Meowster van Loon

Over omelets, fresh orange juice, coffee, salad, and bread, we enjoyed a slow, cozy morning at Pompa. With 1 hour left on the five day City Card, we brainstormed our final visit. We chose the van Loon museum home. Owned by the Van Loon merchant family, the home was a “magnificent double-sized canal house located … More Meowster van Loon

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Modern in Zuid

Described as “Amsterdam’s very own Upper East Side, Amsterdam Zuid is chic, classy, and full of history.” The first indication was the type of car that lined the street. We saw Audi’s, Mercedes, Maserati’s. Houses stood tall and prim, indifferent to the zigzag infrastructure common in Central Amsterdam. The streets were quiet: for once, we didn’t smell cigaruana. The neighborhood, quiet and suburban, oozed affluence. … More Modern in Zuid

Like Déjà Vu

On our last day, we visited a touristy ski town, then a local mountain town. It turned out to be the perfect way to cap off our trip. We walked along the streets – drifting in and out of stores, grocers, and museums. We ate rocky road ice cream and drank ginger ale and people-watched. … More Like Déjà Vu

Winding Shelf Roads

Every time I felt nervous, I whispered: if the Taliban can scale mountains in a Tacoma, so can we. On the winding shelf roads of A. Pass, straddled by a quaint mountain town, we listened to music and took in our surroundings. Trees, rivers, creeks, mountains. It was, for the most part, smooth sailing. That is, … More Winding Shelf Roads

Beso: Kisses

Near the end of the pass, we noticed a herd of cows. We stopped to say hi. One chocolatey cow in particular stared at us. She would dip her head to eat grass, then quickly raise it to watch us. She stared, curious, while the other cows continued their business. I named her Bessie. … More Beso: Kisses

Snowcapped

Our first morning, we woke up to the sun rising behind the mountains. The living room flooded with light. Walking over carpet and oak wood felt nostalgic. Christmassy. It reminded me of the house I grew up in. I played Fleet Foxes, then made pumpkin coffee and maple oatmeal. As I waited for le beau, … More Snowcapped

Promises Made

  While walking through the woods, we made a bet. If, before Friday, I rowed five miles nonstop on the rowing machine, le beau would drive us into the mountains. Pinky promise? He hesitated. Anything can be broken except for the pinky promise. Not thinking I could do it, he agreed. On Tuesday, I braced … More Promises Made

Hollowside House

The other day, I felt compelled to visit the historic house off of Hollowside. From the street, the house looked like any of the other surrounding homes. But it carried a history of its own. Although the place was mostly empty, I crossed paths with a chirpy groundskeeper, who launched into stories about the house … More Hollowside House

Capturing the City

For the first time in years, I drove into the city. I had forgotten the way cities smelled. Like fresh bread and diesel and business. I was looking for someplace to wander. Preferably cold. And clean. After parking, I decided on an unmarked coffeeshop tucked inside a hotel. It sat along a street of swanky … More Capturing the City

After the Rain

For the first time in months, it rained. The lawn, scorched and bleached by the sun, sprouted back lush and green. Critters came out in full force, too: colonies of spiders and roly polies and ants. The rain lasted several weeks. It was a welcome reprieve. Each day it rained, I romanticized it. I turned … More After the Rain

All Good Mini-cations

From the dense forestry of WFH has emerged a new species: neither work, nor play, but both. Without taking PTO, which we are saving up for another trip, I call this the mini-cation. It isn’t quite a staycation, because we leave home, but it also isn’t entirely a vacation, because we work. … More All Good Mini-cations

If You Like Piña Coladas and Gettin’ Caught in the Rain

Hankering for adventure, I suggested a nearby shopping square. We passed by a religious temple on the way, but it was raining too hard for us to step outside. As we arrived at the shopping square, the clouds cleared. Palm trees swayed. I skipped over rain puddles. I thought about the The Piña Colada song. … More If You Like Piña Coladas and Gettin’ Caught in the Rain

Modes of Transportation

I used to think there was something romantic about public transportation. In my mind, I glamorized it. Maybe it was because I had spent most of my life moving by car, staring out windows, listening to the local R&B station. From a distance, public transportation sparkled. Buses. Trains. Subways. Love. But then it dimmed. Germs. Lateness. And, in general, impracticality. Mostly I drive now. … More Modes of Transportation