Last weekend we took a three hour train ride to the beautiful and romantic city of Bruges! Bruges, also sometimes spelled Brugge, is full of cobblestone pedestrian streets, old brick buildings, picturesque canals and of course amazing chocolate & waffles!
We have experienced a lot since being in Paris! In order to best blog about our time here, we’re going to break it down into several themed posts, such as tourist attractions, life in Paris, people in Paris, our visitors, what we do day to day…etc. I’m going to start off my talking about the parks in Paris!
One of the things we do very often is picnic in a park! Sometimes Ryker and I meet Eric at a park for lunch, and once or twice a week Ryker and I will venture out to a new area of town, bring lunch and enjoy! I pack Ryk some snacks and usually pick up a sandwich from a nearby Boulangerie (on an AMAZING baguette – the bread here is delicious) or a salad and croissant (I should do a whole post one day about the croissants haha). There are so many parks here – some huge and some tiny. Some with play structures, some with ponds and waterfalls. Some in epic building courtyards, and some in quiet relaxing neighborhoods.
I tried to organize these park pictures by Ryker’s age, with the most recent ones being last. It’s crazy to see how’s he changed in the couple months we’ve been here!
We just got back from an AMAZING trip to Greece! It was absolutely beautiful and a perfect, relaxing vacation. We hiked, walked around town exploring the awesome & unique Greek architecture, chilled on our Airbnb porch, ate a lot of tomatoes, cucumbers, and Greek fava, & loaded Ryker up with so much sunscreen haha. Great trip! More details in the captions below!
Definitely a trip to remember! I highly recommend a Santorini vacation! :)
Hello! Eric and I have been terrible about keeping our blog up to date while living abroad in Paris – but now we’re going to try and catch up! Living in Paris has been a really cool experience, and we’ll write a few posts about that soon. For now I’m going to catch you up on a trip Ryker and I took, and then the next post will be about our trip to Greece!!
Last week, while Eric was in Africa, I decided to take a spur of the moment overnight trip with Ryker to the fairy tale picturesque town of Strasbourg, France. This adorable town is right on the boarder of Germany. It actually used to be the capital of Alsace Lorraine, so there’s a huge German influence (yay pretzels!!)
Strasbourg is a two hour train ride from Paris, and Ryker was great on the train ride! He made lots of friends, played with cups – throwing them off his seat over and over, and took a short nap! For the two days we were there, we pretty much just wandered around the town – it’s one of the cutest towns I’ve ever been to!! We stopped in a few cafes, played in a park, and even found a coffee shop that had a bunch of baby toys and books to play with. It was raining most of the time, but that didn’t stop us from adventuring out with our umbrella! Our little Aribnb was cute and quite quirky, the floor was very slanted haha, so all of Ryker’s toys and balls would end up in the same corner of the apartment, but it was great for a night!
I highly recommend a quick visit to this town! Check out the pictures!
In celebration of our one year anniversary we took an adventure into the desolate northern Californian coast. We were not disappointed!
After attending a fun wedding continued north further up the 101 than we remember ever being, into the land of meth heads, marijuana, bad food, and natural beauty. The people and culture were quite weird but the coast was amazing.
We adventured for three days and two nights from Shelter Cove up to The Big Flat along the lost coast and then back. There was lots of wildlife including seals, tons of deer, water snakes, a rattle snake, numerous blue belly lizards, whales (alive and dead), seagulls, crows (that stole some of our trail mix), squirrels, and cute dogs wearing shoes.
The entire hike was along the beach which was covered in jet black sand and rocks. Along most of the journey the beach was sandwiched between waves and a cliff with lots of trees over head. There were sections that required timing the tides or else they became impassable.
One of our favorite parts were the creeks that jetted out into the beach about every mile. They made for a great source of fresh water, nature, and entertainment. Rock hopping up the creeks quickly led to rain forest like gulleys. Buck Creek was the perfect place for us to wait out high tide by ourselves with a hammock by the creek.
One thing that really stood out is how unpopulated the trail was. We regularly wouldn’t see anyone for 5 or so hours in the middle of the day.
This was the perfect way to celebrate our first year of marriage! Just the two of us in the middle of nowhere for a few days with freeze dried food and a water pump.
It’s hard to believe that one year ago we got married and departed on an epic adventure! In celebration of a year going by, I dug up this list we created as we were heading home… some of our favorite things, places, experiences, and some of the not so favorite as well :)
Amanda: Tower of London
Eric: Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Both: The Tagine Kefta at Tommy’s in Fez, Moracco
Both: Rio Chillar in Nerja, Spain
Amanda: Nerja’s small beach
Eric: Lagos small beach we ran to
Amanda: Hofbrauhaus at Oktoberfest, Munich
Eric: Pilsner dark lager (has another name) in Prague
Both – Something to do with Bill…
Most Surprisingly Great Thing:
Amanda: The Lagos Coastline
Eric: Scuba Diving
Favorite Place Overall
Both: Koh Tao, Thailand
Most Foreign Experience:
Amanda: The prayer calls in Fez, Morocco
Eric: The Mekong river boat ride in Laos
Worst Airport Experience:
Both: Wuhan, China
Both: Copenhagen by far!
Both: Su Chilli’s on Koh Tao in Thailand!!!
Best Night Out
Both: Lisbon, Portugal
Best Day Drinking
Both: Oktoberfest in Munich
Most Disappointing Thing
Amanda: Luang Prabang, Laos
Eric: Pinxtos in Bilbao, Spain (Amanda agrees here too!)
Amanda: Everything in Prague!
