January 16, 2012

Birthday Weekend fit for a Queen!

Gaaah I just love birthday weekends!! Because my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, I saw no reason why I shouldn’t be celebrating from Friday-Sunday. I mean I also have to take two time zones into account being that my twin sis and friends were celebrating 9 hours after me and about 5000 miles away. All the more reason to keep the celebrations going all weekend! Actually I was SMITTEN since Thursday...here’s a recap!

Thursday—Italian cooking class
Birthday excitement slowly creeping in! My evening was spent at a cooking class with a great group of people who I will soon call my colleagues! I’ll be starting a new job in a couple of weeks so I was invited to join my new team for an unforgettable night cooking Italian dishes, drinking wine and just feeling a part of the new group. For all you Amsterdam peeps, I REALLY recommend a cooking class from two sweet Italians at La Cucina del Sole.

Friday—Spanish tapas and Belgian beers
Last day as a 25 year-old! Weekend started with me, Christian and friends crammed into the corner of my favorite tapas bar Pata Negra. Just before midnight, we met some more friends at a local Belgian bar favorite De Zotte for as many La Chouffes and beers we would squeeze in before midnight. Clock strikes 12!! And the hugs, congrats, beers and texts poured in. Even the Zotte bar cat (a white furry friend) managed to give me a lil cuddle during his nightly rounds thru the bar. We barhopped a bit, then jumped on our bikes and got home at a ‘reasonable’ 4AM :)

Saturday—Birthday girl :)... some good ol’ laziness and travel planning!!
Aaaahhhh another year older, another year wiser, another year of traveling! Sleep, cuddles, a breakfast burrito, more sleep, more cuddles and planning some of the awesome trips we have going on in 2012—Jordan, Tuscany, Normandy, Lisbon, Croatia, a weekend in Paris to visit some friends and we’ll end the year in Poland to watch our friends from Finland tie the knot!! Basically I told Christian all I want for my birthday is to reminisce about all the cool places we’re headed this year!! Exactly what I got :). We’ve sworn off buying gifts for each other in recent years, we just put the money towards trips instead. Oh and remember those new colleagues o’ mine? Ya they arranged for a lil delivery on Saturday: a bouquet of colorful flowers...can you say insta-smile?

Sunday—Exploring Dutch villages
Ok so maybe my birthday WAS officially over, but Christian’s dad and my future-father-in-law joined us for the day and took us on a mini roadtrip to some of the country’s cutest Dutch villages—Marken, Volendam, Edam. He knows that I love ‘cute’ lil villages so this trip was right up my alley! The Dutch countryside is beautiful...quiet farmhouses, windmills and sweeping landscapes of tall, grassy knolls met with blue seaside. Christian’s pop knows lots about good ol’ Holland so it was pretty awesome to look over the water and let his dad set the stage of a 16th century Holland—it was here that the Dutch trading ships captured their last glimpses of their homeland before they embarked for the open sea, only to return sometimes years later (or never!) with a hull full of worldly possessions and spices from around the globe. The villages of Marken, Volendam and Edam are like mini-Amsterdams. Each have their own expertise—Marken for clogs, Volendam for fish and Edam for cheese—but each of them are the quintessential representation of old Dutch life. With some fresh Edam cheese and Garlic/Herb cheese in tow, we returned to the ‘big city’ of Amsterdam and put a close to the weekend.

Closing thoughts before I wandering off to sleepy-dreamy-land last night: LUCKY DUCK!

Oh! And now Monday!! I showed up for work to a very decorated birthday desk, a blue-ray version of another obsessive show to watch (The Walking Dead), the typical 3 Dutch kisses from the coolest colleagues ever and spent the afternoon sharing a chocolate cake...life is too good isn’t it?!


Danielle Nelson said...

Your pictures are magical. Honestly, I want your life of living abroad! Thank you for continuing to share. This orange county girl is very jealous :)

A Little Bit Adrift

Liz said...

This post further confirms that we should be BFFs even though we have yet to meet (Sunday!!). 1) We love Pata Negra and La Chouffe 2) I thought Marken was the cutest little town ever! You should check out Broek en Waterlaand for a quiet weekend in the summer. We loved biking over to Marken! http://www.exploredreamdiscoverblog.com/2011/08/weekend-in-broek-en-waterlaand-part-ii.html 3) Tuscany, Normandy and Croatia are on our 2012 travel list, too!! We'll have to chat travel plans during our coffee date this weekend!

Glad to hear your birthday was so fabulous! You are one lucky lady indeed :)

Rachael said...

Thanks Danielle!

And very true Liz...way too many things in common! haha. Great post about Broek en Waterland! My friend was an au pair there so I was there a couple of times but the little B&B you stayed at looks too cute, think I'll need to pay another visit this summer :). Can't wait for sunday!!

samsonite said...

your photos are beautiful!