A few random images from my trip to Paris back in October which never made their way on to the blog. We are flying to Paris bright and early tomorrow morning for a couple jam-packed days of work and play and I cannot wait! Paris is quite stunning in autumn, but with the warmer spring weather I think we will be in for quite a treat! That Parisian light is always some sort of magic.
My first visit to Granada was almost ten years ago. One of my best friends was studying spanish abroad for a few months and another friend from California and I flew to Malaga to meet up with her and start our month long backpacking trip around Europe. I had never been to Spain before and really didn’t quite know what to expect. I was 19 and had a backpack overloaded with film and was filled with excitement to explore Europe with two of my best friends. The weekend we spent in Granada was perfectly timed during a religious festival. I vividly remember dancing in a square surrounded by people of all ages, from grandmas to children. It was raining and everyone was soaking wet, and while we must have been freezing cold, no one seemed to mind the rain one bit as we danced into the wee hours of the morning. Maybe I have romanticized my few days in Granada as time has passed, but my memories of our time there are sort of magical. Needless to say, I was both excited and a little scared to go back to the city I fell in love with almost a decade ago. I was scared that I would return and see nothing of the place of my memories. Fortunately that was not at all the case. We only spent a day there, and I wish we could have stayed longer, but walking through winding streets of the Albayzín took me back to that place ten years ago, at the beginning of our adventure, completely mesmerized by the charming little city.
After what was said to be the darkest winter on record in Germany, I was craving sunshine and needed out of Berlin. Fortunately I had a trip planned to the south of Spain for the BodaF wedding photography conference, and I was lucky to have Andreas join me for a weekend in Malaga before the conference started. While it wasn’t exactly warm and we found ourselves shivering from not wearing enough layers, we soaked up all the sun we could get.
I had visited Malaga for about an hour almost ten years ago, when a friend and I were catching the bus to Granada. This trip we explored the streets walking aimlessly (my favorite way to get to know a city) and were charmed by the small city’s architecture and lovely people. At one bar the older men sitting next to us bought us a glass of sparkling wine for no apparent reason even though they didn’t speak a lick of English, and another night out, a nice guy struck up a conversation with us and then proceeded to offer us some of his cheese plate. After 4 1/2 years in Germany, that sort of thing is slightly shocking to me now- and to Andreas as well. No offense to my German friends, but I have grown pretty used to not striking up conversations with strangers (which is much more common in the US) and cannot remember a time a random stranger bought me a drink. Our first night in town we got caught in a rain storm without umbrellas and got completed soaked and of course it stopped raining the minute after I bought an umbrella :) but I now have a 3€ rainbow kid’s umbrella in case I ever need one.
As someone who comes from one of the most perfect climates in the world, winter loses its appeal for me after the snow melts, or after the forth month of darkness, I am not sure which. I think next year we need to find a way to escape for at least a couple weeks in February so I don’t risk turning into a grumpy old lady like I did this year. Thankfully it seems after a few days of sunshine and now with a hotel balcony with a view of the Mediterranean (where I am finishing this blog post) I am back to my old self.
Surely most people think of snow and frosty weather when Christmas comes to mind, but for me, Christmas means time with my family and walks on the beach. I always cook up a big breakfast (with my cinnamon rolls), open presents, and then get some fresh air and exercise before preparing our Christmas dinner feast. This year was no exception with an afternoon walk along Pismo Beach, somewhere that holds a special place in my heart because I spent so much time there growing up and still remains one of my favorite beaches.
Returning back to Germany after two weeks in California, I am feeling all kinds of blessed. Being able to spend the holidays with family and friends in such an incredible place as the central coast of California, was the greatest gift of all. I feel so very lucky to call this my home.
Here are a few shots from an afternoon hike up Madonna Mountain with Andreas and my mama. After a week of almost non-stop grey days here in Berlin, I could really wish I could teleport myself back. Oh sunshine, I miss you.
we were missing miss hazel so much that we had to kidnap one of my best friend’s dog, Emmy Lou, for the afternoon
We spent the weekend with my in-laws in the South of Germany, where Hazel will be enjoying Christmas while we are in California. Their first big snow fall of the year fell the day before we arrived and I was completely in awe of how beautiful the Black Forest looks covered in snow, which meant I had my camera in hand for most of the weekend.
