Archive

Travels

So yes, I know…we went to Amsterdam like two months ago and I’m just now posting about it, but honestly, life has been hectic as of late. I’ll get to that later. Now here’s our adventure in Amsterdam.DSC_0682.JPGDSC_0587.JPGDSC_0508.JPGDaniel and I stayed in an AirBnb in the neighborhood De Pjip (dutch for the pipe). De Pjip is traditionally a working class neighborhood recently turned trendy. It’s now home to many young folks and trendy restaurants. The area was incredibly cozy and charming and I can not recommend it enough. If you’re looking into a trip to Amsterdam I would stay in De Pjip! Our apartment was right on the Amstel River right next to the Amstel Brewery, which was pretty neat.IMG_1292.JPGIMG_1241.jpgDSC_0560.JPGThe food in Amsterdam is probably what shocked me the most. I wasn’t expecting much for some odd reason, but was pleasantly surprised at every restaurant we stopped in. Everything was quite affordable as well. We had Italian, Indian, “American”, and some traditional streetfood, and it was all delicious.DSC_0624.JPGDSC_0622.JPGDSC_0528.JPGOur trip to Amsterdam was unfortunately cut short because I had to work, but we managed to fit quite a bit into our weekend. We visited the Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam’s famous art museum), the Van Gogh museum, Vondelpark (the city’s equivilant to Central Park), walked around several neighborhoods, and went to several coffeeshops. And of course we went to the red light district.DSC_0628.JPGDSC_0608.JPGDSC_0677.JPGDaniel and I had only seen a few pictures of the city and we expecting a few beautiful canals, but I don’t think we really understood how beautiful the city really is. Every neighborhood was charming in it’s own unique way and had different things to offer. Amsterdam is like Venice with it’s canals, but to me felt so much less pretentious. Venice can be a bit intimidating and Amsterdam was just so dang inviting and warm. The Dutch people are another wonderful asset to the city. When we spoke English we were greeted with smiles instead of eyerolls and scoffs (what we had been a bit accustomed to in Paris). It pretty much rained the whole time we were there and was pretty blustery and we still enjoyed every minute.

I could go on and on about how awesome Amsterdam is. Seriously. I won’t say anything else except if you ever get the opportunity to go, do it.IMG_1285.jpgIMG_1249.JPGDSC_0602.JPGDSC_0571.JPGDSC_0640.JPGDSC_0509.JPGDSC_0553.JPGDSC_0636.JPGIMG_1289.jpgWe tried to sample as much traditional food as possible! The above picture is raw herring with raw onion and pickles on a bun! We both tried it..it was better than I thought it would be. The picture of the fries was from Vleminckx. A little hole in the wall place that only serves fries. There’s nowhere to sit so people just perch on stoops and curbs. We got the traditional oorlog meaning “war” fries. It comes with peanut sate sauce, mayo, and raw onions. Definitely not first date food. These fries were the best fries I’ve ever had. The sauces were interesting, but the fries definitely stole the show. On our last day in the city we planned to get stroopwafels from a street market, but of course it was closed, so we just picked some up from the supermarket! They were amazing..so I can only imagine how the fresh ones would taste.IMG_1281.JPGDSC_0597.JPGI also visited two yarn shops whilst there! Duh. I went to Stephen & Penelope in Centraal and Knutselwinkel in Jordaan. Knutselwinkel was more of a crafty art supply store with lots of bits and bobs, but they had a large supply of Scheepjes yarn in just about every colorway imaginable.  I got three skeins of a light blue merino for a future hat. Stephen & Penelope was a yarn lovers paradise. They had a large stock of Madeline Tosh and Quince & Co. I had never seen Quince & Co in an actual shop before so I was very excited to feel all the yarn. I got three skeins of Quince and Co’s Tern in Driftwood, Syrah, and Stonington colorways. And two skeins each of Schoppel’s Relikt in brown and orange to make some fingerless gloves! Both were excellent little shops with friendly staff!IMG_1258.jpgIf I had had the space in my suitcase, I would’ve fed my addiction a little more. Good thing I brought small bags!

