Spring holidays in Europe

May 03, 2011

The deeply intense hues from German dye kits

Once again, I've let time get away from me. In my defense, I was fighting a bit of stomach flu last week (or maybe it was residual Easter waffle coma...) and didn't do much at all. Either way, I'm back now and ready to report on the spring holidays.

Our waffle brunch that could've fed a small army

Now, I'm not a religious person, but the holidays (Easter, Christmas, etc.) always meant time with my family and comfort food. Being over 9,000 kilometers away from them now, friends have become our family and time spent with them helps ease the realization that we're so far away. The food helps too.

With a four-day weekend to work with, we ended up at a BBQ hosted by friends whose patio overlooks the Rheingau vineyards that Friday and for the big day, we hosted a waffle brunch that turned into hanging out all afternoon and everyone joining us for dinner. The glorious weather was a perfect accompaniment to the festivities. 

The amazing vineyard view from friend's patio

Still wanting to wish my parents a happy Easter, I called them only to discover they had to be back at work the very next morning. I couldn't believe they didn't have Monday off. I guess I often forget about America's prioritization of the bottom line over personal time. 

My mom's shop is her own, but after helping her there in the year before I came over to Germany, I know first-hand how snippy (some) people could be whenever she decided to close early one day or go away on a holiday - which was been a total of four weeks in the three years she's owned it. It's in such stark contrast to the mindset over here. I can't tell you how many times, usually in August or January, we'll walk to a restaurant or shop only to discover that they're on holiday, often for a whole month or longer. People take holidays extremely serious - and why not? Downtime is important for one's sanity and I love that Europeans recognize that.  

Collage put up by amazingly creative office around the corner from us (must improve German, just so I can work there) - love that they ate Fish & Chips and the guy fake-crying at the bottom. Don't they look like a fun bunch?

Later that week, there was another 'holiday' of sorts (at least for the British) - the Royal Wedding. I admit I wasn't overly interested in it when I heard, but all the television coverage sucked me in and felt like all those Brits cheering for their new princess/duchess/ style icon. Since Kate and I have the same name (in entirety, save the new last name and royal title, of course), it was kind of nice to daydream about becoming a princess. The amazing fashion wasn't too bad either.   

Ah, British style...

I knew the British had a thing for hats, but I had no idea how serious this was until watching the wedding coverage - they seemed to get more attention than any of the dresses. The few women who decided not to don Philip Treacy on their heads looked next to naked. I definitely had some favorites - Camilla's and an un-named young royal's teal side-hat - and some that left me wondering. Poor Princess Beatrice it seems will never live down her avant-garde hat choice for the event, but I must admit, if this is how young royalty experiments with fashion, I much prefer it to the dyed-black hair and pierced faces of America's youth. At least she was buttoned up from chin to knee and looked proper. 

Forget the Beckhams (money does not make you royalty, after all), I think Princess Marie-Chantal of Greece was the clear fashion winner among the guests, hat and all. Her hat was not stapled to her forehead and she wore a gorgeous embroidered Chanel (sigh...). Her hair looked so lovely I'm almost tempted to go back to blond (almost). Tell me this isn't the picture of perfectly fashionable royalty:

It's times like this I truly wish I were European. The royalty, the formality, the tradition. But most importantly, congratulations to Will and Kate! I hope they have a long and happy life together. 

*Daily Drop Cap by Jessica Hische