Indy Holiday Guide: Carmel Christkindlmarkt

The Love Bungalow

Hi, Friends, I’m impressing myself because 1. It’s finals week and I’m still blogging and 2. I learned how to pronounce “Christkindlmarkt.” WINNING!

Carmel ChristkindlmarktCarmel Christkindlmrkt started last year and I was there right away to check it out! Christkindlmarkt is the German name for the traditional Christmas market, literally translated as “Christ child market.” These markets usually feature a delightful blend of holiday food, drinks, gifts, and decorations. Since their beginnings in the middle ages, various regions of Germany became well-known for their hand-crafted Christmas decorations, wood-working, artwork, or textiles. Many people in the United States want to enjoy the wonderful tradition of these Christmas markets without having to fly overseas. Up until recently, the closest German Christmas market to Indianapolis could be found in Chicago, IL, but the good folks living right on top of Indianapolis in Carmel decided that they should bring a market close to us! And…

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Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience

Love Travelling

The weather may have been dull and dreary but what better way to get into the spirit of Christmas than to attend a festive event.  When an invitation dropped into my inbox to preview the Lotherton Hall Christmas Experience, I was excited to find out more.

Untitled Lotherton Hall near Leeds, West Yorkshire

The Lotherton Estate is situated in the north of England, midway between York and Leeds, one and a half miles from the village of Aberford.  The historic country residence, which was built in 1893, is one of eight museums and galleries maintained by Leeds City Council.  It was the former home of the Gascogne family who gifted it to the City of Leeds in 1968.

Untitled Starting the 12 Days Walk Trail at Lotherton Hall

It was to be our first visit to Lotherton, which is surrounded by rural parkland and is approached via a grand driveway off…

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The Yeatman hotel

Salt of Portugal

Composit Yeatman

There’s no better place to appreciate the beauty of Oporto than sitting in great comfort at the Yeatman hotel, sipping a glass of chilled Taylor’s Chip Dry white port before dinner.

The hotel was built by the descendants of the Yeatmans, a British family that started trading port wine in 1838. Draped around a hill in Vila Nova de Gaia, near the cellars where priceless vintage ports are stored, the hotel offers exuberant views of the river Douro and the city of Oporto.

A stay at the Yeatman is an initiation into the secrets of Portuguese wine. Each room is decorated by a different wine producer. The public spaces are adorned with artisanal artifacts and objects that highlight the connections between wine making and the history of Portugal.

The Yeatman’s main restaurant has two Michelin stars. Here, the exquisite food prepared by chef Ricardo Costa harmonizes with extraordinary wines curated by enologist…

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Traditional Kyoto Sweets at Kagizen Yoshifusa Honten 鍵善良房 本店 (Gion)

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A best-kept secret among the locals in Gion, Kagizen Yoshifuza was established as long ago as the mid-Edo period, and and has been making traditional Kyoto sweets for hundreds of years. The shop is quaint but elegant, showcasing a ceiling-to-floor view of a well-manicured garden.

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The atmosphere is tranquil, serene and one is instantly transported to a different headspace from the crowded streets of the busy geisha district outside.

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We begin our meal with two cups of roasted tea and some sweets.

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And before we knew it, our desserts arrived. We ordered the Chilled Arrowroot Noodles (¥1000) with brown sugar and warabi mochi (¥1000).

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Let’s start with the warabi mochi. This Japanese sweet is a jelly-like confection made from bracken starch and covered in kinako or soybean powder. It’s often served with a side of brown syrup.

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Juneau, Alaska

GlobeTrotters: When Pig's Fly

When thinking about a trip to Alaska, we thought that it would be a winter wonderland, with snow twinkling from every corner of the landscape. How shocked we were when we flew into Juneau & were greeted with a horizon of luscious greens, with large oaks, adlers and various other trees. It’s astounding beauty incapsulated us instantly and we were hooked. Already planning our second trip, we were lucky enough to stay with some friends who showed us the best that this small state capital has to offer. Home to 30,000 inhabitants, Juneau’s beauty is raw and quaint and here are some of the best things to do on your stay.

Hike Mt Juneau

Any hike will do but why not start big and go for the piece de la resistance overlooking Juneau’s waterways? You may not be able to spot a whale from up here but the vast amount…

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Jump

Joshi Daniel Photography

Inverted little planet (tiny planet) photograph of Abilash Thankan jumping with an umbrella at Cheriyanad, Chengannur, Alappuzha, Kerala, India
Abilash Thankan jumping with an umbrella | Cheriyanad, Chengannur, Alappuzha, Kerala, India

Inverted little planet (tiny planet) photograph of Abilash Thankan jumping at Cheriyanad in Chengannur taluk, Alappuzha, Kerala, India. Shot on GoPro Fusion 360 degree camera.

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Repentina

Salt of Portugal

repentina Composit

Several people recommended that we try Repentina, a humble tasca in Poiares famous for its baby goat roasted in a wood-fired oven. Its name is a twist on the word “repente” which means in a flash. We first visited the restaurant last year. When the waiter brought the menu, we said we didn’t need it, we wanted to try their famous roasted goat. Incredulous, the waiter explained that “If you want to eat baby goat, you have to call us a day ahead and reserve the order. We only roast enough meat for the people who reserved it.” Well, no wonder the locals like say that nothing is easy in the Douro valley. Disappointed, we ordered a large beef cutlet that arrived perfectly grilled accompanied by salad and a delicious tomato rice.

This year, we made sure to call ahead to secure our roasted goat servings. We were told that…

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Wedding Bells & Mosquito Bites – Bali, Indonesia

Bali. The island often referred to as paradise & the island almost everyone who watched Eat Pray Love wants to visit. The island is located in Indonesia, east of Java. The largest city & capital is Denpasar. The population at the last census was roughly 4.5 million & last year a reported 5.5 million tourists visited Bali.

Having said this, I’m fairly certain a large number of my readers have been to this island or someone in your social circle has been because this is a very popular destination. Truthfully, I was a little skeptical about going because I thought it might be overrated. I was wrong, it wasn’t overrated. I wish I had more time to spend there & I definitely will be back in the future.

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I arrived in the morning & got to the hotel about an hour later. The weather was great, not too hot &…

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