Home is always sweet, but perhaps even more so in the summertime. After Ottawa, I traveled on to Oregon to visit my family for a week. It was 38°C / 100°F on the first day and I relished the heat.
The week was spent playing with my nieces, swimming, barbeque dinners on the terrace, roasting marshmallows, harvesting tomatoes from my sister’s amazing garden, eating fish tacos, boating on Foster Lake, enjoying conversations with my parents and sisters, and drinking my first root beer float in years. Yeah, it was pretty amazing.
Oregon in August is just about as good as it gets.
The first morning I was in Portland, my sister Alyssa and I began the day at the Farmers Market at PSU. She lives downtown and we woke early enough to scout out our breakfast from individual vendors. Chocolate milk, strawberries, and Bavarian-style croissants. Finished off with coffee at Stumptown.
Even with all the impressive markets we have in Amsterdam, there was something special about this market. Perhaps it was the fact that I hadn’t been to a Portland farmers market in years. I also appreciated the space that allowed for people to walk uncrowded. My sister also knew many of the vendors, like the bread bakers who are trying to learn German. Such a perfect start to my trip home.
A posting from Portland where it is just like summer should be.
After our holiday in east Germany, we returned to Amsterdam on a Sunday afternoon and I promptly left for Barcelona on a work trip the next morning. It was a bit of a whirlwind and I was sick, but the sun is therapeutic, isn’t it? A few hours before my return flight, I lounged by the pool, working and eating fresh watermelon. But the best part was probably my morning walk on the beach.
I stayed at Vincci Bit, which was close to the neighborhood I needed to work in and a convenient ten-minute walk from the beach. On my second day there, I woke early and headed out to feel the sand between my toes. Just me, a few elderly people, and several dedicated surfers populated the beach. A quiet walk to the sound of lapping waves.
During our holiday in east Germany, Marcus’ father took us sailing on the same lake we visited last year. He and Marcus have sailed together for years, but it was only my second time out. I love boats and being on the water, but am still getting used to all the rope and steep turns. The wind whipped us around and the fickle sun finally dominated over the clouds.
We took our annual summer trip to Germany in the middle of July. Marcus’ father has a house on the edge of a lake and protected wildlife area. We spent most of our time in the woods and on the water, enjoying nature and the quiet. There was no internet, but lots of fresh fruit, nightly barbeques on the back terrace, the spotting of deer, reading books, and dancing in the fields.
Nothing says summer to me more than water, a wooden dock, and swimsuits. The forecast for the weekend was rain, rain rain, but on Saturday morning the sun was shining and we dared to head out to explore until the rain arrived.
Our destination was Vinkeveen Lakes, a water recreation area with 12 sand islands and plenty of room for sailboats and waterskiing. A road crosses through the middle of the lake with houses on either side overlooking the lake. Marcus and I headed to a small beach area on the north side of the lake and claimed a secluded dock extending over the water. A moment to lie in the sun and carefully watch the clouds pass overhead.
The weather in Amsterdam has been ideal lately, perfect for barbeques on rooftop terraces (last night) and picnics in the park (tonight). Lemonade is the classic summer drink, but not so easy to find in the Netherlands. My first attempt at making homemade lemonade began with a basic lemonade recipe and ended with an infusion of blackberries. The result was a great mix of sweet and sour.
A perfect weekend. A visit to the embassy, four books sold and one purchased, tea and appeltaart with a friend in the sun, an outdoor film with Marcus, a lucky escape from the police checking for bike lights, frolicking goats on Saturday morning, coffee and lunch on the Amstel with a great lady, navigating through the crowded canals with ease, watching the evening rain from the comfort of my home, a slow Sunday morning, an afternoon workout, and ending with a beer on a gusty terrace with my favorite Dutchman. Summer, you are too kind.
Between two weekends in Berlin, an escape to the lakes in the south. Sailing, waking to the sunrise, hanging my feet off the front of our houseboat and into the green waters. All quietness.
A few snapshots from the past weeks, days filled with breakfast on the balcony, walks in the park, a basket of local produce in week three of de Krat, and graffiti spotted on one of my many walks through the neighborhood. It’s summer, are you enjoying it?
In two days time comes the summer solstice. Amsterdam is chilled and rainy, making up for the spring drought with a summer flood. The weather may not be ideal, but we still have that lingering twilight that makes the evenings long. Before 23:00 (11:00pm) the sky takes on this look, dusky blue against the flared lights.
Photo of Esonstad, Friesland by Martinique (via).
Summertime is here and it’s lovely. The sun has been spending a lot of time in Amsterdam, the winds are warm, and the markets are stocked full with ripe fruit. In July, I am heading for a week in East Germany to go lake swimming in the forest and restaurant hopping in Berlin. The beginning of September will be the trip of the year to Turkey. For the most part, I plan to spend the days enjoying Amsterdam and eating all the fresh fruit I can. What are your plans for the summer?
photo by Alex Paradis (via spaceships)
It’s strangely similar to summer here in Amsterdam. Sun-filled days, warm evenings on the balcony, and slow walks through the city. We have had just one bout of morning rain this month. I’m hoping that things balance out in the coming weeks, so the weather saves a bit of strength for when it is truly summertime.
Here, a few sights seen on an afternoon stroll through Oud Zuid.
It was a great summer and I didn’t post nearly as many photos as I had hoped. Here is a short collection of the best moments. The photo above was taken in Münster, a colorful row of boats floating in the Aasee. Marcus and I went there at the beginning of June to see The Knife’s opera.
The ceiling of the opera house glowed with small lanterns.
Lounging at NDSM, a wharf area in North Amsterdam known as a place for underground culture and accessible via a lovely little ferry ride.
A translucent onion cut in preparation for a BBQ in the park.
A drink to go along with the BBQ.
A cold, but beautiful day at the beach. Summers in Amsterdam are reliably fickle.
Waiting for the film to start at the open air film festival Pluk de Nacht.
I’m loving the photography by @amsterdamized of the bicycle culture in Amsterdam. It’s by far my favorite thing about this city and what I always focus on when other aspects of life here seem less favorable. Like when it’s summertime, but the weather has reverted to spring with sporadic rain, wind, and occasional moments of sunny warmth with a chill in the air.
Despite all threats of a drizzle, I have still been hopping on my bike to do summery things. Up this weekend, my favorite festival of the year. More on that to come. Photo by Amsterdamize
Just walked in from an evening of badminton in the park and I had to appreciate the fact that summertime is here in full force. Fresh fruit every day, bbqs galore, beach trips on the weekend, flowers throughout Amsterdam and long hours of daylight to sit on a terrace and enjoy a drink and conversation. I won’t censor the sweat and humidity, but the sun is setting now and the misery seems far away. My holiday to the lakes and forests of Germany doesn’t come for a few weeks, but until then I plan on fully enjoying the city. Lovely photo by James Nord.