I would just like to note that Daniel was more than happy to walk 30 minutes of out of our way to go to these yarn stores and sat in the store while I browsed never once asking when I would be done. He was so patient and sweet it just made my heart burst in mushy love. He’s incredibly supportive and I just had to throw that out there.DSC_0679.JPGDSC_0568.JPGDSC_0637.JPG

Amsterdam, we miss you!

Advertisements

Since last post Daniel and myself have moved into our new apartment, where daily life has settled into a steady rhythm. Daniel started his new job and I’ve started castings and photoshoots, so there’s less adventure walks and tourist destinations, but more daily strolls up and down our bustling street, trips to the market, and lots of pastries.

One thing I love about living here, especially on our street, is the market. Everyday I venture to the fruit stand that sells relatively (all European) local produce and grab my daily fill of veggies and fruits. There really is something about going to the market, and walking languidly through all the produce and taking time to sniff the bottoms of peaches for ripeness, tear off a piece of lettuce for tasting, and sometimes if you’re lucky the seller will give you a cherry or two to try.

Everyone here also is very conscious of waste-they bring their own bags and(or my favorite) baskets, to the market for toting their booty home. It’s very reminiscent of times long past. There’s no flourescent light bulbs, no “booping” sound of the register as it scans the barcode (i’m looking at you walmart), and no freezers. Just wooden stands of nature’s good stuff, and cobblestone streets. On Sunday there’s even traditional dancing in the square.

The market doesn’t just have produce either. There’s the Fromagerie (cheese shop), Poissonnerie (fish monger), and the Boucherie (butcher shop). It’s a very lively scene that unfortunately just can’t be captured by a camera. If you ever find that you are in Paris, do yourself a favor and go to a market. You won’t be sorry.

One other favorite past time of mine (and Daniels!) is the daily visit to the café. After work you can find most Parisians at their favorite local café sipping a café au lait or a cocktail. You’ll also notice that chairs are normally facing outwards toward the street for optimal people watching. Sitting atop the great hill we live at the bottom of, there is a charming square. In the center lies a bubbling fountain with each side of the square facing inwards. Each of those sides houses a different café. That is where you’ll find us for our digestif (alcoholic drink that is consumed before or after a meal to leave just the right end note). Yesterday we even left our phones at the apartment and believe it or not, were forced to talk to each other ;).

Am I being romantic enough about this place? Ha..I know..I got it bad for Paris. ❤

In about a month we will be leaving this apartment and heading towards our more permanent place. We are sad we’re leaving Rue Mouffetard, but our new place is AMAZING. Before we saw it yesterday I was anxious it was going to be a “too good to be true” situation. We’d only seen it online, we got it for a REALLY great price, it’s located in the most sought after neighborhood in all of Paris…so yeah..it sounded too good to be true. But we walked in and there it was-the nicest apartment we will probably ever live in. We are incredibly lucky and I’m already anticipating our move in! I don’t have any pictures at the moment, but in a month be prepared for an onslaught.

So life these days has been castings, sitting by the open window reading, tea with honey, sweets and more sweets, people watching, jumbled French, soup making…ya know, the good life. I’m feeling very humbled today by this lovely adventure I’ve been dropped in.

DSC_0964DSC_0755IMG_0573IMG_0418IMG_0549IMG_0353DSC_0956DSC_0953IMG_0445DSC_0991IMG_0438IMG_0433IMG_0547IMG_0551IMG_0570IMG_0439DSC_0159DSC_0146/IMG_0575DSC_0978

This Weeks Updates:

Received this whimsical shot from Marta Bevacqua..I love it because I’m all tangled up in yarn, which isn’t so different from reality.

IMG_0534

Books Finished this Week:

Cattle Haul by Jesmyn Ward

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

Station Eleven by Emily St, John Mandel

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Currently Reading:

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Knitting Projects:

So I’ve recently started my Christmas gift knitting, which I’m very excited/freaking out about. 🙂 I’ve also got the Time Traveler striped socks going, the pink, brown, and cream shawl, and a boatload of other works in progress going. U.G.H. I’ve been binge watching The Great British Bakeoff while I knit, so i’m also drawing in some baking inspiration. Can’t wait for a real kitchen!!

