10 Days in LA

I’m embarrassed to admit that I lived for 29 years without visiting LA. I grew up on the East Coast, spoiled by the nearby New York City and content to explore the gems of Boston in my own backyard. Later, when I went to university in Vermont, if I was not frolicking in the snow on a secluded mountain, I was shopping (Underground City!) or eating (poutine!) or dancing (drinking age!) in the nearby city of Montreal. When I turned 22, I moved to Europe, and shifted my focus to exploring as many European cities as possible. Prague, Cologne, Milan, Paris, Berlin, Bruges, Istanbul, London, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Edinburgh, Dublin . . . I am proud to say that the list goes on and on. However, up until recently, my travels were admittedly quite European-centric. I did go to San Diego, California once when I was a kid, where I was traumatized by a popsicle incident. We were spending the day at Sea World, and had just seated ourselves at the porpoise show, where a small child sitting behind proceeded to drop a large chunk of his chocolate Shamu popsicle down my back. It slid into my khaki shorts where it left a big, brown poop-like stain. I had to walk around all day in the smoldering heat, looking like I shat myself at a seal show. And that’s all I really remember about California, other than the numerous signs warming of snakes, and big, dirt-like mountains. So I never really had a desire to go back to the West Coast, even though lumping together and generalizing my distaste for three coastal states (one of which is 800 miles long), based on an unfortunate incident with a Shamu popsicle, was somewhat naïve. However, this past year on numerous occasions, my work travels brought be back to the West Coast, and one of those stops just so happened to be LA. IMG_5101Side note: I actually applied to jobs in LA when I stopped working at Sid Lee! I’m definitely ready to live in a warmer climate (sorry, Amsterdam), and LA is a great North American hub for advertising. Alas, LA was meant to be in my life in a different capacity at this time, and so serendipitously, I ventured there for a shoot with my new job at Booking.com. So let me tell you a little about LA . . . 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

Christmas in Maine

How is it already January 15th? Time is soaring by and life in Amsterdam is slowly ramping up again after a long and leisurely winter hibernation in the USA. Last night was actually my first night alone in the apartment (so much catching up to do after two weeks away!) so I spent some time sorting through holiday photos, in addition to making a big pot of stew for dinner, unpacking my suitcase, and cooking heaps of bacon (I had an 8am meeting this morning and bribed the whole team with bacon – I know, I’m the most ethical and awesome Account Director ever). Bacon, suitcases, and stew aside, it was a nostalgic evening, as the holidays are over and everyone I love so much lives so far away. This especially sucks in the winter when the nights are long and dark and I accidentally cook too much soup. One girl can only eat so much soup!

Instead of sharing my holiday photos in posts like last year, one by one by one, I’ve just included a bunch of my favorite Christmas images here, all in one place. So let’s take a little journey through winter in the countryside of Maine :) First and foremost, check out Sox, my trusty 6am jet-lag buddy . .IMG_4907He’s the only one in the house who is up before 6am, and year after year he’s willing to hang with me in the living room until all the normal people wake up to start the day. Also awake at the crack of dawn is my best friend Casey, who has a newborn and therefore doesn’t really observe night or day.  Continue reading

The 4th of July, Round Two

The 4th of July has long been my favorite holiday. My grandparents live on Little Sebago Lake in Maine, and as mentioned in my previous post, year after year family flock to their house for summertime celebrations. Unfortunately this year it rained on the 4th (the only rainy day in 3 weeks!) so we did what any smart Americans would do and spread our independence festivities out over two days instead of one. The gals and I spent our first 4th of July eating BBQ and dancing in town, and our second 4th (really the 5th) at my grandparent’s house on the lake.IMG_1705We spent the day boating and barbecuing, swimming and eating ribs!  Continue reading

Salvage BBQ in Portland, Maine

The 4th of July is my favorite holiday. My grandparents live on a beautiful lake, and every year friends and family from all over camp out at their house on the 4th to enjoy bonfires, BBQ’s, boat rides, sparklers, and s’mores. In fact, my favorite childhood memory is laying on their hammock by the water, wearing an over-sized sweatshirt, eating a sticky s’more, smelling the smoky campfire, and watching the Independence Day fireworks explode in the sky as family ohhh’d and ahhh’d nearby. At that moment in time, every human sense I had was satisfied, and I felt filled with love and happiness. After the fireworks, my sisters, cousin, and I would all run around outside playing flashlight tag. Our game would soon evolve into hide-and-go-seek, as Mom and Dad tried to catch us to tuck us into bed. I never wanted the day to end, but thankfully, I was able to re-live this happy moment on the 4th year after year.Lake SunsetAs an adult, I wanted to share this magical day with B and his family . . .

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Exploring the Île Sainte-Marguerite

On day 3 in Cannes, B and I hopped on a ferry and headed towards the Lérins Islands. We docked at the Île Sainte-Marguerite, the largest of the Lérins Islands, about a half a mile away from Cannes. It’s famous for its fortress, which once upon a time housed the Man in the Iron Mask. Today, it’s known for its stunning views of the French Rivera, serene beaches, and butterflies. Lots and lots of butterflies! We hiked our way around the island, stopping to go for a dip in the sea when we got too hot. We came across deserted buildings, lovely outlook points, and several hidden rocky coves. We collected sea-glass, enjoyed a picnic, and relaxed as we bronzed our skin. It was my favorite day in Cannes so far, surrounded by nature, exploring the unknown with my favorite :)IMG_8786^As we pulled out of Cannes into the harbor.IMG_8791IMG_8797IMG_8807^ ^ Landed! Our majestic ocean chariot (ferry).IMG_8830IMG_8806IMG_8804^ ^ The view of Cannes from Sainte-Marguerite.IMG_8802IMG_8828IMG_8812Into the wilderness we went!IMG_0039IMG_8822IMG_8853^ ^ The last signs of civilization (other than the yachts!)IMG_9005IMG_8824IMG_8942^ ^ Oasis number one, discovered!

IMG_0045IMG_8897IMG_0044 IMG_8940^ ^ Picnic / swim spot assembled!IMG_8922IMG_8912 IMG_8917IMG_8902img_8927^ ^ Time for a dip!IMG_0055IMG_0059IMG_0075^ ^  French sea glass to make something special for my Mom!
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IMG_8840IMG_8844IMG_8865^ ^ Keeping us hydrated. IMG_8986IMG_8989IMG_9002^ ^ Sometimes Sainte-Marguerite looked so much like Maine.IMG_8952IMG_9033IMG_9013^ ^ Sampling the waters in cove #2.

IMG_9026IMG_9021^ ^ Deep sea swimming with the fish.IMG_9027IMG_9032IMG_8995IMG_8951IMG_8974Sending lots of love from Cannes! x