Lech, Austria

Josh and our friend Greg took the kids on a last minute ski trip just before the ski season ended. It was a lot of driving, a lot of skiing, and a memory these kids will have for a long time.

A birthday in Efteling

Efteling is ingrained in Dutch childhoods. Generally speaking, any Dutch person you meet has been at least once in their life. We decided Mason’s birthday was the perfect time to go check it out.

Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A couple of weeks ago, I spent a week in La Santa on the island of Lanzarote with 3 really awesome women. We laughed, we worked out, we ate well, and we saw some beautiful sites. What else you ask for?

Gothenburg, Sweden

We chose Gothenburg because we have Swedish friends there, the Hagman’s and the Löfgren’s, who used to live in Charleston (working with the new Volvo plant), and who have since returned to Sweden. The kids of these friends were in school with our boys for a few years – that’s how we met – and we were excited to finally get a chance to visit them in their home country! I really liked this trip because, while we did get to see the city of Gothenburg, we also got to see some places we would not have known about (Kullavik and Marstrand) – an insider’s tour of the Southwest coast, if you will. Plus, the friends we saw are just wonderful people and we had a great time together.

Munich, Germany

We took advantage of a two week long school break to finally see my cousin in Munich and then some friends in Sweden. Here’s part 1 of that vacation.

Scotland: Newport on Tay

Getting to visit a new city and country is always exciting. Getting to do it with friends is even better. Getting to have built in local tour guides is as good as it gets and we had all of these things built into this experience.Cover photo in B&W by Florian Henning

36 hours in London

Mason had his own bucket list item for Europe and that was to take the Chunnel to England. We did visit London nearly 7 years ago as a family (with both sets of grandparents as well) but the boys have little to no memory of that trip. Once Mason mentioned he wanted this one thing, we tacked it on to a trip to see friends in Scotland and a plan was born. 

So you want to move to Maastricht?

fries) combined with a smaller city vibe than larger northern cities, loads of good restaurants, and excellent shopping. I really think it is the best place to land! Here’s a few things to know if you plan to move here.

Six Months in Maastricht

We are now officially halfway through our adventure here in Maastricht. I talked with the kids this week about that fact, and they were surprised, feeling like it had come so quickly. Highlights for them include “some of the cool trips” and “spending New Year’s with Auntie Melissa”. Goals to still accomplish include taking the Chunnel to England, visiting friends in Scotland,  staying in a windmill, entertaining some family coming to visit, visiting friends in Sweden, and plans to see my cousin and her family in Germany. Here’s hoping!I’ve vented quite a bit here and on other social media about my frustrations with the Dutch, mainly in their handling of Covid vaccines etc. This time I’d like to focus on some positive things going on here…

Valencia, Spain: Green lights & fireworks

We were supposed to go see American friends in Hamburg, but the German restrictions on unvaccinated travelers staying multiple days from the Netherlands (i.e. our children) made that impossible. While I was in the throes of a severe pity party, Josh reached out to some good friends of ours, Boo and Mikella Walker. Due to Covid restrictions and an ailing/aging senior dog, Boo, Mikella, and their son Riggs were not traveling as planned to Austria over the holiday and they welcomed us to come for a visit. Within minutes, they’d sent Airbnb links to places near their home, ideas for family activities we could do together, and started making dinner reservations, all with the promise of good wine and fun times catching up. I dried my eyes and we bought tickets.

How did we end up here?

We, along with the rest of the world, had to cancel all plans and sit at home. After several months, Josh and I were itching to do something and toyed with the idea of a temporary move.

A Windmill in Abcoude

early November, we had Melissa over for dinner and started listing some fun things to try/visit/do in the Netherlands. One of those things was staying in a windmill! Melissa had seen a listing on Airbnb and we went ahead and booked it for the spring. 

Zermatt, Switzerland

Two years since our previous family ski trip, we took some friends’ recommendation and booked a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland. For months it has been building in our minds as a big bucket-list trip. Just before we left I was a little concerned I’d made it too big of a deal in my mind and it wouldn’t live up to it.