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Spring

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Photo Essay: Amsterdam in the Springtime

Amsterdam in spring

I'm not sure there's really a bad time to visit Amsterdam, but we were sure glad to be there in the spring! The flowers, the patio-sitting, the sometimes-sunny-sometimes-rainy weather, the not-so-terrible museum lines, the flowers — we couldn't have asked for a better place to start our recent European adventure.

Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring

Tulips and Amsterdam go together like, well, you know. We loved seeing them in gardens and planter boxes around the city. Our favorite tulips, however, were found outside of the busy capital city. You can scope out our tulip field adventure here!

Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring
Amsterdam in spring

So tell me friends: Have you ever been to Amsterdam? What time of year did you visit? 



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Photo Essay: Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

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Photo Essay: Tulip Fields in the Netherlands

Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem

When my husband first decided that a spring visit to Europe was a good idea, I knew we had to try and see the tulip fields in the Netherlands. I had no idea if they'd actually be in full bloom while we were there, since the harvest schedule is ultimately up to Mother Nature, but if we were going to be spending a solid amount of time in Amsterdam, my heart was pretty set on seeing at least a few colorful fields.

Mission accomplished, I'd say:  

Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem

We set aside a day for a train-to-bike-to-train trip between Amsterdam and Haarlem — one of the cities known as a starting point for tulip tourism. We started the day by walking from our Amsterdam Airbnb to the Amsterdam Centraal Station. From there, we took a 20-minute train ride to the Haarlem Train Station, walked to the bike rental shop and started our bike tour of the countryside!

Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem

We did see a lot of fields that had already been harvested and others that were just about to bloom, so the plantings must be staggered a bit to maximize the bloom season. With the number of cars and bikes on the road with us, it appears as though this area of the Netherlands has flower tourism pretty much figured out.

Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem
Tulip fields in the Netherlands // Haarlem

We decided not to visit Keukenhof due to the crowds and opted, instead, to take the various bike trails and see where we could stop along the way. The guides at the bike shop offered up maps and tips before we headed out, which came in handy. 

Overall, the touring took a full day, our bums were very sore from riding a bike for dozens of miles and I've never smiled so much in my life. I'm sure of it. I mean, how could you not smile like crazy when you spend a day among these beauties? Add in a tandem bike (which earned us more than a few stares), a picnic, and some silly times with your hilarious partner in crime and you're good to go!

Tell me friends: Have you ever visited the tulip fields in the Netherlands?


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Albert Einstein + Grand Teton National Park + Happy Links

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{"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."  //  Albert Einstein}

Happy Links:

  • Remember Lincoln Logs? I loved them as a youngster. Anthology Magazine posted a little tidbit from their latest issue and I'm thinking it might be time to splurge on an annual subscription.
  • Speaking of our younger years, I just happened to catch a tweet yesterday from Kelly Beall of Design Crush about Camp Grounded. It's like the summer camp I never attended as a child, but for adults. Yes, please!
  • Have you read this post over on Oh Joy? It's such a great note to all of the creative beings out there who are struggling to figure out just where they fit.

Wrap it Up:

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I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

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Go Outside: Spring Forward

Wow. Spring has ushered herself right in. While I'm still concerned about the lack of rain and snow we've had around here, I can't help but smile at all of the blossoming going on.

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I even got a nice little surprise after removing the cap of this jar the other day.

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I followed these directions for growing peach trees from seed a few months ago and was shocked to see it had actually worked. I don't have much of a green thumb (see also: killing ivy... by accident), so let's hope I can keep this little seedling alive.

While much of the country is still dealing with the winter chill, I'm officially giving in to the celebration of warmer weather, brighter evenings and fresh beginnings.

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Now where did I put those flip flops?

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Northern California + Robin Williams + Happy Links

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{Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's party!" // Robin Williams}

Happy Links: {Disclaimer: While I'm putting these under the 'happy links' header, the links below really fall under the 'links that make you think' category. Just roll with it.}

  • I am so intrigued by these photos of cities without any man-made light. Photographer Thierry Cohen did an amazing job illustrating what city dwellers are missing when they look up into the night sky.
  • This video combines cool graphics and Ira Glass's explanation of how creative endeavors (in this case, storytelling) evolve. It is the most brilliant way of describing how it feels to be elbow-deep in new creative ventures. Please watch it, if you have two minutes.
  • Speaking of the creative process, I identified BIG TIME with this recent post from former Sacramentan David Watts Barton. It's an incredibly honest post and is just one of the many reasons I admire his work.

Wrap it Up:

  • It's hard to believe that just a few short days ago, we were snowshoeing in Donner Memorial State Park. It's supposed to hit 72° in the Sacramento Valley today. Spring has arrived, my friends!
  • It looks like things are coming together for the project I'm working on in my map design class. Has anyone else signed up? Be sure to let me know and I'll find you in class.

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I hope you all have a lovely weekend!

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