Saturday in Amsterdam

I’m spending a few weeks working out of Stack Overflow’s London office and decided to kick-off my Eurotrip with a little weekend excursion to Amsterdam for keukenhof, the annual tulip festival. It’s been on my bucket list for a while so I’m excited to finally cross it off!

I first went to Amsterdam when I was 16 and then again as a sophomore in college on Spring break. Here I am eleven years later and the city is just as enchanting as ever. I barely have photos from my first two trips (hard to believe I didn’t have a smart phone back then) so it was fun to photo walk all day and go snap happy on my iPhone and Sony.

Today was chilly and overcast, but the sun came out to play a few times. It’s difficult to capture just how beautiful this city really is, but I’m hoping these shots are just a warm up set that I can build on in the coming days.

I’m renting an AirBnB in De Pijp, a cute neighborhood just outside the main historic center of the city. There’s an amazing coffee shop a couple of blocks away that is my new happy place. Not only is she the stuff Instagram dreams are made of, but she comes with freshly squeezed juices and an eclectic menu of pork buns, pho, bibimbap, and assorted baked goods. The really strong wi-fi and coconut milk lattes are the icing on the cake. If you ever find yourself in the ‘hood, check out Coffee and Coconuts.

Despite the weather, we still found ourselves walking aimlessly for hours. Between the parks, markets, shops, and galleries, you can really spend a whole Saturday just exploring.

(I really want to increase the frequency of my posts so hoping to work in more of these photo journaling type entries on a regular basis. It’s 100x easier for me to share visually than the written word. I take photos of everything!)

Rocky Mountain Highs: A Weekend in Leadville, CO

The last couple of weeks felt like an absolute grind. A combination of weather, work, and health struggles made me feel like I was running on empty. Luckily, I had a week in Denver on the books, which came with a city escape to the sleepy town of Leadville, CO. I was joined by Jon and Kasra who consistently make me laugh uncontrollably and share my love of technology, cooking, and serendipitous adventures.  Their company coupled with scenic mountain views completely elevated my mood and helped me reset for the week ahead.

The drive up to Leadville is absolutely gorgeous. The two-hour trip flew by thanks to DJ Jazzy Jon’s epic pop extravaganza. He played us throwback after throwback, which ignited involuntary screams of delight from me. If you ever want to see me giddy, put me behind a steering wheel with the following playlist:

Roasted Chicken & Snapchat Goodness

When we arrived at our AirBnB, we immediately got to work on dinner. The menu: roasted chicken and potatoes with lemon, thyme and garlic served with a side of bacon brussel sprouts. YUM.

Confession: I though Snapchat Spectacles were absolutely ridiculous until I tried them out. Now I think they’re awesome. If you’re a media fiend who likes to document everything in life, these glasses were made for you. I loved having these in the kitchen.

Photography Fun

I took a bunch of photos walking on Harrison Avenue, Leadville’s main street, and then later in the afternoon driving around Turquoise Lake. The town doesn’t have much, but it feels like you’re walking through a time capsule. 

“Guys, we’re pulling over and having a photo shoot. Stand in the middle of the road please.”

Making T-Bone Steak Like a Boss

Before we left Denver, we stopped at Western Daughters, an awesome butcher in LoHi that specializes in locally sourced grass-fed meat. We ordered a pound of thick cut bacon for breakfast, a few bratwurst sausages for the grill, and a beautiful two-inch thick T-bone steak.

We’re big fans of the Joule from Chef Steps. You really can’t go wrong with a sous vide steak, which involves slow cooking in a water bath (more deets here). We seasoned the cut generously with salt and pepper and then cooked it for 3 hours at a temp of 132 F with thyme, butter, and garlic.  Afterwards, we pan-seared it to render the fat and then threw it on the grill for a few seconds to get an added sear.

Sides included roasted cauliflower, grilled carrots and corn, garlic bread, and a salad with alfalfa sprouts, avocado, tomato, cucumber, and a simple lemon dressing.

We basically spent 48 hours alternating between cooking, co-working, exploring and then filled our nights binging on The Great British Baking Show.

This past weekend was proof that sometimes deep belly laughs, joy rides through the wilderness, nerdy conversations, and home cooked meals are really the best recipe for a pick-me-up.

Thank you Jon and Kasra for a magical 48 hours and for pressuring me to write this blog post! Til our next adventure, here’s to countless food/tech analogies, CMS debates, Charlie XCX, Mary’s blazers, and the pursuit of the perfect French omelette.

Wanderlust

I’ve spent nearly 7 weeks away from New York this year and March isn’t even over. It’s an odd feeling for me to be so disconnected from the city I love most, but my wanderlust is really in full force. I’m fairly convinced New York is the love of my life, the city I’m meant to be with forever, but we’re on a healthy break right now. I’m in search of new loves and actively dating as many cities as I can.

Mexico City was a whirlwind romance, a pure love that I didn’t even know I was capable of feeling outside of New York. I met the city in January and he felt like a familiar stranger who I wanted to have endless conversations with. I joked that the fastest way to my heart was through my stomach and he rose to the occasion. We floated down the colorful canals of Xochimilco eating oversized quesadillas. We laughed over never-ending bowls of guacamole and chicharron. We took long walks sipping fresh jugo and attempted to make mole after a trip to the mercado. He made me feel safe, alive, and inspired. It actually pains me that we parted ways, but I know he and I will rendezvous again soon.

Xochimilco

Rio de Janeiro was the perfect rebound to distract my aching heart after Mexico. He has perfectly sun-kissed bronze skin, traces of sand on his clothes and weathered Havaianas, and a natural rhythm that makes his body move effortlessly on the dance floor. He’s the type of summer love that is exciting and playful, the kind that gives you passionate kisses in the rain, naps on the beach, and excursions through waterfalls in the jungle. Although he’s fun and easy on the eyes, he isn’t someone who stirs my soul.

Rio de Janeiro

I plan on visiting Denver at the end of the month. He’s an old friend I see occasionally. Rugged, charming, and laid back, we often venture to the mountains to soak in scenic views or simply drive without a destination in mind. Sometimes I wish I could love him as more than a friend. We would have a simple, easy, and happy life together. But I know myself too well to know that simple is not my style and that I’m rarely content without a challenge.

 

Last, but not least, there’s London. He’s New York’s older, more experienced cousin and he has a charming accent I can’t resist. We met many years ago when I was a teenager and I fell hard. Over the years, I’ve questioned whether we have a future together and that’s part of what I want to explore more deeply. On paper, London is really good for me – smart, witty, and cultured – but he’s never made me feel settled. If we lived together, would I always find myself comparing him to New York? I’ll have a month with him later this spring to find out.

 

What other suitors are on the horizon? There are so many possibilities it’s actually overwhelming. I fantasize about floating in the Dead Sea or sleeping under the stars in the desert. I think about sailboats in the Mediterranean and long hikes in Patagonia and the Nordic fjords. I want to dance salsa in Havana, sip on tea and slurp noodles in crowded cities, and ride bikes through the tulip fields in the Netherlands.

I’m looking for love in all shapes and sizes. It could be intense and romantic or the quiet love you experience reading together in silence. It could be adventurous love that is physical and tough or convenient love that comes with many indulgences.

I’m wandering. I’m lusting after the unknown. I’m in search of love and finding that it truly is everywhere.