And finally..Daniel started his first day of work! Well…officially it was last week but still..proud girlfriend moment.IMG_0306

IMG_0546

I hope everyone has a great week! I’m off to the market..

I’m on insta @themenagerie @vicasaurusrex

I’m on goodreads! vicanderson

Follow me on bloglovin!

Hey there! Heads up..this is probably going to be a picture-heavy post. This city is just too dang beautiful which prompts me to snap pictures left and right. Daniel and myself have been walking, exploring, and touring SO MUCH. I still haven’t taken him to see the Eiffel Tower (hey..we’ve seen some other sights..okay?), but this week we climbed up the steep hills of Montmartre to see Sacré Coœr, we strolled around Jardin du Luxembourg, we browsed the shop windows in Le Marais, and bought fruit at the famous Marché Moufftard.

A few days ago Daniel suggested we walk to the Jardin du Luxembourg. We had walked past it a few times and even commented to each other how beautiful it looked, but never actually gone inside. In fact, even though I’ve been to Paris 10+ times, I myself, have never been to the famous Luxembourg Gardens. I must say the gardens did not disappoint. French parks and gardens tend to be very manicured compared to American parks. The gravel pathways are lined with grassy flowerbeds to both sides with statues of naked ladies scattered about. There’s normally a fountain or two thrown in. I loved how brightly colored all the flowers were (lots of reds and oranges) because I feel like American parks normally use pink..am I just imagining this?DSC_0823DSC_0807DSC_0783UntitledDSC_0834DSC_0840UntitledDSC_0837DSC_0864DSC_0785I secretly really REALLY want a selfie stick so Daniel and I can actually be in the same picture along with the background.

Like I mentioned above, D and I also went to one of my favorite Paris hoods-Montmartre. I’ve stayed there a couple times and loved walking around in the evening getting lost in the curvy cobblestone streets. Montmartre sits on the tallest hill in Paris and overlooks the city, so if you want the best views of the City of Light–go to Montmartre. It’s also home to the Moulin Rouge, Sacré Coœr, and bohemia. Artists in the 1870’s-1920’s flocked to Montmartre to paint the hills and gain inspiration from their surroundings. Dali, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso all lived here at one point. It really is beautiful. That being said, August is high tourist time. In August most Parisians leave the city for the month and go to the Riviera to soak up the sun and get away from the tourists. I had never been to Montmartre in August..and I have to say..it sucked. Montmartre near Sacré Coœr is always touristy but this was just bad. So maybe go another time when you can stroll the magical streets without wandering into a million different family photos. DSC_0893DSC_0898Sacré Coœr, meaning Sacred Heart, is a basilica that was started in 1875 and completed in 1914. It sits on the highest summit in the city so not only do people go for the basilica, which is a wonderful piece of art, they also go for the panoramic views of the city. DSC_0896

Tomorrow we’re moving into our new apartment where we’ll be staying for a month. It’s located on a street (Rue Moufftard) that has one of the best Parisian markets in the whole city! Hemingway once wrote about it saying “the narrow crowded world of the Rue Mouffetard” in The Snows of Kilimanjaro and “that wonderful crowded market street which led into the Place Contrescarpe” in A Moveable Feast. That’s us! It’s not often one lives on a street Hemingway wrote about TWICE! He lived very nearby also which is trés cool. Today we went and check out the market which wasn’t as hopping as usual since it’s August, but we are still incredibly excited to be living there. IMG_2021FDSC_0933UntitledKDSC_0880DSC_0870KUntitledDSC_0899KNUntitledKF

Some sidenotes ***

UntitledHere I am standing in front of my favorite yarn store in Paris-Lil Weasel. It’s located in a beautiful arcade called Passage du Grand Cerf(Passage of the Big Deer). They have so so so many lovely yarns and the staff has always been very friendly. Also this past time I was there they had upped their stock of sock yarn. They had A TONNNNN. So..that’s very dangerous. They also have a fabric store by the same name across the arcade which carries Liberty fabrics. If you want to buy yarn in Paris go here.

