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


A Mood and Moco

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

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

A Day at Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo

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

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


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

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

Sunday Funday

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

Into the City

We spent several hours on the road, stuffed with jammy kolaches and Vampire Weekend. One of the first songs I played was A-Punk. I had always thought the lyrics to A-Punk were: Do you want to go slowly / into the city? And I had always thought it kind of intimate and friendly. Like yes, Ezra, lead singer of Vampire Weekend, I would love to be stuck in traffic with you, now could you sing me a song? … More Into the City

Rocky Road

But there were also fields, and trails, and bike paths. We showed up in the morning, when only pedestrians were allowed, so we wandered through the park until noon. Eager to avoid crowds, we detoured onto a less-traveled path and admired the mountains. … More Rocky Road

Crossing State Lines

Road trip! Road trip! The other day I counted: this would be our 7th road trip this past year. Our destination (again): the mountains. Viet coffee in one hand and PTO in the other, we spent the whole day driving, breaking, and pushing across state lines. We listened to indie vibes. Hoppy classics. We sailed through … More Crossing State Lines