We visited one of my favorite Christmas Markets, the Gengenbacher Weihnachtsmarkt (I posted about it last year too), and don’t let this sweet looking photo of Hazel fool you… She is no fun at all at the market- we call her the vacuum cleaner because she literally cleans the street of everything that even mildly resembles food, and drags you along as she “cleans”. Little fatty, but we love her so. :)
I love long leisurely breakfasts with friends, it is one of the things I miss most about the US where I met friends for breakfast a few times a week. Here most of my friends have different schedules, it is more of a treat. Our breakfast at Kaffee Peijnenburg during our stay in Geldop was one of the best breakfasts I have had in ages.
me playing around with Thea’s camera, Thea and Anne. Fortunately the cafe was not too crowded, because 3 bloggers at a table means 3x the photos of food and each other- people would have really thought we were crazy.
5664 HJ Geldrop
When Anne, Thea and I started planning our trip to The Netherlands for Hello Etsy, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. Over a Skype call one morning, Anne and I were scouring the internet for design hotels in Eindhoven, we stumbled upon Hotel Nijver in the small neighboring town of Geldrop. Although the hotel’s site is only in Dutch, after one look at the images we knew we had found our place (and yes, it is very important for hotels to be photogenic). The hotel is even more lovely in person, and the all the staff were incredibly welcoming and friendly- after 2 meals a day in the attached café, we got to know most of them quite well. The owner Hans Snoeijen designed the newly opened hotel himself, celebrating Eindhoven as an emerging design hub as well as the city’s industrious past. As a photographer I obviously loved the photo covered walls. The small hotel has 19 rooms and 4 long stay apartments and a beautifully designed and delicious cafe next door, Kaffee Peijenenburg. Normally I am more of a city girl, but we all fell for little Geldrop and the charming design hotel.
I stay in a lot of hotels during my travels for work and usually I can’t wait to get back to Berlin and my own bed (and of course Andreas and Hazel!!), but this time part of me didn’t want to leave Hotel Nijver. Good thing we are already planning our trip to Dutch Design Week in 2013 so we have an excuse to come back!
A big thank you to Hotel Nijver for hosting us during our stay in Geldrop! I always try and maintain full transparency here on Chasing Heartbeats, although we partnered with Hotel Nijver and stayed free of charge, the content of this post is my own, honest opinion. We had a fabulous stay :)
Just a few photos from our time exploring the last day of Dutch Design Week in the Strijp S area of Eindhoven. Anne and I were quite smitten with the former factory town and the old Philips buildings which are now the center of the city’s bustling design scene. To be completely honest, I did almost no research before our trip about Eindhoven so I really had no idea what to expect. Sometimes I prefer to travel that way, especially for really short trips like this one, because I feel like I am better able to form my own opinions about a place and I somehow absorb more. Not sure if that is weird or not, but this trip it completely worked in our favor because we spent our free day just sort of roaming around, exploring and taking lots of pictures. We were also quite lucky that the owner of our hotel also gave us some great tips for Dutch Design Week- thanks again for that, Hans :)
In addition to the fabulous offerings at Dutch Design Week, Anne and I stumbled upon two great restaurants in Strijp S, both of which I would highly recommend:
Eindhoven / Strijp-S
Eindhoven / Strijp-S
I have been dreaming of being able to use Brittany’s beautiful paper flowers in a shoot since the first time I laid eyes on them! So of course I was beyond thrilled when Thea asked if I was available to go to Copenhagen to photograph not only her flowers but Brittany and her studio as well. Thea and I spent a quick 36 hours in Copenhagen and we had a very fun and very successful shoot with Brittany yesterday (I cannot wait to share the photos)! Brittany’s studio is so colorful and inspiring and we commented it was as though we had literally stepped into her blog- a craft disneyland of sorts. I also did a little shopping while we were there and filled my suitcase with some fabulous items from her etsy shop, if only I had been able to bring some giant paper flowers back on the plane with us. Darn you easy jet and your 1 bag requirement!
This morning I woke up long before the sun to catch our flight back to Berlin and somehow in my very sleepy state, I agreed to run the Berlin Half Marathon with Andreas. I ran one 4 years ago, but admittedly have not been much of a runner since then. Oh man, not quite sure what I just got myself into….. eeeek!
I hope you all have lovely weekends! We are off to the Black Forest this afternoon to visit family and friends and it will be Miss Hazel’s very first road trip! Our little city pup is going to love running through the fields which surround Andreas’s childhood home, and I am looking forward to my mother-in-laws baked goods and catching up with a some old friends. After a wild week of traveling, I am actually looking forward to the 7 hour drive south this evening and being able to relax and finally catch up with Andreas and hear all about his week. Although let’s be honest, I will most likely sleep most of the drive. :|