Tag Archives: autumn

the things of autumn

autumn in Oregon

Yes, it’s really a new post! I can barely believe it myself. The last two months have flown by with many good intentions to write in this cherished space, but all my writing energy ended up going towards other projects. But here I am, is anyone still out there?

We’re now in the midst of November and on the brink of the holiday season. The weather in Portland was incredible all October, endless sunshine and warmth with a hint of chill in the air. All this led to extra crunchy leaves, pleasant bike rides, hiking every weekend, and lots of gatherings with friends.

At the end of the month, we flew to Mexico for the wedding of two friends from Amsterdam. It was a perfect dose of sunshine, sea, lounging by the pool, and reuniting with friends from the Netherlands. After the wedding, we headed north on the Baja Peninsula to spend the second week of our holiday in La Ventana, La Paz, and finally hiking in the Sierra de la Laguna. Unfortunately, the trip was cut short when Marcus sprained his knee windsurfing and we had to head home early. Bummer! But we’re happy for the time we had and to be home again.

Anticipating: My first Thanksgiving with my family since 2004! Marcus’ best friend from Berlin will be visiting us over the long weekend. He actually lives in New York now. And lived in Amsterdam while we were there. They like to follow each other around the world, I think.

Studying: I’m currently taking the NovoEd course from the Stanford School of Business The Finance of Retirement and Pension. It’s completely outside my normal area of interests, but it has been really interesting to learn about life annuities, coupon bonds, and how to make smart choices to ensure a financial future. Important stuff!

Reading: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. The first book of a trilogy that was quite popular in 2006. I’m a little late to the party, but am enjoying it so far.

Watching: You guys. This documentary about ducks is so great. Not only because they call it a DUCKumentary, but also because it takes a unique look at one of nature’s most familiar creatures.

What have you enjoyed this autumn? Any reading tips for the coming winter? It’s good to be back, friends.

Images from my Instagram (clockwise): leaves covering Director Park, banana pancakes for breakfast, pappardelle with chanterelle mushrooms foraged in the Willamette Valley, a waterfall found while hiking in the Tillamook State Forest.

an autumn walk in Hoyt Arboretum

On the last day of our trip home, Marcus and I went for a walk with my parents in Hoyt Arboretum, nestled above downtown Portland. The temperatures had dropped significantly during our visit, turning the bright autumn colors a duller, winter version. We wandered over the hills as the late-afternoon air turned cool. Finally when our fingers were numb, we headed for dinner at Serratto and then back to Amsterdam in the morning.

the end of autumn

The last of the autumn leaves are clinging to the branches of the trees here in Amsterdam. The temperatures have dropped and my morning bicycle commute now requires a thick scarf and gloves. It’s pitch dark outside when I make my evening ride home and I can feel the edge of winter peeking around the corner.

I’m keeping it cozy with this book, this show, and cupfuls of peppermint hot chocolate. How are you bracing for the winter ahead?

Photo of Glen Torridon by Richard Childs

delicious autumn

Looking forward to a sunny autumn weekend and brunch for three.

Image via seasonal love.

autumn cycling

Cycling is not simply a summer affair in Amsterdam. Yet when I see a week of rain ahead on the weather forecast, it takes extra motivation to hop on my two wheels in the morning. Having my rain gear ready (and always with me) makes it easier to bear a drizzle or downpour. My kit includes rain pants, a waterproof jacket, a hat with a brim to keep the water out of my eyes, and always leather or rubber shoes. Suffering through a spot of rain is worth the freedom and pleasure that comes with riding. Here, are a few tips for gear that make cycling in the autumn a breeze.

Above photo via Amsterdamize.

Rain cape by Iva Jean.

Rain booties from Loeffler Randall and a rain hat from Ridlington.

Rainboots, made cuter with Kove leg warmers (via unruly things)

A Daily Glimpse of Autumn

My bike ride to work takes me through one of the most picturesque parks in Amsterdam, where I get a daily glimpse of autumn deepening its hold on the city. Cycling past the trees every day gives me the time to observe the diminishing numbers of leaves and their darkening shades. For my part, I’m on a serious apple cider kick. It’s my favorite drink to feel cozy especially once I’ve come in from a ride (image from futurowoman).

A Weekend Away

Feeling an itch to get away for a weekend. The only remaining question: where to go? Floating through my head are ideas of France, Italy, Spain, and Ireland. Paris is only a train ride away, the other locations probably require a short flight. Just a chance to walk over some unfamiliar cobblestones and breathe in the air of another city.

(Above: Image of Venice from here. Below: Image of Paris from here. Image of Madrid from here. Image of Dublin from here.)

A September Morning

It’s quickly turning to autumn here in Amsterdam. Yesterday evening I biked through the rain to a colleague’s wedding, wondering if my dress and hair would survive. They did and it was a lovely night, which has led to a slow morning. But now the sun is peeking through my window and it’s time to throw on a scarf and go for a walk.

Along with the rainy weather, the trees have started to change. Quite early, isn’t it? I’m missing my camera at this moment – hard to believe that I work for a photography organization and am currently cameraless. On my trip to Portland in December, purchasing a camera with be task #1. For now, I’ll dip a bit more into Flickr for visual inspiration.

First image from here. Second image from here. Third image from here.

Autumn in Amsterdam

Autumn Colors 001

Autumn Colors 005

While walking in Amsterdam Oude West today, I came across colorful leaves and a curious cat.

Autumn Colors 007

Autumn Colors 008

Deutschkurs fängt an


Und natürlich studieren wir über Oktoberfest. Hier sind einige schöne Wiesenplakat.

Ik houdt van fietsen

Ik houdt van fietsen

Riding around this morning, I spotted an ‘Amsterdam houdt van fietsan’ (Amsterdam loves bikes) poster. Not that Amsterdammers need a campaign to convince them. As autumn begins, I hope this is the year I fulfill my dream: to catch a falling leaf while riding my bike. I’ll stay busy with that until the film Riding Bikes with the Dutch by Michael Wolfgang Bauch comes out.

Looking at Your Whole Life

It’s easy to think that college classes are mainly about preparing you for a job. But remember: this may be the one time in your life when you have a chance to think about the whole of your life, not just your job. Courses in the humanities, in particular, often seem impractical, but they are vital, because they stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become more responsive, more critical, bigger. You need resources to prevent your mind from becoming narrower and more routinized in later life. This is your chance to get them.

— A little advice for the upcoming school year that makes me a bit nostalgic for the energy of a classroom and the chance to buy new books.

Summer Reading

summer books

At the beginning of summer, I wrote a post about the books I had read since the start of the year and thought I would mark the closing of summer with the same review. It was a full few months of reading, inspired by my trip to Powell’s in June, where I gathered most of the above titles. I’m looking ahead to the fall, where I hope to read The Other Hand by Cleave Chris, The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson, and The Pleasures and Sorrows of Work by Alain de Botton. Any other suggestions?