Sunday, September 1, 2013

A little blueberry, before a wedding in Dublin

One week before we were setting off to Dublin for two good friends' wedding, we found out that I am pregnant! Right now the baby is the size of a blueberry and the estimated due date is April 24, 2014. We are both in a bit of shock that it happened so fast, but of course are also excited for the journey ahead.

This also changed my plans a little for thoroughly enjoying what Dublin has to offer -- that's right, no Guinness for me! And how would I hide my alcohol-free weekend from our 20+ friends who would also be attending the Irish/Danish wedding?!

Elliot and I stayed in an adorable little B&B in Dublin center for the first 2 nights in order to see the sights. Cool city. Loads of fun shops, cafes, and historical buildings like Trinity Library. In the evenings we met up with friends for drinks and dinner.

I loved all the colored doors in the city center!

On Saturday morning, the whole gang got together at the train station for the trek up to Graystones, the wedding venue, about 30 minutes away. We barely had time to settle in to our rooms and change before the bus arrived to take us to the wedding.

The ceremony was held in a small church. Everyone looked gorgeous, especially the bride. Beautiful flowers, singing, and a bit of Danish woven into the ceremony. Afterwards, the busses took us the reception venue.

It was a lovely place for a wedding celebration. Like a small Versailles, Irish style. Stunning views of endless gardens and rolling hills. Very romantic. The celebration started with a live band, some light dancing (especially for the groom who'd just torn his achilles!), and prosecco drinks. Then the party moved inside for a fabulous dinner, speeches, and then of course dancing our hearts out until 3am. 

The cake was made by the bride's grandmother: a special Irish fruit cake recipe. I mistakenly took a 'regular' size piece (as if the cake was not fruit cake) and it weighed about 1.2 pounds. I could only eat a few bites, it was so rich and filling (and contained some booze I was pretty sure). But delicious!

The next morning, we went for a walk along the ocean front. And the boys decided it was a fantastic idea to take a dip in the freezing cold ocean! Perfect ending to a fabulous weekend in Dublin.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Fietsentocht to the fireworks

A very Dutch thing to do in the summer is a fietsentocht, or a bike journey. Usually they last a few days or a month. Ours was a couple hours. And we were fine with that. It happened to be the international firework festival in Scheviningen, the beachside town near Den Haag. We rented bikes when we got off the train and cycled about 15km through the dunes (the long way) to the beach. We got rained on a little (what's a bike ride in Holland without rain??), but made it just in time for dinner and a view of the fireworks. Of course it was pouring almost the entire way back to the train station. But it was warm and we had fun!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A quick trip to Basel and our first Michelin restaurant

[note: this is from July 2013!]

Elliot and I headed out to Basel, Switzerland, to visit his sister for a long weekend. It was so much fun! We had great weather, swam in the river, and enjoyed the French Alsace countryside for an afternoon too.

We toured the city and took the adorable little ferry across the Rhine.

The highlight of the trip was renting a car and driving into the Alsace. Mary treated us to our first Michelin Star restaurant experience at Auberge de L'Ille, the single longest-standing starred restaurant in France. It was an unbelievable 4-hour gastronomic journey.

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