05 December 2014

by train

Quick flights from city to city are convenient, but trains let you watch the land roll by and your thoughts unwind. Sure it takes longer, but whats the fun in traveling if you're only going to get to see the city streets?
When we were planning our trip we meant to spend the whole week in Brussels but it worked out that flights to Amsterdam were less expensive. The plan was to fly in to the Netherlands for the weekend and take a train south after a day or two. Good thing we didn't book flights from city to city because Amsterdam is magical and we ended up staying almost the whole week. The beauty of the train was that we didn't have to book anything in advance, we just showed up to the station and hopped on.
Changed trains in Rotterdam Rotterdam Centraal Got a quick peek at the city's bike lockers Rotterdam Had a midday picnic picnic lunch Treats! kinder surprise And arrived in a golden skied Brussels in the early evening Brussels

07 November 2014

amsterdam: tourist day

After an evening and a day spent wandering around Amsterdam, we geared ourselves up to spend and entire day doing "tourist things." Visiting the major sites and of course the Red Light District and the oldest parts of the city. Our canal tour the previous afternoon was an excellent choice since it helped give us a sense of direction when we'd recognize something as we bounced around from place to place.
Starting from the very moment I woke up, I caught Rich sitting by the window looking at all the bikes and cars going by on Ferdinand Bolstraat during the morning rush.
amsterdam/de pijp
After sandwiches and coffee we made our way to the Albert Cuyp market and picked up some berries as a snack and checked out all the stalls. I found the bunny lamp of my dreams at Kwinkel voor Kinderen, bought a huge hunk of aged Gouda cheese and
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We walked along the canals and met this little creature. Any idea what he is?
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Walked past Heineken but opted not to go in. We had to draw the "touristy stuff" line somewhere.
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I asked some strangers to snap a picture of us: hence the editing.
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Bugged Rich into letting me check out this fantastic vintage store chock full of pristine vintage gems and repurposed peices.
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Wandered down little streets and past a comic book store with an orange cat standing guard.
garfield
We kept walking up into Dam Square and had overpriced coffee by Nieuwe Kerk, and went on into the famous Red Light District. Not really my thing, but interesting to see. The culture might be generally less uptight there, but I felt uncomfortable with half naked girls sitting in windows texting and fixing their lipstick. I chalked it up to my Puritanical American upbringing and led the way back into the Nine Streets neighborhood.
red light district
Stopping for sandwiches and Cokes.
Coke break
Off to Katten Kabinet, dedicated to art depicting cats.
katten kabinet
Meow!
cool cats

21 October 2014

amsterdam day 1

On our second day in Amsterdam we started off our day with a late breakfast at Kofi-T. Huge "Americano" coffees and cheese sandwiches accompanied by bike watching.
good morning amsterdam
Nomnomnom
cheese sandwich
Bike watching on Ferdinand Bolstraat
ferdinand bolstraat
I haven't been able to wear anything but sneakers and loose fitting clothes since my bike accident, which sucks but I liked this slouchy look. Toast UK skirt, Everlane tee, Vans, my denim jacket from 2001 and Fjallraven backpack.
hi hi!
My #1 reason for the trip, the Rijksmuseum!
Rijksmuseum
It was wonderful inside, we saw The Night Watch by Rembrandt and my two favorite paintings by Vermeer: The Milkmaid and The Love Letter. I love paintings of bright morning light filtering through windows.
the night watch
After the museum we were wandering around in a haze past the the Museumplein when Rich started waving. I thought he was saying hi to the pigeons (he does that) but it turned out to be Brianna and Chris picnicking on a hill. It was their last day in town so we tagged along on a canal tour with them.
Smooch!
kiss
We cruised around the canals of Amsterdam people watching.
canal cruise
indoor outdoor
Hi Brianna!
brianna
Captain Dog
boat pup
Watching the sunset and moms on bikes with their babies
the canals
Passed a really fun looking bar...
waterkant
And tilting buildings.
tilting buildings
Afterwards we went for pancakes and coffee and made our way back to De Pijp for beers at Troost.
honeymooners
Proost!
troost

13 October 2014

amsterdam, hello!

