I tucked myself away in a corner of a well-known bookstore called Shakespeare and Co. accompanied by Robert Frost and the store’s pet cat. A man played the piano and the music danced in and out of the bookshelves. Time did not exist and my only focus was the words on the page. It was, by definition, a magical moment. 

Weezie and I spent our fall break in the dreamy city of Paris. I had a difficult time creating this post because I could not narrow down the images or think of the words to say. By compiling this, it makes me aware that that is exactly how I would describe Paris: a magical city in which no words can fully explain its essence and no human can fully grasp the experience.

We spent our seven days gawking over Monets, sketching at coffee shops, picnicking by the Seine, getting lost in the gardens of Versailles, and consuming any French food in sight. We also had the pleasure of meeting up with a few of our dear friends, which was the cherry on top of our trip. Au revoir Paris, I hope to see you soon!

A Weekend in the Alps

Hidden away in a valley in the Alps, the town of Chiavenna awaited us for a much-needed weekend getaway. Our home was a cozy, 400-year-old, four story tower built on top of the remains of a Medieval city. The tower overlooked a vineyard, freshwater creek, and an archeological village of stone houses. 

The weather was overcast and in the low 60s with specks of sunlight seeping through the clouds; the only sounds audible were the rushing creek water, crashing of waterfalls against the mountains, and birds singing. I was half expecting to look up and see Rapunzel’s hair draped over the balcony.

The tower was completely secluded and without internet (I know, how did we ever survive?). We spent our weekend mountain biking, strolling, exploring, and most importantly, resting. The mornings were slow, peaceful and accompanied by hot tea. We spent the nights sipping on wine from the vineyard, gifted to us by our kind host, curled up in blankets looking out at the waterfall, telling stories varying from memories of childhood Christmases to tales of high school romance. 

Most importantly, this weekend reminded me of the absolute God-breathed beauty of creation. 

The Craftsmen

I wandered around Florence one quiet Friday morning with a camera in hand. Walking down a street I take every day for class, I noticed something shiny out of the corner of my eye. 

I looked over to find a celestial display of hand-made wall decor and was automatically lured in. There were three people in the shop, each slouched over his or her own workspace, consumed by routine. Though their movements were so delicate and precise, they made it seem as if it were something as ordinary as brushing one’s teeth. 

In jumbled Italian, I asked if they minded my photographing them. They happily obliged and I spent the morning watching them in awe as they silently created. 

From the small exchange of words we were able to communicate, the men proudly told me they are cousins and have been working as craftsmen for decades, spending most mornings meticulous producing their decor. 

It is moments like this that remind me of the preciousness of routine and simplicity.