Friday, March 27, 2015

Funny Confession #324

This weekend O will hang home with sick kids while I jet off on a business trip.  Hello role reversal! I'm off to Berlin, where my girl CP has set a big running goal for herself, and it's my business to help her get it done!
I have always wanted to check out Berlin, can't wait to do it. Also pumped for a few nights in the Ritz with my AMS running besties! 

Sick Baby

W is sick today, bad enough to warrant a prescription from a Dutch doctor (a very rare occurrence, the usual advice is to tough it out sans meds).  So after our appointment with the neighborhood doc we needed to stop at the Apotheek.  A prescription filling is a first for us here (amen for great health!) and like most foreign firsts, it was an experience. The Apotheek (pharmacy) is just around the corner from the doc, which is just around the corner from our house- Dutch life is so simple and well designed. I have passed it a thousand times, but today was my first time in. It felt like time travel, way back...but after a long wait and some tricky language barriers we were on our way.
This ain't CVS people.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Art Show

Speaking of art...these great pieces are on display (and for sale) in an office space around the corner from school.  I'm falling for them more and more each time I cycle by.

I love the colors, subject and style of the fruit stand.
I love the quirky style and subject matter below, including the teeny sink (so dutch) and floors - checkered tile and herringbone hardwood.  It looks like every powder room in Amsterdam, and I assure you that sink only has cold water because that is the standard.
The reflection makes it hard to fully appreciate the piece in this photo.  But I dig it.  As I have shared, Dutch stairs are a very unique animal and this painting captures their intensity and charm.  


Slowly but surely I am making progress towards my vision in art class.  Class is 2 hours, every other week.  The cadence is frustrating (I want more progress, 2 hours flies by) but awesome (I crave it, I have lots of reflection time between classes, etc.).  

Below are some pix of my masterpiece...taken 2 weeks ago...

And here are some shots from yesterday's workshop.  Finally adding color (even if it is black!).  

RIP Steven Smith

I can honestly say that my life has been significantly sweeter because of Steven Smith.  Steven, a Portland guy, founded Tazo Tea, the makers of the very best chai latte in the entire world.  As noted in the Oregonian's coverage of his passing  "He took chai to new levels with ingredients such as ginger root, cassia, black pepper, cloves and cardamom."

I didn't know Steve, but after reading the beautiful piece in the Oregonian, I feel like I did.  What an inspirational life story, right up until the very end.  I cried reading it. 

As I drink my chai, with my name misspelled, I smile knowing one thing...I have a best friend in heaven who loves Tazo Chai, and she will welcome Steve.  KK introduced me to Tazo Chai Lattes back in 2000 and I remember details of my first and my last chai with KK.  

For the final years of our friendship, we did not live in the same city, but we'd often call or text as we sipped a chai - it was our thing. Thanks Steve. Reading about you makes me believe you created chai for good friendships like ours.  Mission accomplished.  

A quick search of this blog proves how much chai and I are intertwined.  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cortina Grub

The famous dish in Cortina is called Casunziei Ampezzani, it is beet root ravioli with brown butter and poppy seeds.  It was on the menu nearly everywhere we went and I ordered it nearly every meal.  Now, home in Amsterdam, I was suffering withdrawals, as I do post vacation when I get hooked on local fare.  And, similar to with my tartiflette addiction, I needed to scratch my ravioli itch.  And so, the other night, I made it happen.

Check me out.  Homemade** Casunziei Ampezzani.

**By homemade i mean that I found a store that sells homemade beet root ravioli, brought it home and added butter and poppy seeds, cuz I'm resourceful and domestic like that.

While we are talking about food and Cortina - here is a list of ridiculously good restaurants you should try if you go there...

da Beppa Sello - tell them you know Martin
Tivioli - fancy and long, but good.  Like, really fancy.  Like, maybe don't bring small kids, but do go.

Al Camin - maybe our fave dinner (we enjoyed uno and escargots)

Ospitale - cool building and decor, not the best service (compared to exceptional service everywhere else we went)

Rifugio Capanna Tondi - best best best lunch spot on the hill.  Amazing.  Order the Cansunziei Ravioli and chocolate soup!  The food and service was just so good, we kept going back day after day.  Plus, sidetone:  I could not get over the rugs in this place - each is so so lovely and amazing...and getting slushed up every day by ski boots!

We were sad to say goodbye to the staff at the refugio...they took great care of our lunch needs for 2 straight weeks, thats a lot of ravioli!

Wilde Tour of Cortina

On our recent trip to Cortina, we had a tour guide, from afar.  Our dear friends, team Wilde, advised on where to eat, where to ski, what to do, and who to ask for.  How are they such experts?  Well, they are more than mere experts, they are local legends.  In case you are not my mom have not been reading this blog since 2008, you may not remember this old post, or this one, or this one, from their time in Cortina. Ever since those posts, I have regretted not visiting them in Cortina and been determined to get there someday.

MW was a UVM hockey star who rode that college fame straight into the pros, where he made quite a name for himself in Italy.  In researching this information-rich post I realized he is so famous in Italy that he has a wikipedia page, in Italian and lots of press like this.

Wifey SW was happy to tag along because she also happened to be a ski star and lover of winter and was very happy to ski her way through the dolomites while her hunky hockey guy grew famous. Apparently, while they was over there, MW and team won the big title championship thingy for all of Italy.  This was 8 years ago...but if you ask people in Cortina, they remember the victory and MW like it was yesterday.  Multiple restaurants had his photos on the wall.  We felt famous just for knowing him.   It was cool.

Natch, I had to also see their digs.  Voila!  Conveniently it was right next to our hotel! I'm shocked there was no plaque to alert passers by that team Wilde lived in this house.  Perhaps the plaque was under the snow?

Grazie team Wilde for all of the insider tips, we had a blast!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Funny Confession #323

Speaking of chicken, I have enjoyed fried chicken and waffles from Staring at Jacob for brunch 3 of the last 5 days.
The vibe of this place reminds me of PDX

Chicken is the New Cupcake

Rotisserie chicken sure is having its moment right now.

From NYC's Papa Poule, to our family's current favorite dinner spot, Amsterdam's Good Chicken Society, chicken is cool.  

I'm eager to try this place next, which comes highly reccomended by friends and the internet
And of course I noticed the newest (and cutest) truck, Madame Poulet, at Wednesday's organic branch of the Albert Cuyp Market


Early Easter

Since so many of us will take a mini vacation Easter weekend, some organized friends pulled together a fab egg hunt this past weekend.

I jump at any chance to rock my seersucker blazer.  Plus, egg hunts were a highlight of my own childhood (thank you B and E!). It is so fun to see my kids enjoy them each year.

Please admire the nike shoebox baskets my kids used...
Fabulous hosts, the only reason that Sangria pitcher is empty is because she was refilling glasses so fast.  And shout out to CP, the other hostess, not pictured...who was the Sangria (and cupcake) artist.  Merci!

Funny Confession #322

Last Friday was a big day around here.  Solar eclipse.  My gal pals and I were ready to embrace the celestial event with a mid-morning bloody mary fete on HBs fab new roofdeck.

LL prepped the accoutrements, because she is so freaking domestic.  She pickled all of those things...

We all had the special glasses...thanks to DS and his superhero ways (merci merci)

Despite our amazing preparations, the clouds prevailed, and we missed the eclipse.

Meanwhile, another friend went running mid-eclipse and managed to capture this photo.  Proof that although it was quite cloudy, and proof that the eclipse did occur.  Bravo ND, great shot.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Urban Wildlife At Market

City birdwatching from the market
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