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Aaaand we're back from our trip to Amsterdam and Brussels! It goes without saying, it was fantastic. We flew out after work Friday night and after a quick change of planes in Dublin arrived in Amsterdam ready to party.
Outside Ruis
After getting to the hotel we wandered around De Pijp until we stumbled on a pretty square shaded by huge tulip trees and outdoor seating for cafes and stopped for beers and a snack.
Mystery meatballs
Bitterballen and beer at Cafe Ruis.
De Pijp
By coincidence Chris and Brianna were in Amsterdam at the same time as us, we met up and wandered off to dinner at De Duvel. I ate beef carpaccio for the first time but didn't snap a picture! I'm so much more adventurous about food when I'm travelling, "raw beef! sure, why not!"
Gollem
We went for cheap beers at this weird little bar we stumbled on, and after that ended up at Gollem. The bartender at Cafe Ruis recommended it and it was exactly the kind of place I'd been hoping to find when I was planning the trip.
These guys
Gollem was fantastic with a huge selection of hard to find beers. Rich was pretty excited about a Westvleteren 12 that he'd been talking about forever. A pretty great start to our time in Amsterdam.

10 September 2014

the terrible week

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In case you hadn't heard, about 2 weeks ago I was biking home from the train station and was hit by a car. I'm not sure how much I should say here about it since there is a legal aspect I have to consider. What I can say is that I didn't have any catastrophic injuries; I didn't lose consciousness or hit my head and I didn't break any bones. I'm wicked banged up though and I was in shock and dealing with some serious panic over having to leave the house for about a week afterwards. It's probably the most terrified I've ever been in my life. There's a whole lot more, but like I said I'm not sure how much I can say.
Everyone's been wonderful to me about being extra weird, and I appreciate that so much more than I can say.
Midway through the week that this happened, Rich's grandma passed away. It was so very sad seeing his family say their tearful goodbye's to such a beloved person, but it was comforting to have everyone around. Rich's family is filled with great people who know how to make even the saddest events a loving celebration.
It was an all around terrible week. Now I'm back at work catching up on about 10 million emails but I'll be back soon with lots of nice things.
(The pictures are of Rich checking out the damage on my bike, and my time spent hanging out on the couch)

27 August 2014

bikebaby 2

Another Saturday morning, another ride to the farmers' market. I'm really loving the Ace & Jig look for weekends lately which roughly translates to loose fitting, super soft fabrics and casual styling based on comfort. It makes weekends easy peasy. I've had this Lark & Wolff playsuit for years (5!) and I paired it with a plain white tee to keep the foggy chill off my shoulders and my farmer's market staples: Birkenstocks and a woven market bag.
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Lark & Wolff playsuit (similar here and here)
UO Men's white tee (cut up to fit a bit better)
Birkenstocks
Vintage market bag (similar here)

25 August 2014

datenite

Here's how I looked for a double date on Friday night. I was supposed to have the day off but ended up having to go in to work, so I was a bit dishevelled and thoroughly exhausted so I uncharacteristically opted for pants. Comfy high waisted black trousers for the lazy side of me and a super sexy backless halter crop top to take it up a notch. The denim jacket was a last minute decision so that I wouldn't lose my top in the breeze.
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Clare Vivier Messenger Bag
Moheda Betty clogs
Elevenses trousers (similar here)
American Apparel halter top
Abercrombie denim jacket circa 2002 (similar from asos and A&F)

18 August 2014

bikebaby

Its been a good summer for biking, and thus outfits to bike in. Its been nothing but high waisted shorts and cropped tee shirts in various combos around here and lots and lots of vintage. Two years ago I picked up these shorts and finally got around to having them shortened last summer but by that time it was too cold out to wear them. You know how that happens? You keep meaning to do something and don't? For the entirety of my time living in NYC I kept saying I was going to bring my bike to my apartment and it never happened. One of the selling points of my apartment building was the bike storage and I was so lame that I just kept saying, "I'll do it next weekend." Now I've got both my bikes here and I'm definitely making up for lost time on the road.
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Thrifted shorts (similar here)
American Apparel crop top
Vintage bag (similar here)
American Deadstock vintage sunglasses
Birkenstocks
happy, honey & lark. All rights reserved. © Maira Gall.