable, I wouldn’t have them any other way:)

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Gypsies in Granada, Spain

by Tessa on May 31, 2013

in Spain, Trips & Travels

Granada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, SpainGranada, Spain is known for being a city of gypsies. At major landmarks like the cathedrals and along the streets, gypsy women stand with small herb bouquets in their hands and offer them to every person that walks by, and they are very determined. If you walk by them, they’ll leave their hand in front of you, up until the second you walk past them, or they’ll even follow you! Oh, my poor sister: when we first started walking around, a gypsy came to her to offer a leaf “gratis” or “for free,” so my sister took it and said thank you, hoping to continue on her way, when the women grabbed my sister’s hand to read her palm! Millay was so confused, she pulled her hand away and tried walking past her to catch up with us, but the woman started swatting her and yelling at her! The woman took the leaf out of my sister’s hand and walked in the other direction, muttering. Apparently, the leaf is free if and only if you then pay for them to read your palm!
There’s also a famous gypsy district in the city, El Albaicin, that was super fun to wander and such a groovy part of town. Very old. Labyrinthine. Groovy gypsy music. Street venders selling jewelry. Funky cafes. Super artsy. Guys rockin’ their guitars and playing gorgeous flamenco music. Street artists. Are you feelin’ me? Ya gettin’ the picture?
So hot tip: don’t accept leaves from people. Free isn’t always free. And if you really want a leaf, there’s a thing called a tree (of which there’s no shortage).

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Those Precious Moments

by Tessa on May 30, 2013

in Spain, Trips & Travels

Jaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainJaen, SpainAs I was going through all of our pictures from the south of Spain today, I was thinking about how much I love this place and how much I love our style of traveling- reading in the car, stopping at a few cities each day and staying for however long we want, strolling the streets until it’s dark, eating churros and chocolate almost everyday. Strangely, it’s both exhausting and relaxing at the same time. After looking through the photos, I was in a really good mood when I went out today to ride the metro to meet up with some friends.  When I was walking to the metro, I couldn’t help but smile as I was rediscovering how beautiful Barcelona is. I was so happy I was literally on the verge of tears. How can I leave this place!? Sometimes, when I’m in a moment that I never want to end, I will myself to remember everything: the smells, the sounds, the people, the sky, the way I feel. I wish I could take the moment I’m living in, stretch it out, and wrap it around my finger so I could keep it safe and always remember it perfectly or relive it if I so choose.
Completely random and unrelated side note: the day these photos were taken, in Jaen, Spain, it was drizzly out and this adorable old lady I was already watching and adoring basically made my life when she parked her husband (who was in a wheelchair) on the sidewalk to pull a plastic bag over her head to keep the rain off her hair before continuing on her way. I died. It took a lot of self control to keep myself from busting up laughing and running up to hug her. People watching. There is nothing that brings me greater joy on this planet.

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Toulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceToulouse, FranceNormally I love rainy days… when I’m wrapped up in blankets in my room, deep in a romance novel, sipping hot chocolate, and listening to the drops pelt my window. However, when you’re out traveling and the weather man forgot to mention that there was a chance of rain and that you’re going to want something more than just Mary Janes to walk around in, rainy days lose a little bit of their charm. Mr. Weather Man’s just lucky that I was pleased that the umbrella we conveniently had matched my scarf and jacket; little things like that just make everything better! So I forgive you, dear old weather man. This Time. Anyways, although our day in Toulouse, France was dreary, the next day was unbelievably gorgeous! So, we decided to call rainy days “production days”, because when the clouds go on their way, they leave behind skies so blue, they’re steroidal and hills so green you drool. So, now, anytime there’s a rainy day, my dad says “It’s a production day today but just wait until tomorrow; it’ll be beautiful!” And it always is;)

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French FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandA Lavender SeaFrench FarmlandFrench FarmlandI wonder what life would be like on little farms like these. Hens clucking at your feet, goats on the side of the road, tractors in the front yard. It’s a life that’s completely unfamiliar to me but it looks absolutely charming! When we were winding through the Pyrenees, we stopped and bought some bread from a little bakery for lunch and an old man showed us around his farm and his work space where he makes cheese. We tried some and it was very potent! I like cheese, but I’ll stick with Gouda; however, even if my tastebuds aren’t refined enough to enjoy the cheese, I adore that old man and his little farm. He told us that he makes cheese because its a vocation that allows him to live in the countryside with beauty all around him. I can’t disagree! The scenery was completely dreamy! The people were kind! The weather was chilly but clean and wonderful! The goats and chickens wandering around just about stole my heart! The cottages and tractors looked like they were out of a children’s picture book! I need not go on;)

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Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleIn Carcassonne, there was a breathtaking castle that was mostly built in the 12th century but contained a wall built by the Romans in the 1st century. I believe that’s accurate. You can wiki it;) When we drove into Carcassonne, we were astonished at how gorgeous it was (both during the day and at night) and how almost out of place it seemed!! Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne Castle It looks like a medieval Disneyland, does it not?Carcassonne CastleUnforuntly, we didn’t have as good of weather the second day in Carcassonne when we went to explore the castle but luckily I was having a fantastic hair day!! Right!?;)Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleMy mom and I have a thing for both French rooftops and the strikingly gorgeous stained glass windows in French cathedrals. I checked the listings in a realty shop as we were walking through the streets, but alas there weren’t any cathedrals for sale!Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleAnd oh how I love graveyards (as previously mentioned here and here) though I cannot clue you in on why. Perhaps it’s the calm beauty about them; maybe it’s the stillness or the air of peace.Carcassonne CastleCarcassonne CastleCarcassonne Castle My family and I joke that I look like the angel of death. Perfect that I’m in a graveyard, yes? Well, I would much rather have Death come for me in a hot pink coat then a black one, the idea of death would seem more . . .  pleasant.

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