Tuesday, April 12, 2016

photo diary: amsterdam

I really had no idea what to expect when we arrived in Amsterdam.  We had taken the train from Paris to Amsterdam and from Amsterdam Centraal Train Station, we hopped right onto the tram to head to our airBNB to drop off our bags.

First, our airBNB was amazing.  Seriously, if you're ever in Amsterdam, see if Brigit's apartment is available.  It has two bedrooms (comfortable for three people), a glorious bathroom with a huge soaking tub (after about a week of us showering in the tiniest European showers, we were so glad to see a bathroom where we could actually comfortably shampoo our hair!), and an great little kitchen area.  We ended up picking up some groceries from the Albert Heijn down the street so that we could eat breakfast in the apartment.  Plus, Brigit was a great host!  She met us at the apartment and showed us around, and then texted us a few restaurants/places to check out.  It was really nice to get a local's view on what to (and not to) do during our stay!

Second, unless you're in a time crunch, don't use public transportation.  Amsterdam is a walkable city, and you miss so much by being on the tram.  Our last day, we got a 24 hour tram pass so that we could squeeze in a museum and a few shops we wanted to go back to (they were closed when we had passed them on the previous day) before we had to go back to the airBNB to pick up our bags and head to the airport.  Just an FYI - it is possible (and quite easy!) to get to the airport using the bus that's included in the tram passes.  It takes about 15 minutes longer than the train that goes to the airport, but if you have the tram pass, it's more economically friendly to hop on the bus.


(these wooden tulips were so popular in Amsterdam! I really debating back bringing a few to put in a vase in my room, but I was afraid they wouldn't make it back in one piece...says the girl who brought back three Royal Copenhagen Mugs and a Royal Delft stein without any incident...)



(The bicyclists in Amsterdam are insane!  We thought riding bikes in Copenhagen was scary, but Amsterdam would have been way worse.  We contemplating renting bikes, but after seeing how everyone the locals ride, we decided not to.)


We only spent about three days in Amsterdam, and I wish we would have had a little bit more time...but I guess that just means I have to go back!

xx, Rebecca

Thursday, April 7, 2016

eating my way through europe



copenhagen

(chicken salad on traditional danish rye bread)

(all the varieties of somersby brewed by Carlsberg in Denmark)

(pot pie and oreo pie from The American Pie Company...amazing.)

(couldn't resist the reflection of the pie lights on the marble counter tops!)

(traditional Danish brunch at Cafe Taenk)

paris

(eclairs on our first morning in Paris)

(chocolat chaud at Angelina's near the Luxembourg Gardens)

amsterdam

(build your own burgers at Burgerlijk.  The homemade ketchup was amazing.)

(brunch at Bar Spek on our last morning in Amsterdam.  This was the second time we had eaten here...we also had dinner here on our first night.  Amazing little restaurant, chic aesthetic, and great food.)

Needless to say, I did a lot of eating (and in turn, a lot of walking) on my trip...and just looking at these pictures again is making me drool!

xx, Rebecca

Friday, March 18, 2016

paris in two days

What a whirlwind.  If I ever made one travel suggestion, it would be to spend more than two full days in Paris! Despite our short visit, we certainly packed a lot into each day...averaging over 30,000 steps!  On our first day, we arrived at CDG around 2pm and headed to our friend's apartment south of Paris where we would be staying.  That night, we took the train into Paris and visited Notre Dame.

The next day, we wasted no time by visiting Le Marais (and eating delicious eclairs...there will be a whole post on the food of Europe when I get home!), napping in the sun at The Parc des Buttes Chaumont, climbing all of the stairs up to Sacre Coeur, and then weaving our way back down through the winding streets of Monte Martre.

(a sneak peak of the Eiffel Tower from Sacre Coeur)


(at the Rodin Museum's sculpture gardens)

(the most glorious view of Paris from the Arc de Triomphe)

On our last night in Paris, we climbed up the Arc de Triomphe to find the best view of Paris.  I'm so glad we did it at night...it was so magical to see the Eiffel Tower lit up!

