Prettier Walls

In which I finally have photos from our last trip hung in the house (#13).

I’m excited to mark another completion off my list. The hubs and I traveled to the Netherlands, Belgium and Paris in August and September of this year. Since we got home, things have been moving fast for us.  I’ve not culled through our photos or posted them to Flickr, but I was excited to print a few to add to our spread in the dining room. We already have a poster from Sienna alongside photos from our trip to Italy in 2007, a poster from the Book of Kells with photos from Ireland in 2013, and prints from all the places we’ve moved away from together.

Things lined up over the past few weeks: I wanted to print for my over-the-crib nursery project and my yet-to-be-started Ireland scrapbook , so the hubs and I chose a few photos from the more recent trip. We didn’t have frames yet, so we mirrored the sizes from our Ireland photos so the walls would be balanced. Then I used a Target Cartwheel offer to save 15% on frames the same week as Michaels had all their frames buy one get one free. So one shopping trip with the hubs, and we were in business.

BeNeP_photosThe first photo is the one I’m most proud of. The hubs and I took a bunch of photos, each of us changing settings, until we could see all the details we wanted. This is the entrance to an awesome restaurant in an Antwerp cellar where we lingered over fantastic stroganoff. You get there through old alleys that feel completely cut off from the rest of the city. I love the memory of that night, the fact that we both worked to get this picture, and that the entrance is not completely blown out while you can see the cobbles outside.

The next photo is of fun statues right outside our hotel in Maastricht. We were surprised to coincide with the culmination of a competition within the Netherlands to be named the 2018 European Capital of Culture. (There are two each year, but the other isn’t in the Netherlands. Also, Maastricht did not win.) We were only there for a short time, so we saw them setting up at night and enjoyed a bit of the festival in the morning before catching our train. There were dancers, storytellers, artists and kids’ activities. It was a lot of fun, and literally on the square outside our hotel.

The next picture is obviously the Eiffel Tower. We knew that we might have a lull in our ability to travel, since we were planning and hoping for baby time, so we decided to add a night and day in Paris to our full itinerary. It definitely didn’t qualify as a France or Paris trip for us, but I loved it. We arrived in the evening and headed out for dinner and the tower after checking into our hotel. We didn’t time it perfectly, so we ended up arriving under the tower as it lit up at the turn of the hour. We spent a long time out there that night, and go a bunch of photos farther back, but these close ones ended up being my favorite perspective.

The last photo is from a canal in Delft. We sat beside it for a good time and watched the reflection change. (Plus, I got to use a fancy lens filter to cut the glare on the water so that the reflection popped — always fun.)

But my absolute favorite part of this set-up is the little Playmobile knight hanging with the photos. We went to a design museum in Ghent that had Playmobile characters hidden among the exhibits, linked to things thematically. A little Robin Hood next to an archery target, a spaceman in front of a rug inspired by the big bang, or a little princess at the base of a very regal chair. It was as much fun for us as I think it would be for any kid, and I think it must be a blast to curate. I got our little knight off Amazon when we got home. Lots of the medieval cities we visited had the lion as their traditional standard, so I felt he was appropriate.

I know that is a lot of information for one little wall of pictures, and that is exactly what I love about the direction we’ve taken with this house. Every time I think about a specific area or room, I’m convinced that it is my favorite part or room.  And then thinking about something different leads me to think that no, THAT’s my favorite… It’s really great. I can’t talk about it without getting sappy — but it is a huge help when I’m around the house all the time.