— Feathers and Wax

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Travel

My last day in Amsterdam was Easter Sunday, and while I wasn’t planning to hunt for eggs or attend mass, I still hoped to celebrate the holiday with a little bit of arts and culture.

Apparently, so was everyone else in Amsterdam. We arrived at the Van Gogh museum to see a line stretching for blocks, and a four-hour wait, according to a museum employee. Oof.

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On our second full day in Amsterdam the weather had turned quite a bit colder so we found ourselves regularly holing up in restaurants and cafes to drink Belgian beers and hot tea in between sightseeing and shopping.

The locals went about their business, bicycling through the chilly winds without a care, of course.

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As we planned our trip to Amsterdam, one of the things I was looking forward to the most was all the amazing apartments and houses that were available to rent in that city. As I said in my last post, I love the architecture in Amsterdam, and judging from the roundup on Airbnb, a lot of these homes are just as adorable on the inside as they are on the outside.

After all, the Jordaan neighborhood is considered rather hip, with lots of great design shops and cute cafes in walking distance, so the people who choose to live there certainly seem to know a thing or two about how to decorate a house.

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I’ve been back from Amsterdam for a week now. Editing the photos for this post brought it all back to me: the gently shimmering canal waters, the dozens of bikes riding down every cobblestone street, the proud houseboats in shades of navy blue and cream.

The architecture and the feel of this city is certainly what impressed itself upon me the most during this trip.

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It’s incredible to me that it has already been a full year since Fred and I went to Mexico to celebrate the marriage of two longtime friends of ours. On a recent flight, bored amid a lack of wifi, I unearthed some unused shots on my phone from our final day there. So, consider this a “throwback Thursday” post, if you will.

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On the final few days of our trip to Marfa we really settled in and got comfortable. It was nice being able to remember where things are without having to refer to a map all the time, like our first trip, and revisiting all our old haunts from our first trip.

We also settled in, quite literally, to our Airbnb and immediately felt right at home. It’s incredible what a difference having your own apartment makes on whether you feel like a tourist or a local.

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Usually at this point of the month I would do a “Lovely Things” post, with a roundup of nice things I found online. But today I’m shifting gears to feature one of my favorite new spaces in Marfa: Do Your Thing coffee shop. Maybe “Nice Space” will turn into its own series? We’ll see.

After a morning spent on wind-swept plains at the Chinati Foundation, Fred and I were cold, starving, and needed more caffeine. It was time for us to…ahem…do our thing.

(sorry)

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The whole reason that Marfa, a town in the middle of nowhere, started getting attention in the first place, eventually drawing people like me to its desert landscapes, is Donald Judd. The artist moved there in the 1970s in search of simple surroundings that complemented his style of modern sculpture.

At the time, the seat of Presidio County was no more than a former army base and ranching town, although it had gained some notoriety from its ghost lights and being the filming location of the movie “Giant.”

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I never thought we’d go back to Marfa. Our last trip there was amazing but admittedly a bit harrowing. It was a seven-hour drive, with us filling the boredom with podcasts and Mexican cokes as endless desert vistas roll past the windows. Being IN Marfa is incredible, but the journey there? Not much to write home about.

And for this trip we didn’t have as many days off as last time, either. But when Fred said he wanted to go back, I found some cheap flights to El Paso and a car rental and figured why not?

And now that we know how easy that method is, we might get the temptation much more often…

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In so many ways this trip to Portland was a do-over for our last one, which, as I mentioned in my last post, was our honeymoon. Things didn’t exactly go swimmingly that round, which was kind of a bummer for such a momentous trip.

So I can’t really blame us for going back to some of the same places we had visited before. Especially when some of them are THE must-see stops in Portland. But we saw plenty of new-to-us stuff too. In all I’m kind of proud of how much we packed into a four-day weekend.

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