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When I visited Salzburg for a day trip last year while I was staying in Munich, it quickly rocketed to a spot among my most favorite places. I’m not sure if it was the misty weather, or if some other magic was at work, but Salzburg was like a dream.

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Also on my list of supremely magical things: there exists a place in this world where you can buy a train ticket TO ANOTHER COUNTRY for less than $30, round trip. This is the stuff dreams are made of, people.

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I wish I could have spent several days here, wandering the streets + eating Sacher-Torte. But as it stood, I only had a day – so I hit up a few of the major highlights: hiking up to the castle, visiting the cemetery that inspired scenes from Sound of Music, Mozart’s birthplace, and a walk along the river. Not to mention grabbing a few beers + some delicious schnitzel…it was a day packed with as much awesome as I could manage.

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(Fiat Panda, a Top Gear favorite of mine that I was probably too excited to see in person)

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This is absolutely one of those places I left saying, when can I get back here as soon as possible? Anyone else have the struggle when booking plan tickets whether to head back to places you’ve loved + want to explore more, or adventuring to a location you’ve never seen before? I have this problem all the time.

The struggle is real, and it’s because of cities like Salzburg.

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Anyone else ready for spring? We’ve been buried in snow lately over here in Colorado, and I’ve found myself hiding inside by the space heater far too often. So naturally, I’ve been dreaming about this misty, flower-filled hike in Boulder from last year because it feels like spring. And guys, it’s just the dreamiest.

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Last summer, my sister + I headed up to Boulder for a tour of the Celestial Seasonings facility (does this not also look like perfect tea-drinking weather?) and a hike. Yes, it was June but Colorado always seems a few steps behind since our calendar spring is really still winter. Don’t tell this Chicago girl that rain + wildflowers isn’t a spring thing, because I won’t believe you.

We decided to start out at the Enchanted Mesa trail head – you can find a map here. The trails were really well marked, so we had no trouble finding our way or picking a loop that was a good length.

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Upsides of the rain: it makes for stunning photos + we had the trails pretty much completely to ourselves. Downside of the rain: we got wet. Really wet. And our fingers may have froze a little. However, I think in this case the pros far outweighed the cons.

It’s amazing how much you’ll miss if you let a little bad weather keep you from taking an adventure. I suppose this is an applicable lesson for the current season too. But let’s be honest, I’m still working on it.

Anyone else daydream about the magic of springtime while they’re still stuck in the winter blues? What are your favorite cures for this seasonal funk?

Well, by now you know that Lexy of Proper happens to be one of my favorite people. She just launched a beautiful site redesign + rebrand, so in celebration, I’m posting the last project we collaborated on. A few months ago, on a rainy fall evening in Denver, we all got together for Eat Drink Create and made apple pie. Yup, it was pretty much as perfect as it sounds.

P.S. The event + video were featured on Style Me Pretty Living a few months ago, so click on over if you want to read more about the event!

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Quiet is so lovely, isn’t it? It sometimes feels like a vanishing commodity. As I write this, I’m in a coffee shop, listening to the jazz record playing over the speakers, the buzz of the coffee machines, the quiet chatter of people at tables nearby.  Even when I’m at home, I almost invariably have music playing while I edit (this Spotify station has been my jam lately, but I digress…) + I no longer even register the traffic passing by outside.

There was a season of time back when I had a commute when I would leave my radio off on purpose. Just to have those ten minutes of quiet on my way to or from the office.

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But then, you head into the mountains + as you lay under the stars, you realize how loud that “quiet” commute really was. Or you walk into a cathedral in the middle of the hustle + bustle of a dynamic city to marvel at its stillness. It’s a sacred kind of quiet.

Sanctuary has meant many things to many people over the years, but lately I’ve craved sanctuary from the noise. A moment to stare into the sky + feel small. Not in an insignificant smallness, but in a sense of wonder at the expanse of the world.

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Because a post full of too many words seems a bit ironic in this case, I’ll leave you here with this quote from one of my favorites, John Muir, who often compared his beloved natural wonders with cathedrals + puts things much better than I:

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Oh, this city of cities. It now holds memories from some of the most difficult days of my life + yet it continues to be this almost sacred fountain of inspiration + vitality. That old adage about what’s bad for your heart being good for your art definitely rings true here. It’s a classic + beautiful + profound place.

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My parents + I stayed in the perfect tiny hotel, built in the 15th century with these stunning ceiling beams + a single-minded elevator. It was on a cozy street full of little restaurants, within walking distance to most of the major sites + just around the corner from Notre Dame.

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One of my favorite things about Europe in general (but especially France) is the slowness surrounding food, an almost reverential pace. I love the wandering from shop to shop, collecting bits of cheese + bread + wine. I love how dinner at a restaurant almost invariably means you’ve committed to at least three courses. And yet, I love how sitting down to a simple dinner of roast chicken feels just as perfect as any fancy meal could be. I love how I can get jamón serrano in the grocery store for less than three euros. I love how freshness is honored over fastness.And the desserts: be still my heart. To say that I had my fill of pastry on this trip would be only a partial truth for I could have kept eating all day would my stomach have allowed it.

I’ve been trying to integrate some of this slowness + simplicity into my life back at home, a hard feat to be sure. But I find great pleasure in walking through my neighborhood, or popping over to the grocery store for a few things I might want for dinner, spur of the moment. You see a lot more of the world on foot, even though it can sometimes be a pain when running to the store takes forty minutes instead of fifteen, because you can’t just hop in the car. But I am teaching myself that these moments of pause, these mandated foot breaks are just what I need.

A little opportunity to remind myself that “busy” is not so much the object as is “beauty.”