Since our last trip to India we’ve been dreaming of returning. The boys were so young – 1 and 3- when we last visited, and we’ve been wanting to take them back now that they are older and so much more aware of their culture. To prepare we’ve been reading some wonderful stories about India…
Since our last trip to India we’ve been dreaming of returning. The boys were so young – 1 and 3- when we last visited, and we’ve been wanting to take them back now that they are older and so much more aware of their culture. To prepare we’ve been reading some wonderful stories about India (would anyone be interested in a reading list? happy to put one together!) and we’ve been leafing through the photos from our past trip. We are still hammering out the specifics of our itinerary, but we know the length will be 17 days in March during our spring break, and we will be visiting Jodphur, Mumbai, Varanasi and hopefully Jaipur, as well. We’re also working out the specifics of the service component of the trip, trying to find an orphanage where the boys will be allowed to work with us. It just so happens we’ll be in India for Holi, the Hindu festival of color, and I am beyond excited for all of us to experience the celebration! Last time we visited, I made a point of sourcing vintage textiles, hand-carved wooden blocks for block printing, fabric by the yard, and other treasures for a pop-up shop, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Everything was sourced with the utmost care and I made a real point to buy vintage to avoid bringing more stuff into an already overstuffed world. I’m considering doing another online shop this time around, so if that is something you’d be interested in let me know in the comments. You can also let me know if there is something in particular you’d like me to source. As a point of reference, you can see a few of the goods from my last pop-up shop here. And for a bit of background reading, check out these past posts: Pre-trip, Delhi, Bhutan, Rajasthan. We’re going to spend the next few months preparing the boys, building their excitement and educating them on the country of their ancestors. They have so many questions already, and I can only imagine how many more questions will arise once we’re there. India is a country of such great beauty, but also crushing poverty. It is an assault on the senses even for the most well-traveled adult, so I know the boys will have moments of feeling completely overwhelmed. But we are hoping to raise inquisitive, empathetic, world-travelers, so we’ll do our best to have the hard conversations and not look away.
2016 was quite a year, chock full of extremes, and bringing with it intense joys and sorrows. Although it is tempting to rush into 2017 without a moment’s pause, I thought it might be cathartic to look back on the year that was. Mostly, I want to say thank you for being here this year….
2016 was quite a year, chock full of extremes, and bringing with it intense joys and sorrows. Although it is tempting to rush into 2017 without a moment’s pause, I thought it might be cathartic to look back on the year that was. Mostly, I want to say thank you for being here this year. Your comments, emails and support have meant the world to me and I greatly appreciate this community. Travel: It was a year of incredible travel, starting with a family trip to Jamaica in February. Shortly after, over Easter weekend, I took a solo trip to NYC while my family all met up elsewhere (I couldn’t get enough time off of work to join them). It was an interesting year, trying to balance a working schedule with so many travel opportunities. There were trips that I missed out on, and others that we squeezed into a long weekend. Somehow we always find a way to make it work, and with big travel plans on the horizon for 2017, that’s a trend I see continuing! In May we attending the most incredible Indian wedding in Vienna. The entire experience still feels like something out of a fairytale. I’m pretty confident that this will go down as the most extravagant wedding we will ever attend in our lifetime. The summer found me traveling the coasts for my Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet book tour, which was such an incredible experience. My favorite destinations included San Francisco and Seattle. While in Seattle, I also had a chance to visit Floret Flower Farm, which was definitely a highlight of my year. The beauty and abundance of this small farm is nearly indescribable. I returned home with just enough time to pack up and jump back on a plane to Michigan where I spent the month of July with my family at our cottage in Northern Michigan. July is always my favorite month of the year, and Torch Lake is where my heart is most at home. In September we met up with my parents in NYC for a quick trip, where we watched the US Open and toured the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. Once the school year started, our schedule kicked into