Visiting the Tulip Fields in Holland

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat, you might have noticed that my travel schedule has been (for lack of a better a phrase) pretty f*cking hectic lately. In April I had guests or work travel every week, with the exception of one stunning long weekend, right at the end of the month. My boyfriend, who I had been neglecting due to work obligations and guests, sweetly suggested that we enjoy the long weekend together. And so I took a red eye back from NYC, napped for a few short morning hours, and packed yet another bag. Thankfully, we had decided to forgo planes and enjoy a mini-European road trip, with an overnight in Antwerp, Belgium and some spontaneous pit stops along the way. Road trippppp! :)IMG_5592Springtime is my favorite season in Holland. In the spring, the weather is often warmer and more reliably sunny than in the summer, and!! you have the tulips. Miles and miles of endless colors paint the horizon, as Holland’s flagship crop begins to bloom. As Kai had never seen the Dutch tulips in all their vivid glory (which I’ve done before, many times! here and here) I suggested that we take our first road trip pit stop in Lisse, where the rainbow-colored tulip fields are both abundant and magnificent.

If you are also interested in visiting the tulips in Holland, here are some tips on when to visit, what to do, and how to get there (along with some photos from our adventure!) Continue reading

Summer in Maine, USA

As I’ve blogged about visiting Maine many, many times before (see here, here, here, and here – just to name a few!) I was less vigilant about whipping out my camera for the sole purpose of blogging this time around. I snapped a few photos here and there, but mainly to remember the moment or capture a smile – as most photographers would :) And so while I don’t have specific reviews or recommendations to post, I do have a great collection of Maine memories to share from this summer. IMG_8126From a photographic perspective, the highlight of the trip was getting to spend lots of time in Portland, Maine, which is a quick 15 minute drive from my parent’s country house. Portland is the biggest city in Maine, and (although I’m totally biased) it’s also one of the most beautiful. The small, harbor city is set on a hill and boasts of cobblestone streets, long wharfs, red brick buildings, and deep-blue ocean views. Continue reading

What to do in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

My sister Liz lives in Falmouth, Massachusetts, which is situated on the gorgeous Cape Cod coastline. Over the years, my family has had many fun-filled adventures in the region (for example, our excursion last summer to Martha’s Vineyard), and each time we go down to visit, we make a point of staying in a different town, exploring a new part of the coast. If you’ve never been to Cape Cod, you’re in for a delight – miles of white sandy beaches, ample seafood restaurants, and lovely seaside attractions, from whale watching to deep-sea fishing.IMG_8268With so many adorable seaside towns to stay in, and so many beautiful sunny beaches to choose from, it’s often hard to know where to begin when mapping out a visit to Cape Cod. So here’s my guide on where to eat, what to do, and how to bunk on the Cape – all based on my own personal explorations over the years! Continue reading

St. Tropez, Part 3

Hi blog friends! It’s been a while since my last check-in. I hopped across the pond last week to spend some time in Maine with the family, and of course came down with a pretty bad cold the second I was off the plane and under my mom’s watchful eye. So I’ve been alternating between trying to be on holiday and trying to sleep off this nasty cold, which took up a good chunk of time! Now, I’m finally back in action (wooo), and I have some fun USA posts to share – but before I do, let’s finish up St. Tropez!IMG_7513Our last day in St. Tropez was spent at the beach. After a quick breakfast on the terrace at the hotel . . .  Continue reading

Sid Lee does St. Tropez, Part 1

While I love blogging, my day job is also pretty cool. I work at a global advertising agency called Sid Lee (some office photos here), where we make ads for clients like Facebook, Red Bull, and Absolut. Advertising is very much a work hard play hard industry, and the brands you work with often contribute to the overall culture of the agency. There are countless late nights and busy weekends, but on the flip side, at Sid Lee, there are also expensed dinners, cool colleagues, agency parties, and many, many Absolut cocktails. Recently, to say ‘thanks’ for a long year of hard work, the Sid Lee Amsterdam team was treated to a long weekend in paradise. IMG_7551I briefly mentioned our travel regime in my previous post – our airplane left Schiphol at 6am – which meant we had to meet in the airport lobby bright and early at 4.15am. Of course I pulled an all-nighter (I was THAT person at the airport) and stumbled through security and found my seat on the plane in a tipsy, blurry haze. After a few hours of dozing on the plane, and then on a bus, we arrived in St. Tropez.  Continue reading