KThe pain au chocolat in the above picture is my second favorite pain au chocolat in the whole entire city of Paris. THIS IS A BIG DEAL, PEOPLE. I have declared it my life mission to find the best in the city. These things are like crack for me. It is probably in my top 3 list of foods. So..I love them as you can see..so I wouldn’t steer you wrong. I mean, LOOK at those layers. So..I’m about to give you the most vague instructions on how to find this place because I don’t think it has a name. Get off at the metro stop Blanche. Walk up the hill. At the top there is a patisserie with a purple sign. THERE. Got it? 🙂

Things I’ve Come to Realize This Week:

  1. Dogs are like having a baby.
  2. Walks are good for the body and mind.
  3. Rosé is amazzzing.
  4. I miss knowing where things are located in the grocery store.
  5. It’s fun to be a tourist. Unless you’re obnoxious. That’s not fun or cool.

Thanks for stopping by!

DSC_0842

Find me on bloglovin!

I’m on goodreads-vicanderson

Also insta! @themenagerie @vicasaurusrex

We made it! We are now Parisians.

IMG_0005IMG_0006IMG_0012I must confess, we haven’t done much since we’ve arrived, at least not by tourists’ standards. We haven’t gone to see the Eiffel Tower, the Mona Lisa or anything of those sorts, but we have taken several strolls everyday around our neighborhood. We are staying in the Quartier Latin right on the Seine, so the views are stunning. It’s been pretty chilly and cloudy since we’ve been here, but it doesn’t detract from the city one bit. IMG_0141DSC_0730D and myself are trying our best to take on as much of the Parisian lifestyle as possible. We’ve been walking slower, taking longer to eat and actually enjoy, buying our groceries the day of. We even stopped by a patisserie this morning, grabbed a still-warm baguette and snacked on it on the go. I must say I have been significantly less stressed. Parisians just tend to enjoy the little things in life more. DSC_0742We are staying at Daniel’s boss’s place at the moment and with the apartment comes a dog named Amelie! She’s pretty nuts, but we love taking her on walks. It’s amazing how dogs get you up and out of the house in the morning. Get prepared for lots of ‘walking Amelie’ pics. IMG_0050IMG_0082IMG_0103IMG_0075IMG_0140IMG_0138IMG_0136DSC_0736IMG_0022Hopefully in the next coming few days Daniel and I will get to play tourist. I’m hoping to go to Montmartre soon. My favorite patisserie in all of Paris is there and I love strolling the tiny, windy, cobblestone streets. We’re also in the process of planning our first voyage beyond Paris. We’re thinking riding bikes through the countryside of the Netherlands sounds pretty wonderful. 

I’m off to eat the smelliest, ooziest cheese I can find!

Au revoir! 

I’m on Instagram! @themenagerie @vicasaurusrex

Find me on Bloglovin’

Bibliophile? Me too! I’m on Goodreads: vicanderson

 

 

 

I know it’s been a very long while since I’ve posted last…naughty, naughty, I know. Well, it is hard to post and take pretty pictures when you live with five guys. Let’s just say there wasn’t a clean surface in sight. So, here I am finally! Daniel and I have moved out of the frat house and are currently visiting our parents in each of our home towns. Why? Because in about a week we are moving to the City of Light! Paris 🙂

