Holidays in the Tropics

From palm trees to Christmas trees, tropical places have both sandy paws and Christ in the manger. And at a time where cold winter weather has covered most of the United States, I think we all could use a dose of some Florida sunshine!

We know the classic image of Christmas where there is fresh snow fall outside and a warm, lit fire inside where loved one’s are gathered together and drinking hot cocoa. But what if instead of snow you have sun and palm trees? What if you have glasses of lemonade and not hot chocolate or cider? We’ll you’ve come to the perfect place to see what the Holidays look and feel like in those warmer climates. Welcome to Christmas in Florida!


This year we planned to spend Christmas in Orlando, Fl. For someone who has never spent Christmas away from her Indiana roots, I knew I was in for some interesting events. But the thought of having Christmas without the possibility of snow or cozy sweaters, well that’s another story. To some this is the ideal situation but spoiler alert, it’s not all flip flops and tan lines!

One of the events we were eager to try out was beach life in winter. With swimsuits on, sunscreen rubbed in and towel in hand, we made our way to the beach. The temperatures were comfortable, the sun was warming but the water was… well lacking. I will admit I definitely went for a drip but it didn’t take long for me to go back to sun bathing.

Something I didn’t consider about our beach visit was the fact that there are tiki bars and restaurants all along the coast. We happily ordered ourselves some food and refreshing slushies. I was 100% in my happy place: good company, good food and complete detachment from unnecessary things.



She likes long walks on the beach and limited sun exposure.

If beach days aren’t your kind of days then I highly suggest pulling up a chair, pool side. Luckily when we were in Orlando we stayed at Jacob’s parent’s house whose neighborhood has a gorgeous pool and lounge. The water was cold, maybe even colder than the ocean, but I didn’t mind because there were a generous amount of unused hammocks to take advantage of! Some of us swam laps, some read books and some, like myself, enjoyed the simplicity of just being.




Once toweled off and dressed for the day, you can easily see the efforts gone to decorate every light post, archway and tree in pure Christmas splendor. The balance between the tropical feeling and the Christmas spirit is almost comical yet still makes its festive impact. So if you need to do some shopping for the holidays, expect to find Christmas trees, ribbons and bows, ornaments and stars while you are out and about.


Shopping in Winter Park, FL is perfect for those who love locally owned shops filled with coffee, unique gifts, antiques, high-end fashion and good food.

If you are missing snow while on your stay, I suggest pulling up a cozy Christmas movie. Because even though it is still technically winter in Florida you won’t exactly get that kind of precipitation. You will, however, experience highs and lows where some days will be 80’s and sunny with others being 50’s and rainy. This makes packing tough but if you’re the type of personality that loves change, this weather was made for you.


Featuring one of those cold and rainy days out on the patio with hot coffee and an unfeatured sweater moment.

For me and so many other’s who celebrate Christmas because of their faith in Jesus, making it about Him is everything to me. From preparing my heart to remember the true meaning of it all to praying over the individuals whose gifts I am wrapping to the activities I make sure to set time aside for. I love Christmas because it sets things back in their rightful place. By this I mean making time for family and friends, for giving and for finding peace because of His existence.


We went as a family to the Christmas Eve service at Faith Assembly Orlando, Fl

To find feelings of magic, family and stillness while on vacation in a tropical climate, this trip was that much more meaningful and memorable. So, no matter where or how you celebrate, whether it’s warm or cold, celebrating the big moments in life will always boil down to who you spend it with. This Christmas will be one that I will remember for a very long time if not forever and I hope that whatever season you found yourself in this past holiday season, that you experienced some of that Christmas magic.


Next week on the blog I am sharing a geek out worthy post! I am sharing my experiences from The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. Oh yeah! We are talking trains, broom sticks, owls, spooky rides and delicious brews. To get instant updates to new blog posts and news please subscribe to receive email notifications.


New Year, New Zip Code

With each new year comes new chapters in our lives and to start 2020 off right, I am sharing an exciting start to our new adventure!

Last new year’s as Jacob and I were resting together and reflecting on the year of 2018 and all of our moments together (aka marriage) we decided that 2019 was going to be another huge year for us, God willing.


The home where our love grew, where Jacob proposed and where our first year of marriage was written in the books.

The master plan was that I was going to complete my internship and undergraduate degree while Jacob was going to start the process of applying to new police departments. In March, he had applied to four or five different departments in Indiana and one in Colorado while I was halfway through the busiest semester of my life. But we were determined to come out on the other side with check marks by our goals.


The “Super Mover” is a game changer!

Then flash-forward to July and I’m an official college graduate completely unsure of what’s next while Jacob found out that he was selected by a department in Indianapolis. Aka we were elated and I think that following weekend I packed up everything I could get my hands on.


The calm before the storm.

But the kicker was that there were two different start dates. One date was at the beginning of September 2019 and the other was at the beginning of 2020. Naturally we wanted it to be the soonest date but, as God would have it, he was selected to start at the later date.


We were crazy gross, tired and sore but oh so joyful!

