Happy Monday, friends!
I woke up early today for my French class, only to realize once arriving that today is yet another French holiday, meaning, the school was closed…
It’s funny how in college I would get excited when class was canceled, but that’s not really the case today. This morning, however, I am grateful for a few hours of extra free time so I can finally go through pictures and catch up on my blog.
If you follow me here, or on social media, it probably seems like all we do is travel. While it’s true that we do get to travel more now than ever before thanks to affordable airfare and train tickets, I promise that most of the time we live normal day to day lives. The hubs works more than I want him to, and I do my best to juggle work and learning French. If I posted about that every day though, I imagine I would have quite a few less followers…
When we first started talking about moving to France, all I could think about was how often we’d get to travel. Knowing how close together everything is in Europe, and also how inexpensive and efficient the trains and planes are here (well, the trains are efficient at least…), I dreamt about all the weekend trips we would take. I kept a list on my phone that I was constantly tweaking, as I continuously thought up new ideas. When we arrived, I quickly learned that my “travel somewhere new every weekend” idea just wasn’t going to happen.
For starters, the hubs works most weekends, so he was out of most of these plans, and then more realistically, even cheap travel adds up. Furthermore, we have the pup to think about, and then biggest of all, I realized how much I didn’t even ever really want to leave Paris.
Before moving here, I knew I loved Paris, but until living here, I had no idea just how much. Now, with each day that passes and the closer we get to leaving our beautiful Parisian home, I don’t want to go anywhere at all. I’ve come to love our normal, everyday routines. I like getting up on Monday mornings to go to French class. I enjoy my walks past Notre Dame with the pup. I love Sunday morning market visits with Jacob, where we fight with Heidi as she tries to eat fallen baguette pieces and market booth crumbs. It’s the “mundane” things that excite me, and I want to soak up every last minute we have left in this city before it’s time to go.
However, with all that said, there were two trips on my original list that I couldn’t wait to take: 1) a spring trip to the Netherlands to see the famed Holland tulips in all of their glory, and 2) a long weekend in Italy to celebrate our cousin’s wedding (photos coming soon).
Holland was everything I thought it would be, with the exception of Amsterdam, which we unknowingly visited on the craziest day of the year, King’s Day. Besides for that though, the towns we visited were charming, the people friendly, and the tulip fields lovely. It was an amazing feeling to stand alongside hundreds of thousands of one of my favorite flowers together in one place.
Our first stop was a visit to the Keukenhof Gardens, which is one of the largest flower gardens in the world. Featuring millions (yes, millions) of tulips, Keukenhof was a great introduction to Holland as we basically got to see tulips of every color and kind.
From Keukenhof, it was off to our Airbnb for a relaxing night in after a long drive and tiring walk through the gardens.
For the first two nights we stayed in an Airbnb which basically sat right on a tulip farm, making my number one goal of visiting a field full of tulips easy. Truth be told, if you visit at the right time of the year, seeing the tulip fields isn’t hard to do as you’ll see them all over the country, but getting up close and personal with one can be a different story. Thanks to the proximity of our Airbnb, we were never more than a three minute walk away.
Outside of our crazy day in Amsterdam (basically all that we accomplished there was trying to escape the crowds, which never happened, visiting the Anne Frank House, which was a really moving site to see, and purchasing 50 tulips for €12) the rest of our trip was relaxing.
Besides for frolicking through tulip fields, we took the pup to play on the beach (which she loved – though I imagine you’ll never be able to tell by the photos 😉 ) visited the quaint cheese-making town of Edam, strolled the picturesque streets of Volendam, and enjoyed a great harbor side brewery all to ourselves in Enkhuizen.
Like with any fun vacation, we were sad for it to end, but when you live in Paris, it’s really never a bummer to go home…
Until next week!