Category Archives: My Globe Trotting Adventures

Discovering Paros

When Sebastiaan and I were trying to decide which of the Greek Islands to visit I’d actually never heard of Paros and was instead considering more well-known islands like Crete, Mykonos and Santorini. As I began my research I noticed that many of these popular Greek destinations turned into the Greek equivalent of Cancun spring break in August (crowds of obnoxious drunk high school and college students)- No thanks…

So, aside from this making me feel reallyy really old (I mean it wasn’t THAT long ago that I went to Cancun after high school was it??) we both decided for our first real extended holiday together this wasn’t exactly what we had in mind. Luckily, a friend at work recommended Paros- we could not have been more pleasantly surprised. 🙂

We spent the first few days in Paros exploring the island, laying by the pool and lounging at the beach. (sounds rough right?)

On our third day the manager of the hotel recommended an all day island cruise- absolutely unforgettable…

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Beautiful views from the boat

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Jumping off the boat into the water!

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Going for a swim 🙂

The next day we decided to rent a scooter so that we could explore a bit more of the island. We stopped off at a few beaches, enjoyed spectacular views and wandered around a small fishing village along the way.

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Don’t worry Sebastiaan did most of the driving 😉

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Pounda Beach

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Village of Naoussa

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Taking it all in 🙂

If you ever decide to take a trip over to Paros (which I highlyyy recommend) our hotel was absolutely fabulous. The friendly staff, amazing views, and spotless rooms made for one of the most relaxed and enjoyable stays we’ve ever had.

For a place to eat in Paros I’d recommend herehere, and here! – definitely less touristy than some places but absolutely delicious!

This is the company that arranged our boat trip- a must do in Paros!

More pictures from Paros below!

Dream holiday part 2: Paros

After three wonderful days in Athens Sebastiaan and I boarded the ferry and headed off to the beautiful island of Paros. I’ll admit I was somewhat dreading the 5 hour journey ahead but as soon as we made our way through the crowds of travelers, found a cozy (and sunny) spot on the deck and settled in with my book, the ride just flew by.

Once we pulled into the port at Paros I immediately fell in love with the island. The hills filled with little white cottages, crystal clear water and picture perfect blue sky were unlike anything I’d ever seen.

We caught a taxi to our amazinggg hotel and were immediately welcomed with drinks on the balcony– not a bad start! Our time in Paros was that perfect  balance between doing everything and nothing at all. Although we’re devastated a bit sad to be back in cloudy Amsterdam, I have to say it was one of the most relaxing and romantic holidays we’ve ever had. 🙂

A few pictures of our first days in Paros paradise 🙂

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Mayhem boarding the ferry

A fellow traveler let me borrow her hammock for a quick mid-trip snooze 🙂

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View from the ferry

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View from our hotel room

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Wandering the little streets of Parikia, Paros

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During a nice stroll along the harbour

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Ah, the island mentality 😉

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I’ll take you up on that cold beer!

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Delicious grilled sardines

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Barbecued octopus

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Enjoying a delicious meal on the water

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Beautiful Paros sunset 🙂

More to come on our adventures in Paros! 🙂

Dream holiday part 1: Athens

Sebastiaan and I just returned from an absolutely amazing holiday in Greece. We spent 3 days in Athens exploring the city and visiting the sights and then ventured off to Paros for 5 days of sunshine, rest and relaxation. The trip was more incredible than I could have even imagined…

As soon as we arrived in Athens I was struck by the city’s fast pace, narrow streets and old town charm. Although, given the financial crisis now overwhelming this part of the world, it was hard not to also notice the boarded up shops, staggering homelessness and the abandoned pets (dogs and cats) on nearly every street corner. 

Wandering the streets of this iconic city, visiting the Acropolis, enjoying epic views and even better food was definitely an unforgettable experience.

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Our first (of many) Greek salads!

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Yummy Gyro!

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First bite of Mousaka!

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Beginning our LONG hike up Lycabetus Hill!

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We made it to the top!

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First dinner out in Plakka area of Athens

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In front of the Parthenon!

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Taking a break on our way down from the Acropolis – incredible view

Although there were definitely some spots we didn’t get a chance to visit, and we had an absolutely amazing time, I have to admit after 3 days in the hot, busy (and sometimes dirty) ancient city we were more than ready to catch the ferry for our Island escape!

If you’re planning a trip to Athens and looking for a great place to grab a bite I highly recommend here, here and here!

(I wasn’t crazy about our hotel in Athens so I won’t be recommending that one…)

More pictures from our trip below!

Why I love summer

There are about a million reasons why I love summer, actually why I’ve always loved summer, but now that I live in Amsterdam (a city notorious for its lack of warmth and sunshine), I’ve grown really thankful for the few days a year where “we” Dutchies can shed the layers, dust off the sunnies and cycle off to the nearest terrace to soak up the good ol’ Vitamin D.