If this seems incredibly sudden to you, you wouldn’t be imagining things. This has been in the talks for about a year, but only became official about 2 months ago (maybe even less!), so it’s been an incredible whirlwind of packing and planning. About a week ago Daniel and I packed all our belongings in a pickup and drove 12 hours (Jersey traffic is nuts!) to NC in one day! We are officially meeting up in Atlanta on the 13th of August to head to our future home, so in the meantime we are both spending time with our families, which for me has been one of the most amazing parts of this whole saga! DSC_0545DSC_0538DSC_0540DSC_0556DSC_0555DSC_0558It’s always wonderful to spend time at home. I love going in my mom’s garden with her to pick veggies and wiggle our toes in the dirt. I love seeing my loving and supportive extended family. I love talking about adulthood woes with my best friend. And I LOVE breathing that sweet Summer air of North Carolina. There’s nothing quite like it. I really ultimately hope to end up here one day when I have a family of my own. If you’ve spent any time with me then you know I have a very romantic connection to NC. It’s such a charming state with such a high quality of life. I mean how could you not love a place where you bring all your homegrown fruits and veggies to gatherings to trade amongst friends and family?!DSC_0596DSC_0698Daniel and I went blueberry picking in my grandma’s yard. Isn’t life sweet in the most subtle of ways?DSC_0574My grandma has an above ground pool in her backyard-AKA a redneck pool, and I got to go swimming in it for the first time a few days ago. IT WAS AWESOME! All my extended family was there and we just had a massive pool party. It was such a fun time. I also recommend that if you have one of these pools to gather as many folk as you can, have everyone run as fast as they can in the same direction, thus creating an impressive whirlpool, and then have everyone lift up their feet at the same time. Just. Do. It. Trust me. 😉DSC_0590IMG_0053IMG_0046DSC_0658DSC_0649DSC_0615DSC_0702IMG_0052IMG_0054DSC_0683DSC_0708While D and myself are in Paris we are going to try to really experience Parisian life to the fullest by slowing down and focusing on the small joys of daily life. It was so easy in New York to get overwhelmed and boggled down by such silly and trivial things. Expect to see lots of steaming cups of espresso, books, and travel coming up! In the meantime, NC isn’t such a bad place to slow down. I sure am enjoying life these days.

Until next time !

Follow me on insta: @themenagerie

Find me on Bloglovin’

I’m on Goodreads! vicanderson

What I’m Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

After Milano I ventured to Paris this Summer to do more work related activities, but perhaps you were wondering..”What does a model do in her spare time?”

“Does she eat celery and smoke copious amounts of cigarettes?”

“Does she party her incredibly small butt off at the club?”

“Does she go to fancy restaurants with major celebrities?”

“Does she go on huge shopping sprees with all the LOADS of money she has?” (HA..this one makes me laugh the most..if only..)

Well..no. I don’t do any of those things.. In my spare time you can usually find me knitting socks, watching Adventure Time, reading books, baking pie, wandering aimlessly, or laughing at my own jokes. Here’s my spare time from this Summer in beautiful Paris.

photo-25photo-27photo-22DSC_1139IMG_3955DSC_1057photo-23DSC_1141photo-28DSC_0988DSC_1036DSC_1127DSC_0014photo-26DSC_0985photo-24DSC_1142DSC_1001DSC_0002photo-29IMG_3961DSC_1103

While in Paris I rediscovered a love of mine. Growing up books were always a big part of life. My parents both read to me as a wee babe before bedtime. I have special memories of my mom reading to me as a toddler in the wooden chair in my room with a stack of Little Critter and Dr. Seuss books piled up high. I also can recall my dad reading me Harry Potter as I would fall asleep and ultimately learned how to read from those magical novels. In high school I was the kid who got in trouble for reading until 3 in the morning on a school night. And then I moved away from home and was in a bit of funk, not only with reading, but life. It’s hard to read when you’re unhappy, and to be honest, just not enjoyable. AND FINALLY this Summer I picked it up for good. I mean..of course I’ve read a book here and there in between life, but now I just can’t stand to go a day without a read.

Here’s what I managed to read in Paris..and I’m quite happy with it. I try not to rush through books…but sometimes I get in a tizzy to know what’s going to happen. If you’re a reader you know what I mean. I’m also bad for reading half of, or most of a book and then going to a different one because I just don’t like the book. I’ll finish them one day! I was also only able to find one book store in Paris, aside from the few touristy, very very VERY expensive ones, that sold books in English des livres Anglais. Therefore, the choices were a bit limited, but I enjoy classic books anyways.

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (My favorite of the group!! Mr. Rochester ❤ )

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell

12 Years A Slave by Solomon Northup

3/4 of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller (I don’t know why I just can’t get through this book. It’s very clever and witty but I just don’t ever crave reading it..it’s always a chore 😦 )

1/2 of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen (SO MANY DESCRIPTIONS AND POINTLESS FACTS)

Be expecting lots of books, yarn, and baking in the near future. My month in Paris was a lovely one indeed. It was very rainy, chocolatey, and cozy.