And like I said above, I was in this weird season of finding direction so to be hit with feelings of annoyance, relief and determination- we decided to make the best of our time left in Terre Haute, IN. We were going to book an international trip to Belgium, take full advantage of more time to pack and find our next home, travel for the holidays to see his family and to enjoy one last Christmas season living in the place where it all started.


Did I mention that we were tired?

When moving weekend arrived we were able to get our truck early and pack a full day ahead of schedule. On our last night in the house, we made the classic decision of ordering pizza and sleeping on the floor. I will admit that it was not as comfortable as my romantic side figured that it would be but we got a good laugh out of it and found that we wanted to get up earlier than usual the next the day. So with that we grabbed the last bits of stuff and things, locked the door behind us and took off onto our next adventure!


Days after the move, Tyson is still exhausted.

Now we are officially moved in and things are starting to feel like home again. Yes, there are still plenty of boxes left unopened with nooks and crannies here and there that I have no clue how to utilize but God’s timing is everything. I have felt it this whole process from the lack of patience to the mysterious future to the tears of joy shed during the quiet drive to our new home, God truly is in the details. And with this focus on the One who brought it all together I can proudly say that 2020 is going to be an amazing new chapter!


Next week on the blog we are traveling again! Can I get an Amen? So please sign up for email notifications and join me for some fun in the Florida sun!


Best Holiday Market: Carmel Christkindlmarkt

KrissCrossing Life blog is in full Christmas celebration mode! Please join me as I share my review of a family event that you can do this holiday season!

Winning the title of North Amercia’s Best Holiday Market, the Carmel Christkindlmarkt has brought the old world charm of Christmas in Germany to Indiana. The Christmas market tradition stretches back to the middles ages in Saxony, Germany. Since then the joys of the traditional Christmas markets and customs have spread from town to town, around the world and has found a home in the Midwest.


On the day of our visit to the market they were celebrating Nikolaustag, or St. Nicholas Day. The tradition is that on the night of December 5th, children set out their shoes for St. Nicholas to fill with sweets and gifts. And depending on if they were good or not they will be visited by St. Nicholas or his sinister sidekick Krampus. It is similar to the Christmas Eve tradition on December 24th with the visit of Santa Claus, however we got lucky and there is no bad guy to this story.


The market is located in the City Center of Carmel and is decorated in traditional German flare with tempting treats, beverages and the opportunity to do some Christmas decor and gift shopping. One of  the activities that many people took advantage of was renting a pair of ice skates and taking turns around the pop-up ice skating rink in the very center of the festivities.


Something that I noticed was a bit of a tradition was the Carmel Christkindlmarkt mugs. These mugs are called Gluhwein Stiefel and for 2019 they came in either a white boot or a green train version. I was drawn to the boot so after purchasing one from one of the vendors, I hunted down some much needed hot chocolate. There were a couple of different options but I went with the Java Haus because the name speaks for itself.


After warming up with hot chocolate by the fire, we started feeling our hunger pains. One of the cozy things about the market was the fact that it was all things German. If you’ve been around the blog for awhile you’d know that we spent our honeymoon in Germany, so naturally being surrounded by German things brings us back to our romantic trip submerged in the culture, including the food.


While we were on our honeymoon in Germany, we definitely had our fill of pretzels, schnitzel, currywurst and bratwurst. So while browsing the menu’s at Carmel’s Christkindlmarkt we were instantly greeted with all of our favorite indulgences. Jacob’s pick was currywurst that came with a roll while I chose a traditional bratwurst on a similar roll. Personally, I was very happy with my choice!


^my horrible yet proud joke of the night was “all of the shops were great but this one was the wurst…”

Something we rather enjoyed about the market was the well-rounded planning that Carmel put into the event. They advertised visiting the market first and then taking the Christmas trolley into the Arts and Design District for more Christmas decorations, holiday shopping and local eats. So with that great plan in mind, we took it and follow their wonderful advice. Soon we found ourselves browsing around cute shops while holding hands and letting our date night in Carmel wind down.


My most favorite part of the market, was the time of the day that we got there. We were there early enough to catch the sun setting behind the market. So in the sea of Christmas lights, evergreen trees and crackling fires, everything was cast in a rose gold glow. However, this same glow and the previous warmth of the day tricked us into thinking that the night would follow suit. I definitely advise some good, Christmasy layers to keep yourself warm and to not be shy to blasting some heat in the car at the end of your night.



Do yourself and your loved ones a favor this holiday season and go check out this Christmas Market before its last night on December 21st! All the information you will need is on their Facebook page linked here >Carmel Christkindlmarkt. Next week on the blog I get the privilege of sharing more of our holiday season with you all! And how we are celebrating this year may or may not surprise you!


Scandinavian Saint-Gilles Airbnb

Welcome to our home away from home. Join me as I give a visual tour of our Scandinavian style Airbnb and also my top marriage advice!

Welcome to our Airbnb located in the Saint-Gilles neighborhood of Brussels, Belgium!