Date night downtown :)

The warm weather isn’t likely to stick around too long, but while it’s here, Sebastiaan and I are determined to enjoy it as much as possible. We’ve had picnics in the park, dined alfresco here, here, and here and enjoyed a few too many cocktails outside with friends. Basically, we’ve remembered what it is we love so much about this city. Although a common expression among expats in Amsterdam is, “No one moves to Amsterdam for the weather” 4-5 months of rain and clouds can get even the peppiest of travelers down.  balcony bbq!

Luckily, we’re jetting off to Greece next week just as the weather is expected to turn. We’ve both been working like crazy over the past few months so we’re really looking forward to 8 days of much deserved rest and relaxation (accompanied by fabulous food, drinks and views!).  Happy feet :)

Wherever you are, I hope you’re enjoying the warmer days, after all,  before we know it we’ll be bundling up for fall. 🙂

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Birthday wishes for the bestie <3

I’ve taken quite a long blogging hiatus… With a busy work schedule (at a job where I spend most of my day writing) it turned out I needed to take a little break from screen time in my off time.

BUT, what better reason to get back on the blogging train than to celebrate the birth of my best friend in the world/ partner in crime/sister from another mister?!

Sarah,

Thank you for always being the person I can lean on, laugh with, cry with and of course shop with (even thousands of miles away). You’re the best friend I could ever ask for and I couldn’t imagine my life with out you. Can’t wait to see what the future has in store for us! Here’s to many many more fabulous years!! xoxo 

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“The only reason god didn’t make us sisters is because one mom couldn’t handle us both.”

Happy Birthday!! 🙂 Love you always and forever…

A day at the museum

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At the beautiful Stedelijk Museum

Two weeks ago, Sebastiaan and I had an absolutely wonderful day at a new modern art museum in Amsterdam.  After hearing about the lovely Stedelijk Museum from a friend at work, I thought we were well overdue for a little cultural immersion. Aside from a chance to enjoy some breathtaking art (as well as a few pieces we just didn’t quite ‘get’) it was a really great excuse to get out of our ‘lazy Sunday’ routine and do something new together.

After browsing around the museum for a little over an hour, we were ready for some nourishment. Luckily, the museum is situated right in the heart of the city so it took little time for us to stumble upon this gem. We enjoyed a delicious glass of red wine, bread with homemade aioli, an assortment of olives, peppers stuffed with spinach and manchego cheese and eggplant cooked with mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Quite the treat! 

All in all, it was a lovely Sunday and has definitely inspired us to get out and see more sites in this fabulous city! If you find yourself in Amsterdam soon, I highly recommend a visit to the Stedelijk Museum and be sure to stop off for some tapas on the way home!  

Luckily we were allowed to take pictures at the museum. Take a look as some of my favorite pieces! 🙂

 

Weekend in Cologne

Last weekend Sebastiaan and I took off for Cologne to celebrate the infamous ‘Carnival’ with two of our friends. I’d never been to Germany and had certainly never participated in Carnival (although there is a similar celebration in the south of Holland) needless to say, I had no idea what to expect. My friend, who happens to be German and very familiar with the whole tradition, simply told me to get a costume and prepare for a lot of beer drinking. DONE.

Carnival ready!

Carnival ready!

We left Amsterdam Friday evening after work and arrived just 2.5 hours later in Jülich (a small suburb of Cologne) where we spent the night with her family. As we crossed the border into Germany, I searched eagerly for some distinguishing features, something ‘ultra-German’ to give me the feeling that I was in fact in another country. I guess part of me expected to be welcomed by a cheery red-faced German man in lederhosen serving bratwurst and liters of beer. Unfortunately (for us all), this was not the case. The landscape remained flat (as a pannekoek) and the houses, although slightly larger, were still as cute and quaint as in Holland.

It wasn’t until the next day when we got off the train in Cologne that I felt I was really in Germany. In fact, the first thing we did was head to the nearest snack stand and order a round of bratwurst, followed promptly with some ice cold German brew. We headed to the nearest pub and enjoyed a beer while waiting in line to enter (I quickly learned that, in Germany, almost any situation calls for frothy beer). The pub was packed with costumed adorned guests, sloshing beer and singing cheerfully to festive carnival tunes (all of which began with some rendition of “La, Laa, Laaaa”).

After several hours of dancing, “singing” and beer drinking we decided it was time for some grub. We took a stroll around town and ended up at a brewery close to the famous, and incredibly beautiful, St. Patrick’s Cathedral. After some delicious schnitzel and fries we were stuffed and ready to call it a night.

The next day the carnival festivities continued with a parade in Jülich where, as is the tradition, members of the parade throw candy into crowds of costume wearing, screaming children. Although this would most definitely be a frightening situation in the States, it was actually really cute- I even caught a few pieces of candy for myself!

Pfaffen Bok Beer :)

Pfaffen Bok Beer 🙂

All in all it was a great weekend with fabulous friends; I’m already looking forward to next year!  🙂

More pics from our trip below! 🙂