high gear. But I did manage to sneak in a few more trips, one to NYC for a food photography workshop… and another to the British Virgin Islands where I was shooting the first annual Caribbean Food Festival on Peter Island. In November, we traveled to Chicago for Thanksgiving (I never even got around to posting that trip!). And I wrapped up the year with the most relaxing and restorative girl’s weekend on Cape Cod, right before heading home to Michigan for the Christmas break. Looking back there was so much adventure, coupled with incredible opportunities. It was a year where I felt accomplished in my professional life, releasing my third book, Icy Creamy Healthy Sweet, which received such positive feedback and press, and landing a sponsored book tour with Vitamix and HawaiianShavedIce.com. I continued to write for a wide variety of publications, and also balanced my writing career with a part-time job at my boy’s school. There was plenty of knitting and sewing to be done, although not all of it made it onto the blog. Despite all of the joy, for our family 2016 will go down as a year of heartbreak. My beloved mother dealt with crushing depression, a side-effect of her worsening Parkinson’s Disease. We tried our best to rally around her during her darkest moments, but we all felt incredibly helpless and watching her suffer was so painful. I’ll be writing a bit more about that journey in the weeks to come. But if there is one positive (and trust me, it is a stretch to find a positive) it is that the journey through her mental illness gifted me with such clarity. It brought into focus that which is important in this life, and that which is not worthy of my time. By the end of the year, I found myself saying no to additional work and instead using every spare minute to spend time with my family. My boys are growing up so fast and they are my ultimate joy in this life. As I look ahead to 2017 I am prioritizing time spent with my family, health, and happiness. I wish you so much peace and love in the coming year. Let’s hope it is a great one!
I had the distinct pleasure of taking a workshop with Aran Goyoaga at Sunday Suppers in Brooklyn this past weekend. I was feeling like I needed a little creative boost, and I find that workshops are great for connecting with other creatives, as well as improving on skills and learning new techniques. I left Providence…
I had the distinct pleasure of taking a workshop with Aran Goyoaga at Sunday Suppers in Brooklyn this past weekend. I was feeling like I needed a little creative boost, and I find that workshops are great for connecting with other creatives, as well as improving on skills and learning new techniques. I left Providence early Friday morning and grabbed an Amtrak to NYC and made it in time for a Union Square Greenmarket sourcing trip with the group in the pouring rain. Despite the downpour, it was fascinating to watch Aran carefully choose her ingredients, keeping an eye out for interesting details; beautifully curved stems, imperfect apples and pears, rough-skinned squash. The beauty, and therefore visual interest, lies in the imperfections. We met up again on Saturday morning in the Sunday Suppers studio and kitchen space to learn more about Aran’s process, and watch her style and photograph several dishes. It was fascinating to watch her attention to detail, often spending at least an hour photographing a single recipe (not taking into account time spent sourcing props and food, and cooking). For me, it brought up questions around studio vs. lifestyle photography, and which direction I am drawn towards. The whole weekend gave me quite a bit to think about, which is exactly the point. I’m always hesitant to invest in myself, whether it be new equipment or a workshop, and yet I’m always so grateful when I take the leap. I was surprised to find that I didn’t pick up my camera that often, as I was too busy watching and taking notes, but here are a few behind the scenes shots taken on my phone. A big thank you to Aran for the weekend, as well as the entire group for their inspiration. The light in the studio was absolute perfection, with large north facing windows that let in plenty of light despite the gray, rainy weather. A selection of neutral props- love! The selection that Aran chose from the market- look at those gorgeous imperfections. And a buckwheat galette using Hidden Rose apples from Scott Farm Orchard (which I brought with me from home, cradled in my lap for the train ride!). My favorite discovery of the weekend- Seed and Mill! One of the company founders, Rachel, was a workshop participant and it was an absolute joy meeting her and learning about the company. She treated me to a goat’s milk soft serve ice cream, topped with Seed and Mill tahini and halva, served in a red velvet cone. It was the most delicious thing in the world. Find their stall at Chelsea Market- do it! And the last gasp of dahlia for the season at the Greenmarket.