Climbing up four floors, we reach our minimalist, Scandinavian home away from home. With being a lofted penthouse, skylights and windows offered plenty of natural light to highlight the simple beauty within the home and framed views of terracotta roofs against the sky. We decided that we truly couldn’t have picked a better place.


For anyone who has traveled in Europe, you know just how convenient the transportation system is compared to the US. So during our time away from the loft we found ourselves walking anywhere between 11 and 13 miles per day (hello half marathon)! This fact alone states how tired you could expect our bones to be by the end of the day and sometimes into the next morning.



Choosing to take rest in a such a minimalist space, I believe, truly allows for rejuvenation. There is just something so perfect about having exactly what you need in just a few basics that are aesthetically pleasing to the eye. And it just so happens that both Jacob and I see the Scandi style as pleasing and ideal for a relaxing environment (huge win).





In this space we made excited trip plans, took in the silence, gorged ourselves on pizza from the shop on the corner, talked about our future, aired out drenched clothing from exploring during rainy days and watched sunrises to sunsets. My advice to every kind of relationship from friendship to romance- is to travel. There is this special kind of magic that occurs whenever you are one on one with your travel companion. It transcends every other kind of encounter.

You can bicker, you can explore, you can share truths and you can feel alone together too. Each opportunity leads you to know more about their pain and their weaknesses but more so their hopes and dreams. It is my goal to never stop dating my husband and especially never stop learning him. It is the greatest freedom and blessing to know that he feels the same way.

And it is this very truth and joy that makes me certain that we will always keep travel in our relationship through the seasons in life to come. So we want to thank you for coming along with us as we explore God’s good Earth and the mysteries of marriage. Cheers to the wrap up of our Belgium travels and now onto some killer US locations….


Next week on the blog come back for Christmas! YES! Christmas is finally here again and I will be sharing some Holiday Cheer by giving coverage to a warm and cozy Christmas event going on here in Indiana.


Our Day in Antwerp, Belgium

Sitting on the North Sea is out last location on our Belgium tour. Join me as I share our rainy day in the city and all of its charms that it has to offer…

Butting up to the Netherlands on the coast of the North Sea is our last location, Antwerp, Belgium. This is a location we had in the back of our minds to visit while in Europe but we weren’t sure on if we would make it. I say that because on the flight to Belgium we had a certain itinerary in mind compared to the one we actually got to explore. So by the end of day one of our trip, we knew we definitely wanted to visit this city and explore all of its water ways.

Taking a train a little over an hour north of Brussels, we got to Antwerp. The thing I noticed first about this city is it’s amazing and gorgeous train station. With being multiple levels high and adorned with a golden clock, it truly was a sight to be seen. This beauty continued itself further into the station and then out its front doors to the new city awaiting us.


From those very doors, what I saw genuinely made me giggle. Across the walk way I saw painting in red with two proud stone lions, Antwerp’s Chinatown. Did I expect to find myself in China while in Dutch country? Absolutely not! But was I mad about it? Heck no.


Much like the swans I told you about, I saw my target and booked it to China! Looking in shop windows full of ceramics, silk screens, glowing neon and menus and menus of my kind of food- I was in a silly little heaven. I even made Jacob promise me that we would come back before leaving for the day because I knew exactly what I wanted to have for my dinner.

But onward we went in search of more of the cities charms. One of those being in another gorgeous center where an age old turquoise fountain stood with the backdrop of those buildings that I fell hard for! We even got lucky enough to not have lots of crowds around us while we took in the sights. I think this had a lot to do with the fact that it was Monday and also a rainy Monday at that.


It’s usually around here in the day where I try to nail down the feeling that I get from a place. I don’t think I mean to always do this but I truly think that our surroundings have a personality all of their own that help tells a story of the past influencing the present. While in Antwerp, this was a hard feat for me to do but I think by the end of the day I came to see it as a quiet beauty, a place of rest almost.

Some of my favorite moments were empty yet inviting outdoor cafes, more adorable Belgium pups, shops with their windows full of plants, churches offering moments of reflection and bikes with baskets…





But speaking of coffee, we were without a doubt in need of more. So with the need for a pause and a moment to fill our bellies, we sat inside of a restaurant that specializes in English cuisine. Jacob ordered his food with a beer to wash it down while I ordered a cheese toastie (grilled cheese) and a coffee.


Unlike my instant connection to the food found in Chinatown from above, I tend to struggle a bit with food while traveling. In my mind I think about the language barrier when ordering but also on the unknown. It can be hard to decide and pick a place whenever you don’t know what all is around you to try and eat. I have this feeling of “what if I’m missing out on something better.” It is something that I want to continue to get better at while traveling because who doesn’t love reading up on food and different cultural cuisine!

Around the corner from our lunch spot was a statue I was hoping to see. This statue is called “Nello and Patrasche” and is of a boy and his dog snuggling under a blanket. So of course this made me miss our sweet boy, Tyson. And it may have, also, made me wish for a blanket for myself because the day was just not warming up anytime soon.


