only adventure awaits

Gearhart Beach

It was a Saturday afternoon, sunny and the warm air thick with pollen. We had rented a car for the weekend and were preparing to head to my sister’s house for a dinner party. Marcus turned to me and upended our plans to drive to the beach early the next morning with a question: “Shall we go tonight instead?” Suddenly preparations to pack our sleeping bags, park on the beach, and sleep in the back of the car began to take shape. And, why not? Didn’t we uproot our cozy life in Amsterdam to be closer to nature and adventure in Oregon?

We began the drive from Portland to the beach well after 9pm. Headed west, we witnessed the sun setting behind the Coastal Mountain Range and then were pitched into darkness on the winding roads. As Marcus drove, I studied a map to decide where we should set up camp. For long stretches, we would lose mobile phone reception completely, nearly unheard of in Western Europe.

As we entered the small town of Gearhart, there were self-reprimands that we should have planned the trip better. After several failed attempts, we came upon a beach access point for cars and drove out onto the sand. There were small groups of people up and down the beach, gathered around bonfires as the tide drew near. We crawled into our sleeping bags, rolled the window slightly to avoid asphyxiation, and settled back to the sound of the waves.

Pacific Way Bakery

The early morning light woke us at 5:30am and we staved off our hunger until the Pacific Way Bakery opened. After rounds of coffee and pastries, we returned to the beach for a gloriously sunny day. As the tide went out, we came across a multitude of sand dollars still intact. A sight I’d never seen before.

The move across the world hasn’t been easy and the last months have surfaced doubts, worries, and fears that I didn’t anticipate. The transition will take time and we’re trying to fully embrace life in America without sacrificing the European values we hold close. I have learned to trust Marcus in ways I never had to before and I know that as long as I say yes, only adventure awaits.

weekend links

This weekend I’m looking forward to more sunshine in the forecast, a Friday night rooftop dinner, and a hiking trip on Sunday. Enjoy your weekend and these links from the week!

1. Planning on exploring Portland’s numerous farmers markets (pictured above)
2. Listening to this interview about the high cost of fast fashion and seeing images from Amir Abdullah that document the dangers of the garment manufacturing industry in Bangladesh
3. Listening to new tracks from CocoRosie and Florence and the Machine
4. And the entire soundtrack from The Great Gatsby on NPR
5. Celebrating the opening of the Digital Public Library of America
6. Anticipating the opening of a hard cider taproom in Portland
7. Wanting to go foraging for miner’s lettuce
8. Reading Yvette van Boven’s Home Made Summer (pictured below)

What are your plans this weekend?

Photos: top left, top right, bottom 1, bottom 2.

the first of May

in bloom

The first of May is here and I feel all the anticipation for my favorite month ahead. Not only is the weather forecast for the next week pure sunshine and warmth, but the month concludes with my 30th birthday.

After nearly two months of building up a new life in Portland, things are finally starting to take shape. Slowly, but surely. In an attempt to focus less on how life-turned-upside-down this all has been and more on everything that lies ahead, I am making a monthly list of three things to help the settling in process move ahead and make each month a little sweeter. Plus, I love lists.

1. Furnish our apartment
On May 15, Marcus and I will move into our new apartment! We are beyond excited and can only hope that our shipment from Amsterdam will have finally arrived by that point. After living in half-furnished apartments for the last eight years, we finally get to start investing in our own items. First up: a bed, dining room table, and comfy chairs for the living room.

2. Sign up for a library card
Libraries are magical places. The libraries in Amsterdam had a small selection of English-language books, but nothing worthy of a membership. I’ve either purchased or borrowed from friends all the books I’ve read since 2005. I can’t wait to go to the library again.

3. Join a yoga studio
I have been practicing yoga independently for years. It started out during the wintertime in my high-rise apartment in Seoul when I came across a great video series. I’m looking forward to trying out a few studios and hopefully finding a good one in my neighborhood.

What do you hope the month of May brings?

the season for rhubarb

Rhubarb is slowly becoming one of my favorite fresh ingredients. The rich, red stalks that taper off into a light pink hue adds a splash of color to any recipe. It is a great source of vitamin K and C, and has a tartness that combines so well with sweeter fruits to create a textured flavor.

Until last year, my experience with rhubarb was limited. I had eaten a slice or two of rhubarb pie as a child, but it wasn’t until I received a few stalks in our CSA in Amsterdam that I decided to try making a rhubarb pie myself. The taste was so incredible, I made the pie at least five more times throughout the spring and summer months.

In Oregon, rhubarb season is just beginning and I’m anticipating the opportunity to experiment with a few more recipes, including rhubarb and strawberry lemonade, strawberry rhubarb crème fraîche crumble pierhubarb pie with this crust, rhubarb mojito, and rhubarb compote.

Have you ever had rhubarb? What are your favorite recipes?

Rhubarb stalks photo by Georgia Glynn Smith.

one year

This weekend, Marcus and I celebrated our first anniversary! One year ago, we exchanged our vows surrounded by friends and family, full of love in beautiful Amsterdam. We thought our first-year celebration in Portland should be at least half as momentous. There were drinks at Departure (thanks Vanessa!), an amazing dinner at Bamboo Sushi, live music at Brasserie Montmartre, morning coffee at Stumptown, breakfast at Clyde Common, and a trip through the snow to Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood. And lots of anticipation for the years to come.

On the eve of our anniversary, I received a sweet note from our wedding photographer Chris Spira with a re-edit of one of our favorite shots, (pictured above). I thought it would be a good time to (finally) show some of the small details of our wedding.

Below: Invitations made by Follow Studio, cakes made by my fearless family, the ceremony room at Huize Frankendael, the table setting and my bouquet, the bicycle Marcus rode to the ceremony, vases of flowers and pots of Dutch honey.

All photos by Chris Spira.

weekend links

The first weekend of April is here! After summer-like temperatures last weekend, we’re hoping the weather holds for a first-anniversary hike on Sunday. Enjoy the weekend and these links!

This week I am:
1. Reading and planning recipes from The Sprouted Kitchen, a sweet present from my older sister (pictured above via)
2. Putting on the calendar a Farm to Fork Bavarian biergarten experience
3. Browsing a list of hiking trails in Oregon (via transientexp)
4. Reading an appreciative critique of Downton Abbey by Hila
5. Wishing I could visit The Lobster House in Amsterdam
6. Enjoying the sounds of Sera Cahoone’s Deer Creek Canyon album
7. Planning to visit Snow Peak‘s newly-opened store in Portland (below)

visual musical experience

Two fantastic videos that visualize the sound of a musical piece with motion graphics. The first, an intricate creation by Carlo Vega set to ‘Gray Keys’ by Chilly Gonzales. The second, an animation by Adrien M / Claire B that puts a creative spin on a familiar meme.