Thank you so much for all of your kindness regarding my last post. Vulnerability and honesty are tough- but I am so grateful for all of your supportive comments and emails. Seriously, I feel so blessed to have this community in my life. I’ve responded to all of your comments individually- every single one of…
Thank you so much for all of your kindness regarding my last post. Vulnerability and honesty are tough- but I am so grateful for all of your supportive comments and emails. Seriously, I feel so blessed to have this community in my life. I’ve responded to all of your comments individually- every single one of them was so kind. I’m just so grateful. Mental illness is hard to talk about, but it is so important to have these conversations. So thank you again for your kindness and sensitivity. We met up with my parents in NYC this past weekend. For Christmas we had gifted my dad tickets to the US Open, something that was on his bucket list. My dad is a ridiculously good athlete. He walked on to the Michigan State tennis team and eventually played #1 doubles for the team and received an athletic scholarship. Big Ten tennis- I mean, that is a huge deal. He’s amazing and we were so excited to take him on this adventure. When my mom’s illness hit, we were unsure if this trip would happen, but I am thrilled to report that because of medical intervention, my mom is doing so much better. She has a spark in her eye once again (that was perhaps the scariest thing to see- the light in her eyes go out). She was raring to go, itching to get out and explore. And I can’t tell you how happy that made me (though I complained bitterly when she “dragged” me out to Brooklyn to see the Botanic Gardens, whose blooms I was so sure would be totally past their prime…insert foot in mouth!). In fact, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden was exploding with its final bloom, and everywhere we went- from the rose garden to the water lilies- there was so much beauty. I would absolutely love to return when the rose garden is at its peak. After wandering for hours, we hopped in a cab and made our way to the Brooklyn Flea Market in Fort Greene. It was a total blast, and there were so many tempting offerings, including this stack of indigo mudcloth! But we walked away empty-handed (not counting the donuts and pizza that we scarfed- seriously go for the food stalls….soooo good!). In all, a wonderful weekend spent with my family, enjoying big city life. I’ll be the first to admit that we are decidedly “college town” kinda people, though. New York City left my boys spinning! The night we arrived home, we read “The Tale of the City Mouse and Country Mouse,” and both boys were decidedly in the country mouse camp! Now this week, back to school and the craziness that brings. Good luck to all you parents and students out there. Let’s try to shake off the rust and get this school routine up and running!
Here we are nearing the end of August and nearly a month has past since I last wrote. It’s not for lack of wanting, but this past month has been difficult. It’s funny…I keep running into acquaintances who follow me on Instagram and they’ll say, “You’ve had the most gorgeous summer ever!” And yes, it…
Here we are nearing the end of August and nearly a month has past since I last wrote. It’s not for lack of wanting, but this past month has been difficult. It’s funny…I keep running into acquaintances who follow me on Instagram and they’ll say, “You’ve had the most gorgeous summer ever!” And yes, it has been gorgeous in so many ways. But social media is terribly one-sided I’m afraid. In fact this summer, Instagram has really been an escape for me- a way to showcase the beautiful moments of each day and escape the underlying realities. Since January, my mom’s health has been declining. The link between Parkinson’s and depression is well established given the fact that Parkinson’s affects many parts of the brain that are crucial to controlling mood. My mom has been suffering greatly for the past eight months, and without getting into the specifics, I can tell you that it has been an emotional roller coaster for the entire family. There were many points at which we thought we might lose her. For those of you that have been reading here for a while, you’ll know that I count my mom as one of my very best friends. And so not only is this entering into the very heavy territory of ‘caring for your parents as they age’ it is also veering into the ‘losing your best friend’ territory. A double whammy of emotions, if you will. So in between a book tour, a month in Northern Michigan, and an August filled with wonderful work opportunities, I’ve been back and forth to the Detroit area trying my best to be there for her. Mental illness is a bitch, to put it bluntly. There is no outward sign of disease, and yet the suffering is so real and so terrible. There are moments when I lose my patience and think, “Just pull yourself together.” More moments than I’d like to admit. I want to see her fight to reclaim her happiness, and yet I know it’s not that simple. Throughout the past year, with all of its heartache, I have realized how incredibly thankful I am for the support of my husband, who has been loving and caring for my mother as if she was his own. And then there are my boys, who love my mom with such a pure, selfless love. Their presence brings her great joy during this dark time. And so here we are, all finally back in Providence, settling in for the school year ahead and hoping that we’ve made it out of the woods for now. It will be a year of great change for us. Both boys will be in school full-time this year, and I will continue working at their school part time. It is going to be busy, to say the least, but the boys are ready. It’s quite amazing to see how they’ve matured and grown this summer. They are busy these days running around with their friends, eager to spread their wings. It all reminds me of how precious time is, and how unbelievably fast it all goes by (I mean, remember when I had two little BABIES??!!). *The photos here are from my quick trip to NYC- Saipua and Frances Palmer’s gorgeous home studio and gardens. So much beauty.
