Paris in the Fall

Since we are spending so much time at home lately with social distancing, I find myself looking through old photos and reminiscing about being outside and exploring. I thought I’d share my favorite photos from our first anniversary trip to see Paris in the fall, November 2018.

In no particular order, here are some of my fave photos/memories….

Seeing two of Monet’s paintings that feature a figure in the landscape, Woman with a Parasol, Turned to the Right and Woman with a Parasol, Turned to the Left:

Paris Monet

Those paintings are in the Musée d’Orsay, which was once a train station and is now such a cool space to explore art.

See that old train station clock? It’s in the Beaux-Arts style that was popular in France in the late 1800s.

We spent an afternoon wandering the Champs-Élysées, seeing the Arc de Triomphe and exploring the shops…

Champs Élysées

The trees were a lovely orange color this time of year! I love fall colors.

Champs Élysées

We ate at Ladurée on the Champs-Élysées, something that I’d been wanting to do for years! It definitely lived up to the hype, our late lunch was amazing….

Ladurée Champs Élysées

And of course, we had to try their macaron specialities. Plus several macarons for take-away!

Speaking of food, for our anniversary dinner we did a dinner cruise along the Seine – what an amazing experience! Dinner was great, but my favorite part was seeing so many famous sites of Paris from the river – a totally different perspective from the sightseeing we had done in the day time.

Checking out Notre-Dame in between courses…

Seine River Cruise

So cool to see the city by night from the river.

To compare and contrast, here is a photo I took of Notre-Dame the day before from a nearby bridge….

Paris Notre Dame

Loved floating underneath that same bridge later during the dinner.

My favorite neighborhood for sightseeing in Paris is definitely Montmartre. I love going here in the evening and watching the sunset from the top of the steps leading up to the Sacré-Coeur….

Paris Montmartre Sacré Coeur Steps

The views over the city from up here are beautiful.

And the neighborhood is great for walking around, grabbing a bite, and just taking in the evening.

Last but not least, one of my favorite memories from this trip is hopping the scooters to scoot our way along the Seine in style. We rode from the Louvre all the way to the Eiffel Tower, and it felt like a great way to save time and still see the city up close!

Paris in the Fall Scooter

So fun.

Best wishes to everyone self-isolating and social distancing out there. I hope these photos provided a moment of escape for you, like they did for me.


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Touring Hobbiton in New Zealand

This is a post from my “Photo Rescue” project where I’m rediscovering all my pictures from New Zealand. Read all posts about New Zealand here!

The Hobbiton set tour was a must-do day trip for us from Raglan while we were staying on the North Island in New Zealand. I am huge Lord of the Rings fan, and this was something I’d been wanting to do for years!

We decided to arrive plenty early for our tour to avoid any last minute time stress. Hobbiton New Zealand is somewhat remote so there aren’t lots of choices for lunch, but luckily there’s a cafe right by the parking area. Perfect for early comers like us or for a quick bite after the tour!

We had a couple pastries and some coffee as we waited for our tour time….

Here is a picture from one of the gardens in the Shire. All the food in the gardens is real! All the trees on set are real, too, with one exception – the famous one at the top of the hill over Bag End.

Here is a picture of me in the middle of the open field used for Bilbo’s birthday party scene in the first movie. That’s the famous Party Tree in the background! Is this making anyone else want to rewatch the films? 🙂

Hobbiton Party Tree

So cool to see all the hobbit hole doors nestled into the hillside…


The hobbit doors come in all different sizes as part of the practical effects used while filming. Standing next to a small Hobbit door makes you seem as big as a wizard….

Hobbit Door

…. while standing next to a normal size door makes you seem perfectly Hobbit-sized! So cool to see that in person.

Hobbit Hole

And last but not least… party decorations, Hobbiton style:

Hobbiton Party Decorations

You can check out more about the different Hobbiton Tours on their site here.

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A Vagabond Experiment

Santa Monica Beach

Hi guys,

Taking a break from New Zealand photos (but I have so many more!) and wanted to share a bit about what life looks like right now.

For now, I am traveling around on the West Coast working on design projects, searching out art inspiration, and soaking up the atmosphere of a part of the country that I love so. much. In December, my husband and I packed all our things away in a storage locker in Minnesota so we could hit the road and live life wherever we found the opportunity.

Right now, we are in sunny California! Last week was spent in Los Angeles, enjoying places like Santa Monica pier…

Santa Monica Beach

Santa Monica Pier

…and Venice…

Venice Canals

Where I especially loved the afternoon light and ducks floating around at home on the canals…

Venice Los Angeles

And we stopped by Chris Burden’s famous Urban Light art installation outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art…

LACMA Los Angeles

I posted some of my favorite pieces of art from the LACMA over on instagram and saved them into a story highlight if you are interested!

For now, I’ll be spending a couple of weeks in Paso Robles, California surrounded by countryside and vineyards before we move on to Morro Bay to take in the sight and smell of the ocean (my favorite).

Hoping to share more photos and videos along our way!



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Through the Fiordlands to Milford Sound

In November, my then fiancé and I headed off to New Zealand to get married. It was one of the best trips I’ve taken and I am so thankful we had the opportunity! New Zealand was stunning and I loved every bit of it, but I took so-o-o many photos and so-o-o much footage that it has been taking me awhile to sort through everything. I don’t mind though – going through it reminds me of all the fun memories. : )

So! I wanted to start off with some photos from Milford Sound which we saw on our first day in NZ. I hear it is beautiful in the frequent foggy weather, but it was also amazing on the sunny day we visited…


To get to Milford Sound, you travel through the Fiordlands on the South Island. We stayed in Queenstown (where we were about to get married!) and made the four hour drive (on the left side of the road!) through beautiful landscapes…

DSC00535DSC00258DSC_7007Every stop and overlook along the drive held another beautiful scene, like this one with mountains in the background and the river calmly flowing….


Once you reach Milford Sound, there are several great tour boat companies to take you around to explore the fjord. My favorite things to see were the waterfalls…

milford sound new zealand

milford sound

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After our afternoon exploring the Fiordlands, we headed back to Queenstown and enjoyed the sunset as we drove along.


fiordlands milford soundfiordlands milford sound

I loved Milford Sound and New Zealand!

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