We spent a cozy, drizzly day at Albert Cuypmarkt, The Netherlands’s largest outdoor market. As we walked towards the market, we lollygagged at Museumplein, eating banana-stuffed oliebollen and drinking macchiatos. We watched the local children shriek and dance in the square. I squinted: there was a rainbow beside Rijksmuesum! As it faded, it began … More Street Finds at Albert Cuypmarkt
We set out on-foot for de Pijp. Nicknamed the Quartier Latin, de Pijp had started out as “an example of 19th century cheap revolution building” in response to population growth. Since then, it had become home to a diverse array of people: students, immigrants, artists. At the time, though, I didn’t know this – just … More Kaarting Our Way Through Amsterdam
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
At le beau’s insistence, we popped by a place called Moods for brunch. In retrospect, the name and menu should have tipped us off. See, we wanted hearty. We knew we wanted hearty. Nothing hearty was on the menu, but we ordered anyways, hoping there would magically be bacon, eggs and potatoes tucked underneath somewhere. … More A Mood and Moco
At Museum Square, we ate burgers and drank hot cocoa and people-watched. Children played tag. Dogs roamed free. A man played jazzy saxophone, which drifted across the square. Encircled by three major art museums, Museumplein was the perfect place to grab lunch before returning to the Rijksmuseum. “The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the … More Reeling at The Rijksmuseum
Next door was the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo, the oldest zoo in the Netherlands and fifth oldest zoo in the world. Normally, I’m uneasy about zoos, because it makes me sad to see animals in captivity. Imagine how my joy at seeing some of the happiest, most playful, and uncaged creatures I’d ever seen! Monkeys swung on ropes – zebras took sand baths – sea lions scratched their backs and twirled away. … More A Day at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo
On Sunday, the weather was drizzly, cold and rainy. We grabbed the free ferry to NDSM Wharf, an artistic space with an industrial history. Long story short, in the 19th century, it started off as Amsterdam’s largest shipyard. As shipbuilding declined in the late 1900’s, so did NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij, or … More NDSM Wharf: An Art Haven
Our first morning, we walked to Amsterdam Centraal. As the main transportation station, it connected the trains and ferries and trams to the rest of the country. It was a hub of energy. We joined the flow of weary travelers and brisk pedestrians and zippy bicyclists. At a crosswalk, a man in a flower-adorned … More Ambling Around Amsterdam
The journey over was smooth, for the most part. We showed up early, went through security and lounged in the airport with time to spare. The domestic flight, however, left much to be desired – there was a wailing child who screamed every two minutes. We breathed a sigh of relief once the plane landed, … More We’ve Arrived in Europe! … More We’ve Arrived in Europe!
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
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
On Wednesday, after leaving the crockpot on overnight, I woke up to some of the best stew I had ever had in my life. After eating several helpings, I turned off my out-of-office message and attended a few calls on the balcony. Then we went for a drive on S. Pass. We drove through the … More What if the Sky and the Stars Are for Show?
In the morning, we stopped by a coffeeshop and grabbed almondy lattes. It had been filled with chattering locals. Warming our hands on the cups, we stood by the creek and talked. Yesterday we had also checked out another café. It had a tarot card vending machine and homemade syrups. We agreed the drinks there … More Morning Views and Afternoon Hikes
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
Happy Hallow’s Eve! This year, we didn’t dress up, but: Labor Day barely bat an eye before I had thrifted everything orange and arranged it on the mantel. Le beau was initially reluctant – he had helped set up the 8 ft Christmas tree that blocked our whole hallway in early November. After a day … More And It Was All Orange
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
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
Having spent Saturday driving, we packed our Sunday with a list of places to go. Our first stop: bao’s, doughy steamed buns, stuffed with pork belly and katsu chicken and purple cabbage. After circling around the park, avoiding a sketchy parking lot, we secured a spot on a hill, a perfect view of the city. … More Sunday Funday
Le beau took me to the unpaved trail by the lake. When our bikes hit the loose gravel, I was reminded of the time we went off-roading in Colorado. On the trail, my legs burned. It was up, up, up, and then down. And then back up. We then turned back around, where I felt … More Déjà Vu
The other day, I realized that we waste a lot of time taking things personally. For the most part, none of what other people say or do has anything to actually do with you. When a kid is bullied, it has nothing to do with the kid, or their hair, or their clothes, or the … More Taking Things Personally
One psychology article that stuck with me revolved around happiness and memory. How our happiness, or lack thereof, goes hand-in-hand with the stories we craft. The stories of our lives, the stories of ourselves. These stories help us create meaning and to make sense of the world around us. … More Stories We Craft
Thanksgiving dinner. This post is part of my Film Friday series, where I post 35mm images that I have taken and home-developed over the past year.
February 2020. A warm day. I wore a black sweater and jeans. I looped on my fake earrings from Claire’s. I had bought them at the mall with an old friend. We’d tried them on a whim, and I liked the way they looked, even if they made my lobes scream after a few hours. … More City Ruins [35mm Film]