This past month has been one of healing and rest, family-time, quiet moments and great adventures. There is no place in the world like Northern Michigan. We are so blessed to spend the month of July with my parents at our cottage. My husband comes for the first week, heads off to India for work,…
This past month has been one of healing and rest, family-time, quiet moments and great adventures. There is no place in the world like Northern Michigan. We are so blessed to spend the month of July with my parents at our cottage. My husband comes for the first week, heads off to India for work, and then returns for the last week. It’s a pretty sweet deal. I’d love to share with you some of the beautiful moments that unfolded over the past month. Our cottage sits on the shore of Torch Lake, on an unpaved road near the teeny town of Alden. We’ve been lucky enough to call this ours for the past 25 years, and most of the families on our lane have had their cottages for generations. A few of our neighbors are now on their fourth generation of ownership. It is extraordinary to watch our children now play together as we once did- picking wild black raspberries, running down the lane from house to house, whooping wildly while playing king-of-the-raft, sunset games of badminton and late night s’more roasting. In all honesty, I hardly took any pictures this year. I was too busy sailing, paddle boarding, reading, boating, hiking and enjoying the time with my kiddos. I wish I had captured the joy on Vijay’s face the first time he popped up on water skis. And I wish I had a picture of Vik, sound asleep on a windy sail across the lake, the waves soothing him to sleep. I especially wished I had captured the many moments my boys shared with their grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends. These precious moments will have to live in my memory. I did take quite a few pictures on the roadtrip my mom and I took one day through Old Mission Peninsula. It was a bright sunny day, perfect for exploring all the little farmstands and antique shops that dot the peninsula. We stumbled upon a lavender farm, a u-pick flower farm, countless gorgeous barns, adorable farmstands, a stunning field of sunflowers, and off-the-beaten path antique shops. I came home with a stunning bouquet of snapdragon and a few new graniteware items to add to my prop collection. And the prices (especially compared to Brimfield)- SUCH a steal!! We ended our day in Traverse City, grabbing a late coffee at the new and incredibly hip BLK \ MRKT and savoring one of the best meals I’ve ever had at Alliance. We also popped into Wood + Cloth and Darling Botanical, all housed under one roof in the Warehouse District of Traverse City. I also made a stop into my all-time favorite antique shop, Wilson Antiques. In all, a gorgeous roadtrip and the icing on the cake of a gorgeous month. Well, to be honest, the real icing was celebrating Vik’s FOURTH birthday (my baby is four, what happened??!!). It’s really the highlight of the summer- a celebration with friends and plenty of old-fashioned games (pin the tail on the donkey, drop the cloths pin in the bottle, sack races, face painting and hot potato). I’ll leave you with a few pictures of the sun setting over a vast field of sunflowers, and our nightly sunset show…because, you know, Michigan likes to show-off every now and then!
