Tag Archives: wedding

Adventures in Amsterdam + Love in Limburg



First Impressions

After months of planning and almost a year anticipating, it was finally time for us to fly to Amsterdam from Pearson Airport in Toronto. We landed in Schiphol Airport around 1 pm on Monday, August 22nd. Let me just quickly say that I loved Schiphol airport. I’ve done my fair share of airport hopping (what with travelling to the US & Asia) and Schiphol is probably my favourite so far. It’s super easy to navigate, very well-organized plus it has a ton of cool shops and nice restaurants, some of which are open 24/7.

The number one great thing about Schiphol is that you can take a train from the airport to Amsterdam in 20 minutes. So we did just that and found ourselves in Amsterdam Central Station. As soon as we got out of the station, we got our first glimpse of the city. It was gorgeous. From buildings to the canals, everywhere we turned was picturesque.


We made our way to our base for the next two and a half days: Hotel Die Port van Cleve. For Keith’s very first European destination, I decided to splurge and book us a nice hotel that is central to everything. We can’t say enough great things about the service at this hotel. They went above and beyond to make sure we had everything we needed during our stay. They even helped us when Keith needed to see a tourist doctor for his toe. Long story short: it hurt to walk so he got it checked and the wonderful doctor prescribed a treatment that helped him survive the large portion of our trip spent walking around.

Fun fact about our hotel: it is the site of the first Heineken brewery built in 1864 before it was moved to its present-day location. They have a nice restaurant that we did not try and a more casual bar. Another quirky interesting about this hotel is the Delft blue artwork found everywhere: from the toiletries to above our bed to the world’s largest Delft blue tile tableau in the bar.

Getting Around

Cycling is king in Amsterdam but I had no faith in my biking skills so we decided to walk everywhere. Since I was saving my cell phone roaming for Paris where we were actually meeting up with friends, we had to rely on a physical map of the city to get around. It wasn’t easy because of several factors: a) My not-so-stellar sense of direction, b) Years of relying on Google Maps made me forget how to use an actual map and c) The spider web-like way Amsterdam and its canals are set up did not help. Another thing we quickly realized was that everything was always much closer than we thought. Street blocks weren’t as big as the ones in North America, so on the map it would look like something was very far away when in reality it was right beside you. But as our friend Chris told us, Amsterdam is super compact and after the second day, we were able to navigate the streets comfortably, or at least I was. Keith’s usually good sense of direction was not compatible with the canals.



On our first day there, we had time to go to the Van Gogh museum before they closed. My mom, the biggest Van Gogh fan I know, would have been very disappointed if I hadn’t gone. I enjoyed the Van Gogh museum more than Keith did. His issue was that some of the more famous paintings such as Starry Night and Café Terrance at Night aren’t even housed in it plus it contained paintings that weren’t by Van Gogh. It still houses the largest collection of paintings and drawing by Van Gogh so I consider it a must-see. I really liked the way the museum was laid out. Each floor corresponds to a period in Van Gogh’s life. Some things to keep in mind: the tickets are issued for specific time slots and you cannot take photos of the paintings but there are designated social media areas.

We woke up early on day two to cross out the number one thing on Keith’s list: the Rijksmuseum. The building itself is a work of art from the impressive exterior to the beautiful interior. While all the different works of art inside were super interesting, the main reason we were there can be found in the Gallery of Honour: four of Johannes Vermeer’s paintings. Keith has been fascinated by Vermeers since he watched the documentary Tim’s Vermeer, so we spent a large chunk of our time there. Of course, we had to admire the museum’s pièce de resistance: Rembrandt’s Night Watch. My one regret was not being able to visit the library. Also for such an impressive museum, their gift shop was smaller than the ones at Van Gogh’s.IMG_6751.jpg

After the two museums, we just basically spent the rest of the time just exploring the streets around us to see what we would stumble upon. Our hotel was located right beside the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk, a 15th-century church. We walked the 9 Streets and the Jordaan neighbourhood for a bit and saw the Westerkerk where Rembrandt is buried. We skipped the Anne Frank House because of the long lines. We passed Leidseplein a lot. We made our way to the 800-year-old Oude Kerk, Amsterdam’s oldest building that just happens to be a church right next to the Red Light District. We also passed by but did not go into the Rembrandt museum right next to the house he lived in.