Eric: The Guggenheim, Bilbao, Spain
Eric: Morocco taxis
Most Surprisingly Awesome City
Amanda: Stockholm, Sweden
Eric: Granada, Spain
Both: Wuhan, China
Amanda: Fizz in Koh Tao, Thailand
Eric: Szimpla Kert in Budapest, Hungary (So epic!!!)
Both: Koh Tao from Sairee Beach, Thailand
Best Sporting Experience
Amanda: The Usa/South Africa rugby game
Eric: The Scotland/Samoa rugby game
Place We’d Most Want to Live
Amanda: Stockholm, Sweden
Eric: Lisbon, Portugal
Amanda: Bergen, Norway AirBnb
Eric: Fez, Morocco AirBnb
Amanda: Scotland nights in the van
Eric: Walking around Vienna
Prettiest Nature (really hard queation!):
Amanda: Glencoe, Scotland
Eric: The fjords of Norway
Country with the Worst Food
Country with the Best Food
Both – Thailand
Both: Algeciras, Spain Hostel/Hotel
Biggest Life Revelation:
Amanda: Having her own fitness comapny/gym
Eric: He wants more technical work
Moment You Felt the Happiest:
Amanda: Going on a long solo run/hike reflecting on life in Nerja, Spain
Eric: Sitting on the beach in Nerja, Spain
Thing you Missed the Most:
Amanda: My girl friends
Eric: The vitamix
Thing you Didn’t Miss the Most
Both: Bay Area traffic
The Thing you Realized about California
Amanda: That SF is an AWESOME city, can’t beat it!
Eric: The people are better and really nice, easy to communicate
The Best Item you’d Want to Have in our Future House
Amanda: A Spanish microwave (we have one now!)
Eric – Two duvet covers on the bed like they do in Scandinavia
We ventured around Northern Thailand for 4 days, and it was great! One day we explored beyond the city limits of Chiang Mai by going on a nice bike ride to the mountains and then a hike. Another day we went to an elephant sanctuary where we got to feed elephants, give them a bath, and then play with them in the mud.
For the other two days we ventured to Pai, a town about 3 hours north of Chiang Mai. Once there, we rented a scooter for a day and drove up and down the hills and mountains, stopping in some small villages. We saw a lot of the Thai agriculture, many locals just livin’ life, and some great views. These pictures of our time in Northern Thailand will tell you more than I can describe in words :)
Hello from Thailand! We made it to Southeast Asia! We landed in Bangkok and had the whole day to explore before getting on a night bus to Southern Thailand. We will be back in Bangkok a few times because most of our buses and flights go via Bangkok, but here is what we did our first day in Thailand!…
We arrived and started walking from the train station at the edge of town to city center. Along the way we came across a mini party in front of a police station. We wandered into the courtyard to see several food stalls, a guy on a stage performing Thai children’s songs, and a bunch of kids and parents dancing! One of the local police officers came up to us and welcomed us with open arms! He was SO excited to see us there! They gave us free food and told us it was a Children’s Day festival. We also had a few older Thai ladies come up to us, welcome us to Thailand, and give us some travel tips. Plus, several people wanted to take pictures with us for some reason haha :) It was a really cool experience and everyone was incredibly nice.
After that, we headed more to the center of town via a tuktuk!
We then got some Thai iced tea and coffee at a little cafe, then explored! We wandered around and went to see the Grand Palace (although we didn’t pay to go inside because it was packed! And because they didn’t allow yoga pants, which I was wearing, oops!), the Reclined Buddha in Wat Pho, and of course have some more delicious street food!
After that we took a nap in a park because we didn’t sleep at all on our red-eye flight the night before, then grabbed a quick dinner and headed to our overnight bus – off to Southern Thailand and the island of Koh Tao!
Olá from Portugal! Eric and I have spent the last week in Lagos, a quite beach town on the Southern end of Portugal. It has been so relaxing here! Lagos has an absolutely stunning coastline – so it’s hard not to want to be outside in the nature all day. We explored by day (hike, run, walk, mountain bike etc.) and most nights just cooked dinner together, sat by the fireplace and enjoyed each others company. Plus, we finally had an oven! So I did some baking :) yum!
We stayed on a little “Quinta” or ranch during our time in Lagos, which was a neat experience! We awoke to a rooster every morning, had fresh eggs from the chickens running around the property and could say hello to many goats and dogs each day. As a town, Lagos was pretty sleepy – I think it’s a major summer tourist town, so many things were closed. But the nature, views, and outdoor activities couldn’t be beat! Next up… Lisbon!
Hello everyone! It’s been a crazy two weeks, with many days in a camper-van (see more on that in the next post!), so we have some blogging catching up to do!
We were in London for a week and really enjoyed it. Eric and I met up with several friends and stayed in a big apartment in Islington, a “borough” (aka neighborhood) in London. It was a GREAT location, very trendy with a lot of restaurants, bars, and a 25-35yr old crowd. It had a smaller town feel, but was a short tube ride to most areas of London.
Biggest take-away of London? Two things: 1) They have amazing street food! There were little markets everywhere that sold all sorts of ethnic foods, fresh foods, burgers, sandwiches… etc. Borough Market and Camden Market were by far the best – these are a must visit if you find yourself in London. 2) It would be really easy to live in London. It was very similar to SF in my opinion, there’s a lot of tech, jobs, no language barrier, and a younger, fun crowd.
Then there’s the Rugby! With our friends, we went to three World Cup matches, and we watched many more games in the pubs. I’ve come to really enjoy watching rugby! There a lot of rules, but I think I have most of them down now and am getting really into it. We got to go to a USA game which was so fun – we went all out on dressing up! See pics below :)