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salted white dresses and blue satin sashes

Happy Friday!! And since this coming Monday is my birthday (and Kobe Bryant day), tonight officially starts birthday weekend! How are you doing? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, refurbishing furniture, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.

If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “beers, brats, and salt mine showers” - you can click here to read about our one night layover in Palma de Mallorca, Spain and our first night in Salzburg, Austria! There's a lot of food, a lot of delicious Austrian and craft beer, and a whole lotta memories made. Make sure you've had something to eat before you click that link! Otherwise, if you’re all caught up and ready to charge forward, buckle up, strap on in, and let’s continue this journey together! We’re continuing our time in Salzburg on one of the highlights of the whole Eurotrip - the Sound of Music Bus Tour! Keep in mind what I mentioned in the post "pastis and the French Riviera" - I convinced my boyfriend to continue on a Eurotrip with me after France, and one of the main reasons I wanted the mini Eurotrip to happen was because of the following bus tour!

We woke up our first full day in Salzburg ready to take on the morning! We got cleaned up, stopped at a local bakery for a quick grab-and-go breakfast, and made our way to the bus meeting location. When we got on the bus, we were 100% the youngest people on the tour, which makes sense because my boyfriend has never seen The Sound of Music in its entirety, and I am what one might describe as a 30-year-old with some granny tendencies. This bus tour was the entire reason for our visit to Salzburg, and it did. not. disappoint. We drove through Austria and parts of Bavaria, taking in the beautiful mountains where Maria twirled around and the family von Trapp house, driving past the Red Bull headquarters (very cool architecture), and stopping at several movie spots. We got to see the gazebo where Hans and Liesel sang “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and also kissed in front of it (my boyfriend won many, many points that day), the lake where the children’s boat was overturned upon Baron von Trapp's return from Vienna with Baroness Schraeder, the Mirabell Palace and Gardens the children and Maria sang and danced through, the church where Maria and Baron von Trapp were married (spoiler alert), and the building the famous ballroom dance scene was modeled after.

While driving through the beautiful countryside, we also got to have a bus singalong with the best tour guide of all time - Christina (yes, we absolutely made sure to get a picture with her - it's at the end of the post). She sacheted up and down the bus aisle, singing along to every word of every song as I happily sat next to my boyfriend, singing along, too, the world’s hugest smile on my face. During one of the singalong breaks, my boyfriend told her it was my birthday, so I got to stand at the front of the bus as the entire bus serenaded me with a wonderful rendition of “Happy Birthday.” The tour was a highlight of the trip and one that I will never forget. Honestly, I’d love to do it again one day. Fun fact about Christina: at the time of our tour a year ago today, she had been a tour guide on the Sound of Music tour for over 40 years. Once she retired from her "real" job, she just started giving more Sound of Music tours because it is something she truly loves and enjoys... and it absolutely showed!

After we made it back to Salzburg, we spent the rest of the day wandering the city streets, looking at art. Before we went to the Salzburg Museum of Modern Art, we spent some time wandering through a few smaller, independently-run, rad art galleries during which time I told my boyfriend about one of my favorite artists, Sigalit Ethel Landau, an Israeli sculptor and installation artist who uses the Dead Sea as her playground for creating. I told him about some of her work I’d seen in pictures and art books, transforming old dresses into beautiful snow-queen-like crystal dresses, as well as many other types and artifacts of clothing. We stopped for lunch and ended up getting delicious kabob wraps from the little stand outside our AirBnB for a quick meal since we were pretty hungry from the morning tour and from wandering around.

When we sat down to eat, we realized that the entrance to the Salzburg MoMA, an entrance we could not find after searching for it for an embarrassing amount of time, was actually just two doors over from our AirBnB. Now, this next part is going to sound like I’m making it up, but I promise I had no prior knowledge about the Salzburg MoMA. Remember how I mentioned I told my boyfriend earlier in the day all about Sigalit Ethel Landau and the Dead Sea crystal dress? Well, when we got to the Salzburg MoMA, I nearly shrieked with joy upon finding out that some of her works were on display. Call it serendipity or synchronicity or whatever you want, but it did feel like we were meant to visit the MoMA in Salzburg, especially since we found the entrance two doors down from where we were staying and realized Landau’s works were on view. Life can have some pretty magical moments when it wants to if you know how and where to look for them!

