• The natural arch
    Blue Ridge Parkway,  Natural Bridge,  USA

    Natural Bridge State Park: butterflies and hiking

    In 2015 we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway and made a small detour to Natural Bridge. We loved exploring Natural Bridge, it was one of the many cool things we did on our 6 week road trip through the USA. Where is Natural Bridge State Park? Natural Bridge State Park is only 24 kilometers (15 miles) from the Blue Ridge Parkway. An approximately 30 minute detour. Natural Bridge is located in Rockbridge County in the state of Virginia. Some facts about Natural Bridge State Park The natural arch is a geological formation carved out in the surrounding limestone gorge by the Cedar Creek. The natural bridge is the remains of…

  • Beach houses
    family time,  Kids,  Netherlands,  Texel

    A family vacation close to home during the pandemic: Texel

    When the intelligent lockdown was declared all our vacation and getaway weekend planning was put on hold. When they say stay home and only go out for necessary stuff, I’m not making plans for outings let alone a vacation. After a few months restrictions were slightly loosened, so we booked a long weekend getaway for Acension weekend, a vacation close to home. We opted for Texel, an island in the northwest of The Netherlands. The reasons for choosing Texel are that it has beautiful nature, we’ve been here before, social distancing seemed achievable, biking is great on Texel and there are plenty of beaches. All in all perfect for a…

  • Fog at the Great Smoky Mountains
    Great Smoky Mountains National Park,  Mountains,  USA

    Great Smoky Mountains National Park: fog and lots of rain

    We visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2015 on our 6 week road trip through the USA. Sadly, we couldn’t admire the Smoky Mountains that much, since we had rain and fog all day. Just before this we had driven the Blue Ridge Parkway. Where is Great Smoky Mountains National Park? The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is in the states of Tennessee and North Carolina. It’s roughly between Cherokee in North Carolina and Gatlinburg and Townsend in Tennessee. Some facts about Great Smoky Mountains National Park The Great Smoky Mountains National Park covers some 521.490 acres and protects a great part of the Smoky Mountains. The park…

  • A view on the Shenandoah Valley from one of the lookouts. Shenandoah National Park
    Mountains,  roadtrip,  Shenandoah National Park,  USA

    Shenandoah National Park: bears and endless views

    Back in 2015 we did a road trip through the USA, we drove from New York to San Francisco in 6 weeks. On that road trip we stopped at Shenandoah National Park. It was our first acquaintance with the Blue Ridge Mountains. They’re so beautiful! Where is Shenandoah National Park? Shenandoah National Park is in the Northwestern Part of the state of Virginia. Its located on a mountain ridge of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The park starts in the Northeast at the town of Front Royal and runs all the way to Waynesboro in the Southwest. Some facts about Shenandoah National Park Shenandoah National Park covers over 200.000 acres and…

  • To show the ambiance at Lewis Book Cafe
    Coffee Places,  Europe

    Favorite Coffee places in Europe

    When traveling finding good places to sit down, where you can drink and eat something are vital. Best is when these are venues where you love to come over and over again. Where you still dream about months later, whether this is because the coffee is so good, delicious food, it has a perfect view or the ambiance of the place. I’ve asked a few of my fellow travel bloggers what their favorite coffee places in Europe are. They came up with these fantastic places all over Europe. I’ve added a few of my own to the list. Coffee places in Europe Lewis Book Cafe, Utrecht, The Netherlands When I…

  • Sleeping Beauty castle at Disneyland Paris
    Amusement parks,  Disneyland,  family time,  France,  Kids

    Fun times at Disneyland Paris: with and without kids

    We’ve been to Disneyland Paris three times: once before Yuri was born, in 1999. Back then it was still called EuroDisney. Twice with Yuri in 2014 and 2019. In 1999 we went in the Summer and spent one day at EuroDisney. In 2014 it was a winter visit with an almost 4 year old boy and last time was 20 years after our first visit to Disneyland Paris, again in the Summer. Both visits were 3 days, 2 nights. We’ve enjoyed ourselves every single time. In this blog I will highlight things to do in Disneyland Paris and how our experience was. At the end I will shortly compare Disneyland…

  • View from the bridge
    Blue Ridge Parkway,  Kids,  Mountains,  USA

    Grandfather Mountain: climbing rocks and a swinging bridge

    Back in 2015 we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was simply beautiful. During our drive we stopped at several attractions just off the parkway. Grandfather Mountain was one of them, and was well worth our time. Yuri loved climbing the rocks and we enjoyed the grand views on the Blue Ridge Mountains. Where is Grandfather Mountain? Grandfather Mountain is located close to the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. It’s in the vicinity of the town of Linville. The detour is about 3.3 mile or 5.3 kilometers, which is approximately an 18 minute drive from the parkway. Some facts about Grandfather Mountain The elevation of Grandfather is 5946 feet,…

  • Gulfoss. Finding peace
    Kids,  roadtrip,  USA

    Finding peace as a family

    My husband was driving on highway 1, we had to be on time at San Francisco airport to catch our flight home. Home being Utrecht in The Netherlands. Far away from the beach and rolling waves I was seeing out of our car window. Yuri was asking why we had to go home, why couldn’t we keep on driving, he didn’t want to go home. Paul said shall we drive on? We all wanted to go further North on highway 1, was going through my mind. Half a half year before driving on highway 1 Paul, my husband, was unhappy in his job. That Monday in February, I was still…

  • Dressed up for Queensday in Orange, inside my parents house
    Kingsday,  Netherlands

    Kingsday: My favorite Dutch National day

    Each year we celebrate Kingsday or ‘Koningsdag’ in  The Netherlands on April 27th. It’s a Dutch national day which I love and look forward to each year. Everybody is cheerful and there’s so much to do and see all day. History of Kingsday Since 2014 we celebrate Kingsday. Queen Beatrix abdicated in 2014 and her son became the King. King Willem-Alexander changed the date from April 30th to April 27th. His Birthday and he changed the name from Queensday to Kingsday. April 30th had been the date since 1949, which was the Birthday of Queen Juliana. Queen Beatrix didn’t change the date when she rose to the throne. Out of…

  • To show a mountain lake
    Camping,  Kids,  Mountains,  roadtrip,  summer,  Switzerland

    4 days in Switzerland: camping, mountains and cheese

    In the Summer of 2016 we had a roadtrip through Europe and Switzerland was included. We hadn’t been there before, but were curious to see the beauty of Switzerland. We had 4 days in total in Switzerland and loved it. Our days were marked by camping, the beautiful mountains, cheese, glaciers and sadly rain. 4 days in Switzerland: itinerary In this blog I describe the route we took on those 4 days in Switzerland. Lots to see and do on the route. 4 days isn’t enough to explore the whole of Switzerland. We roughly followed a route, from Italy to France, through Switzerland and took 4 days for that in…