Clear skies and the brightest northern lights

And just like that, it’s April.  For most cities clutched by the relentless grip of winter, April is always met with welcoming smiles and relieved sighs.  April is that dear friend you haven’t seen for a while; it takes one look and all the fond memories come flooding in—longer days, warmer temperatures, that first patio …

Spring and Sweets Daydreaming

Today is Valentine’s Day and Amsterdam is extra full of flowers.  The local bloemenkiosks (flower shops) peppered around the city have more buckets of bouquets on display—surely to supply gifts to those who are inclined (or compelled/forced/extorted) to be romantic this day. But this sudden burst of flowers in the city for Valentine’s Day is …

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht

I used to draw a blank whenever friends asked me about hotel recommendations in Amsterdam.  The reason is simple:  we have our lovely apartment so I’ve never really had a reason to stay or research for a hotel in the city.   Our apartment was selected for us by my husband’s employer even before we …

Brunch at Andaz Amsterdam

We’re grounded for the months of January and February.  At first, I dreaded the thought that we won’t be able to do our usual winter weekend getaways during the darkest and dreariest months of the year.  In 2012, we broke the long winter stretch with weekend trips to Barcelona and Tromso.  In 2013, we saw snow-covered Budapest …

Good food and Gluhwein in the Frankfurt Christmas Market

Having spent all of December last year in Toronto for our civil wedding, I missed out on all the “Christmas-y” things that Europe has to offer—including and most especially the magical Christmas markets.  We visited the Köln Weihnachtsmarkt (Cologne Christmas Market) in 2011 and the sight of twinkling lights, the intoxicating aroma of glühwein (mulled wine), …