Around this part of the city I remembered one of the things that Antwerp is known for. Antwerp is known to have the largest collection of diamonds in one area so we knew exactly what our souvenirs would be… just kidding. We tucked into a dime a dozen souvenirs shop for Jacob’s last Belgium city shot glass.

Maybe I need to do a travel around the world via his shot glass collection!

Something that I was missing from our day was water. In all of our other locations we were pleasantly surprised by the amount of water around us (or maybe we are surprised because we are from the midwest in the US). But with Antwerp being just off of the North Sea, we knew we could easily get our fill if we decided to do so.

The first promise of getting close to the water was a large and oh so stunning mural of a whale! Followed quickly by the actual water with cross walks to get to the other side of the water or ships sitting on its surface to travel down it.


So far on the trip we haven’t visited any museums. This is something we go back and forth on for whether it’s something we should spend valuable time on or not. But while in Antwerp, we figured we should visit one for the trip. We chose the Museum aan de Stroom and it is a museum that cover’s the city’s Metropolis, Power, Life and Death, and Antwerp’s history as a port city. The draw to going wasn’t just the history story but also the rooftop which offers panorama views of the whole city.


Whenever we found the museum we noticed two things about it. The first was that the building itself was huge with modern touches and a very colorful exterior. The second thing we noticed was that it was very much closed for the day. Completely bummed at my lack of remembering its weekly hours, we turned it around and decided to take in the scenes surrounding the building.


Just down the way was a docked “pirate” ship as Jacob called it. To which he then decided that he was going to get on it for a picture and a laugh. Seeing the ship made my eyes fall onto another beautiful mural that ironically enough had the word “beYOUtiful” painted at its center. I love it when things don’t work out but you still find joy in the process. I think this about life but more importantly about myself and those around us. You never know how a “no” or a “rejection” will end up steering your life.



Before we took our frozen little bodies back to that gorgeous train station, we stopped in Chinatown for a to go order of my most favorite bao- aka the food version of a hug. Then we found our platform and snuggled in for a sleepy ride home to our Airbnb in Brussels for our last night in Belgium.



Thank you again for coming alongside me on our adventures! You’ve heard me talking an awful lot about our cozy, home away from home. Well for me where we lay our heads at night is just as important as the local or foreign streets we find ourselves on. So next week please come back for a cozy read about our Scandinavian home, how travel impacts our married and future adventures in store for Krisscrossing Life!


Bruges: Europe’s Fairytale City

Bruges has been called one of Europes Fairytale Cities and after spending 24 hours in the city, let me take you on an adventure to prove why that is true…..

When will I stop underestimating this awesome country? In my two previous blog posts about our trip to Belgium, Brussels and Gent, we are slowly exploring city after city. And if you haven’t noticed yet, this blog post is about our visit to Bruges. From my research of Bruges, I read things like “romantic,” “a storybook town,” and “a must see.” And to recap my thoughts on the city (is it too soon to recap??) those terms for the city are spot on truths.

Rolling into this city via train, we are welcomed by a string of oh so charming horse and buggies. Walking down the cobbled streets we saw countless horse-drawn carriages. Their hooves echoed down the rows of charming building and up towards the steeples of the churches. It was this very sound that pointed us towards the entrances of these churches.


We were not strangers to walking up and down the aisles, sitting in pews for a moment of silence or gazing at relics and stained glass; we actually made a point to visit many, if not most, of the churches we saw during our days of traveling. But this particular one really delighted my heart. This church was called, “The Saint-Salvator Cathedral.” The inside was dressed in contrasting blacks and whites with looming and richly painted images of the life of Christ.


After our tour of the cathedral we made our way to the center of the city. The streets leading up to the center were filled with musicians, designer clothing stores, Christmas shops, locals walking their pets, flower shops and all the chocolate you could ever need. All of these options gave way to a feeling of energy in the area because of all of the hustle and bustle of those shopping, visiting and eating.






As we journeyed on we found Brugge’s city center with those iconic Belgium buildings in colors like crimson, lavender, sky blue, soft grays and warm, earthy browns. In the city center there is also a famous, looming and majestic Belfry town. On the day we visited the center was teaming with life.

The city was setting up for a marathon while tourists were getting their hands on Belgium waffles made right in front of you. Jacob and I had started getting into the rhythm of getting a treat for ourselves and finding a nearby stair to sit on while we talked about our trip and life together while watching those around us. Our treats for this day were the famous street fries loaded up with curry sauce for Jacob while I had my freshly made waffle with a smudge of Nutella on top and an Americano.



^^btw number one travel tip, traveling is its best whenever you do it with your best friend.

My most proud moment in all of our Belgium exploring was when I saw a pair of swans. Ok ok I know what you are thinking, swans are jerks! But hear me out on this one because I have always romanticized the idea of seeing swans…. in a canal… in Europe. And finally it was my moment because it was finally happening. We were walking away from the city center to find the canals when way down the street I saw two white dots sitting on the surface of a body of water. So naturally, I booked it!


