The musicology nerd in myself was also, very excited to visit the Netherlands. It is rumored that Maurice Ravel’s inspiration for Introduction and Allegro were the windmills of the Netherlands. He had spent a sleep-less week composing this harp concerto so he could finish in time to go on holiday here. In this piece, you can hear the circular motion, imitating a windmill. I had worked on this piece during my senior year of undergrad…one of my all time favorites.
Welcome to the future.
The Netherlands seems like a futuristic country because the Dutch are more dependent on bikes than cars, buses, or trams. There is an average of 3 bikes per person. There are A LOT of bikes! It has gotten so bad that police are starting to impound shabby-looking bicycles which haven’t been moved for 2 weeks!
Biking in the Netherlands is safe because the few drivers on the road were extremely respectful of bikers (the reason why I will never bike in Paris… Parisian drivers). Bicyclists even have their own traffic lights! The bike paths are very well laid out with great signs; it felt at times that we were on a bike-highway. I love biking here! Plus, this country is flat, making it a breeze to pedal!
Here is a fun video that the Finn captured of me biking! Isn’t it great? We decided this must be the Dutch version of Christmas light looking! We saw cars full of friendly locals frolicking through the fields and were very quick to invite us to join!
Dress: Forever 21
Scarf: small shop in Florence, Italy
Biking shorts: children’s department at Target
Jewelry: Swarovski necklace, pearl earrings, and family heirloom ring.
Why: Biking through flower fields in the Netherlands. Biking shorts are my best friend during “sun dress season” because I am able to really move around without having a wardrobe malfunction! I loved having my scarf flow behind me as I biked!
The Finn asked me where I would like to go on vacation. I quickly responded, “the Tulip Festival in the Netherlands”. As girly as it might have sounded, he happily agreed to take me. We both LOVE to bike and HATE being sheep (meaning being apart of something horribly touristy). So, after asking a few Amsterdamers, we decided that the Keukenhof Gardens wasn’t for us. Instead, we took a quick train ride to Lieden and rented bikes and biked all around the countryside. It was perfection! Being outside, biking and seeing locals was exactly what we wanted and what we did. The tulips and daffodils were beautiful but we enjoyed the hyacinths the best because of their gorgeous smells. No one ever talks about the smells that you experience, but they are truly wonderful and one of the best part of our trip. Here are some snapshots of our adventure. It was so great to freely frolic in the flower fields. A dream come true.
Maybe the reason is because I’m a Scorpio that I feel more at ease, the closer I am to water. Or it could because I was born in Florida, near the ocean, or that I spent my summers in Minnesota. Well whatever the reason maybe, I love cities with water. The seine is one of my favorite parts of Paris.
I traveled to Amsterdam earlier this month and immediately fell in love with the city. I’m guessing its because of the many canals. The Finn and I booked a charming houseboat close to the train station. It was an amazing experience. Eric, the houseboat owner was so friendly, helpful and greeted us with a bottle of white wine! He answered all of our questions regarding the city and also gave us an insiders guide to his favorite spots. One morning he gave us a charming private boat cruise around the canal.
Three things to live by:
French woman know one can go far with a great haricut, a bottle of champagne and a divine perfume. I recently ran out of my favorite perfume, Burberry London and decided a new city calls for a new fragrance ..something that isn’t offered in the states. I opted for Doir couture (J’adore Doir after all). There are four perfumes in the Ecale collection, all of which have to do with a different luxury vacation spot in French Polynesia.
My other perfumes which I have and adore are Daisy from Marc Jacobs and Mismo from L’artisan Parfumeur (thanks Patrick!).
Wouldn’t it be nice to buy your mother something from Le Bon Marche? Although a Chanel bag would be nice, regardless of your age, mom’s love homemade gifts from their children. I have found the perfect gift for Mothers. Located on the top floor of Le Bon Marche, there is a corner dedicated to DIYers that offers supplies for jewelry making and embroidery! Although, the I prefer this place for my beads, LBM is another place to make jewelry in Paris! I hope my mother will like her earring that I made her from LBM!
Happy Mother’s Day mom!
It’s official, as of the last week of April, it is spring in Paris! To celebrate the season, I ordered an iced cappuccino when I met up with the ever-so-lovely and fashionably smart Milters. It was the perfect petit pause to get through the rest of a busy day consisting of work, errands and shopping. Located on a quiet street, Télescope is great spot to escape from the hustle and bustle in the 1st and enjoy real coffee. Their cheesecake is a must. The texture of the cake was light and very creamy.
5 Rue Villedo, 75001
Open everyday until 18H30
One summer day in 2002, my parents took me to Paris. It was there on the steps of Paris Opera house that I promised myself I would one day study music in Paris. This building is very special to me.
One spring day in 2008, I was studying L’Après-midi d’un faune, a masterpiece from Mallarmé, Debussy, and Nijinski for my undergraduate music history class. It was the drama of ballet which first got me interested in musicology.
And so tonight, the Finn is taking me to the Palais Garnier for an amazing program consisting of Stravinsky, Debussy, and Ravel. I really don’t know what I’m more exciting about: WHAT I’m going to see, WHO I’m going with, WHERE I’m going to be.
Arriving with perfect timing (which is different from being on time) to teach my Tuesday morning class, I was informed that I was to give my lessons outside in a park about 20 minutes by foot. To my surprise the park, was in fact, a mini-version of Chateau Versailles gardens with a maze and woods to boot! The weather turned a bit chilly so we grabbed an oh-so delicious Kusmi Tea and pastry before walking around. Needless to say, I didn’t get much teaching done; but very much enjoyed the pleasant conversation that took place. I will keep this in this very-French manicured garden in mind for picnic season. Although, it’s somewhere I wouldn’t recommend for visitors; it’s a nice spot for locals.
RER B: Bourg-la-Reine, Sceaux, Parc de Sceaux, Croix-de-Berny
Picture perfect Paris
I have found out the reasons why Parisians en retard: The first being metro problems…and if you go by foot, you get so distracted by the beauty this city. It’s almost as if Paris is screaming to get itself photographed. Taking pictures in Paris is really easy, you never have to “find” the perfect spot since everywhere (well minus parts of the 19th) is picture perfect.
Best time to leave Paris. Fanny packs, and large groups with matching hats/shirts are here until the end of summer. Le sigh, well if you can’t beat them, join them! I’m off to go see the world!
Happy spring break everyone!
Dress: Monteau Clothing
Jean jacket: Gap (circa 2005)
Ring: Tiffany’s & Co.
Bag: Diane Von Furstenberg
Camera + accessories: Canon, Chat Noir coin case used as a camera case from Montmartre, Coach.
Why: On my way to a Masters seminar in the 6th. The French love anything jean related: pants, shirts, jackets…you name it. The title of this blogpost alludes more than just about my outfit…