Well I'd say they come from the hills of Koroska. :)
Here are a few more snaps from my dad's trip to Slovenia. I miss him a lot - it was so so so nice to have him here, and especially to spend the afternoon/evening together in Ljubljana. It reminded me of one of my fondest memories with him: in Paris we enjoyed red wine, a cheese plate, and a tarte tatin at Cafe de Flore. Anyway, it was lovely to have him, and to have his perspective on this little adventure of mine. Here are some more photos from that weekend, including a sneak of my dad through the most intense spiral staircase I've ever experienced in the Ljubljana castle. Also please note that one of the best parts of this country is the fact that one minute you can be surrounded by mountains and gorgeous countryside and the next you're in an old, immaculate, historic city.
We are currently living in a beautiful place. There is no doubt about that. Today we drove my dad to the airport — he was only here for a few days but it was so special to have him out here. But anyway, on the way back from the airport we took a shorter route that involved going through the most beautiful mountains. This is my first real autumn season and I am annoyingly enthusiastic about all of the ridiculous colors and falling leaves. So of course, I took way too many photos and even put together a little video to remember this beautiful season in this beautiful part of the world.
A word of warning - don't watch this video if you get carsick. :) And even if you don't get carsick, don't watch it full screen, because you will! I'm only sharing it to keep a record for the future!
It's ok. I totally get it if you are. Especially if you follow me on Instagram as well. But the season is almost over and mushroom hunting is something I've wanted to do for as long as I can remember. For the past few nights I've found myself dreaming of finding these precious babies — almost like when you play too many video or computer games. We're going to hunt a bit more next week and then call it a season. We already have 3 jars of dried porcinis (the mushroom above), which should be enough for any sane person, but I can't help myself and I want to find more! It's just so fun. Odin is loving it of course because it means lots of extra off-leash forest time, and seeing him that happy feels pretty great.
This weekend we're off to Germany for a night to visit Damir's sister. We've got a 6 hour drive ahead of us but it's always fun to road trip through Europe. The gas stations have the best goodies! And I use it as an excuse to treat myself.
I'm making an extra effort in the coming days/weeks/months to bring out my real camera and snap pictures because truly, the quality makes a huge difference on this somewhat neglected blog (when am I going to get it together here???). But for now, here are some pictures of our most recent mushroom-venture!
That face above — can you even handle it? I can't. Side note/rant: I've been getting increasing pressure recently to start popping out kids and to stop thinking of my animals as my babies, but like, that's just never going to happen. The way I see it is my creatures are very much members of our family and deserve as much of my maternal love as I've got. Babies will come when they come and I'm sure I'll explode with love for them. But this guy and Loki are here now. You know?
*** Also I want to add something sort of important — it's really, really, really, important that you know what you're doing when you go mushroom hunting. Different areas have different varieties, some of which can easily be confused with one another. Damir has been picking chanterelles, porcinis, and the big parasol mushroom seen above for his whole life so I feel confident going with him. And when we're not 110% sure about a specific fungus, we don't pick it, or we check with local mushroom experts. It can be a risky hobby, but if you stick to what you know, you'll probably be ok. And one more thing, I think a great birthday or holiday gift would be a mushroom foraging course in whatever area you live in. It really is a lot of fun and worth learning to do it the right way. ***
I've been coming to Slovenia for over 6 years but somehow, I had never made it down to the seaside until this past weekend. We took off on Saturday to check out a chili pepper and spicy food festival in the sweet town of Izola with some friends. The town felt like a typical Mediterranean seaside town with a pretty strong Italian influence (I live on the Austrian border, so it was a big change for me!). I loved the architecture, the colors, the smells of the ocean, how dog-friendly the town seemed to be, and all that spicy food satisfied a craving I've been having for a while. While we were down there we actually met some folks from Seattle of all places (who live in a log cabin!) who were competing in the spicy food competition — they got 3rd place, but their Thai chicken dish with chili and lime was first in my book. We tasted lots of hot sauces, only one of which really ended up burning my mouth, and we tried beer by a local small brewer called Reservoir Dogs that we agreed was the best beer we'd had in a while. As it was a chili festival, some chili extract or oil (I'm not sure which it was exactly) was added to the beer and it really enhanced the flavor and the resulting mild throat burn was a welcome addition. After the sun went down, a Slovenian band called TerraFolk played for a while and I really enjoyed it. The music was only instrumental folk music and as it turns out, the band is quite well respected and tours all over Europe. We ended up staying the night, thanks to lovely friends, so we could fully enjoy ourselves and not stress about driving the 2.5 hours back home. The next morning we took a long walk through the town and meandered through tiny cobblestone streets with old colorful buildings. We ended up at a beautiful church on top of the hill where all the locals were dressed up to attend a Sunday service. I couldn't help but smile this big goofy grin. It was one of those moments of clarity and appreciation that I wanted to capture in a bottle so I might go back and experience it again and again.
And now for some pictures!
We ended the weekend back in our little warm woodsy cabin with our cute cuddly creatures (above) hunting for and frying up parasol mushrooms with my mother-in-law, eating an amazing local dumpling dish with Italian prunes picked from our neighbors incredible trees, and watching TV shows in bed.
How was your weekend!?