Monthly Archives: April 2012

Italy part III: the Amalfi Coast

After Rome, we drove to the beautiful, dramatic Amalfi Coast for the remainder of our honeymoon. It’s a bit touristy and requires taking a downright terrifying road to get there, but it’s difficult not to love any place with views like this.

We were lucky to have a room with a balcony overlooking the sea in the not-so-touristy town of Praiano. Situated between the towns of Amalfi and Positano, it was calm and quiet with a gelateria, a café, and a handful of restaurants.

We spent our days here hiking through the hills, wandering down to the beach, drinking copious amounts of limoncello, and eating, eating, eating. It’s an incredibly beautiful area, with lemon groves tucked into the hillsides.

Our second day in Praiano was a bit cloudy, but we spent most of the day outside and even wandered down to the seaside where Marcus put his feet in the water. It took about 30 minutes to climb down the thousand small steps to get there, but we were the only ones on the path. We smelled the flowers, watched millipedes crawl past, and touched the numerous lemons hanging from the trees.

After we hiked back up from the seaside, we treated ourselves to an espresso and limoncello at the local café.

On our third day, we went to the town of Amalfi and toured the Cathedral and an old paper mill. We meandered through the backstreets and found a café in a cave, but left soon afterwards to see what Positano had to offer.

Gelato, clear skies, and blue water in Positano. Just down the coast from Amalfi, but somehow the skies parted during the 30-minute drive. We walked through the town, enjoyed a delicious seafood lunch on a terrace overlooking the sea, soaked up the sun’s warmth, and walked to the waterside with gelato in hand. We left the next day, driving the rest of the coast towards Sorrento and through Naples, back to Rome for one last meal of cacio e pepe.

weekend links

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. I hope you enjoy them as well!

1. I love seeing Amsterdam and Portland converge. Summer Goals meets Foam magazine (pictured above)
2. How beautiful does Elizabeth Messina’s newly-released The Luminous Portrait look?
3. More inspiration to continue learning the German language
4. Reading Miss Lora by Junot Díaz in The New Yorker
5. A cookbook I’d like to get my hands on: Sugar Cube: 50 Deliciously Twisted Treats from the Sweetest Little Food Cart on the Planet
6. These playgrounds Monstrum in Denmark make me want to be a kid again (pictured below)

Italy part II: when in Rome

Rome is just fantastic. We arrived on the evening after the wedding, whipped past the ruins in a taxi en route to the hotel, and promptly called it a night. We woke fresh in the morning and headed to the first sight of the day: the Vatican. Standing in Piazza San Pietro is a beautiful experience, but the long lines deterred us from visiting the basilica or museum. Instead, we set out on a meandering walk to Trastevere, where we spent the rest of the morning.

The early afternoon was dedicated to the ruins: the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and numerous other sights that one simply stumbles upon when you round a corner.

After getting far enough away from the tourist spots, we turned down an alleyway and headed for the first restaurant that served cacio e pepe and carciofi (roasted artichokes). Cacio e pepe is basically fresh pasta with sheep’s cheese and pepper. Simple and delicious. Throw in some wine, bread, and sparkling water, and we had one amazing meal.

We returned to the hotel for an afternoon siesta, before setting out for the evening. First to the Pantheon and then to Piazza Navona. We headed into the side streets again for dinner, stopping first by a fantastic café for an aperitivo.

The night ended with a stroll by the Trevi Fountain, a magnificent sight day or night. For me, it was a great return to Rome and I was able to show Marcus most of the major sights in just one day. He loved the city and we could have happily spent more time there, but we had a date with the Amalfi Coast.

Italy part I: a return to Trastevere

The first highlight of our honeymoon to Italy has to be our stroll through the Roman neighborhood of Trastevere, where I lived and studied the summer of 2004. I couldn’t wait to show Marcus the streets I traversed, in the area I loved so much. We walked to Trastevere on a quiet Monday morning, enjoying the view of the city and then walking down into the neighborhood. There is something about the colorful buildings, the laundry hanging to dry, and the windowsills covered in flowers that just seems so Italian. We made our way to Piazza Santa Maria, where we had the obligatory cappuccino and glass of freshly squeezed orange juice. The church was more beautiful than I remembered and a quite decent band filled the square with music.

weekend links

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. I hope you enjoy them as well.

1. Photography, photography, photography (pictured above, my cameraman shooting Pedro Meyer after what might be one of my favorite interviews ever)
2. Finding more tips for how to ride a bike in style
3. Comparing US and UK book covers
4. Planning to use more edible flowers this spring
5. Reading issue three of Contents magazine
6. Admiring the Issey Miyake 132 5. collection (via papertastebuds)
7. Listening to the so lovely Billie Jean cover by The Civil Wars (embedded below)

11,000 paper lanterns

Lanterns fill the sky during the annual Noc Kupały celebration in Poznan, Poland. (via Marcus <3)


On the seventh of April, Marcus and I said I do! Well, actually, we said ‘Ja, ich will’, the German equivalent. The day was amazing, so much more than I even expected. We felt so loved by our family and friends.

While we eagerly anticipate the images from our amazing photographer, here is a snapshot taken by my sister.

visitors in Amsterdam

The last three weeks have been some of the best of my life. My older sister, brother-in-law, and two nieces arrived from Oregon at the end of March and the days flew by. I took my nieces to Nemo while their parents enjoy Spa Zuiver. We celebrated my youngest niece’s third birthday with a boat ride through the canals and pink cupcakes. My sister and I had a girls night out and saw The Hunger Games. My parents arrived, then my cousin, friends and my little sister. We ate together, played games, baked cakes, filled jars of honey, and drank a fantastic bottle of Willamette Valley pinot noir.

And then a wedding! But, more on that later. Today, it’s back to reality. I bid my parents farewell this morning. They headed for a Portland-bound plane and I hopped on my bike for a ride to the office. I just want a few more days to linger in the warm memories of family.