I absolutely loved Seattle. I had a feeling I would, what with the incredible food scene, walk-ability and mild climate. We enjoyed mostly beautiful weather, although there were a few cold days that had me wondering if I’d misread my calendar. Could it really be late June? I packed entirely wrong (which I am famous…
I absolutely loved Seattle. I had a feeling I would, what with the incredible food scene, walk-ability and mild climate. We enjoyed mostly beautiful weather, although there were a few cold days that had me wondering if I’d misread my calendar. Could it really be late June? I packed entirely wrong (which I am famous for doing) and sorely missed a warm jacket and woolly scarf. But by the last few days, the sun was out and my sundresses felt appropriate. My friend Kellen met me in Seattle, and I tacked on extra time once my tour wrapped up, so we had several days which to explore the city together. It was such a treat. We stayed in a wonderful Airbnb in Capitol Hill, and since it happened to be Pride Week, and Capitol Hill is the rainbow district, it was quite the happening place. We were right down the street from Oddfellows Cafe, and it became our go-to destination for breakfast and coffee. Their tahini toast with banana, pecan and coconut was the best! Capital Hill is the place to be if you enjoy great food. We had such a hard time choosing where to eat for each meal, and we generally stuffed ourselves, not wanting to miss out on a single experience. Out of every amazing thing I ate during my time out west, I’d have to say that the General Porpoise donuts took the cake (so to speak!). I’m not even a stuffed donut fan, but these were the best; pillow-y and rolled in sugar, filled with a light, creamy, delicious filling. My favorites were the strawberries and cream and the aprium jam, both seasonal flavors. We also loved exploring Pioneer Square, with our two favorite stops being Drygoods Design and The London Plane. Another favorite shop we visited was Red Ticking, which is on Madison, a charming street filled with cute shops. It was a bit out of the way of Capitol Hill, but a visit to Red Ticking alone was worth the trip. Gorgeous French linens, perfectly curated clothing…I could have bought everything in the store (budget allowing!). And of course, you can’t visit Seattle and not partake in the tourist-trap that is Pike Place Market. Though to be honest, I absolutely loved it and found the most gorgeous produce and flowers, which were then used at my events and demos. The cherries were gorgeous, of course, but it was the delicate currants that really caught my eye. We set aside an afternoon to take a day-trip out of the city, a sort of knitter’s pilgrimage to Tolt Yarn and Wool in Carnation, WA. Carrying an array of wonderfully curated yarns and knitting goods, Tolt is the kind of knitting shop that I dream of having nearby. There was a fireplace and lounge chairs where women were knitting and chatting. It had the feel of a real neighborhood shop. And their list of classes was amazing. I’d be there once a week at least, knitting away in one of those chairs by the fire if I lived nearby. And so there you have it, a quick recap of my time spent in Seattle. I’d certainly love to go back with my family and partake in a ferry ride and some hiking, and possibly an extended trip to Olympic National Park. I’d love to drive the coast, and stop in Portland. Hmmm- that gives me some ideas for next summer!
Here are a few of my favorite Seattle spots:
The Whale Wins
Rachel’s Ginger Beer
Upper Bar Ferdinand
Sitka and Spruce
General Porpoise Doughnuts
Molly Moon Ice Cream
The London Plane
The Fat Hen
Preserve and Gather
Pike’s Place Market
Elm Coffee Roasters
Elliot Bay Book Company
Tolt Yarn and Wool (in Carnation, WA located about 30 minutes from Seattle)
One of the highlights of my west coast trip was a visit to Floret. Ever since covering Erin and her flower farmer workshops for Country Living, I’ve been dying to meet her in person and see her farm for myself. It was such a spectacular visit- from the gorgeous flowers to Erin’s inspiring and kind…
