Danzy Wedding

Lauren arrived in Vienna the same week as I did, at the beginning of 2014. We had many great times during the year & a half we were there together, from seeing Swan Lake at the Vienna Opera House to experiencing heat-induced hysteria on a summer trip to Geneva. Roaming through various cities & countries, sharing an apartment and all of the joys and difficulties of navigating life in another country, laughing a whole lot. Working alongside one another on a great team committed to seeing revival happen across Germany, Austria, & Switzerland. Watching the young people of that region grow in so many areas. And of course, drinking all the coffee in Vienna.

Lauren connected with Josh in her first few months in Vienna. They had their first date in Paris. She went back to America to see him; he came to Vienna to see her. And one day, he flew in unexpectedly and proposed to her on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the beautiful Vienna streets. We all celebrated together later that night!

I am so thankful I got to go come back to the US to photograph their big day. Much love & best wishes, Lauren & Josh!

 

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Salzburg, Austria Girls Trip

I love living in Austria! Salzburg is a 2 hour drive/train ride from Vienna, and it has such a different feel to it. Salzburg is about the area where the mountains begin as you head toward the western portion of the country, and the city is just as beautiful as the landscape surrounding it.

I went to Salzburg a few weeks ago to celebrate the birthday of one of my favorite people – Sis Robinette! We went on The Sound of Music tour, wandered around the city, found a Mexican restaurant (hallelujah), and had lots of fun. I’m thankful for all the great times we have had together over the last year & a half, and am looking forward to many more!

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Switzerland, Part 2

I went back to Switzerland in July for training and special services, and once again, was in awe of how beautiful that country is. Geneva was about a thousand times hotter than it was in May & much more crowded, but it was still so nice having amazing services with the Geneva church, getting to see our friends there, and walking around the waterfront together.

We went up to a different viewpoint in Interlaken this time – Schynige Platte, which is about 6,500 feet high and takes an hour long funicular to get to. It was even more beautiful than what I saw the last time I was there, with wildflowers growing everywhere and cows with bells around their necks roaming around the countryside. Interlaken is seriously the most beautiful place I have ever seen.

One of my favorite parts of this trip was an excursion to Aarau and Hallwilersee in Central Switzerland with our friend Meret. We drove along Swiss country roads and stopped at a farmer’s stand to pick up fresh fruits (the most amazing blueberries I’ve ever eaten), and had a picnic on Meret’s family’s sailboat as we cruised around the lake. It was so nice to go swimming after being in such hot weather for so long! Gorgeous views and great friends made for yet another amazing trip to Switzerland.

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St. Martin & Anguilla // French West Indies

One of the toughest parts about living abroad is the long stretches of time you’ll go without seeing your family. So when my dad told me he & my stepmom were going to fly me in from Vienna to go on vacation with them and all my siblings, I was super excited. As it turns out, the trip came at a perfect time for all of us — my dad recently took a new position that has them moving to Dubai for 2 years, and they leave in just a few days! It was so nice for us all to spend time together before their big move. And in a beautiful place, at that.

St. Martin is a country in the Caribbean that is half Dutch & half French. I flew in from Paris and met up with the rest of my family there. My parents had rented an amazing house to accommodate all 11 of us, complete with an infinity pool overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. It was by far the most incredible place I’ve ever stayed in! The whole house was open to the outdoors, with the exception of the bedrooms and bathrooms. There was one long table where we all had dinner, with local chefs coming a few nights and preparing fabulous meals for us. We went into town a few days and ate at some local spots and checked out a few of the different beaches. We mostly just hung out – played games, ate, laughed a lot (A LOT), and soaked up the sun (my pale now-European self got sun poisoning).

My favorite day of the trip was when we took a private catamaran to the island of Anguilla. We sailed around for awhile, stopping a few times to snorkel. The beach that we docked at in Anguilla was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever seen. There were beautiful white villas all along the coastline. The sand was so soft it felt like walking on baby powder. The water was calm, so clear, and the most beautiful shades of turquoise. It felt like swimming in a bottle of Evian. I could have stayed there all week.

I’m so thankful for the chance to have gone to such a wonderful place with the people that I love. Until next time (in Dubai!).

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