Changed My World

Thank you Zach for showing us how to live and thank you Carlos for sharing. Now go make someone smile today!

Bled Gorge(ous)

Slovenia is a little hidden gem, and a beautiful haven for an outdoorsy personality. A day trip to Bled is a must, and while you're there, you should also stop by Bled Gorge, or Vintgar Gorge. The roads to get there made no sense to me whatsoever, but there are plenty of marked signs to lead the way. To be honest, if I didn't have my local tour guide friends, I can't be 100% sure I would have gotten there, but never be afraid to get a little lost on vacation!

The wooden bridged trail runs along side the gorge, and ends at the Šum waterfall, the highest in Slovenia. My favorite part: The incredible view of the Alps!

We carried on and made our way to Bled for the remainder of the afternoon, and once again, it's an unbelievable piece of nature. Bled castle is the oldest in Slovenia and you can climb to the top for 8 euro (kids 3,50 euro). DON'T FORGET ABOUT THE CREME CAKE! It's the symbol of Bled, and it's offered at the cafe to the Hotel Park. They were flying out of the kitchen, and when we asked our server how many they sell a day, she told us that on a weekend they can sell up to 3,500 pieces!
Bled Creme Cake Bled Castle

The Church of the Assumption sits on Bled Island in the middle of Lake Bled. Rumor has it that if you get married there, the husband has to carry his new wife up all 99 stone steps of the church.. few men succeed.  
Walk around the lake, and grab yourself a beer to relax by the water.  Slovenia is home to a few Olympic rowing champions, and they have a nice spot that proudly represents them on the lake, as well as floor plaques that have the location and dates of previous Olympic games.. guess which one I found!

Ride for Sweets

When I go abroad, I want to live like the locals. Why visit a place to do what you do everyday?

My favorite part of the Slovenia visit was a simple concept: biking around town. Gas in Slovenia is 3x as much as it is in the States, so owning a bike is a no brainer. Plus, Ljubljana (lib-ee-ah-na) is a small town, so it's convenient and practical.

We rode our bikes everywhere, and when you're indulging in food on your vacation, you could always use the extra cardio! Since I was able to incorporate a ton of exercise into my trip, I got to treat myself to some Kremsnita, the cake of Bled. You know it's delicious if the town created it! Don't worry, Callie - I'll be sure to add it to my Sweet Tooth Confessions.

I clearly did not bring a bike with me on the plane, but the town of Ljubljana offers free bike transportation. All over the city, they have areas where you can essentially rent a bike free for one hour (plenty of time), and drop it off at any of their other stations... just swipe your card, stroll away, and return it! If you happen to exceed the hour limit, it's just 1 euro for every hour over.

If you're exploring a new city, I strongly encourage you to check if your destination offers anything like this concept. Little did I know that my home of Beantown does!  I'll be taking advantage of the Hubway the next time I'm home, for sure.

More from Europe:

Slovene Food: Traditional Goulash (With a Side of the Ljubljana Castle)

If there is one thing you should know about me, it's that I LOVE FOOD. 

Goulash isn't just a fun word to say (Goo-lawsh), but one of the most traditional dishes you will find in Slovenia and Budapest. It's a soup that is downright delicious. Beef is the most common type of meat in goulash, but I also tried the venison version, so the recipe is versatile. At Sokol, I ordered mine with a side of "cheese rolls" which was ricotta cheese rolled in a dumpling-like dough.

traditional goulash

I will stir up a recipe of my own, but for now, I'll leave you with this traditional recipe.
After dinner, it's a short walk to the Ljubljana Castle, a stunning view and plenty of exercise to get to the top. I started counting how many stairs it took to reach the top, but lost count.. I'd say that's a good thing when I'm eating my way through Europe!

ljubljana castle
The gang from the top.. A-mazing view!

ljubljana castle
The view from only halfway up!

More from Europe

A Reclaimed Weekend

I have been waiting for a dry weekend for weeks now, to go up to my father's land to gather reclaimed wood from an old barn. I came across a pricey Buckhead art piece for $700 that I want to recreate. While I have a stock of reclaimed wood, I thought I should make a few extra items as well.  Here are a few ideas (or places to buy) from some of my favorite etsy shops:

Planters for summer flowers like these from Lilpicker. I love the addition of handles.

Coat rack from So Purdy Creations

Frames from ReBarnCHF

Wine rack from Aspen Bottle Holders

and last I found this on Siler's birthday registry from Reclaimed Things

What items should I add to my list? 

NBA Thanksgiving in May

Happy Thanksgiving in May! Why celebrate everything you are thankful for on just one day? Born from the brains of the NBA, we are celebrating another day of thanks midday through the calendar year. 

 Spread the word and share with us what you are thankful for by using the hashtag, #thanksgivinginmay

and most importantly our readers! Thank you for spending time with us each week and helping The 128 Hours grow!

Perfect Birthday Outfit!

I still have many Europe posts to share with you, but today is my birthday, so this is a special exception. We had an early birthday celebration at one of my favorite restaurants, South City Kitchen, where the food was amazing (as always)... including their complimentary chocolate pecan pie with a plump scoop of vanilla bean ice cream! More importantly, it was great to have a handful of my closest friends sharing the night with me.

The outfit that made the cut was a combo of my favorite Banana Republic denim leggings and two new pieces from H&M - a top with lace detailing and a slimming cream linen blazer. My Jessica Simpson ivory pearl pumps kept my look classy, and I added color with Franchesca's chandelier earrings, and the Coach Ashley orange clutch.

Locked in Slovenia

I just came back from my trip abroad, and can't wait to share with you all of my experiences. I left my mark in Slovenia by jumping into one of their love lock tradition.

Love locks are a common European tradition where couples attach padlocks to public structures and toss the key to symbolize their love. It's origin can be traced back to China, and  you can even see the trend in areas around the US.

Even though the hubs wasn't with me, I decided to partake in the tradition and attached a lock on the Butcher's Bridge in Slovenia.

I'm not sure if the lock will remain for years to come, but if we ever visit Slovenia together, it will be neat for us to see our lock together.