For his birthday Mr A had received a voucher for a night at a small B&B in the Gesäuse region, a national park in Styria. My Dad has stayed at the B&B numerous times and had asked the owners if they were willing to provide us with food during our stay. They agreed asking we call them a few days in advance.
When I called the woman of the house/ chef asked a few basic questions about our breakfast and dinner habits, then self-assuredly declared that she would make us something. Usually, this would make me feel uneasy but she sounded so convinced that I didn’t have a doubt in the world we would get amply fed.
And we did!
Our room at the B&B was beautiful – small but with everything one could ask for – and we were eager to explore the vicinity.
Unfortunately, in the morning we woke up to a grey sky laden with rain clouds. A long hike was out of the question so we decided on Dr.-Vogelgesang-Klamm. A klamm is a path next to and across a river and waterfall, because there it’s usually wet regardless of the weather. On the way there, and because the forecast was more promising for the afternoon, we stopped at Stift Admont (Admont Abbey) to visit the famous library. How glad we were that we did! The library turned out to be stunning, not only due to its sheer size but also because it has been so lovingly restored.
In the adjacent rooms there were heaps of stuffed animals (yikes) and an exhibition on food that turned out rather interesting (and a lot more progressive than I would have thought possible in this area – like, they had a whole room on vegan food and nothing negative about it).
Finally, the rain cleared and we went for the klamm which was very much worth our time.
The next morning the sun was shining brightly, the mist rising from the dewy meadows. We found a hike that was possible to complete from our doorstep and decided to give it a go. From the other side of the road we followed the river for a bit, then turned left and up the hill towards Mödlinger Hütte.
We had a break there, listening to the live jazz band (?) performing on this beautiful Sunday morning, before heading on towards Spielkogel. For almost an hour we could hear the music as a subtle background noise.
From there, it was all down and out – down then mountain, then following the path back out to our B&B, our car and the road back to Vienna.
There wasn’t exactly a big choice of hotels in the vicinity of where we were going to get married. Three hotels qualified in theory with two of them quickly disqualifying (one for their terribly unfriendly owner, one for looking a bit out-of-date). So we ended up booking a room in a business hotel. At least they told me there was going to be food for me at breakfast.
Turned out, the hotel was great!
At breakfast they brought out a separate (huge!) plate of cut-up veggies, two types of spread, vegan cheese and cold cuts and a bread basket. Both the day of and the day after I ate until I could not more.
Also, the rooms were sparingly furnished but felt cosy nonetheless – and ours even had a big balcony looking towards the forest. Even the colours matched our wedding’s colour scheme!
On the morning of we woke up before the 7:40 am alarm. We showered and headed off to breakfast in a perfectly relaxed mood. When my maid of honour joined us, Mr A excused himself to go over his vows once more. He had been nervous all week (which I found immensely sweet) and it wasn’t to get better for another few hours.
At 10 I headed back upstairs – and ran into both my stylist and the photographers.
While Lela worked her magic on me, Barbara and Sophie unpacked and started taking photos – moving between the room where I was and two doors down where Mr A was getting ready.
Soon Mum and my maid of honour joined us – Mum had even picked up my favourite green smoothie (which I drank before putting on the dress).
Soon my hair and face were done (how beautiful I looked!) and it was time to get dressed. Mum helped me close the zip, the photographers left with Mr A and the three of us had some time to spare before Mum drove me up to the hill where our first look photos were going to take place.
It was such a great idea to do that!
I had soon decided that I didn’t want to share the moment when Mr A and I first saw each other all made up with a crowd of expecting-looking people. Mr A immediately agreed and we’ve never looked back.
Seeing each other for the first time was such an intimate and special moment and we were glad we had those precious minutes with just each other (and the photographers but we didn’t really notice them).
Walking down the aisle was definitely something – with our octogenarian grandmothers as flower girls in front – strewing the path with leaves from all the roses Mr A had ever given to me – and everyone looking all dressed-up and smiling.
The wedding itself was beautiful in every sense.
The sun was shining, the ceremoniant found very apt words to describe us, and the music and songs performed by talented friends made our spines tingle.
