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What I’ve been doing other than blogging

22 Dec

Oh, hey there friends! It’s been a long time. I don’t have any excuses other than life got in the way. If you follow me on Instagram (@MJSpletzer), you might have noticed my biggest news: I’m engaged! Sebastian popped the question exactly one month ago today, and we’re as happy as clams.

Ring | www.the-wild-child.com

So what else have I been up to these past four months? In August, my parents treated me to a US Women’s soccer game for my birthday, fulfilling a lifelong dream. Then at the end of the month, I traveled to Massachusetts to celebrate my cousin Alli’s wedding. We had a blast, and I died laughing when the shuttle to the reception turned out to be a school bus.

Heinz Field | www.the-wild-child.comSchool Bus | www.the-wild-child.com

In September, I jetted off to Colorado for the US Air Force Academy family weekend. We spent four glorious days laughing, eating and just being together. I also traveled to Westfield, NY, for a little hiking and relaxation.

Family | www.the-wild-child.comTrain | www.the-wild-child.comHammock | www.the-wild-child.comWaterfall | www.the-wild-child.com

In October, the BF (now fiancé) was in town with his friend Maik. We took him to my beloved West Side Market and a freezing, cold Indians game. Later in the month, Sebastian and I spent a week of vacation hiking in Hocking Hills and then exploring and eating our way through Boston. We loved the city so much we’re heading back there for NYE.

Market Hall | www.the-wild-child.comFriends | www.the-wild-child.comRose Lake | www.the-wild-child.comCave | www.the-wild-child.comDoughnuts | www.the-wild-child.comBoston | www.the-wild-child.comOysters | www.the-wild-child.com

November found me in Germany where I was asked the most important question of my life (I said yes!). We spent the week visiting Christmas markets, preparing a Thanksgiving feast and enjoying being engaged.

engaged | www.the-wild-child.comWine | www.the-wild-child.comVeggies | www.the-wild-child.comTurkey | www.the-wild-child.comTreats | www.the-wild-child.com

And now it’s the end of December – hard to believe another year is almost over. I want to slow down time and soak in all the little moments these next few days: snuggling on the couch with my siblings, being in the kitchen with my Mom and cracking jokes with my Dad. There is nothing better than the holidays and being together with my family.

Tree | www.the-wild-child.com

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a fantastic start to the New Year! 2016 is sure to be another wild ride. Cheers! xoxo

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Anatomy of a summer weekend

13 Jul

Friday night: Indians game

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Saturday: Family picnic and fireworks

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Sunday: Cedar Point with your best friend

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

Progressive Field | www.the-wild-child.com

This has probably been one of the fullest summers I’ve had in a while, with every weekend busting at the seams. I love having plans and spending time with family and friends, but it’s making the days fly by at an alarming rate. Before we know it the season will be over. I’m doing my best to squeeze in as much as possible before it ends.

Tidings of comfort and joy

24 Dec

Wishing you a Merry Christmas! Hope you have a lovely holiday filled with so much joy. I can’t wait for Christmas day with my family and then heading off to Berlin.

Have a good one. xoxo

Brandenburg Gate  | www.the-wild-child.com

Photo from my first trip to Berlin in 2010.

Vacation rentals

22 Dec

Although we enjoy staying at hotels, Sebastian and I really like renting apartments on vacation. We love feeling like locals, plus rentals typically have more space and are less expensive.

If you’re new to the rental scene, some of the well-known sites are Airbnb, VRBO and HomeAway. We prefer Airbnb and have stayed at some pretty awesome places.

This duplex near Avignon, France, was so lovely. The owners, Emma and Herve, were beyond great, and we loved cooking meals at night and relaxing in the garden.

Rental in #France | www.the-wild-child.com

Avignon rental apartment #France  | www.the-wild-child.com

Rental duplex in #France | www.the-wild-child.com

The apartment we stayed at in Rome was perfect – just a few blocks from the Vatican and not far from a Metro stop. Our host, Cory, was so sweet. He even provided us with a map of the city with restaurant suggestions.

Rome Kitchen  | www.the-wild-child.com

Rome Apartment  | www.the-wild-child.com

Airbnb has some awesome roundups if you’re looking for a truly unique vacation. Here are some of the places I’d love to stay:

Treehouse in Hawaii

Treehouse  | www.the-wild-child.com

Converted train caboose in Malibu, CA

Caboose | www.the-wild-child.com

Houseboat in Amsterdam

Houseboat | www.the-wild-child.com

Clock tower suite in London

Clocktower  | www.the-wild-child.com

If you could stay anywhere, where would you choose?

