{happy friday} pic & pin

friday pic & pin Goodbye June and hello July - my official summer month. The Fourth of July has always been my kick off to the season so we're practically there, even if I'm not in the States to celebrate. I'd love to welcome it with this orange number by Reformation. Don't you just love the structure? Wait until you see the back...!

This weekend I'm crossing my fingers for some sunshine (it's been awfully hazy), looking forward to a succulent planting craft party, and maybe getting a start on our new shopping list.

I hope you have a great one!

This week's three rad links...

• a few songs of summer via State of Unique (expect one or two of these on next month's mix tape)

• get crafty on demand with Creativebug video workshops via sfgirlbybay

• ladies, let's take these from the fellas via Design Crush

(image left: Barcelona beach by Ana Maria Muñoz, right: Pin via Reformation)

a year's worth of wanderlust

It's almost Easter and that means one thing: four day weekend! We're taking advantage of the time and jaunting off to Florence and Chianti to get to know my little obsession, Italia, a little better. I've been studying Italian using Rosetta Stone but since I've been a bit inconsistent with it, I'm just barely at the point where I can ask "where's the bathroom?", "how much?" and all of those other simple phrases that will hopefully be enough to get us by! During the past year's travels we've gotten by with our english, broken french, and my fluent Spanish. Joe speaks a little bit of Spanish but he learned it with the Castellano accent that turns every "s" into a "th" sound...it drove me crazy for a while but I've warmed up to it. I had to.

We've definitely accomplished what we moved here to do: travel. There are still so many places on our list but I'm beyond thankful to have been able to check off the ones below and leave with beautiful memories.

Here are some of my favorite moments, places, and thoughts from our European adventures...

shopping at my first European flea market (in Paris) and seeing a different type of vintage and market sceneparis flea

stumbling across the Louvre at night and having the square all to ourselveslouvre at night

walking along Pont Des Arts in Paris with my mom, oohing and awing at the romantic gestures and inscriptions of the love locks. we even witnessed a couple throwing their key into Le Siene followed with a passionate embrace and kiss. must go back there with Joe!pont des arts

cheering on team Atletico with Joe's college buddies in Madrid. we sat in a section called "Vomitorio"..."vomit" is spelled "vomito" in Spanish so it felt a little icky at first. the funny thing was that not even the locals could explain the name.club atletico futbol

finally understanding Joe's love for simple Spanish meals. I could eat like this every day now.spanish snacks

searching for the vista point for the Toledo bridge but instead happening upon our own little corner. we somehow managed to avoid the crowds and feel as if the entire town was ours that day.the famous toledo bridge

walking up to the awesomeness of the ancient aqueduct in Segovia (no mortar!) and then geeking out over the decorative walls and doors all over the place segovia aquaductsegovia patterns

witnessing a modern marvel being built, aka La Sagrada Familia, in Barcelonasagrada familia

and being even more impressed/amazed by what's insidesagrada familia

watching my mom enjoy "the best paella of my life!" while I cooled down with a chilled beercerveca y paella

watching the sunrise and looking for seashells on the beach with my mom in Barcelonabarcelona beach

our first week-long European holiday in Sicily. we stayed in the countryside, Ragusa...it was heaven as you can telllounging poolside at relais parco cavalonga in ragusa, sicily

but we did take a dip in the Mediterranean! this was a total locals' spot that we came across while looking for a place to eat lunch in Syracuse. i'll never forget the views from the water looking back at the city.swimming dock, syracuse

having coffee in front of Check Point Charlie in Berlin and learning about Joe's uncle who was stationed there during the Cold War. finding the perfect German pub/restaurant, Sophien 11, with my friend Caitlin. the bar tender fell in love with her and gave her free beer mugs as souvenirs.