I walked so fast that I even lost Jacob somewhere behind me to get closer to those beauties. And when I rounded the corner those swans brought me to an area straight out of a fairytale. There were cute bridges, more cobblestone roads, willow trees and now the swans. Honestly it quickly became a God moment to me.

I find myself expecting a certain life and doing everything in my power to plan it out so that I can achieve it. Not that it is wrong to see a goal and a dream and bee line to it, but sometimes things just happen and they end up taking you to places you never expected and places you would have missed if you hadn’t been derailed at some point. I think what I mean is finding a way to welcome those detours because I am just so utterly thankful for each detour. They have helped me to create this life of mine, the ability to travel and the idea of using this blog as a tool to share it all with you. So I want to say thank you for taking an interest and joining me on my journey.




Wandering further down the canals, the rain started to come down so we found an alley and decided to follow it to wherever it might lead. It took us to a cute residential area filled with ivy, rose bushes and a wishing well (cue my Snow White moment). But this direction also took us to one of the secret niches in the city.


This niche is the home of Bruges fairytale bridge. Made out of stone and tucked away behind a cathedral’s vineyards is the Bonifacius Bridge. Standing on the bridge gives you an intimate and romantic view of the city. Traveling tip to this location is to arrive early. Many tourists visiting the city seek out this bridge so during busy hours of the day it is hard to get some alone time in this area. Try to come early or around dinner hours.

We actually came across the bridge when there were a ton of tourists but because of the pouring rain, most scattered for cover. I took this moment to, naturally, claim the bridge as my own and to take a moment to let the day sink in.


Our last destination while in Bruges was to find the four windmills. These windmills are located on the far side of the old parts of Bruges. You can get there multiple ways by carriage, car or foot; but because we wanted the option to keep exploring as we went, we decided to go by foot.

With the use of google maps, we found the first two of the four windmills. Sitting nearly side by side these towering windmills felt like they continued the fairytale story for us. Each of the four were painted a different color from red, white, black and grey. Some we could access while the others were restricted for potential maintenance or security purposes. But regardless you could still get very close for better view of the windmills and a better view of the city.


With the coming of the evening we set off through the local park to make our way back to the train station. The walk took us by an old lookout tower, gave us a view of the resident life and brought us to a canal boat crossing that just so happened to be adorned by the setting sun. In was that moment that fully encompassed our day spent Bruges, Belgium.


Come back next week as I share our experiences at our last stop in Antwerp, Belgium! It’s a must read!


Gent, Ghent, Gint

In this part two of my Belgium blogging story, we visit Ghent! Welcome to this charming, Medieval rooted city full of canals, treats and some of the best Belgium culture!

The city of Ghent, Belgium confuses me. Why? Because I’m not too sure the spelling of the city as a whole. From Google maps to local signs, it seems like everyone spells it differently. But what this city doesn’t confuse me on is my new found and deep love for it! Going into our time here I had zero expectations for it. I figured that it would be cute and a little bit slower paced compared to Brussels but as of today, it is my most favorite city in Europe!

Our commute to Ghent started off with gray skies that threatened to pour on us at any moment but by the time we got off of our train the sky was blue, no matter what direction you looked. My heart loved how everything looked, felt and smelled- but my stomach kept reminded me of its existence. So we walked to an address that I had previously found on the interwebs. We ordered breakfast sandwiches and french toast….but quickly found out that because of the language barrier (English to French) we had actually ordered some type of scone with berries and whip on top. It was a nice comedic moment for us that truly set the tone for the rest of the day.

But speaking of my Googling, I did have one main location that I wanted to visit while in Ghent and that was it’s well preserved Medieval Castle built in 1180 called The Gravensteen which offers its visitors panoramic views of the city. After brunch we set off in the direction of the Castle which took us over canals, through graffiti alleys, around modern architecture and cathedrals.




We walked over canals, smelled more chocolate in the air, sampled Gent’s famous candy called the Nose of Gent, heard church bells tolling and then we came upon our destination! With 10 euro each, we were able to climb up and explore every part of the castle. There were suits of armor, weapons of old, tales of torture, enough stained glass that my mom would melt over, winding spiral staircases and then the best view in the city. Aka cue the view!


Once we were back on the ground I knew what I wanted to do next and ironically it couldn’t take place on the ground but on the water. We found a canal touring company, tucked into our spot on the boat and saw another view of this lovely city. I highly recommend seeing any European city from this viewpoint but don’t get offended if you’re the only one of the three people proudly showing off your single language skills to your tour guide.




From weeping willows along the riverside to locals drinking wine and feeding pieces of baguettes off of their dinner plates to ducks, the lifestyle here in Ghent will truly leave you inspired, have you reevaluate how you spend your leisure time and make you want to find more joy in the simple things in life. To celebrate the ending of our day in Ghent and to start living out their way of life, we bought two decked out waffles and sat along another beautiful canal to enjoy the nightlife springing up around us.



