Celebrating Two Years

Two years ago in March, Peter and I got married!

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To celebrate our anniversary, we went to Amsterdam for a long weekend and had a blast. It was my first time to the city so we made sure to schedule in the obligatory tourist activities along with generous amounts of wandering along the canals and sampling local cuisine.

We stayed in an adorable studio apartment in the Nine Streets area of the city. We didn’t know it at the time of booking, but Nine Streets is the perfect place to experience quintessential Amsterdam. The neighborhood is jam-packed with trendy boutiques and independent restaurants set along canals.

Each morning, we stepped out of our building into the most charming scenes of people strolling or biking along the canals. We could hardly walk 10 feet without stopping to take another picture!

We ate most of our meals at little cafes along the canals that served nicely-prepared classic fare. Our first morning we both had bagels with cream cheese and fresh chopped chives that were so good Peter’s still raving about them! For one of our lunches, I indulged in an amazingly delicious sandwich that appeared on almost every menu — goat cheese with walnuts and honey.

By far my favorite breakfast was at this place called Winkel 43 that my friend recommended. When we arrived, there were lines out the door of people waiting for the house speciality: Dutch apple pie. When I finally got my piece, it was moist, sweet, and fully of apple goodness – definitely worth the wait!

I also made sure to try some Dutch specialties like French fries with mayonnaise and bitterballen, a deep-fried ball of beef ragout. I found the French fries easy to love but the bitterballen more of an acquired taste.

One of the places we visited was Anne Frank house. Having grown up learning about Anne Frank’s family and imagining what their annex was like, I was especially fascinated to see the place where her family was actually in hiding. Each room was preserved how it was after the nazis had raided the annex and stripped it out but you could see pictures of what the furniture setup was like at the time of hiding. The museum was extremely well done and, knowing their story so well, I found the experience very moving and somewhat surreal.

The rest of our visit we spent shopping in the Nine Streets neighborhood, ambling through the parks, and taking a canal cruise to see various parts of the city. Amsterdam was a wonderful getaway and the perfect place for us to celebrate two years of marriage!

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Jaunt in Germany

As I mentioned on Monday, Peter and I hopped over to Germany for a long weekend in the Bavarian Alps last week. The trip was a combination of all the things I’ve been craving lately: beautiful scenery, delicious food, outdoor exercise, and driving!

We arrived early Thursday morning, rented a car at the Munich airport, and wasted no time getting on the autobahn in the direction of Lindau, on the shores of Lake Constance. The lake is at the intersection of Germany, Switzerland, and Austria and surrounded by mountains. Everywhere you turn in Lindau is picture perfect and charming.

After lunch and a lakeside beer in Lindau, we drove up into the Alps to the little spa town of Oberstaufen where we’d booked a hotel for two nights. Again, we were thrilled by the charm of the town and enraptured by the beauty of the mountains surrounding it. We spent a leisurely rest of the day exploring Oberstaufen and catching glimpses of the sunset over the mountains.

The next day, Peter and I outdid ourselves at the hotel breakfast before setting off on what turned out to be a day-long hike in the mountains. It was the perfect hiking conditions. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, the paths were well maintained, and there were restaurants along the way! We hiked most of the way up a mountain and stopped for a beer and granola bar before reaching the summit. The view from the crest of the mountain took my breath away. Ahead of us were snow capped peaks stretching as far as the eye could see. It was one of the most beautiful sites I’d ever seen!

All the way back down, I skipped along and sang songs from the Sound of Music in joyful expression. It was very Julie Andrews.

On Saturday, our final day in Germany, we drove to Neuschwanstein Castle, the famous castle that inspired Disneyland’s Sleeping Beauty castle. We toured the grounds and surrounding area which included a beautiful lake, another castle, and several restaurants and hotels. Everything was just so stunning, I grinned ear to ear and stopped every few minutes to take pictures. Peter and I ate lunch in the sunshine before making our way back to the airport via country roads and small towns.

Such a perfect trip and a fabulous time of year to go. I wanted to stay forever!