September 27, 2012

Wedding Bells in Maastricht!

Yay yay yay! My twin sis got married last year and now Christian’s twin brother is getting married tomorrow!! I first met these two lovebirds a few weeks after I met Christian in Finland in 2007 when they came to visit him. We went cross-country skiing (it was -25 outside, people!), lounged in a Finnish sauna and walked on snowy frozen lakes. We’ve done a lot of cool stuff with these two: celebrated Carnival in Maastricht, spent weekends in Amsterdam, roadtripped around the southwest of the US, showed them their first American-style Thanksgiving with my family in California, city-tripped to Istanbul, etc.

Christian and I are so damn excited that we’ve been dancing around the house to this song all week.  It will be a full day of family and wedding activities in Maastricht (in the south of the Netherlands) which will culminate in a big party at a farmhouse just across the border in Belgium. Francois and Danielle are travel nuts too and will honeymoon in New Zealand for a month after this upcoming wedding weekend (I'm so jealous, they know how to plan amazing holidays, too). I'm pretty excited that they will now be my family too!

In about an hour we’re off to Limburg to kick off the festivities!! 

{Night out with the soon-to-be-newlyweds in Finland after I first met them! And still my favorite picture of them}

{The four of us cross-country skiing in Finland}
{The four of us a few years later in Istanbul, Turkey}

September 26, 2012

{Travel Bug}

Hi everyone! Being swamped at work, busy wedding planning and just getting stuff done (ya know that stuff you put off doing for so long?) has got me away from my computer for a while.

My friend Emma (the other half of the duo who we love to travel with...we've been lucky to travel to Croatia and Greece with them recently too!) tagged me in this quote on Facebook and I love it! It's great to get an inspirational quote to remind you about one of the many joys of life--travel. Another joy is that we will be hanging out with them in Paris next weekend (after Christian's brother's wedding this weekend)!!

And since Emma posted this, I've been looking in to re-booking our trip to Jordan which we cancelled earlier this year...we're thinking of adding Israel to the itinerary too!

Anyone ever been to Israel or Jordan? Would love to hear some tips!! 

{I snapped this pic of Denis, our French buddy who we studied with in Finland and Emma's boyfriend(!), at sunset during our trip to Naxos, Greece!}

September 16, 2012


I loved this post from Ashley about her first and last pic of her and her hubby. It was good timing because this weekend I started throwing together the wedding website for Christian and I. Basically I was thrown into full-on reminiscence.

So here's ours! Our first and last pics. 

{January 2007. Finland.}
This was the first pic we ever took together and was taken just after all of us exchange students arrived for our semester in Lappeenranta, Finland! We grabbed a beer after orientation and I instantly became friends with the Dutch students...Christian was one of them ;). And sat right next to me! This was the first week of 6 unforgettable months with friends I met from all over the world.

{August 2012. Amsterdam.}
My friend Liz snapped some amazing engagement pics for us around Amsterdam a few weeks ago--I'm in love with them! It's crazy to look back to when we met in Finland and think about the great life Christian and I have had together so far and look forward to everything that happens next :).

End sappiness. Hope you had a great weekend!

September 11, 2012

Croatia || Dubrovnik Old City walls

Ok I swear this is my last post about Croatiait was just so beautiful!! And HOT! Someone recommended that we walk the city walls as early as possible to avoid high heat…well that idea flew out the window after we stayed out sipping Croatian beers in the harbor the night before :). So let me be that someone to you: walk the city walls as early as possible (or at sunset)! But if you do catch yourself walking the walls at high noon, be sure to bring your bathing suit—high noon is also the best time to take a dip in that crystal blue Adriatic!

‘til next time Croatia :).

Head on over to La Mia Vita to catch my guest post on how I became an expat

September 7, 2012

Croatia || Dubrovnik by night! And our sweet hostel...

Hvar? Check. Korcula? Check. Pristine beauty in Mljet? Check. We were finally on to our last stop in Croatia: Dubrovnik! Probably the very reason why we planned a trip to Croatia was because of Dubrovnik…we had seen so many pictures over the years and just had to go! The fact that we were there in peak season and during the Dubrovnik Festival meant that it was crawling with tourists. But that view over Dubrovnik’s red-roofed old city onto the Adriatic did not disappoint. Upon arrival, we were greeted by our gracious Croatian hostel owner (of Family Stanos pension!) and his cute/crazy daughter (who…I swear she spoke better English than me! Her pops said she learned it from Cartoon Network…and oh ya, she’s only 5-years-old and loves iPhones). She clearly got her craziness from her dad…this guy should have been a comedian…and a bootlegger because he proceeded to welcome us with his homemade moonshine. Fortunately he didn't mind that the bottle was empty by the time we ventured into the old town...probably because he drank most of it ;). 


September 4, 2012

Up to my crazy ways...Cali-Oregonian Roadtrip!

Here's one thing you don't know about me: I kinda like doing crazy things...ok really like it! Like the time I went bungee-jumping in Costa Rica, or graduated college then decided to go sky-diving the next morning (then moved to Amsterdam a week later), or partied my butt off in Berlin with my best friends last summer. Whatever it is...I'm always up for an adventure! Sometimes I can convince Christian to be crazy with me (he's well aware of my crazy antics).

My most recent crazy idea originated a few weeks ago--I decided to fly out to California for a long weekend only from Amsterdam to surprise my best friends. These friends of mine were off on a roadtrip to Oregon and I just couldn't miss it. So I bought a ticket! Before I knew it, I was in Cali and with my friends and family. The crazy part was I arrived on a Saturday, spent Sunday in Southern California, spent Monday on the road up north (that's a whopping 15 hours, people!), spent Tuesday floating down a beautiful Oregonian river wearing floppy hats, spent Tuesday night out all night in Portland and spent Wednesday on a plane back to Amsterdam in time to make it to work on Thursday morning. Crazy, right? 

Well here's to being crazy...because it's better to regret the things you have done than the things you haven't done. And you sure can't put a price on friendship...even if it IS only for a long weekend :)...even if that long weekend just to happens to be half-way across the world. 

Check out a few pics from our quicky road-trip to Oregon! I snapped these pics with a Go Pro camera...pretty neat, huh?!

And be sure to stop by Jay's blog From Here to There to check out my 'Expatriated' guest post! Thanks for having me, Jay!