Happy Friday everyone!! This is Friday Favorites Europe Throwback Edition! I wanted to finish up recapping our trip to Europe, and this last part was my favorite of the trip so I thought why not share it today! I hope you enjoy, and if you missed the first two recaps you can read part one (Monaco and Lake Como) here and part two (Salzburg) here. I won't have a post up on Monday because we'll be busy enjoying our weekend with Les's parents visiting, but stay tuned on TUESDAY for what will probably be my favorite post so far... our engagement pictures!!!!! Talk to you then. :)
We left off after having spent two nights in Salzburg and now, to end our trip, Les, my parents, and I were off to the border of Austria and Slovenia to meet up with Kelly and Tom for a wedding in wine country! We were there for the marriage of two of Kelly's best friends from college, Claire and Phil. Phil is originally from Austria so they chose to get married at a beautiful vineyard near where he grew up. This whole area (we were around Spielfeld, Austria) was absolutely stunning and riddled with vineyards. We stayed at one called Weingut Primus (or Vineyard Primus), and as soon as we drove up to it I knew I would love it-- primarily because look who greeted us...
Mein neuer freund, Sammy! This adorable chihuahua ran right up to us and, having been away from Nestlie for almost a week now, I scooped him right up. Sammy was a definite favorite part of our trip. This is what the vineyard we stayed in looked like... the views were unlike anything I had ever seen before.
After settling into our rooms, we got ready to head to a welcome dinner hosted by the groom's family at another vineyard nearby. Even just on our way there we stopped every two minutes to take a picture of the rolling hills. I had no idea that this area was known for wine-making, and it was really incredible to see a part of the world that I don't know if I ever would have seen otherwise. What made it better? We were finally reunited with Kelly and Tom!! They had booked their trip a lot earlier than we did, so they had different flights and hit some other destinations. But, it was so great meeting up with them all the way across the world for such a special occasion.
Gangs all here!
As far as "rehearsal dinners" go, this was one of the best I've ever been to. First of all, look at the view:
It looks like a painting! Second of all, the groom's family was so incredibly welcoming and happy to have so many people there to celebrate. I honestly didn't take too many other pictures during the night because we were too busy enjoying the wine, TONS of traditional food, and great company.
The next day, we went into town to explore a little bit before we needed to get ready for the wedding. I had to give Sammy a snuggle before we headed out for the day.
We walked around some shops, enjoyed some coffee, and then came across this sign...
Miniaturegolfanlage! This was a word we recognized, and the perfect activity we were looking for in an otherwise sort of sleepy town in the countryside. We ended up running into a few other people in town for the wedding, too!
Tom joined us while Kelly was busy with bridesmaid duties and getting ready for the big night! I still have my score cards from golf (although I'm not sure where) but I want to say that Tom won. Or maybe it was my mom? Either way, we had a blast.
After we finished up, we went back to the vineyard to get ready for the wedding!! I don't think I realized this when we were first planning our trip, but the wedding itself actually took place right over the Austrian border in Slovenia. How cool is that? Again-- a part of the world I don't know if I would have ever seen. In fact, before we get to photos from the stunning wedding, how fun is this:
That right there is part of the Austrian-Slovenian border!! (And our rental Toyota Aurus... and a port-a-potty). Two months after our trip, this article was published in the New York Times about this exact area that we were in, and how some of the Austrian-Slovenian border runs right through vineyards that have making wine for hundreds of years. Residents are used to being able to go back and forth freely, but evidentially that lifestyle is in jeopardy. Having only ever driven over the U.S./Canadian border, Les and I were both surprised at how much easier it was to drive country to country within the EU. This spot, in particular, is clearly not closely monitored at all. The concern, though, is that more check-points will be introduced and borders within the EU will close. Hopefully this peaceful countryside, where many families have resided for centuries, will stay just that-- peaceful.
Ok, back to the wedding. How beautiful is this setting...
The ceremony was held outside, and the reception was inside a literal wine cellar. It was so very cool. The Dveri-Pax estate, where we were, boasts that they still maintain the site's 800 year history of Benedictine winemaking. It was such a unique and unforgettable place for a wedding. Again, I didn't take too many more photos because we were dancing the night (and early morning) away (I don't think we left until close to 4am....) but I did grab these two shots of Phil and Claire's first dance, and then of the outside of the estate.
Such a perfect way to end the trip of a lifetime.
The next day, we hung around town with Kelly and Tom, and eventually drove back to Salzburg to fly out to London, and then home. I will truly never forget this adventure with Les and my parents and feel so fortunate to have experienced so many new places together. I can't wait to go back... until next time, Europe. :)