Thank you all for sharing in my Ghent tales and support my love of travel! It truly is as they say “the only purchase we can make that makes us richer.” So to further enrich you here on the blog, next week I will be sharing Brugge, Belgium! Please stay tuned and if you would like email updates of new posts, please subscribe below!


Brussels, Belgium

Well we are at it again! Traveling hundreds of miles over the Atlantic to Belgium, join us as we visit some of the most popular cities in the country. The first top on the list is the capital city, Brussels….

One day in our Harrison Home (catchy huh? I should make an Instagram page for it) we were talking about how in the world we were going to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary. Some people go all out for this moment while some like to spend it at home going through their photographer’s amazing captures of the day. Both are definitely a good idea but for us we felt the need to go a little crazy. By crazy I mean we decided on a foreign location, booked the plane tickets and nine day long stay at an Airbnb all within four days… yeah we did that.

Personally, I have never daydreamed over the idea of spending much time in the country of Belgium. My thoughts always wandered to Greece, Italy, Sweden, Denmark, Ireland, Scotland, England, France, Spain and just about every other country in Europe but Belgium. However, even though it was never an idea in my head I soon realized just how blissful I was about to be while walking the cobblestone streets of the country oozing the fragrant smells of chocolate and waffles.

We are clear for takeoff!

On the afternoon of October 14, we started our journey. From Indianapolis we took a short plane ride to Chicago (shoulda coulda drove) then we boarded our eight hour flight to Brussels, Belgium. Jacob and I’s plans for the plane ride were polar opposite. He had a strict schedule of sleep, snack, sleep, dinner, sleep, arrive in Belgium. While I, on the other hand, was filled with envy over his ability to sleep on the plane. I am a deep lover of travel, of exploring new land, of trying new food but I am not a fan of the journey to the destination. Try as I might I can never sleep on planes so my plan for the eight hours was simple, watch all of the movies and not focus on how much time is left until arrival.


Good news is that it worked. Sooner than I realized, we were there and it was 9 a.m. local time on Tuesday the 15th of October! We grabbed our checked bags, got our euros, bought transportation passes (this step made me miss how effortless it was to get transit passes in Germany) boarded a train and road into the heart of Brussels ready to explore.



Whenever you research the city of Brussels you instantly see that one of the hottest locations to visit is the Grand Place. It is the queen of courtyards that gives all of its glory to the surrounding buildings dressed in gleaming, gold in the sunlight. Here you can find restaurants, coffee shops, hotels, gift shops and more. It really is a one stop shop that will stop you in your tracks.



Because of the nature of our stay in Brussels, we were able to come back to this city center many times to enjoy its splendor, the excited onlookers like us and the feeling of being apart of the heartbeat of this city. I am also glad that we were able to come back here a few times because even though it is still beautiful while rainy, it is even more special with a blue sky backdrop.

Moving past the Grand Center you will find four roads to take. Each of these roads leads to more gorgeous, old style buildings with cafes, vintage finds, chocolate and waffles. But if you want a mini mecca of chocolate, waffles and a little something to tickle your funny bone, find the junction of Rue de l’Etuve and Stoofstraat.




Here you can get your chocolate and fruit smothered waffle while viewing a local celebrity, little Manneken Pis. This local celebrity has two other comrades that are roughly a 10 minute walk in either direction. They are called the three Pis and they just happen to be sculptures of a boy, a girl and a dog peeing very proud and free. I personally found this to be the weirdest thing but I’m not mad about it.


But don’t let this area confuse you. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and also the largest city in the country so there is still so much more to see. So with this fact, Jacob and I took off towards another section of the city where we found a gate that gave us a nod towards our honeymoon in Berlin. This gate is called Cinquantenaire and is located in Jubelpark. It is apart of a lush park with plenty of green grass for a picnic to history museums full of war planes and cars of the world. Neither of those things interest you? Well there happens to be a food truck there serving up more waffles and coffee to help bid your time.




As the day grows darker and into the evening hours finding a delicious restaurant, pub or bar isn’t an issue. Most restaurants offer English menus to their non- French speaking guests. However, if they happen to not have this option my advice is definitely to download the Google Translate app to your phone (not sponsored but that would be a dream). There is a camera option in the app that if you hover your camera over, say a menu, it will translate the words right in front of you. Hence making it easy to eat within your tastes, preferences and dietary needs.

On our evenings in Brussels we ate gorgeous amounts of pizza from a shop right around the corner from our Airbnb. I will share more about our new neighborhood in a later post but for now we are saying goodbye to Brussels with an evening view of the sky while on a ferris wheel ride.


Next week come back for part two of my Belgium series as we board a train to the city of Gent. Expect those iconic European canals, unique treats, stunning views and more places to save for your future trip to Belgium.



Colorado Springs, Colorado

Part two of our Colorado vacation is here! Join us as we go on hikes, get all of the good eats and drinks, visit cool locations and love our time in Colorado Springs….

Picking up right where we left off in my previous post Boulder, Colorado Jacob and I were onto our next adventure together in Colorado Springs! I like to think that we are perfectly matched as travel companions. I first found this out whenever we took a weekend trip to Saint Louis four months into our relationship.