A Taste of Home

I’m so behind on blogging. Like, embarrassingly behind. I have two more Maine posts, three London posts, a delicious Amsterdam restaurant recommendation, and a trip to the zoo to share. I am strongly determined to catch up. But at the same time, I appreciate the lag. Going through Maine summer photos in late September makes me smile. These memories are precious and I am glad to have cause to visit them again. I mean, just look at this dreamy lobster roll . . . . IMG_2258If that doesn’t make you lament summertime, I don’t know what will. Double drool. I’m going to try and wrap up the Maine posts in the next two days, so without further ado, here’s a very big and delicious taste of New England.  Continue reading

Ferry Beach, Maine

Summer is coming to an end. I had hopped that we would get a surprise August heat wave. But no, it’s been raining almost every day here in Amsterdam, and I can confirm that it is definitely now jacket weather. My feet feel chilly on the wood floor in the morning. I’ve busted out my fall clothes. And I’ve been drinking warm tea again – a sure indication that winter is coming soon. Despite the shift in season, I still have still have a few more Maine holiday posts to share. In fact, I’ve had such an active and fun summer, I have a LOT of photos I want to get up on the blog over the next few weeks. A back-log of happy memories and fading summer glory. Today, I wanted to show you the beach.

IMG_1936I am really lamenting this scene. Deep blue Maine sea hues, adorable fishing boats, and sunny blue skies . . .  Continue reading

Reggae on Peaks Island, Maine

If you’re ever in Portland, Maine for the summer, going to Peaks Island for Reggae Sunday is absolutely mandatory. It’s a quintessential Maine summertime outing, and it is not to be missed! The adventure starts on a ferry that departs from Commercial Street in Portland, and cruises through Casco Bay, passing lighthouses, fishermen, and sailboats along the way.IMG_1799 Continue reading

Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens

While in Maine, my mom suggested a family outing to the Costal Maine Botanical Gardens.

I’m sure I’ve made this apparently obvious over the past few years, but I LOVE flowers. I usually have a bunch of fresh peonies or ranunculus brightening up my indoor space, my balcony is adorned with white lavender and potted daisies, and I’ve been known to take road trips for the sole purpose of gazing at fields of tulips.

At the time of my mom’s suggestion, the Keukenhof was the only flower garden I’d ever visited. It’s one of the biggest and most beautiful spring gardens in the world, with a kaleidoscope of color, featuring more than seven million tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths. As the Dutch are known for their beautiful blooms, I was eager to see what Maine’s botanics had to offer in comparison.IMG_2025And so my mom packed us a delicious picnic lunch, and with my sister and gramma in tow, we hopped into the car for an early morning drive up to Boothbay, Maine. 
Continue reading

Swimming at Brediusbad, Amsterdam

I’ve been in Amsterdam for four years, and one of the biggest drawbacks to this city is the weather. As a New England gal, I’m used to technicolor falls, heat-wave summers, muddy springs, and snowy, romantic winters. Amsterdam is pretty neutral all year long. The winter is cool and the summer is warm, but everything is numb in comparison to the States. In Holland you rarely sweat, freeze, or experience any brilliant life or death in between.

But this summer has been a game-changer. I’ve been in Holland for four years, and this is the first summer where I’ve thought, wow, I could live here for the rest of my life. I’ve been commuting across town for work all summer, and have only been rained on once. That’s a far cry from my first summer in Amsterdam, when it rained for more than 50 days straight. The past two summers have also been kind of meh, with sunny spots here and there, but a coat and an umbrella were always obligatory when leaving the house. But this summer, wow. This summer has been a stunner.

We have had multiple heat waves, with the temperature consistently in the mid-70’s. Not to mention lots and lots of sunshine. Sunshine in Amsterdam is pure bliss. Folks gather outside for drinks, they cruise along the canals in their boats, they take residence in the parks, bike to the beach, and sometimes even chill out at the pool.

IMG_2412I’ve never expected to find such a beautiful outdoor pool in this city . . .  Continue reading