Afterwards, family photos were taken while the other guests drove to the location to feast on crusty bread and cloudy apple juice. We soon joined them for congratulations and catching up with everyone and soon it was 6pm and time to open the doors and get everyone inside for dinner.
There was dinner, there was cake, there was dancing.
We enjoyed ourselves tremendously and when looking around us it seemed that everyone was having a good time.
At 2 am the DJ turned off the music and started packing and my best friend and her husband drove us to the hotel – where we quickly showered and then fell into a deep, restful sleep.
Who knew that Mr A was such a keen assembler of bunting? That Mum was perfect at bringing pompoms back to life that had been sitting in banana boxes for months? That my best friend had such a steady hand when it came to retracing my pencil lines with brush and paint? Continue reading Aliciouswedding: It’s all in the details→
Some time after Christmas my maid of honour had enquired whether I would be ok with her arranging some sort of bridal shower. Hating the hordes of drunk brides-to-be who regularly roam Vienna with their trays encroaching on strangers to selling them Jägermeister while having to complete “funny” challenges such as shaving a man’s leg I reluctantly agreed, dearly hoping that day wasn’t going to be hell.
We settled on a Saturday in August, three weeks before the wedding, and I provided her with the email addresses of those I would like to party with.
Whenever I asked she would cryptically reply that all was being arranged and that I shouldn’t be so nosy.
Two days before the day I was finally told where to meet them and to “wear something comfortable and bring a jacket”.
Good, I can do that.
We met at a railway station where I was put in a car and she drove me up Kahlenberg.
Before she parked, someone from the backseat blindfolded me with a scarf. They took me by the hands and led me somewhere up.
When they let me take off the blindfold, this is what I saw:
This and some of my oldest and closest (girl)friends who had come to celebrate the occasion and spend a whole Saturday afternon with me.
Result: A very happy me.
With the help of her husband and their friend (who happens to also be a chef) my best friend had prepared the most perfect picnic setting – with lanterns hanging from the huge lime tree, a table and benches, a big (and mostly vegan) buffet and enough mattresses to recline after our gorgeous meal.
The location is actually called “Am Himmel” – “At heaven” and you really have the most wonderful view across Vienna <3
We launched and watched the sun go down while chatting along on this picture perfect late summer day.
Of course I did have to solve some tasks like taking a group photo and completing 10 rounds of a jumping rope-game we used to play when we were little but they were 100 % pain-free (except for the jumping which used to be so much easier those 25 years ago).
At 10 pm the guys returned and we loaded everything into their cars. One of them actually fit the 5 (!) of us in and drove us to the first district where we enjoyed some gin and tonics before dropping one of us off at a dance club and then slowly starting our way home.
I really couldn’t have imagined a more wonderful bridal shower.
During autumn and winter curries and stews are staples on our dinner table and barely will a week go by without us having at least one big pot of it (usually with some leftovers for me to take to work the next day – or freeze for later).
However, as soon as it’s warmer we tend to crave raw veg and will often share a huge bowl of salad for dinner. Or have one decent-sized bowl each because neither of us is of the sharing kind when it comes to food.
This summer has been pretty good (read: hot and humid – just the way I like it) so far which hasn’t left much room for craving a big steamy pot on the table.
Enter summer thunderstorms
They are as inevitable as they are beautiful and welcome. I love sitting on the balcony watching the clouds roll in, then recede to the couch to watch the sheer force of nature unleash itself through the window.
Usually, thunderstorms come with a noticeable drop in temperature too.
Perfect for curries!
Suddenly Mr A and I will want to spoon hot liquid with crunchy vegetables from a bowl again.
What type of vegetables?
That’s the beauty of curries. They work with pretty much every sort of vegetable – and most legumes too! Just take whatever you find in your fridge or freezer and go ahead.
When I came up with this recipe I wanted “something with spinach”. However, there was no spinach in our apartment and the shops were already closed.
After the first couple of spoonfuls we agreed that it was our new favourite curry recipe.
Spicy yellow curry with green beans and black rice
As many of you will have seen on Snapchat, June 2016 has definitely been my busiest – and most successful – month as a blogger so far. I still haven’t earned a single cent with it but since I’m not “doing it for the money” that’s generally not how I measure my success. Continue reading Aliciouslife: A busy June for bloggers in Vienna→