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.