Travel

NEUSCHWANSTEIN CASTLE GERMANY

April 22, 2017

Last on the Germany itinerary is Neuschwanstein Castle. This is perhaps the most well known in Germany and the inspiration for Disney’s Cinderella castle. The foundation is from 1869 and the towers  completed in 1892. The construction was delayed considerably because of the difficulty of working on a precipice. Personally I believe this was my steepest hike ever, but the view was extremely rewarding!

xoxo

A

Travel

ELTZ CASTLE GERMANY

April 22, 2017

Venturing four hours from Bruges into Germany,  we encountered my most favorite site of the trip Eltz Castle.  Years ago, this was one of my first travel destinations pinned on Pinterest.  During the Spring in Europe, the sun sets around 8:30 pm and remains light till almost 9:00 pm. How awesome is that!  We arrived  around 7:00 pm to an empty car park (closed at 5:00 pm) and started our hike.  Castles can typically be viewed  from a distance but up to 30 minutes into the hike, it still was completely obstructed.  However, the moment we turned around the last bend, we spied the most glorious picture. Peacefully perched  on the hill was this 850 year old medieval castle still owned by members of the same family that resided here in the 12th century. I hope you enjoy the pictures as much as I enjoyed this magical creation.

xoxo

A

Travel

BRUGES BELGIUM

April 18, 2017

Just completed a 5 country whirlwind trip. Thats right, 5 countries in 8 days. I’ll post individually for each country,  then include a separate post with full itinerary for those desiring to duplicate my adventures.

First up, Bruges, Belgium!

This was the second  international road trip with my brother. We arrived in Amsterdam late Saturday evening and drove to Bruges early the next day.  We added this destination to our itinerary after hearing it was a favorite of our father.  Knowing he has traveled extensively, his choice intrigued us.  We were not disappointed.  Bruges is a small, quant city with cobblestone roads, curving canals, medieval architecture and delicious sweets. Hard to focus on anything but Belgium chocolate and waffles though.  Eating an authentic fresh Belgium waffle is an incredible experience. Such a tasty creation unlike those in the states. Within 8 days, I consumed 4 Belgium waffles and a Dutch waffle (half covered in chocolate and whip cream) with no regrets!!

I recommend the following sites:

  1. The Belfry and Markt –  A large open center outlined with restaurants in medieval architecture. There are carriage and fair like rides in the center. We enjoyed dinner with a sunset view.
  2. Ten Wijngaerde (Begijnhof Brugge) – This is the only preserved beguinage in Belgium. The women who live here have “semi- monastic communities without taking formal religious vows”.  In other words, a non commitment nunnery. This area is often visited for its peaceful flower garden and picturesque white houses.
  3. Canal ride – For the best view around the city, enjoy the canal rides.  A tour guide will instruct you on the history of this unique area.
  4. Sweets – Although chocolate shops are everywhere, I relied on Yelp for ratings. My favorites were Neuhaus and Dumon Chocolatier. For waffles, I recommend Chez Albert and a waffle truck located in the open square just a few feet away from Chez Albert.

Tip: Be sure to bring Euro currency for the small sweet shops and boat rentals.

Next up GERMANY!!!!!!

xoxo

A

Travel

FAIRMONT BANFF

March 21, 2017

My last snow trip to Canada! Although chilly -1 celsius,  the snow on the trees and ground was melting. We stayed at the Fairmont Banff in Banff National Park, about an hour outside the Fairmont Lake Louise of my previous trip. This fairytale hotel is a castle built into the mountain which makes a gorgeous backdrop for hundreds of weddings that occur here every year.  Would love a hotel like this in California.

xoxo

A

Lifestyle Travel

PLAYING MOANA

February 25, 2017

While wearing my gorgeous haku lei, I couldn’t help but sing the Moana song at the top of my lungs. If you haven’t heard this song,  take a moment to watch it here. The whole Moana soundtrack was on continuous play during our adventures.

These photos include my beautiful friend Larisa.  So enjoyed experiencing her island of Oahu. (Our floppy sun hats were purchased off of Etsy!)

xoxo

A

Lifestyle

HAKU LEI

February 25, 2017

For my trip to Hawaii, I wanted to order a flower head piece or lei. I discovered a local florist on the North Shore who specializes in custom haku leis for every occasion. Three weeks before my arrival, I emailed some inspirational photos and she worked her magic. I was SO impressed by her kindness and the quality of each haku. She far exceeded my expectations and I received numerous compliments. They lasted 5 days and enhanced my photoshoot.

You can find her on Instagram or Facebook @poehaku

xoxo

A

Photography

QUARRESS FAMILY VACATION

February 25, 2017

Trying to coordinate 10 adult’s schedules was quite a feat.  But finally, the Quarress family vacation was happening. We rented a house on the North Shore with access to daily surfing at Pipeline. On one of the last evenings, I coerced the gang for a group photo.  Yes, this beautiful scenery was our backyard..spoiled!!!

Back row: Ann Quarress, Lorraine (Kim’s sister), Justin Quarress, Mike Quarress, Kimberly Parra- Quarress (married to Cody), Cody Quarress  Front row: Eric Frempter (Becky’s boyfriend), Becky Quarress, Mike Quarress, Alexandra Wing

xoxo

A

*All photos taken by Alexandra Wing and Eric

Lifestyle Travel

ROPE SWING

February 25, 2017

One of the things I love about Hawaii are the rope swings found along the beaches. My favorite was off of 83 where I experienced a peaceful moment and some beautiful scenery.

xoxo

A

Travel

NORTH SHORE SUNSET

February 25, 2017

Aloha!!!! Just enjoyed 5 glorious days on the North Shore in Hawaii with my boyfriend and his family.  We also had the privilege of seeings our best friends Dan and Larisa who’ve called Hawaii home for these past 4 months.  We rented a large house just steps away from the ocean. In the evening, we experienced incredible sunsets and watched our friends surf. Included are favorite photos from the first night.

And last but not least, the actual sunset 🙂 
xoxo

A

Travel

WHITE BARN

February 25, 2017

Discovered another beautiful white barn in Park City. Both barns are easily viewed from the highway.   Can you imagine how picturesque they will be in the summer!

xoxo

A