P.S. All photos are from Airbnb, except the one with Sebastian.

Taking time off

8 Aug

Hello there friends! I know it’s been a while – totally my fault. I decided (without even saying anything… oops) to take some time off from blogging. I wasn’t sure if this was something I wanted to continue doing, but after some serious reflection, I decided I’m not ready to give it up yet.

Not to sound whiny, but blogging is VERY time-consuming. But it’s also something I really enjoy, so let’s continue documenting my life, okay? Okay. (The John Green fans will get that reference).

Are you wondering what I’ve been up to this summer? In between work and a couple awesome trips, I managed to book every weekend with some sort of plans, which made the months absolutely fly by. I can’t believe it’s already August… oy vey!

At least I can say it’s been a fun summer so far!

I attended a couple of Indians games with the fam. I’m not a huge baseball fan, but the games are always a blast. Throw in dollar hot dog night… I rest my case.

Indians Game #Cleveland | www.the-wild-child.com

Indians Game #Cleveland | www.the-wild-child.com

I participated in the Cleveland Electric Run with my friend Carlee. It was the most expensive photo opportunity, because you don’t really run, but we had a great time. We killed it with our dance/run moves.

Electric Run #Cleveland | www.the-wild-child.com

Electric Run #Cleveland | www.the-wild-child.com

Electric Run #Cleveland | www.the-wild-child.com

I attended my first ever NASCAR race thanks to a work trip. This was something I never wanted do, but it turned out to be an amazing experience. Hang out in the pit at a NASCAR race. Put it on your bucket list.

#NASCAR | www.the-wild-child.com

#NASCAR | www.the-wild-child.com

I haven’t been to Cedar Point in years, but I made it there for a day this summer. What a cool place. Seriously, how lucky am I that one of the best amusement parks is close enough for a day visit? Damn lucky.

 

Cedar Point | www.the-wild-child.com

Cedar Point | www.the-wild-child.com

Cedar Point | www.the-wild-child.com

Have you ever taken a painting class? I went to one with a couple of girlfriends and we had an absolute blast. Using your creativity and drinking wine? Yes please.

Art Class | www.the-wild-child.com

Art Class | www.the-wild-child.com

I celebrated my 26th birthday this week, and it was such a lovely day. I seriously can’t wait for the year ahead – have a feeling it’s going to be a good one.

Birthday Cake | www.the-wild-child.com

And summer isn’t over yet! I still have many weekend plans in August and more travels to share, so stay tuned :-)

Weekending in Westfield

18 Feb

Happy Tuesday! Did everyone have a nice Valentine’s/Presidents Day weekend? I had such a lovely weekend getaway. After work on Friday, I drove to Westfield, NY, to meet up with family and friends at my cousin’s vacation home. I initially had plans of skiing, but we had so much fun just hanging out instead.

We slept in, played games, went sledding (in a canoe), hiked in the snow, cooked delicious meals, read books, drank wine, drank more wine, walked on frozen Lake Erie, made hot chocolate and just had the best time together.

Weekend getaway in Westfield, NY  | www.the-wild-child.com

Icicles | www.the-wild-child.com

Sleepy dog  | www.the-wild-child.com

Snowboarding  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter hike in the snow | www.the-wild-child.com

Hiking in snow  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter landscape  | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter hike | www.the-wild-child.com

Winter berries | www.the-wild-child.com

Sledding | www.the-wild-child.com

Canoe sledding | www.the-wild-child.com

Crashing the canoe sled | www.the-wild-child.com

Frozen Lake Erie | www.the-wild-child.com

Lake Erie Frozen | www.the-wild-child.com

Prime rib | www.the-wild-child.com

Ice castle on Lake Chautauqua | www.the-wild-child.com

My parents | www.the-wild-child.com

I feel so lucky to have such wonderful people in my life. And even though I wasn’t able to spend Valentine’s Day with Sebastian, I couldn’t have asked for better company.

P.S. Everyone keep your fingers crossed that the bf’s schedule works out. He’s supposed to visit this weekend, but there’s a chance he might need to stay in Germany. Positive thoughts people!

