2018 is already off to a good start – rung in the New Year at a beach house in Maine with 16 of my closest friends and -6 degree weather followed by three cozy days of snowed in heaven with my mom and sister. On the flight back to Amsterdam I had a bit of time to think about my top 17 pinch myself moments of 2017. They were difficult to narrow down, but here they are in no apparent order.
1. Shopping in the medina in Marrakech
Shopping is the best exercise after a week spent in the middle seat between two of your best friends. We spent all our dirham but I walked away with a few items I’ll love for a while, like my hand woven rug and leopard suede shoes.
2. Sand boarding in the Sahara
3. Lobster rolls with some chubby chicas
I like you a lot if you love to eat. I like you even more if you love to eat lobster rolls.
4. Terrific tulips
Lots and lots and lots of tulips. My friends and I biked from Haarlem to Leiden one early April afternoon with one goal – tulips. The fields were in full bloom and never ever have I ever felt so lucky in a field with friends.
5. Kings Day round 2
You would think after round 1, round 2 just wouldn’t compare. Wrong. Round 2 was as good if not better than round 1. Happy birthday, King Willem-Alexander, and thank you, Mr. Heineken.
6. Gay Pride round 2
Even though the weather wasn’t spectacular, the day was all I could ever ask for. I love how colorful and cheerful the streets are on Gay Pride. These two other mini humans and I dressed like unicorns, sprinkled glitter everywhere and hit the streets like we were celebrities.
7. Camping during the day time in the Bos
Not sure why we were there or what we were doing, but this day, yes.
8. Kygo in Ibiza
Tropical house in an almost tropical place with my not-so-tropical friends wearing tropical glitter all over our faces. My cliché happy place.
9. The Wild Atlantic Way
Driving on the wrong side of the road may be a pinch myself moment on its own. That was bloody brilliant. The first few turns were rather cringe-worthy and death defying, but we made it from Cork to Dingle to Galway to Dublin all in one piece. Not only were the rolling hills as green and rolling as the pictures, but the pints were just as big and the people just as friendly. Southern Ireland should definitely be on the top of everyone’s travel list.
10. Wedding season
Because I just love weddings and was so happy to get all dressed up for a whole lotta love.
11. That day on the boat
Julie was celebrating her 2 year Amsterdamiversary. Obviously, we needed a boat on a Tuesday.
12. Vespa life
Riding on the back of a Vespa along the Italian riviera. I felt like I was in a movie. Only my partner in crime was my dad, not the love of my life.
13. Lowlands Festival
My first camping festival ever. Yes, I will be going back. Pre-gaming in a tent, peeing in the pouring rain and listening to some of my favorite artists. Nothing more a girl could ask for on a DIY long weekend in August.
14. Trofie pasta Liguria in Portofino
It sounds like trophy, and that’s no coincidence. This pasta is that freaking good. Basically pasta with pesto, potatoes and green beans. It’s out of this world good. Perfect on the beach or off, I’m pretty sure I ate this dish every day when I was in Portofino. No one needs gelato when the pasta is this delizioso… though I ate that too.
15. Fideua in Valencia
Since we’re on the topic, Spain can do pasta well too. Fideua is like paella but better. Why? Well because it’s made with pasta of course, this teeny tiny elbow-shaped pasta. They cook it in a paella pan with shrimp. The bottom gets those crispy can’t resist bits and the top gets a little crunch too. I enjoyed it by the seaside with my old roomie from Spain and her cousins, a perfect pre-siesta lunch.
16. Not really skiing in Chamonix
Well we skied one day, but really the laughs, 62 degree sunshine and raclette were the highlights. Chamonix you are truly charming.
17. Holidays at home
Life abroad can be amazing but it’s always a little bittersweet. Holidays at home are hard to beat. Cheers to 2018.