Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Painted Pool Room!

Remember when we were deciding which of the beautiful teal paint colors would be deemed the fairest of them all? Well, we decided. 

Turns out we picked the one I thought would have landed in a solid third place. Benjamin Moore's Dark Harbor held my heart from the minute I saw it, and Richard's vote was always for the more navy-blue-hued Martha Stewart Plumage. 

Neither of those won out. We chose Glidden's Totally Teal. 

Since we had the paint choices up on the walls for weeks, we had lots of votes for all of the colors (although very few votes for Dark Harbor -- maybe all of those votes came from me). We viewed the colors in daylight. We viewed them at night. We viewed them with the lights and with the lights off. And we decided that Dark Harbor was too, well, dark. Plumage was too navy and not teal enough for my tastes, so we landed on Totally Teal. 

Richard bought the paint, and I intended to work on it after work in the evenings a couple weeks ago. But, of course, he surprised and had the whole room painted when I got home from work on Tuesday of that week. He's seriously the best. 

We both really like the way the dark walls make the white trim pop, so I'm thinking of doing all white frames in there for the artwork.

Here are a few excellently-framed photos of the room just after being painted. I'll add more photos with the room back in order. 

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Amsterdam & Barcelona (continued)

Here are more pictures and little stories from our wonderful trip to Europe!

I know this post is titled with both cities, but these pictures are all from our time in Amsterdam with Emmy! I'll need to do a more in-depth post about our days in Barcelona. 
Emmy! (This is while she was giving us our shortened but still official "city tour.")

A beautiful chocolate shop

This strip of pavers is a monument to a Jewish Boys' Orphanage that used to stand in that space. During World War II, the three caretakers kept the orphanage running until the Nazis invaded and sent all 100 boys to a concentration camp. The three Dutch men who were not Jewish did not want the boys to have to face the unknown terrors alone and went with them to the concentration camp. 

While walking through Westerpark on our way to the ferry, we happened upon a food festival. So we grabbed a tasty snack and found a spot in the shade. 

Out of focus, but too cute not to share!

Aren't they both adorable? They're sharing the tasty snack we got -- what was it? A zucchini cake, a falafel? Not sure. 

I love this next succession of pictures. I have printed copies, and they're definitely going to be framed together and placed somewhere in the house. 

This is right after we visited one of my favorite shops in Amsterdam -- The Tea Bar. I'm going to need to place an order with Emmy before she comes back. Seriously, this stuff is the best. The shop is so cute and has these adorable little tea strainers, and the whole place just smells divine!

Anyway, so that's why Emmy is holding two cups -- one is my tea and one is hers. 

Cute street art on one of the bridges over one of the canals

Adorbs house boat PLUS small boat PLUS kayak -- this guy loves some boats. 

Winkel! Emmy took us to this great little bar that served the best apple pie!
Look at that beautiful Clemson ring! 

The beautiful Rijksmuseum

I could have spent ALL day at the Rijksmuseum, but this photo captures how Richard feels about art museums. 
The most famous painting in the building -- Rembrandt's "The Night Watch"

The view of the seven arches over Reguliersgracht -- it's supposed to be one of the most famous/beautiful views in Amsterdam.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Amsterdam & Barcelona!

It's been just over a month since our trip's departure date, so a post with pictures and thoughts from the trip is certainly overdue. 

Our 10-day trip abroad was so wonderful in so many ways. It was so great to see and spend time with both sisters. We love them dearly, and it was so nice to visit them in their current cities and to have them as local tour guides. The weather was so perfect for our entire trip. We took rain jackets with us for Amsterdam, and didn't even have to use them. We had sunny, 75-degree days, and we enjoyed soaking up those rays. 

We had some delicious food and beverages, and we got to try all kinds of new things (more paella, Richard?). And of course, we loved seeing the sights and exploring new cities. 

Modes of transportation that we used: planes, buses, trams, bicycles, ferries, metros, canal cruise boats, trains, taxis. Oh, and walking, lots and lots of walking. Our poor, suburban, American feet got broken in pretty hard on the streets of Barcelona, Brussels, and Amsterdam. 

So, in a series of posts, here are some photos from our fabulous trip! 

Hanging out in Parc Guell

Comfy, stone seat

The beautiful view of Barcelona from the hills of Parc Guell

Strangely beautiful Sagrada Familia -- as always, under construction

One of my favorites -- the details in the doors of Sagrada Familia

The view from the top

In his happy place -- the zoo

With the Komodo dragon!