A Wonderful Visitor: Barrie the Dahl

Having my mom here for a week was not only wonderful, but also needed. I have to admit, I was itching for my mom to see our new home. Her visit was magical and here are a couple of the highlights:

As soon as mama bar landed, she and I jetted over to Vienna, Austria. We invited Bryan, but felt like Austria (especially the sound of music parts) screamed “all girls trip.” Even though I traveled to Vienna and Salzburg during Furman with my friend Libby and Melissa, I was thrilled to visit again.

We started our visit on Friday morning with a walking tour around the oldest district of Vienna, the first district. Our fantastic tour guide Katerina met us at our hotel, and we began our tour from there. By the way, we loved the location of our hotel. In the perfect location, The Guesthouse provided a lovely place to call home for two nights.

As soon as Katerina opened her mouth to speak, we smiled. Listening to Katerina was like listening a favorite professor. In her previous role, Katerina was a professor — so talk about incredible. 🙂

Katerina knew countless facts about history, music, government and more. We absolutely loved it. Vienna is a fascinating city.

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After our tour with Katerina ended, we took a train to Schönbrunn Palace. Check out my new vacation home below!

Mom, please don’t get mad I posted a picture with your sneakers. You look awesome. We walked a ton!

The palace features immaculate gardens (even in October!) and beautiful trails. We strolled to the top of the hill overlooking Vienna and took in the amazing view. The trees radiated orange hues and the sunset showed off in a spectacular way.

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All in all, we could have spent another week in Vienna. We enjoyed every moment. Eating, walking around, and more eating. The sweet treats tasted impeccable, and the famous sachertorte divine.

Next stop: Salzburg. The hills are, and were alive, with the Sound of Music. Or, at least the sounds of Barrie Dahl and Hilary Dahl Solomon laughing/singing…

Salzburg is my favorite city in the world. It occupies a special place in my heart because of the beauty, history, and charm. However, do you know the most unexpected delight of our stay? Our accommodation. Thank you TripAdvisor for helping me find Hotel Schloss Mönchstein. If you find yourself going to Salzburg in the near future, you must stay in the Castle!  It dates back to the 1500s!


Our room, the tiny circle window on the right, felt like our own private floor. Can you see it?

My mom and I started off on Saturday with a private Sound of Music tour. Our only hiccup of the entire visit to Austria happened in the first hour we spent with the “guide”. After about 20 minutes of asking him questions about the movie/ locations we realized he knew nothing about the movie. Nothing. To our dismay, the man was simply a driver. We ended up cutting the tour short and joining the big sound of music bus tour. We should have in the first place!

Our new tour guide, the sweetest and cutest Austrian lady, knew much more about the film and we were thrilled. Plus, the bus played music the whole time which allowed ample singing time. Fun fact: our guide shared that Austrians do not eat Schnitzler with noodles. Austrians eat them with potatoes! Alas, the writers of the song altered it for the rhyme.

The real Von Trapp family home!

After a full day of sound of music, my mom and I ate at a fabulous restaurant, called the Blue Goose for dinner. I highly recommend this dinner spot if you find yourself in Salzburg.


After a lovely time in Austria for the weekend, we flew back to Amsterdam on Sunday. Luckily, I also took Monday off from work and my mom and I toured around Amsterdam during the day. We visited the Anne Frank museum and went to a nice dinner — all three of us, finally.

The only picture we took (the three of us) was one we took after dinner on Monday. Ignore my jammies!

img_1280Having Barrie the Dahl in Amsterdam was the best of the best. Only a couple more months until we get to see both families.

Flash forward another week again to Halloween weekend — last weekend.  The fall is flying by! Bryan and I are getting into our groove and starting to establish routine.

Funny and ransom tidbit, I recently starred in a Staples Europe photo shoot. The concept, Staples products “always have your back,” featured the Staples products coming alive in hilarious ways. And come alive they did, let me tell you.

I split the role with another colleague of mine who played the role of the sidekick on the actual UK tv ad. I was only in the photography but it was a blast!

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Our actual halloween costumes. ARGGG uably the best pirates in town
6 month anniversary dinner!

Not to steal a Christmas card line from my mom, but “We hope this fall season finds you all well, may your November be lovely and your Christmas be swell.” ha!





3 Comments Add yours

  1. libbywallin says:

    This is the best part of my day getting your posts. So many thoughts. A. Barrie, jeans and sneaks are always encouraged–especially in Europe! B. You did Salzburg way better with your mom… Love the pics. C. THE STAPLES AD IS EPIC. can I get your autograph? D. Can’t wait to see you in a month!


    1. Kent D says:

      Fabulous!!! Love the blog Hila.


  2. Janet Larson says:

    Love all your travel experiences. So fun your mom was there to share in some of it as well!


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