One of the highlights of my west coast trip was a visit to Floret. Ever since covering Erin and her flower farmer workshops for Country Living, I’ve been dying to meet her in person and see her farm for myself. It was such a spectacular visit- from the gorgeous flowers to Erin’s inspiring and kind nature. Every now and then you have the chance to visit a place so beautiful it takes your breath away. I sincerely mean it when I say that I felt that, standing in the fields at Floret. It is an ordinary piece of land, not large by farming standards, just a few acres really, yet under Erin and her team’s care, it yields flowers so gorgeous they hardly seem real. I couldn’t help myself from asking Erin if she would be willing to make one of the “flower installations” that she is known for, and she kindly obliged. She headed out to the field to collect roses, and upon her return laid out the blooms in a wash of corals and pinks. Take a moment and really look..every single bloom is more gorgeous than the next. She made all of my flower dreams come true and I think I took about 150 of the same exact picture because I was so afraid that I wouldn’t capture the exact magic. And still…pictures just don’t do it justice. I would have boarded my plane home with these blooms if I thought they’d have lasted. I wanted to keep them, and hold them, and have them forever. And the dahlias…well, if you’ve heard about Floret there is a good chance you’ve heard about their dahlias. The dahlia fields were just beginning to pop when I visited, and if I had to guess right about now they must be hauling in truckloads of these beauties. Erin tests hundreds of varieties of rare and unusual flowers every year- choosing for uniqueness in color, bloom, stem length, etc. A wander through the test fields was quite an experience as every variety was unique and different than anything I’d seen before. Erin kindly sent me home with a care package that included packets of Floret seeds, which I am very excited to put to use next year! It was an extremely sunny day- beautiful, not a cloud in the sky. Which is normally a great thing…unless you are trying to take pictures out in the fields! So these are very blown out but I figured I’d share just a few. I’ll have to return someday in the evening light (yep, I just totally invited myself back). Thank you, Erin, for such an incredible visit. The memories from that afternoon continue to bring me immense joy. If for some reason you’re not yet following Floret on Instagram- do yourself a favor and follow along for the most gorgeous flower images ever!
This month has been a whirlwind in the very best way possible. I’m excited to finally take a moment, catch my breath and report back from the other side. I was lucky enough to go on a bi-coastal book tour to promote Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. The tour started with a launch party in Providence,…
This month has been a whirlwind in the very best way possible. I’m excited to finally take a moment, catch my breath and report back from the other side. I was lucky enough to go on a bi-coastal book tour to promote Icy, Creamy, Healthy, Sweet. The tour started with a launch party in Providence, and concluded this past week in Seattle. In between there was NYC, Boston, and San Francisco. In the past month I’ve made over 400 (!) pops for samples and demos, and churned countless batches of ice cream. I’ll be doing a recap of events in a coming post, but in the meantime, I’m eager to share my travels. It was my first time in San Francisco. I loved the hilly streets and the way the fog rolled in off the bay. I managed to cover quite a bit of ground, though I was only there for a few days and those days were packed to the brim with event prep and signings (more on that in my next post). I’d love to share with you a few of my favorite shops and restaurants, starting with Zuni Cafe. Everyone talks about Zuni Cafe and insists that if you’re visiting San Fran, you simply must add it to your itinerary. I am so glad that I listened as I had the most gorgeous lunch there. The peach and whipped goat cheese tartine topped with arugula will go down as one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted. The coffee culture in the city was also such a treat. I started every morning with a cup of coffee from a different cafe. A few of my favorites included Blue Bottle and Sightglass Coffee. If I’d had time, I had about twenty other cafes on my list. However if I’d have indulged in any more coffee my heart would have pounded right through my chest! I figured I’d have very little time for shopping, so I was pleasantly surprised to fit in stops to Heath Ceramics, and Olli (which shares a building with Heath). I was incredibly inspired by the artistry I witnessed at both. I’m not sure that Olli is open to the public, though I simply rang the buzzer and asked if I could take a peek into their studio and they happily obliged. Thank goodness, because that loom is just exquisite. And those poufs…oh if only I could have squeezed one into my bag! I knew that I wanted to schedule time to visit Heidi Swanson’s shop, Quitokeeto, and I am so glad that I did. The space is gorgeously edited, very serene and minimalist. You can tell that each product was chosen with care. I spent quite a while trying to choose one of Colleen Hennessey’s bowls to come home with me and I’m pretty thrilled with my choice. It will serve as a beloved souvenir