Bonjour mes amies! How are you?
I’ve just come back from my European holiday and all I can say is: Boy, it’s cold on this side of the world!!! Winter has definitely settled in Melbourne in my absence and I think it’s going to take me a few days to adjust and leave my heater’s side. In the meantime, I thought I’d reminisce over some (sunny) pics and share some snippets of my trip with you.
As you may have noticed, my wonderful plans of posting three times a week whilst away on holiday didn’t quite work out. I could blame this lack of posting on spotty internet connections or the fact that I moved around a lot in the last few weeks but really, it comes down to me choosing to party and stuff myself with cheese and wine over blogging. Sorry!
The truth is though that it felt good to take a break. I got to spend some time with my friends and family without having to
obsess think about work and I even disconnected from all social media for a while. After spending a couple of weeks ‘unplugged’ (and having a much-needed creative rest) I’m feeling refreshed and more inspired than ever. I’m bursting with ideas for Pretty Mayhem and from next week onwards the blog schedule will be back to normal.
♥ I tried my first ever ‘Singapore sling’ cocktail in Singapore (yes I know, I’m such a cliche!) and it was so good! I’ll definitely try to re-create it on the blog very soon. I did a whole lot more than drinking in Singapore though – during our a 24hours stopover on the island we also managed to walk through Chinatown, do a spot of shopping on Orchard rd and watch the sun set over the waterfront!
♥ The next stop on our trip was Rome where we spent four magical days with my friends Melanie and Grant. They invited us to stay in their rental apartment in the Trastevere area and we divided our time between visiting the local sites, eating (too much) pasta and sampling a different ‘aperitivo’ every day (the Italian version of ‘cocktail hour’). We also took some photos with a couple of local gladiators because you know, I love a good cliche ;)
♥ Once in France, Mark and I organized an (unofficial) vow renewal party for my 98-year-old grandfather who couldn’t be at our New Zealand wedding. We hosted it at his holiday home on the French riviera (I love that house so much) and we also invited a few close friends and family members. What started out as a simple, small ceremony turned into a great party and I’m so glad that we decided to do it! My friend Aude made the most wonderful speech (everyone cried) and it was so great to be able to share this moment with my grandad. Then it was Champagne time and let’s just say that everyone got pretty merry and had a good time. My granddad even danced with us for a while! (I sure hope I’m that acrobatic when I’m 98).
♥ The day following the party, we all chilled out by playing petanque in the backyard and my team won! (sorry, it had to be said).
♥ After Mark headed back to Melbourne to work my friend Rowena and I decided to take a road trip together to the Rhone valley. We stayed with my friend Cendrine at her mum’s guesthouse ‘La Fontaine au loup‘ near Avignon which is pretty much paradise on earth. We had the best time visiting local villages, walking through vineyards and being treated like princesses by Cendrine’s mum. Everyday was a feast filled with different cheese, homemade desserts and local wines…*sigh*
♥ We then headed to Annecy where my friend Aude invited us to attend her Catholic Confirmation and to a little outdoor party near the monastery of Tamie. It was a beautiful ceremony and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect for a little ‘fete’ in the countryside. Again, the food was out of this world and Aude’s friend’s made the most delicious pastries and macarons I’ve ever tasted in my life (and I’ve been to Laduree!).
♥ After Annecy, I went back to the south of France and just relaxed with my parents and grandfather for a week. The weather was incredible so I just hung out on the terrasse and soaked up the sun, bliss!
♥ So.much.food. I’m not even going to try and put on my winter skinny jeans…
♥ I also spent wayyyy too much money shopping at Sephora (but then again, I probably don’t really need to eat for the next three weeks so it’s all good.)
♥ Trying to explain to people (including my own family) what blogging is and that it’s more than ‘just taking pictures and posting them on Facebook’ is always an ummm, ‘interesting’ exercise. If I had a dollar for every time somebody asked me how you can make money running a blog I’d be a millionaire by now.
♥ Even though she’s a great driver, watching my New Zealand friend Rowena driving on the right side of the road in France did make me a little nervous at first. People in France drive so much faster than Australians or New Zealanders and since we were only in a little WV UP it almost felt like we were being blown off the road sometimes. Driving in the motorways’ slowest lane with all the trucks was kind of hilarious though and by the time we were passing them we felt like Formula 1 drivers.
♥ Saying good-bye to my French friends and family was hard. Why can’t everyone just live in Melbourne with me?