Au revoir!

Visit me on instagram!! @themenagerie

Okay so this is from this Summer..but I had some hard drive troubles and wasn’t able to obtain many of the pictures from my trip but here it finally is!

 

Every weekend I go somewhere more and more beautiful. This weekend Caitlin, Ben and I ventured to Lake Como, a glacier lake about 30 minutes north of Milan. The lake is the third largest in Italy, and situated between snowcapped mountains. George Clooney has a house there I hear 😉

The day was amazing, but started with a few mishaps. We planned to meet at Centrale Station at 7:50 because our train left at 8:10. I am literally two stops away on the subway so I gave myself thirty minutes to get there. I could probably walk there in 20. I get to the subway station and the train didn’t come and didn’t come and by the time I got to Centrale it was 8:03 and I’m running my butt off trying to meet them on the train. I literally run up 8 flights of stairs and then Caitlin calls and says our train is canceled. After being yelled at by customer service Caitlin, Ben and I meet up and decide to get a number to wait in line at the ticket office to ask if we can just take a later train. We talk to the “nice” lady at the ticket desk and she says that the train is actually delayed and leaving at 8:30. It’s 8:32 and we’re telling her it already left and asking if we have time to make it and she replys with “I don’t know!”. We book it upstairs to the train platform, see the train, are within 2 feet of the train when the doors shut and it goes off. We go back to customer service to be yelled at to go to platform 7 the train is delayed! Well we were just there and saw it chug off. But the man couldn’t speak English very well and thought if he yelled things we would suddenly understand. So we push past him and ask a lady in the back what to do because the delayed train already left and she finally explains, NOT YELLS, that we have to take the train at platform 4 and then get off at Manza and then transfer to the train to Como. We get on the train, get off at Manza and have no clue which train to take. All the trains are named with the last destination and none of them are Como or tell where they stop along the way, OH and no one works at the station. So we literally look at the board and see one that looks “familiar”. It pulls up and we almost get on when I see a train worker, run my butt off screaming “DOES THIS GO TO COMO DOES THIS TRAIN GO TO COMO?!”. He says no, writes down the name of the train, tells us the platform and what time the train comes. FINALLY someone is nice to us. Customer service isn’t really a thing here, I’ve noticed. We wait, get on the train, and make it to Como by 12:30, three hours after we were initially supposed to get there. It was a very intense morning.

We get off the train, walk to the lake, and oh my god, it is breath taking, and suddenly the craziness of the morning was totally worth it.DSC_0634The southern end of the lake is unswimmable due to pollution, so we journeyed north! Unfortunately the way to get from one end to the other of the island is either through car (which we didn’t have) or the ferry. We took the ferry and it took us 2 hours to get from the southern most part of the lake to the halfway point. It was unbearably hot the entire ride and we were all starving, but the views were incredible. DSC_0647DSC_0668DSC_0662DSC_0679DSC_0664DSC_0675We got off at the stop Lenno and grabbed some lunch and headed to the beach. We ate lunch facing the lake and it was so surreal the entire time. Pictures do not do this place justice AT ALL. This has to be one of my top 3 most amazingly beautiful places I have ever had the privilege to visit.

Also, the ferry was basically 80% elderly tourists. Okay enough chatter..I’ll just get to the pictures and what not.

DSC_0643 I did some research ahead of time to see which beaches were the best and after hours of digging I found a beach that supposedly the locals went to. So I convinced my companions to head there. It took some time and a bit of panic, but we FINALLY were at the beachhhhh. So this beach isn’t a real beach, it was basically a manmade beach club right on the water that you pay like 5 euros for the day, but we somehow managed to slip past when no one was at the entrance so we got in for free. DSC_0749DSC_0690DSC_0723DSC_0694DSC_0757DSC_0719DSC_0742DSC_0683DSC_0707DSC_0671DSC_0731

 

If you ever, EVER have the opportunity to go to Lake Como…DO IT. It is so beautiful it is beyond words.