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hello dubrovnik

… it’s been a lifetime since i paid a visit to my little corner of the interwebs. life changing moments and decisions have taken place (more on that to come!), holidays have come and gone, birthdays have marked another year gone (way too swiftly) by. but i always seem to wander my way back, and a recent trip to gorgeous croatia seems as good of a reason as any to stop by and say hello.

croatia has been on our ‘must-see’ list since we landed in europe (almost) 4 years ago, and as our time here is drawing to an all too rapid close, we decided that this easter holiday would be spent wandering the marble streets of dubrovnik and dipping into the blue waters of the adriatic sea.

dubrovnik is about a 12 hour drive from nuremberg (it’s funny how that no longer seems daunting) so we decided to break up the trip with a short visit to slovenia’s capital, ljubljana. ummm, adorable. this town reminded me how incredible it is that the world is filled with these (relatively speaking) unknown gems that we are so lucky to be able to visit.  less than an hour away from ljubjana is lake bled, a spot which shows up in my pinterest feed all the time under “suggested pins.” suggested pin, indeed. just beautiful.

after two days we were back in the car, the girls watching movies on their ipods and wen and me listening to the serial podcast (#obsessed) and suddenly off to our right were the sparkling blue waters of the adriatic. i’ve mentioned my absolute love-fest with the ocean before – nothing makes me happier or more peaceful or content. add to that the most gorgeous city you can imagine – with streets literally made of marble (i kept thinking how slippery they must be when it rains? thankfully we didn’t have to find out if this is true), surrounded by a wall from the seventh century (HELLO!) which you can climb with the reward of endless views of red rooftops and the sea sparkling in the background.

a week of exploring, swimming, dipping our toes into the sea on the rocky beaches went by way too quickly, but we left with full hearts and the promise to one day return.

ciao, dubrovnik.


… it’s hard to describe exactly how much i love this city. how the light streams into grand central station or the charming corner at west 4th and bank street or the quiet of the reservoir in central park. so many memories greet me every time i’m there – our life “BK” (before kids) when wen and i showed up in 2004 with only suitcases full of clothes, boxes full of books and hearts ready for adventure. and then the memories “AK” (after kids) – that shared hospital room at mt sinai, welcoming piper to the world and our family. pushing her stroller through riverside park and bundling her up against the cold winter that greeted her first weeks. i love that she was born there; that she has a tie to the city that will always be my first love.

new york greeted me boldly, as always. hot, loud, cranky people in the passport control line. long taxi line, crowded platforms at grand central. perfection.

i started the week in connecticut, visiting my lovely friend megan and her family. she lives in ridgefield, which is this quaint and character-filled town filled with gorgeous colonial homes and friendly little coffee shops. we talked and explored and shopped (she graciously trailed me through target as i stocked up on the expat-essentials: brown sugar, red vines and goldfish crackers).

2 short days later i was back on the metro north, heading south into the city. boutique hotel happiness was waiting for me at the marlton hotel on west 8th street. words or pictures can’t do justice to how much i love this little pocket of the city. steps away from washington park where NYU students were gathering for the start of a new semester. the west village at your fingertips. running up to jcrew on 5th ave. triple love.

and then 3 days of celebrating my amaze sister on her milestone birthday. this lovely lady makes 40 look freaking incredible.  we meandered and ate our way through the city – toasting and honoring one of the most beautiful, wise, kind, funny, honest and courageous people i know. my favorite city with one of my favorite people. she is the wine to my cheese, the thelma to my louise, the hara to my juku. i can’t imagine walking this journey without her by my side. was so very happy and so very grateful to walk alongside her as she said “ciao!” to her 3os and welcomed her 40s with style, grace and a lot of champagne.

happiest, happy birthday to my beautiful jojo. to my north star, who always points me towards kindness, hope and all that is lovely. who reminds me that lightness always prevails. that sometimes you have to look for it, but it’s always there. je t’aime, ma soeur.