Fall is gone

13 Nov

We had a fairly mild fall season for northeast Ohio. Most days were filled with colorful leaves, sunshine and warmer-than-usual weather. But winter has officially arrived, and I already miss the longer hours of sunlight. Don’t get me wrong, I love me some snow, but this autumn was extra enjoyable. Here are a couple of things I’ll miss for a while:

{hiking in the woods}

the wild child hiking

the wild child waterfall hike

the wild child hiking waterfall{afternoon boat rides}

the wild child water

the wild child boats

the wild child boat ride{hanging out in parks}

the wild child chess park

the wild child afternoon park{evening campfires}

the wild child camp fireI won’t miss fall for too long. Winter means pretty snowflakes, hot chocolate, warm sweaters and Christmas.

Cheers to a new season!

Paris is always a good idea

16 Oct

One of my favorite parts about visiting Paris was walking around and exploring. There were so many great neighborhoods, and the architecture was incredible. It’s hard to escape some of the touristy spots, but I really enjoyed when we wandered off the beaten path and saw the real parts of the city.

Here are some of the sights from during our time there:

Paris_metro_city

Paris_buildings_city_street

Paris_gardens_palace

Paris_museum_louvre

Paris_louvre_museum

Paris_hotel_city_street

Paris_arch_street

Paris_statue_street

Paris_view_tower

Dear Paris,  you were lovely. I’ll be seeing you again someday.

xoxo

Locking our love

27 Sep

I have a confession. I LOVE doing uber touristy things. For example, taking my picture with the I Amsterdam sign. Or posing with horse statues. Sebastian, on the other hand, does not. He does them for me (because I force him). So you can only imagine how often I put him outside of his comfort zone – and Paris was no exception.

Pont_des_ArtsWhile researching for our trip, I discovered there was a bridge in Paris, the Pont des Arts, where you could “lock your love.” I’ve since found out there are several cities where you can do this, but needless to say, it was something I was determined for us to do in the City of Light. The goal is put your initials on a lock, lock it to the bridge and toss your keys over the side into the Seine River. Before I left, I bought said lock and decorated it with our initials.

Pont_des_Arts_seine

Pont_des_Arts_bridge

Pont_des_Arts_locks

Pont_des_Arts_lockAlthough our second day in the city turned out to be cold and rainy, I made sure we found the bridge. The Pont des Arts itself is incredible. There must be thousands of locks – something truly heartwarming. You could really feel the love and those who had come before us. We set out to find a place for our lock, performed our little ceremony and tossed our keys into the river below.

Pont_des_Arts_key

Pont_des_Arts_bridge_view

Pont_des_Arts_locks_bridge

Pont_des_Arts_standingWas it cheesy? Oh yes. Did I love every second? Of course I did. Even though our lock might not stay there forever, it’s nice to know we left a little piece of ourselves in Paris.

Up next: Palais des Papes

An unexpected afternoon

27 Aug

Sometimes things don’t always go as planned, and sometimes it’s alright. I recently agreed to run in a marathon relay with some of my aunts. Realizing we’re not too far from race day, my Aunt Theresa suggested we all walk a 5K together and finish at a local winery for its annual balloon festival. You know, a good team-building activity. We all decided to participate and met on Sunday to “train.”

I had every intention of walking to the winery, having a glass of wine, relaxing for a couple of hours and then driving back to my apartment. But after we finished the course, and found a great spot under a tree, it became clear the afternoon was just beginning.

IMG_4095

We tried different wines (my favorite was the white wine sangria), and soon everyone was laughing and having a great time. My goofball Dad got creative with the face painters.

facepaint

facepaint2

facepaint3

And in true Dad fashion, he talked some random guy into joining in the fun.

facepaint4

IMG_4125After we’d been there a couple of hours, my Uncle Ron suggested we all put money in a kitty, put our names in a hat, and send whoever won on a hot air balloon ride. Everyone agreed, and I did too, never thinking I would actually get picked. Before I knew it, I was scheduled to go up in a hot air balloon.

balloonride

balloonride2

balloonride3

balloonride4

I have to admit, this wasn’t something I had on my bucket list. I’m sort of afraid of heights. As the balloons started filling with air and lifting up, I was filled with excitement and nerves. The takeoff happened so quickly. One minute I was snapping photos and the next my pilot was telling me to hop in the basket. And then we were floating above the crowds, drifting off into the sun.

balloonride5

balloonride6

balloonride7

You can’t steer hot air balloons so we just floated where the wind took us. The views were incredible – something I’ll never forget. I also loved how excited people were on the ground. You could see cars pulling over to watch and people waving up to us. It was an amazing experience.

balloonride9

balloonride10

balloonride12

balloonride13

After we drifted a while my pilot found a spot to land, and then it was over. A truly unexpected afternoon – the best kind there is.