Amsterdam – Good eats!

This is my second visit to Amsterdam and I continue to love this city so much!

I noticed a slight change in the city since my last visit in 2007, particularly the food scene. There is still an abundance of different ethnic cuisines, but I found a ton of new (what I think of as) “California style” restaurants and really enjoyed them. People tend to give the Dutch a hard time about their food but I love all the options this area has to offer!

So you all already know I basically pac-manned my way through France! Well, do not fret because I was almost as gluttonous in Amsterdam as well!

Here are some fun food pics:

Dutch pancakes – Sweet & Savory!

Cheese, please!

Hot chocolate!

Waffle a la mode complete with Nutella!

Lovely healthy dinner

And then we may have dabbled in some other delicacies while there…

While on the topic of good eats… Found this in a window front of a store! LMAO! Hope there’s no one sensitive reading!

#goorganic

Stay tuned for pics around town!

XO

Athena

Thoughts on Paris

I was in Paris for 4 days. Frankly, too short of a time.  I barely scratched the surface of this incredible city.

Paris is historic and edgy and cool and no nonsense. There’s a seedy side mixed between regular life and tourists galore. My expectations were looooow as to how friendly people were going to be so I was pleased with how our peeps were treated. I tried really hard to speak the little pathetic French I know so I think that helped. And, c’mon! Who can resist my charm?

So here are some of the interesting experiences we had, in no particular order:

– Upon arrival, we took the train from the airport to where we were staying. It was morning and we were exhausted… But then we were revived with rappers on the train rhyming in French to some reggaeton songs! Woot woot! ¡Dále!

  

– We rented an apartment with an amazing rooftop view. We had drinks, breakfast and great convo up there. Not to mention we watched the Eiffel Tower light up each night. 

  

– Another night, a group of people were jamming with a speaker on the park behind the Eiffel Tower. We jumped in, danced the night away and had a ball!!!

  

– One night (more like wee hours of the morning) outside our window, we heard some guy screaming for the police right after what sounded like a scuffle between him and two guys. I think he got mugged! 

  

– Had tea in the little shopping area where the Louvre is located.

  

– Lovely walk and quality time with my family in the Jardin du Luxembourg.

  

– I got cursed out by a homeless man while having dinner next to the window front of a restaurant. He was drunk and missing a shoe and disheveled and looking for a fight. Certainly made my night lively! Oh, and I tried escargot for the first time. 

 

– Watched break dancers off the steps at Trocadero, across from Eiffel Tower.

   

And countless other funny things that are only funny when there.  I’m sure none of these things are particularly unique but it’s some of the colorful memories I had during my slice of Parisian life.

I can’t wait to return one day!

PS – The smoking is out of control, though. Yuck!

Bonne nuit!
  

I ate my way through Paris

Damn it.

I was warned. 

I was told of the decadent desserts and crusty loaves of bread and creamy cheeses and full bodied wines… And I still was not prepared to handle what came over me when I actually came face to face with these foods (or beverages)!

My senses were on overload! Bakeries are my thing, in general. And to have one on each corner… Nom, nom, nom.

Choux pastries & Eclairs…  

  

Gelato… 

Espresso and all other delicious French roasted coffee…

  

Cheese aplenty…

  

French baguettes, rich jams and marmalades…

  

Bordeaux and Chardonnays…Nutella filled crepes…croissants…macarons…

And that’s not all of everything I tried!  How do the French stay so damn thin?

I’m now in detox mode! 
XO

We’ll always (not) have Paris

Late summer, I began a running program to train for a 10 mile race.  My goal had been to run the Paris to Versailles race in France at the end of September.  I LOVE to travel but had never been to France.  It was a dream of mine to go.  I furiously trained and dreamed of croissants and baguettes and the Seine.  We booked our trip, paid for the race and were just preparing for our travel.

So, September arrives and my husband tells me he was miserable married to me.  I felt like I had been punched in the gut.  It wasn’t that I was shocked that he was unhappy.  I just kind of always thought he was a sort of malcontent and it was just his moody personality that dictated his behavior.  What I didn’t expect was for him to actually tell me that he was miserable with ME.  (Who the hell is miserable with me? I’m like really fun and funny and nice! WTF?! 😉 )  So, after digesting this information, I cancelled the trip to Paris just a few days before we were to go on it.  He wanted to still go on the trip to support me in my running endeavors and not have me cancel my dream trip… but I just couldn’t do it.  I couldn’t have the weight of his words ruin my time there.  I didn’t want to feel like I was forcing him to be with me when he basically told me he no longer loved me.  The trip would have been fake and forced.  I didn’t want him to ruin it for me no matter how well we could get along.  It’s the most romantic city in the world! I mean, I should be sipping champagne while my man is purring French sweet little nothings in my ear as we view the Eiffel Tower from our big ole bed that we just finished making vicious love in, right??? Nope. Not in my future and I was damned if I let him take that from me.

After his revelation, I told him that I could not have someone by my side that wasn’t proud to have me there with him.  I needed a partner, not someone who was weak and willing to abandon ship when times got tough.  I told him I thought divorce was inevitable based on his feelings and that he should be making plans to move out. He was sad, I was sad, it felt like I had just experienced centrifugal force equivalent to ten times the force of gravity.  I felt pinned to the sadness and nausea that had just overcome me.  The daunting fear of being alone and having to start all over again.

And that’s how my story begins.