from my time in San Francisco. On my last free afternoon, I grabbed an Uber to Oakland for a visit to A Verb for Keeping Warm. I felt that as a knitter, I simply couldn’t miss the opportunity to meet Kristine and see her work. It was so worth the trip. Kristine took time to show me around her shop, her studio and her dye garden and I came away wondering if I might convince her to pick up and relocate to Providence so that I can take every single class she has to offer! Seriously, I could spend the rest of my days happily knitting and learning to dye in her space. And that brings me to my last evening in San Francisco, which was spent at the lovely Omnivore Books. It was a fabulous signing and I had fun passing out pops and answering questions about natural sweeteners and ice cream makers! It was a lively and warm discussion and perfectly wrapped up my time in the city. The following morning, shortly before 5am I was in a cab being whisked to the airport to catch a flight to Seattle. But that is a story for another day. Stay tuned… Suggestions for San Francisco (there was so much more I wanted to see/do/eat but this is a list of what I did manage):
Liholiho Yacht Club
Ritual Coffee Roasters
A Verb for Keeping Warm
There are certain experiences that you know, without a doubt, are once-in-a-lifetime. The wedding we attended in Vienna was once of those experiences. It was truly a royal wedding in every way except the title. I’ll share more about the wedding in a moment, after I make you scroll through all of my favorite pictures…
There are certain experiences that you know, without a doubt, are once-in-a-lifetime. The wedding we attended in Vienna was once of those experiences. It was truly a royal wedding in every way except the title. I’ll share more about the wedding in a moment, after I make you scroll through all of my favorite pictures of Vienna, a city breathtaking in its beauty. We had exceptionally gorgeous weather; the sun was shining every day, there was hardly a cloud in the sky, and the city seemed to be glowing from within. We arrived on Saturday morning, and that was really our only free day to explore. The rest of our time was spent celebrating and partying! Indian weddings are four-day affairs, beginning in the afternoon and stretching on through the wee hours of the morning. Join me on a wander through the streets of Vienna, before we get to the wedding goodies… Of course the churches were just gorgeous, both inside and out. I used to complain bitterly when my mom would make us visit churches during my childhood travels, and now I find myself following enthusiastically in her footsteps. I guess it’s true- we really do turn into our moms! Now for the juicy bits- the wedding to end all weddings. I didn’t bring my ‘real’ camera along for the festivities. I didn’t want to be weighed down, and let’s be honest, a camera bag isn’t really an appropriate accessory for a sari! So please excuse the quality- these were all taken on my phone. I’ll take you through day by day. We arrived on Saturday, and the welcome dinner was that evening at the Hofberg Imperial Palace. The decor was breathtaking, and special guest Enrique Iglesias was pretty breathtaking himself 🙂 On Sunday, we roused our jet-lagged, sleep-deprived selves out of bed for the Mehendi, which took place at Liechtenstein Palace. Upon walking through the castle entrance, we were greeted with a lush, rose-filled garden, where stalls served food from around the world. Pasta was being handmade at one stall, hand rolled tortillas were being grilled at another, and large pots of dahl were being stirred at yet another. It was an incredibly decadent feast in an incredibly gorgeous setting. After a quick catnap at the hotel, we headed back out that evening for the Sangeet, which was held at Art for Art, the most modern of all the venues. The dancing went on all night into the wee hours of the morning (though we were some of the first to leave at 1am!), with the highlight being a performance by Mika Singh, a bhangra music star. Just when we didn’t think they could top all these incredible events and venues, the day of the wedding arrived. I can’t quite put into words what it was like to pull up to the Belvedere Palace, decked out in wedding finery. It was a sight that I won’t soon forget. At this point, I was practically weeping for my real camera, I wanted so badly to capture the beauty. So although these Iphone pictures don’t nearly do it justice, they’ll have to do. For a look at each venue, visit here, and for more about the wedding, including a look at the beautiful bride, visit Vogue India. And just like that we were back on a plane Tuesday morning, and I was back to work on Wednesday with my head spinning. Honestly, it all feels a bit like a dream.