Food Recommendationsimg_6842

For stroopwafels, we went to the Lanskroon bakery (which also had very good coffee and amazing cinnamon croissants). I bravely sampled and liked the raw herring from Frens Haringhandel near Bloemenmarkt, one of many herring stands in the city, while Keith got and loved their Kibbeling (cod croquettes). We also had traditional Dutch cuisine right beside the canal from Bistro Bij Ons which was tasty but very rich, if not too rich for our taste. We were lucky enough to have De Blauwe Parade as our hotel bar where we drank Heineken (because of course), ate Bitterballen and sampled jenever (Dutch gin). At the airport, go to Dutch and Delicious for their poffertjes (small Dutch pancakes). We found that some places were cash only and some were card only, so be sure to ask beforehand.


If you love Van Gogh, the museum has multiple gift shops of all sorts of things featuring his artwork, but stroopwafels are definitely the one thing to bring home for yourself or as gifts.


img_7299I will not be able to cover Limburg as extensively as Amsterdam but I still wanted to give it a special mention here since we did visit it, albeit for a day. It was at the halfway point of our trip after Brussels and Bruges that we made our way to this part of the Netherlands for the wedding. It took us three trains to get there which you think would be a pain in the ass but was actually super easy and efficient. I cannot say enough good things about rail travel in Europe. I’m sure if you live there, you can find things to complain about but as someone who has to rely on the ViaRail in Canada, train travel across the Atlantic is the absolute best. We stayed in Roermond which a small city, close to the border between Germany and the Netherlands that is funnily enough home to a huge outdoor designer outlet mall. Hotel Roermond where we spent the night after the wedding was a gem. They checked us in early so we can leave for the ceremony in nearby Swalmen and had complimentary breakfast. The reception was held at Restaurant De Busjop in Heythuysen. The venues and surrounding countryside were so beautiful. Everyone from the taxi drivers to the wedding guests from there was so friendly. All in all, it was a magical affair.

Final Thoughts


We fell head over heels in love with the parts of the Netherlands that we were able to see. Everyone spoke English and was super friendly, plus super attractive. Seriously, they all looked like supermodels. And they were not kidding about the bicycles. Rush hour in Amsterdam was a sight to see. But as long as you watched where you were going, you shouldn’t get hit. The service in the Netherlands was hands down the friendliest, most efficient we have received the whole trip. We were really sad to leave Amsterdam and we cannot wait to come back and explore the rest of this beautiful country.

Next post will be on discovering Brussels!


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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday everyone! This week was super busy so I’m definitely looking forward to sleeping a lot this weekend in addition to catching up with all the shows I missed this week. But first here are some things I was grateful for this week (in case you don’t notice a recurring theme, they’re all food-related haha):

The simple but sentimental and sweet wedding cake from our dear friends’ wedding. It was from Bobbette & Belle. I hadn’t tasted their cake nor their macarons before. I’m happy to report that they’re both super yummy. Bonus, they opened their 2nd location just down the street from my apartment which could be a very bad thing, and by bad, I mean amazing.

Speaking of the wedding, they had Colombian coffee as their favors since the bride is Colombian. They make my kitchen smell heavenly and they taste even better!

More pumpkin beer! For my final verdict on the ones I’ve tasted this fall, click here.

We also discovered these two gems. I found out that I like sour beers and Keith found out that he did not. He did like Dead Guy Ale however, which he initially just bought for the label.

Finally, it was pretty rainy earlier in the week, so naturally I turned to my ultimate comfort food: ramen!

Hope everyone has a great and safe weekend!