I say we are perfectly matched because he likes to plan the part of the trip that I’m not the craziest about. He finds us the perfect home away from home, our wheels and the flight to get us both there. From there I find all of our entertainment ideas, places to eat and drink and help piece together an itinerary to help the trip flow.

Monday, May 27th, 2019

While we were in Colorado Springs, I personally think that Jacob booked the best Airbnb possible for us. We stayed at the Golden Egg Cottage. It was a modern, tiny house built right next to morning views of a hen house. We loved the location because it was close to everything but we also love the story of the family who own it!img_20190602_173120_8536125767076109263228.jpg




After resting in our new home we packed back into the subaru for a much needed trip to grab coffee before going down memory lane from when Jacob once lived in Colorado Springs. The coffee shop that we went to was called Switchback Coffee Roastery. It was less than a mile away from our airbnb and so naturally it was tucked into a residential area. I thought that was quirky and perfect at the same time.



I love my coffee and sometimes need my coffee, but I would never call myself a coffee snob. However, the decor of this shop spoke to me. The interior was painted in all white with accents of yellow and decorated with plants. It felt modern but in a down to earth way. We ordered out personal favorite lattes and took a seat for a mini coffee date together.


^Forever stealing Jacob’s coffee because he gets the better latte pours. Oh my millennial heart.


Jacob wanted to take me here because it was apart of the locations he would visit when he lived here before. I have been waiting to seeing all of these places for a long time because they help me to better understand the person that I’m in love with. Could it get any better than that?

After coffee, he drove us to the downtown area of the town where he used to work, bars full of memories from his single days and lastly where he and our boy tyson used to live and play. Of course it didn’t match the imagine I had in my head, but it was better because of the constant view of the mountains that the areas had. Those big, beautiful, sloping mountains!


Still a bit drained from the previous days we agreed to have a charcuterie board night at the Airbnb with some good ol fashion Netflix! I’m honestly glad we decided to end the day this way because vacation is fun but if you don’t take the time to invest in the person you’re with, I feel like you’ve totally missed the mark. And for us, being on the same schedule with nothing distracting us, was everything.


Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Something you may not know about me is that I like my sleep, I love my rest! So when on vacation is it a bittersweet moment whenever my travel companions suggest waking up early so that we can have a full day. But the key to this dilemma is promising me breakfast. So after peeling myself out of bed, we made it down to the Garden of the Gods Market and Cafe.


^^And you thought I wasn’t going to add a picture of the hens.

I ordered a lavender latte along with my eggy, brunchy concoction while we settled in for our planning of the day’s hike. We planned to first drive through the Garden of the God’s so that we would have plenty of time to hike both Mt. Cutler and Mt. Muscoco and then to end up at the Broadmoor Seven Falls park. And they mean seven waterfalls!







Using your own strength to climb a mountain is one of the best feelings. I remember at times being completely out of breath because of the altitude but knowing that when we reach the top it’s all going to be worth it. What I didn’t expect was that all of a sudden it would start snowing! Snow in late May/early June just blows my midwestern mind but I know that’s part of the mountain culture. I’m just glad that I was able to capture it in some of my pictures.









After hiking 3 mountains, seeing 8 waterfalls, collecting flowers, seeing wildlife and earning a night free of footwear we tucked into some delicious food to both fill our bellies and to warm our hearts. The hearts bit comes from the fact that our dinner consists of food we ate a lot of while on our honeymoon and its food you must try asap.


The entree is called Doner Kebab and it is a Turkish dish. It will give you the happiest of smiles because it tastes bomb. From options of meat to amazing falafel (my go to choice) with tons of fresh veg, spiced yogurt sauce and pita on the side- its hands down the best. And where we found it in Colorado Springs, they did a great version of it!

Wednesday, May 29th, 2019

On our Wednesday and last full day in Colorado Springs we did some sight seeing of Old Colorado City, I made some purchases at Heartshake Studios, Jacob bought some of his favorite beer at a brewery built inside of an old school house while I selfied and we had a fancy date night at The Rabbit Hole to celebrate the end of a vacation well had.

Cute things make me want to take cute pictures. So thank you Heartshake Studios for the inspiration!20190529_1335007041405863883296552.jpg






^Best, hands down sweet treat that I’ve had for a long time from the French Bakery in town! Crunchy croissant exterior with a flaky interior and a smooth center of cream cheese goodness! Goes oh so naturally with a cup of black coffee.





Thursday, May 30th, 2019

Waking up before the sun, and the hens, we grabbed our luggage and made our way to the Denver Airport. We very much loved our time in Colorado and can’t wait to come back!img_20190528_000259_5294917246441855438826.jpg

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Boulder, Colorado

Come along as I share some down to Earth moments from our time in Boulder, Colorado…

Finally on Our Way

The Colorado talk started at the very beginning of Jacob and I’s relationship. It was on our first date, at a coffee shop no less, where he told me about how he lived there and how that time changed him and his life. And as we became more serious in our relationship, I knew that one day I would visit this awesome state. Now here we are nearly two and a half years later!