There were so many amazing exhibits on display at the MoMA in Salzburg. In addition to Landau’s works, some highlights included numerous exhibits related to space exploration, a cactus man’s escape, and a literal pile of dirt on the floor. We spent a pretty decent amount of time wandering through the museum and walking to the outdoor space, overlooking the city of Salzburg. It was such an incredible experience, and I feel so lucky to have someone who loves going to art museums as much as I do. I will say, though, that art museums wear me out. I had the same issue a couple summers ago with my best friend from high school when we went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art - we were drained afterwards! Have you noticed that happening to you? Looking at artworks, deciphering their meanings, and taking in their beauty and their grotesqueness uses a lot of brainpower.

After my boyfriend and I spent the majority of the afternoon after our Sound of Music tour looking at art, we ended up taking a wonderful, much-needed nap. Post-nap, we ended up trying to eat at another recommended restaurant called Hibiskus but were unable to be seated, so we ended up finding a restaurant called Uncle Van and ate there instead. I can’t remember what I ate at Uncle Van, and I hardly remember eating there - my boyfriend remembers it much more clearly than I do, but even he can’t remember what we ordered. After dinner we ended up going to a cute little cocktail bar by our AirBnB called Mentor’s Bar Kultur. The bartender was incredibly kind and was also the owner. We only ended up staying out for one drink after such a long day, but I would definitely visit it again.

After such a long, fun-filled day, we called it an earlier night, especially since we had another tour scheduled for the next morning followed by a train ride to Munich! Have you ever experienced the art museum drain I mentioned earlier? Let me know! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM, etc. recently bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



P.S. - there were so many photos taken that I wanted to share, so here are a few more from the tour!

P.P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

1. Won't you join me?

2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand

3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery

4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab

5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style

6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin

7. pizza in roma

8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop

9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife

10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't

11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand

12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my

13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic

14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story

15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander

16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper

17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg

18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo

19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast

20. the world's most magical toilet

21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors

22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you

23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat

24. the next maxim cover girl!! 25. you can vote now!!

26. kindness at… the airport??

27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals

28. aren't gas stations amazing?!

29. not just mac's... supermac's

30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers

31. brown bread ice cream

32. Black Lives Matter

33. technology and theatre

34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto

35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company

36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad

37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

38. thank you! round 2!

39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza

40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london

41. a special london edition nerd alert

42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time

43. that wanker Van Morrison

44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre

45. LA girls love London green juice

46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley

47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails

48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden

49. dublin tattoo magic

50. juneteenth

51. thank you! Maxim round 4!

52. dublin bog bodies

53. dún laoghaire ice cream

54. local celeb sighting

55. 13.1 in Dublin

56. thank you! Maxim round 5!

57. every girl likes a bad boy

58. poolbeg lighthouse

59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast

60. bow to your lord mayor


62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!

63. gulliver's travels in belfast

64. all aboard the HMS Caroline

65. all aboard the RMS Titanic

66. you know nothing, jon snow

67. cave-born shadow babies

68. afraid of heights?

69. giants and their egos

70. the Kingsroad

71. sunsets in Donegal

72. derry dining chains

73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!

74. Spontaneity is Key

75. Dear Nana

75. blasket island centre

76. Nana's blue tin cookies

77. a dance lesson in Dublin

78. dublin to Royal Portrush

79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship

80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food

81. Irish beachy wild women

82. my Irish love, Cork

83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate

84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life

85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market

86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle

87. one year ago today

88. pastis and the French Riviera

89. French Alps swim session

90. French weddings

91. Saucisson and delicious olives

92. wine and mustard at Château Virant

93. beers, brats, and salt mine showers

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