 I'm exhausted all over again just thinking about everything we did in a little over two days! We took the train up to Amsterdam on Thurday morning, and we fly back to Copenhagen tomorrow (Saturday) evening.

xx, Rebecca
 

Saturday, March 12, 2016

københavn: day one

We have safely arrived in Copenhagen! Despite the jet lag (and the fact that we left the 75 degree temperatures at home and arrived in Europe to 30 degree temps), we're having the best time.  The flights were smooth, and we conquered they Copenhagen Metro within minutes of arriving...and the best part is that I'm reunited with my bestfriend from high school.

Here's just a little peek of what we've been up to today...climbing to the top of the Rundentårn, eating a franske hotdog, and walking along the canal in Nyhavn.


(from the top of the Rundentårn)


(the canal in Nyhavn)

No pictures yet, but we've been biking around the city like a real Dane!  Everyone bikes here, and for the most part, the bike lanes are bigger than the car lanes!

We leave for a week in Paris and Amsterdam on Monday, and then we'll be back in Copenhagen for another three days before coming home.

xx, Rebecca


Monday, March 7, 2016

european adventure

Awhile ago, I had mentioned that my bestfriend Diana and I were planning a trip to visit our other friend Kristen in Copenhagen.  That turned into a 12-day tour with visits to not only Copenhagen, but also Paris and Amsterdam!



Well the time has come, and we leave for our big trip on Thursday evening, landing in Copenhagen bright and early on Friday morning!  I'm a huge fan of overnight flights, especially when there's a time difference involved.  I hop on the flight at JFK, watch a movie or two and sleep until we land at our destination.  Once we get out of the airport, I'm rested and ready to start the day with little to no jet lag.

I don't know how much I'll be blogging while we're away, but if you want to see what we're up to, be sure to follow me on twitter and instagram (@rebecca_mill on both!)  I'm still trying to come up with some fancy (and funny) hashtag for the trip...who know's what I'll come up with on the flight!

And lastly, if you have any recommendations for things we have to see (or eat!!), especially in Amsterdam, please let me know!!

xx, Rebecca

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

february

Hi. It's me, Rebecca.  Remember me? It's been a month since I last blogged.  I would ordinarily try to come up with some excuse or apology, but not today.  February was a strange month, and I'm just glad it's over.

I learned a few things in February...



- If you pray, God will listen.
- And when He closes one door, he's already opened a window somewhere else (still waiting to find that open window...)
- Good books are essential to your mental wellbeing.
- Planning a twelve-day, 3-country trip to Europe with your best friend will either make or break your friendship. (hint: we're still best friends. but we haven't gone on the trip yet.)
- Driving over 600 miles in two days is not highly recommended.
- And to quote our favorite lawyer, "Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy. And happy people just don't kill their husbands." (or their co-workers.) (so go to the gym or take your dog to the park even when you don't want to.)

And lastly, bring it on March.

xx, Rebecca

Friday, January 29, 2016

currently in january


Currently in January...
reading … nothing at the current moment...I need to start a new book tonight! Any recommendations?
watching … the new episodes of Law and Order: SVU. No matter how many times the producer repeats the story lines, I can't stop watching.
trying … to figure out how I can visit all of my friends who live in Virginia in one weekend trip...any ideas how I can clone myself to be in Richmond and Lynchburg at the same time?
wanting to cook this recipe for crockpot teriyaki chicken.
eating … healthier (or at least trying to!)
drinking … Harney & Sons English Breakfast Tea.
tweeting … way too many times about my unhappiness related to these chilly temperatures.
traveling… to Copenhagen, Paris, and Amsterdam in March!
loving … that we finally have a weekend with no plans! If I don't move from my bed for the entire weekend..don't tell anyone.
feeling … really tired all of the time! This dreary weather is downright depressing.
hoping (for) … sunnier days in the weeks to come!
listening (to) … a lot of George Ezra and Mumford and Sons.
celebrating … that it's almost my birthday month!
smelling … a lot of hand sanitizer. I am trying my hardest not to get sick or catch the office plague!
ordering … a pair of Nike Roshe sneakers for my upcoming trip!
thanking God … that he has led us to a new Church family that we have been searching for for nine years!
starting … to make more concrete plans for my Europe trip...we have our flights to and from Copenhagen, but now it's time to figure out the in between time while we travel to Paris and Amsterdam!
finishing ... well, the only thing I've finished in the recent past is a lot of cups of coffee..oops.
post idea inspired by Bailey over at
Brave Love Blog


What have you been up to this month?

xx, Rebecca

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

5 Books Everyone Should Read

With the beginning of a new year, everyone is in the process of setting goals and making resolutions.  I read a lot of different kinds of blogs, and one resolution I see everyone making is to do more reading this year.  With my sister working for Penguin Random House, and the fact that my whole family loves to read, it only seems natural to help everyone else with their resolution and suggest some books to get you started!