The fact that I had yet to visit Colorado was kinda surprising to me. I have been very lucky to be able to travel a lot so far in my life but Colorado was a state that I can’t say I’ve visited until now. There is no reason for that other than lack of time or resources, because I’ve been very captivated by the state and the grand scale of nature that it provides in abundance. And if you read my previous blog, Plant Lady, you’d know that I’m a bit of a nut about nature.

So on the morning of May 25th, I was a excited heap of my a girl. Our flight wasn’t until that evening so I made myself busy in hopes that time would fly by. I packed my bag, shout out to all of the last minute packers, with everything I would need, double checked my just packed luggage, deep cleaned the house, snuggled our dog as much as he would allow, yoga sequence, googled locations to visit and once everything was done- I waited.

Traveling is always a bit of a multi-step process, am I right? So for us it looks like driving an hour to the airport, the usual airport steps of checking in, plane ticket, security and more waiting, sometimes flight delays, hoping your flight neighbor isn’t too nosey about your life or a loud sleeper, getting off the flight, finding your rental car company and if you’re really lucky- driving another hour plus to get to your end location. And that right there was our day!

After everything worked out so well, I made a friend in my flight neighbor Drew, we got our subaru rental and by dinner time we made the hour and a half drive to our cabin location in the mountains near Boulder, Colorado- the last to arrive to the party. And boy was it a party!

Staying at the cabin that weekend was all of my in-laws. On one branch of the tree was four generations while on the branch of the tree that I married into, I was one happy leaf to be there. It’s hard for all of us to come together at one time because the family all lives between roughly six different states from one side of the country to the other. The weekend was going to be a great time just because everyone was there.

Waking Up to the Mountains

Sunday morning was our first morning of the trip and the slower morning of our time with the family. Jacob and I were put up in an East facing bedroom where I had a front row seat to seeing a Colorado mountain for the first time.

We slept with the window open so at around 4 in the morning some far off noise woke me up and from that moment on I was awake for the day. I dug out my journal and got set up for the sunrise. And when it came, the room blazed alive with the rays of the sun and my heart felt every bit of it. The view awoke my memories of Tolkien novels with quotes about mountains and adventure while my soul felt the hope and strength of Jesus Christ.

I was humbled by the size of the mountains because of the beautiful symbolism of life, journey, hurdles and victories that they represent. And in that moment where I was under fluffy, down blankets feeling the cool breeze of the morning while my husband was fast asleep next to me, it’s as if everything fell into place. Surely this moment was the confirmation that this trip was going to mean something to me and to everyone in that house.

Adventure Awaits, but coffee first.

Around ten that morning, the ball started rolling. With most everyone awake, the house was quickly filling up with activity. Coffee was made to help fuel breakfast prep and early conversations about the days plans. Half of the group would walk down to the town called Nederland, just ten minutes away, while half would go into Boulder.

I was all over both ideas but with only having time for one, I chose Boulder with the boys. Jacob, his older brother Jeremy and two cousins Michael and Jon plus myself got into the subaru and took the winding road down to Boulder.

With it being Memorial Day weekend the streets were buzzing. From a carnival to live music to vendors and their tents set up around the shopping areas, there was a lot to see.

We first opted for walking around the shopping areas to wander around quirky finds and relax in roof top bars. Goodness knows that I wanted to buy all of the things but I carried on with the group knowing that I’d find some awesome souvenirs later.

After a full day on the town, we all drove back to the cabin and tucked into a night of snacks, card games, old SNL episodes and rest.

Memorial Day

This year on Memorial Day it wasn’t just different because we were in another state, it was different because half of the day was spent celebrating the stars and stripes by being at the Boulder Boulder 10k race and cheering on all of the runners in the family. For months Jacob and various family members trained for this run. At a point I too was training for it but because life was full with finishing up my degree, I had to put off my race day for some other time in the future.

I didn’t get that many pictures that day because it was was a bit of a mad dash for everyone involved. We woke up at 5 a.m., got ready for the day, everyone had to pack up because we wouldn’t be coming back later and head out before 6 so the runners could get dropped off and warmed up for their start times.

I felt incredibly and hysterically out of my element with all of the different types of stretches and strategies, energy supplements and wardrobes surrounding me- I mean I also was wearing jeans and a sweater while everyone else seemed to be head to toe spandex. But I, also, couldn’t have imagined being anywhere else. I was beaming with pride for Jacob. When he finally made his last stretch of the 10k, I just saw it all on his face, determination yet exhaustion. It yet again made me sure of the man I chose to do this adventure called “Life” with.

After the race, we all joined together one last time for a family lunch, rounds of hugs and promise’s of “see you soon”‘s.

Next on the blog is the part two to our Colorado trip! This leg of the trip will be lived out in Colorado Springs, Colorado with lots of ideas for hiking, eats, drinks and shopping. Stay tuned and if you haven’t already, sign up below for future email notifications for new posts and updates on my blog.