Not All Who Wander Are Lost… Huntsville Wedding Photographers Go To Europe!

J&A Wanderlust

Oct 2, 2014

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

– Mark Twain
What would we be without the adventures, big and small, that twist and shape us into people with deeper passions and bigger dreams? Today, we want to share one of our {big} adventures with you. We’ve always said, “Someday we should go to Europe!” Then one day we realized that “someday” will never come if we don’t turn “someday” into “today”.
So we packed our backpacks and went off on our European adventure…
Our flight left about 5:00 on a Friday evening. We made it to Detroit, then snuggled in and fully intended to get a restful night’s sleep during our 8 hour nonstop flight across the ocean. Have you ever tried to sleep crammed into an airplane, headed toward your dream vacation, with a pretty great selection of complimentary movies on the screen in front of you? Yep, didn’t happen. :) But after a layover in Amsterdam, we finally made it to Frankfurt, Germany and hit the ground running.
Frankfurt was our first place to explore! We had a few hours there before we had to catch a bus to our next stop. We found an amazing little square called Romerberg. It’s the heart of Frankfurt and has been around for ages. It’s the place that all the important stuff has happened at for centuries. The big statue represents justice, with a scale in one hand and a sword in the other.
We went to the very top of a place called the Main Tower and got an incredible view of the city of Frankfurt.
After scouting out some German sausages and frankfurters for supper, we hopped on a bus and headed over to Heidelberg, Germany.
The first thing on our to-do list was to check out the Heidelberg Castle! I’m a lover of fairy tales, and the word “castle” brings so many happy, fuzzy feelings. It did not disappoint, plus the views were amazing!
Anybody that knows us knows that Joel and I are huge foodies! Europe was full of scrumptious, delicious, and dreamy things to eat. One of our yummy stops was a little crepe stand in one of the main squares. One filled with cheese and krauter (a yummy herb blend), and the other with Nutella. What else? So good.
Day 2 we rented some bikes and rode a few miles of the Castle Road. When I say a few miles, I really mean 30 miles. But that’s an adventure story in itself. We had a little picnic lunch in the ruins of a castle. How beautifully European is that?? Our absolutely favorite one was named Hirschorn Castle. It was in a quaint little town that seemed almost untouched by time. It was a super quiet Monday, and we almost had the little town to ourselves. There are monks still living in the castle, but we didn’t get to see any of them.
We finally got back to Heidelberg in time to soak in a few quiet moments before getting ready for our next adventure.
Next stop: Bruges, Belgium.
Oh, Belgium. Home of waffles and chocolate – two of my very favorite foods. They may or may not be what inspired us to put Belgium on our itinerary!
Besides the food, it was one of the most picturesque cities I’ve ever seen. I loved everything about it! They are called the “Venice of the north” because they have canals running through their city Venice-style. We took a little canal tour that was amazingly beautiful!
Bruges also happens to be the home of Michelangelo’s Madonna and Child sculpture. It was the only one to leave Italy during Michelangelo’s lifetime. The artistry and detail was amazing.
Those of you that know us also know how much we love coffee. Enter one of our “European experiences”! We ordered a cafe mocha and assumed it would be typical American coffee shop fare – essentially a latte with chocolate. Here, a cafe mocha is a shot of espresso with a bar of dark chocolate to melt into the concoction. Very delicious and we loved it, but a little bit stronger than we expected!
After {sadly} staying goodbye to the land of chocolate, we jumped on a train and headed for the city of lights. Paris!
Here we found all of the “not to be missed” guidebook recommendations. Possibly our favorite moment of the entire trip was having a picnic at the Eiffel Tower just after dark, when the light show was dazzling and the atmosphere was perfect.
We went to the Louvre, of course. That place is incredible! So many famous works of art and pieces of history. Mona Lisa, anyone? (It helps to have a really tall husband that can take pictures over the heads of a crowd!)
Paris was also full of delicious tidbits of yumminess. I was on a mission to taste macaroons from as many famous places as I could find. They did not disappoint.
Imagine French pastries for breakfast every morning. And for a mid-morning snack. And perhaps with our picnic suppers…
We also sampled some of the most amazing coffee we’ve ever had. In Paris, there are cafes on every corner. They are like a neighborhood hang out. They are like a coffee shop, restaurant, and neighborhood bar all rolled into one. And their coffee was blissful. So, so blissful.
We ran into some photographers doing a wedding shoot near all the pretty sculptures. How dreamy would that be? Anybody that wants to fly us to Paris to photograph their wedding, we accept! ;)
After a perfect Paris experience, we hopped on our next train and headed off to our next adventure. Look for Part 2 of our Europe series in a few days to follow us the rest of the way!
“Not all those who wander are lost.”
– JRR Tolkien
The house we stayed at in Paris had a super sweet, hugable, adorable kitty! We were instantly friends.
  1. Rebecca VanderMolen says:

    have you read the book The Monuments Men Bruges Belgium plays a part in it because of the Madonna! I love the picture of the Mona Lisa and the Eiffel Tower at night. Looks like a great trip great pictures.

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