Wanderlust: Jackson Hole

Everytime Nick and I go on vacation, I tell him that THIS place (*insert location*) is definitely the place that I’d like to move.  While we’re there, I inevitably begin to search for real estate listings…  It’s a pattern that I go through that [I’m sure] makes traveling with me both difficult and feel like a broken record.  Nevertheless, on our most recent jaunt to Wyoming, I fell in love all over again with a new place.  With a backyard view like this, who’d ever want to leave?

Not me! Now I just have to figure out how to buy one of those million dollar views!  (It turns out that real estate there is pretty darn expensive.  Try the most expensive in the U.S.  Oh well.  Maybe next vacation spot.)


For the love of Deyrolle

About 5 years ago I had the joy of visiting Paris.  On that very brief visit, I was told that I MUST stop in to see Deyrolle while I was there.  For those of you that have never visited, it’s a natural science “Cabinet of Curiosities” shop started in 1831 that is filled to the brim with taxidermy, etymological specimens, shells and coral, beautiful instructional charts, classrooms, etc…and all displayed with a nod to whimsy.  (This is evident from the first moment you look in the window and see an antelope dressed in gardening clothes.)  Unfortunately, I had other appointments to attend to while I was there, but I literally could have stayed in Deyrolle for the entire day.  It left me feeling sad to leave because I wanted to explore every nook and cranny of this incredible place, and felt as if I’d only scratched the surface.

Fast forward a few years, and I heard that Deyrolle had experienced a terrible fire and most of it had burned.  Thankfully the owners and volunteers were able to save a great number of specimens…and today the shop has been rebuilt.

In 2009 Assouline Publishing released a book of photographs by Laurent Bochet called 1000 degrees Celsius that captured the remains of what happened after the fire.  It’s a captivating book that I would recommend to anyone who loves animals and the spirit of survival.  The portraits section at the end is my favorite part for it’s vitality against the blackened walls of the shop.  It features volunteers posing with specimens that survived the fire from Deyrolle.  My favorite quote from that section is, “Amid all this carbon, they [the specimens] had never looked as much like survivors.  We gathered them together so that they could rub each other, nuzzle each other – a kiss.”

See more photos from Laurent Bochet’s 1000 degrees Celsius after the jump. Continue reading “For the love of Deyrolle”

Hotel Rooms: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly

Mr. House Obsession and I have been looking for places to spend our honeymoon for the past month, and looking at endless possibilities when it comes to hotels.  Now, both of us travel a decent amount for work and and therefore have a lot of experience with hotels.  In fact, Mr. House Obsession’s parents owned a hotel for many years and he grew up living there.  So as you can imagine, we’re both pretty picky when it comes to the place we’re going to stay for what is supposed to be one of the most romantic events of our relationship.   (P.S. as it turns out, I’m actually WAY pickier about the aesthetics of the hotel room…but that’s beside the point.)

Even though I know that the hotel interior shouldn’t matter to me that much, it does this time way more than usual.  I didn’t want this room in Barbados.

I wanted this room in St Barth.

Rather than a big “fancy” hotel like this in the Dominican Republic…

We wanted a quiet lodge-like place similar to this hotel in Belize.

I don’t care that this place is in beautiful St. Croix if the room looks like the Golden Girls decorated it…

It’s clear that beach chic can be done well, as exemplified here by this lovely place on Tortola, BVI.

Oh, I’m sorry Antigua…you must have known I have a thing for hammocks!!

Unfortunately Antigua, I read the fine print and your hotel has no air conditioning here.  In June, that will be a big problem for me.   I just know it.  So I’ll keep looking…

At any rate, as you can tell…I’ve had a lot of fun digging through travel websites looking for places to go and vacation.  I could literally spend all day just thinking about visiting each and every one of these fabulous spots.  Even the ones with not-so-pretty hotel rooms, still have beautiful locales.  My new favorite websites for all this digging are LuxuryLink.com and MrandMrsSmith.com Check them out and begin ogling all the beautiful vacation spots for yourself.   Considering how much it’s snowing outside in Philadelphia at the moment, I definitely want to think about beautiful beaches…for sure!

Long overdue photos of the Ohio State Fair 2009

Several weeks ago Nick and I went to Ohio to visit our friends in Columbus.  While we were there we stopped off at the Ohio State Fair for the afternoon.  And of course, I enjoyed myself immensely.  Here’s all the heartland goodness.

Sheep Judging

Sheep shearing

Roast Beef Sundae?!  On a hot summer day?  No thanks.

Fancy chickens?  I’ll take two please!!

Or maybe just one small one?  Do you think my neighbors would hate for me having chickens in the city?  It can’t be worse than having loud kids, right?

Anyone up for learning how to milk a cow?  Ehhhh….maybe not.

Nah, I think I’d rather have a meatball splash.  Sounds super refreshing, right?!  Just like a dip in the pool.

And of course, the perfect photo op by my wonderful guy (who took all the photos obviously).

House Tour of Huron, South Dakota

I have no reason to not have been posting on the blog since the return from my vacation (other than I got engaged and have been seriously preoccupied!), so I do apologize for my lack of attention to this space.    I honestly can’t promise that it’s going to get better either…but I did take a lot of great photos of the houses of Huron, South Dakota while I was there.   I love looking at houses…and I hope you do too.

This one looks like the Brady house, no?   “Marsha! Marsha! Marsha!!”

This house needs a paint job, no?

They’ve turned this beautiful old Victorian into a museum.

Note the little tiny church in the front yard of this house.  Weird, right?

For such a small town, there was a shocking amount of variety here.  Anyways…I found it rather enjoyable checking out their houses while I was visiting.  Oh, and Mt Rushmore, the Black Hills, and the Badlands were all great too!

Off to South Dakota

I’ve been pretty slack in my posting of late.   I apologize.  First of all, I was preparing for major birthday festivities…and also to head off for vacation in South Dakota.  N’s family is from there, so we’re doing 9 days of what I’m calling my Wild West Adventure.  We’ll be hitting up Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota and Minnesota in our journey.  Hopefully I can show off lots of fun pics when I return.  For now, you’ll have to settle for this postcard.  See you soon!!