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Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! I’m a bit bummed since the Habs got eliminated by the Rangers last night but they still had an amazing season so I’m grateful. To cheer me up, I’m gonna recap my favorite things from this past week.

I love this photo of us from the wedding. The dress I’m wearing is featured on Monday’s post.

S’mores concrete: chocolate and marshmallow frozen custard with graham cracker pieces. So good and part of my Tuesday post.

On Wednesday, I reviewed X-Men: Days of Future Past and I’m watching it again this weekend!

I had a blast at the wedding since I was sitting with the other wives of the groomsmen. Shoutout to Table 14! Each table also had adorable heart-shaped sugar cookies to take home. More wedding photos here.


Hope everyone had a good week and an even greater weekend!

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Throwback Thursday: Photos from the Wedding Weekend

We had a very long drive back from St. Louis with delays due to a barn fire that may have reached the highway so the 401 was closed off and we arrived around 3 am in Toronto. Needless to say we’re pretty exhausted so in lieu of a full post, I’ll just share some photos from our Memorial Wedding Weekend in St. Louis.

The gorgeous church for the ceremony:

The bride and groom:

The beautiful hotel lobby and the boyfriend, looking dapper:

Chandeliers & Centrepieces:

The food at the Missouri Athletic Club was amazing. Salad: Artisan greens, fresh berries, julienne endive, strawberries, kiwi, candied walnuts with raspberry balsamic vinaigrette. Entrée: Chicken breast with tarragon sauce & filet of beef with bearnaise sauce, asiago potatoes, julienne carrots & green beans. Dessert: Tiramisu and chocolate wedding cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing.


We were so glad to be a part of Brian and Ali’s special day. And right now, we’re very happy to be back home in Toronto. Happy Thursday!

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Summer Weddings & The Fashion They Inspire

On Saturday, May 24th, I attended my very first wedding as a grown-up. I had only been to weddings as a flower girl previously so I was pretty excited when my boyfriend’s best friend made him a groomsman and invited me along as well. The wedding was amazing. The ceremony was at a gorgeous church and the couple rented out a bus to take the wedding party around the city for photos and since I was part of the WAGs club of the groomsmen, I got to tag along too. The reception was held at a prestigious country club in a fancy ballroom with food that rivals some of the best restaurants in Toronto and live music. Needless to say it was an exceptional first-time experience at a wedding. It also got me to thinking about what to wear. Here are some options if you plan on attending any weddings this summer, or they’re just great dresses for any special occasion:

Don’t be afraid to wear black to a wedding. Especially if it’s a more formal, evening affair. I paired this LBD from Zara with a statement necklace and red heels to the wedding and got a lot of compliments.

I saw someone with a pretty floral dress and instantly knew it would be a great option for day weddings and summer nights. I love this one from ASOS.

Playing with bright colors and patterns is another option. As long as you steer clear from white, you have the entire rainbow to choose from. This vivid cubanelle dress would definitely turn heads.

As soon as I saw this dress from the Cupcakes and Cashmere for Club Monaco collection, I knew it would be a perfect go-to outfit for special events like weddings.

Happy Monday and for those of you in the US like I am, Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

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Friday Favorites

This week has been super eventful. We left for St. Louis on Tuesday and what was supposed to be a 12-hour drive turned into 16 since we got stuck on the highway for three hours due to an accident. But we made it finally and we’re grateful that we had a safe trip. Now we can look forward to X-Men: Days of the Future Past today and the wedding tomorrow. But first here are some of my favorite things from this week:

There was a sale at Best Buy and we upgraded our X-Men collection

My nails for the wedding (OPI “Mod About You”)

My boyfriend’s childhood home with the flag, of course

The fancy rehearsal dinner from a restaurant on the 40th floor with a great view of the Arch

I’m so excited for this weekend! I’m grateful to have spent Victoria Day weekend in Toronto and Memorial Day weekend here in the States. Hope everyone has a great one as well.

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