19 Happy Moments From My Trip

Getting back from Europe has hit me hard. On the one hand, I am so very glad to be surrounded by familiarity. I love that all of these people were praying for me during my travels and were excited to see me upon my return. On the other hand, I miss the beautiful scenery, cute boutiques, and delicious foods that can only be found overseas. I worry I will never actually return, and my heart breaks a bit when I think about that.

Nevertheless, I am trying my very best to be positive since I had decided to have a month of happiness, which I haven't really managed to actually take part in yet. I thought I would start it off with 19 happy moments from my travels – one for each day I was gone.

1. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport was soooooo easy to navigate when we were trying to board our plane. The longest line we waited in was security and there were still only about 5 people in that line. Plus, Justin bought me strawberries and whipped cream from Starbucks (an unusual purchase to say the least!) to snack on while we waited on the plane.

2. Delicious crepes! :) I thought that when I arrived in Paris there would be unlimited French food options available to me. But you know what we decided to eat on our first night in Paris? Crepes. Delicious, wonderful, amazing crepes. We bought one savory and one sweet. I don't think I've ever had better crepes in my entire life! :)

3. The first morning we were in Paris, the rooftop terrace was closed, so at 6am we got up the nerve to ask the front desk to please let us up there. And guess what? They did. :)

4. Our Airbnb location in Germany was simply wonderful. We were in a big apartment with a garage. Plus, the owner left us some chocolate muesli(?), orange juice, and wine to enjoy. Kim Biewer was an extremely awesome host and I highly recommend staying at his apartment if you ever choose to go to southern Germany. You will not regret it! :)

5. Shooting wedding portraits from different angles that the main photographer was not getting was a fun challenge for me. I ended up with one beautiful image shot through flowers that so perfectly captures the emotion from the day. I just hope I can edit it to my satisfaction.

6. Other fun things from the wedding included: chatting with the wedding photographer during the reception (She was so sweet and very amusing!), and the parents of the bride and groom going out of their way to make Justin and I feel like special, honored guests.

7. Chatting with the groom's father for 4 hours the night before we left for Munich was interesting and fun. The conversation went back and forth in English and German, and he eventually asked us to stay with him next time we were in Germany rather than with his son and daughter-in-law. For the first time, I actually began to feel a bit confident in my ability to follow a German conversation. (That feeling didn't last.)

8.Watching my husband drink his way through Munich was interesting. I did get tired of paying for drinks (and use of the bathroom) though.

9. The Neuschwanstein Castle was gorgeous. I had a bit of a struggle with my camera at first, but once I started getting good pictures, I was quite happy.

10. The Alps in Austria were amazing. (See above.) I was so very grateful for my friend driving in that he would ever so often pull off to let me take pictures without my ever actually saying I wanted him to. I'm not sure I ever would have opened my mouth.

11. Hearing music in St. Marco's Square in Venice made me feel like I was in a Disney movie. I felt like we should be dancing a'la Beauty and the Beast. (Or if that movie is too French for you, perhaps we should have been eating spaghetti like Lady and the Tramp.)

12. My friends bought red and white wine for a first meeting with another friend. Unfortunately (or fortunately) I didn't realize that the wine didn't come for free with the meal until after it was paid for. (Don't ask. I was very confused.) I thought it was an extremely nice gesture on their part to pay for wine for 6 people, including two they had never met and were not likely to ever meet again.

13. I felt cute in my turquoise Free People shirt, white sweater, and jeans with my hair up in a ponytail the day we explored Cinque Terre.

14. The hosts of our AirBnb in Marseille were very nice and helpful providing us with insider information so that we could see and do the very best things in Marseille despite the fact that we would only be there for one day.

15. Picnics of bread, cheese, salami, and wine became the norm while I shot images of sunsets in beautiful places.

16. It really meant a lot to me that my friends tried so very hard to help me capture amazing images, and in some cases even joining in the attempt to obtain the perfect shot. That little bit of effort encouraged me to take my concepts and ideas further and try harder.

17. When we walked into a restaurant in Paris and asked for a bottle of wine, the waiter looked at me and said "And for mademoiselle?" It made me laugh, and I felt completely at home. Apparently, even when I leave the US, I still look 12. :)

18. Then there was that moment, actually several really, that threw me for a loop and made me laugh … and still do, even today.

- I was in the bathroom attempting to wash my hands, and I could not figure out how to turn the water faucet on. When I finally figured it out, the water came out faster than I expected it to with some going down the arm of my jacket, which I probably shouldn't have had on anyway. So I mutter a frustrated "ugh!" not even realizing that my (male) friend was in the bathroom stall right behind me. I had read that it was a bathroom for males and females, but when he asked "what?!" while (I imagine) peeing, I said "nothing" and ran out of the bathroom as fast as possible both amused and embarrassed by my ignorance and surprised by the unexpected response that one usually does not receive in an "empty" bathroom. (Even if the bathroom had been filled with women, I'm pretty sure I still wouldn't have received a response to my "ugh!". And to receive a response from someone that is using the bathroom?! Ummm… ?!)

- The stairs leading to the bathroom at one rest stop also led to the exit. Since I had gone to the bathroom to clean my shirt while my friends continued to eat, when I left the bathroom and passed by a friend coming down the stairs, I did a double take. Were they all leaving without me? … As it turns out, no, they weren't. I felt silly, but I was glad I even noticed this particular friend on the stairs; I'm quite good at living in my own little world and not noticing things or people.

19. A glass of French champagne on a rooftop terrace in France watching the sun set over the Eiffel Tower was nearly the perfect ending to an amazing trip.

What things have made you happy this month?


  1. I'm glad you had such a fine adventure. I've never been to Europe. Sometimes I fear that if I got some of the things I would like in life such as going on such a journey, I would actually become very depressed after it was over for exactly the reason you mentioned: the fear that I would never be able to do it again.
    I'm visiting from the A to Z list. One of my team's blogs is Poetry of the Netherworld.

  2. Awesome happy moments!
    Only complaint: where are those amazing images you took?
    I would like to see one capturing your number 19!


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