1. A Separate Peace
A quick coming of age story telling the tale of two boys at their prep school (setting loosely based on the author's experience at Exeter.)
2. The House on Mango Street
A series of first-person vignettes from the perspective of a young Latina girl.
3. Blue Like Jazz
A semi-biographical work on spirituality and finding the meaning of life. 
4. Girl In Translation
A novel about a child who immigrates to New York City from Hong Kong and the devastating hardships her family faces.
5. The Girl On The Train
A "psychological thriller" told from the first-person perspective of three female narrators...I would say more, but you just have to pick this one up for yourself!

What books would you add to my list?

xx, Rebecca

Friday, January 8, 2016

january goals

I've never been one to make New Year's Resolutions and actually be able to keep them. I've seen a lot of bloggers lately who make monthly goals, and that seems a lot more reasonable to me.  I have a feeling that some of the goals will carry over into the next month, not because I haven't achieved them, but because they're goals that I actually want to make lifelong habits.


spend less, save more.
With my trip to Copenhagen and Paris (and maybe Amsterdam?) coming up in a little over two months, I want to be more intentional about the way I am spending my money on dumb things.  Not just because I want to have more money to spend while on my trip (because I am 100% planning on eating my way through Europe), but because I can already name at least eighteen other places I want to travel to and I know this trip is just going to be the start of it. (The only exception, is purchasing a pair of either Nike Roshe Runs or Nike Frees to wear while on my trip.  They're kind of fashionable, right?  Either way, I know we'll be walking a lot and I don't want to have blisters or anything!)

read more, sleep more (soundly).
Over the summer, I was on a kick of reading for about half an hour before bed each night, and it really did help me sleep better.  Somewhere around Christmas, I finished the book I had been reading and I haven't started something new yet.  This month I want to get back on track with reading before bed, and hopefully the sleeping better will follow, too.

exercise more, eat more (intentionally).
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know everyone makes resolutions to be more healthy in the New Year.  Luckily, for me, this isn't actually a new goal.  I've been off and on about going to the gym over the past several months, but I want to become more consistent in my workouts.  And since we all know that working out isn't the only thing that's required to be more healthy, I want to be more intentional about what I'm eating. I've gotten better about drinking only water all day, with the exception of one cup of coffee or tea in the morning, and I'm being more mindful about how much I snack at work and what I'm putting into my lunchbag in the mornings. (Baby carrots, bananas, and string cheese are the repeat offenders.)

cross off, or make progress on, at least two goals from my 24 before 24 list.
This one is pretty self explanatory.  My 24 before 24 list can be found here, and although I've already made a dent in a few of the tasks, there are still plenty more that I haven't even started yet!

So, what are y'all up to this month?

xx, Rebecca

Thursday, January 7, 2016

january wishlist

Winter is alive and well in Pennsylvania, and all I want to do is hunker down with a good book, a huge thermos of tea, a down comforter, and all the wool socks.  Unfortunately, since I'm an "adult" and all, I have to fight the want to stay in bed all day and get up while it's still dark out (and a whopping 18 degrees!)




Fortunately, my office is pretty casual during "off times" (when we're not in a production week), so I've been able to layer all the scarves and sweaters with this cold front.  I've also been wearing all. of. the. scarves.  I have a pretty embarrassing scarf collection as it is, but adding another big wool scarf wouldn't hurt!  

And the best way to stay super warm on the coldest of days? Wool socks in your boots!  Technology these days is amazing and you can get merino wool socks that are thing enough to wear in your riding boots! You can never have too many pairs..especially if you're like me and change into a fresh, cozy pair with your pjs the moment you arrive home from work. #guiltyascharged

xx, Rebecca