checkpoint charlie sophien 11

seeing Christmas come to life in Brugge, Belgium. i felt like i was in the original Disneyland the entire time. what a beautifully preserved medieval place.so festive at night

giving into a guided canal tour in Brugge and going under stone bridges from the 14th century. i mean seriously? taking it all in (love the step peaks of the buildings to my right)

finding moments to look around and capture the details in Marrakech amidst the craziness of the Medinamarrakech

visiting a Berber market in the Atlas Mountains. this was the parking lot...it was pretty muddy but i loved it. atlas mountains

sipping on sweet mint tea and drooling over too many rugs in Marrakech. i wanted so badly to go through the piles myself and pick which ones I wanted to see. unfortunately that's not how it works. it's a full on presentation and very ceremonial but i was happy to oblige. we left very happy with our new magic carpet in tow. rug shopping

We've left every place very happy, it's hard not to. I can't wait to see what we come across in Italia this weekend and where our magic carpet takes us next!

sagrada familia

sagrada familiasagrada familia sagrada familia sagrada familia sagrada familia sagrada familia

Have you ever stood in an old cathedral and been in awe at the architectural detail? Wondering how they could have envisioned such incredible work, or better yet, spent decades perfecting every design? Sagrada Familia, designed by Gaudi, is the modern day example of such ambition. It's still being built and it is beautiful and wild beyond words.

parc guell

parc guellparc guell parc guell parc guell parc guell parc guell parc guell parc guell

Now that the travel dust has settled, I can finally sort through all of the photos from the adventures with my mom. Today is Parc Guell, one of Spanish architect Gaudi's many works in Barcelona. It was originally designed and built to be a private garden with homes for the city's wealthy families - away from the central city, with fresh air and panoramic views. Lucky for us, the intended use never came to fruition and today the park is free and open to the public.

I was unfamiliar with Parc Guell until I googled "things to see and do in Barcelona" the night before we arrived but now I will never forget it. What a unique and creative place. From the intricately sculpted rock passages to the tile mosaics covering nearly every curve of the park's grand entrance, it's a pretty magical and peaceful place. Well, peaceful until the throngs of school children arrive or the illegal souvenir merchants abruptly pack up their goods and flea at the sight of an undercover police officer!

If you plan on visiting, here's a travel tip: find your way to the 116 bus (we caught it by taking the Barceloneta metro to Joanic) it will drop you off right in front of the park unlike the other guides that lead you to a tube station (Lesseps) wwaaayyyy at the bottom of a hill.  We walked down that hill at the end of the day and it took ten minutes, now just imagine walking up it - you'd be too tired to walk and explore around the park by the time you got there! Catch the 116 bus instead, trust me.

weekend, we

cerveca y paellabarcelona boat dockparc guell el born balconiesbarcelona shopping center facadefrom inside sagrada familia barcelona beach

Hi Everyone! I hope you had a great weekend, and while we're at it, a good Monday too.  My mom and I have been non-stop since she arrived last Friday and I'm in total awe of her never ending energy. I, on the other hand, am totally beat - it's tough work being a tour guide! I'm cherishing every minute of it though since I'll only be in Europe with my mamma once (well, hopefully not but you know what I mean). We walked circles around Barcelona exploring different neighborhoods and visiting Gaudi's famous Parc Guell and Sagrada Familia cathedral. Both were INCREDIBLE and each deserves its own post so I'll save the details for later. We stayed in the old barrio of El Born which was perfectly central to everything but I wish I could say that the hotel was perfect too. I'm talking about the most miserable reception dude ever at this place (Gggrrrr....).

Unfriendly staff and breakfast charge accusations aside, Barcelona was awesome. The beach was the cherry on top that allowed for a brief R&R session before flying to Madrid. It was my third time in the capital and I love that city now. There are so many locals who enjoy the city along with us tourists that it makes for a truly authentic experience. I really noticed this after being in Barcelona where it felt like I hardly heard or saw any locals. Could be that it's just the area we were in and the things we did but there was definitely a noticeable difference between the two. I'd love to go back to Barcelona to get a better feel for it outside of the architectural attractions. Of course, that is after I do Paris today and tomorrow with my mom. Paris, here we come *putting tour guide hat on noooww....*