Well, after being home for less than 2 months, I'm off again for a short stint in Europe. This trip has been long-awaited; I haven't been to Europe for 10 years and have wanted to go to Italy since then. I left Seattle on a drizzly afternoon, into that strange time warp of air travel where it never got completely dark, only twilight for a long time then light again. Just as I was getting tired around 11pm for my body, we arrived in Amsterdam at 8am local time. Going through immigration the lady was ridiculously nice, more interested in chatting about my travel plans. I took the train 15 min to Leiden where my friend Jeanine lives. I met her about 3 months ago while traveling in Vietnam... she had a ukulele in her backpack so I had to strike up a conversation, then we ended up spending the next few days together. Now she is back home and was kind enough to host me in my jet-lagged state. She met me at the train station and rode me to her place on the back of her bicycle, with amazing balance and burly legs like a proper Dutch gal. Leiden is a cute city, visually very similar to Amsterdam but smaller and mellowed. There are tons of canals, sidewalk cafes, and everyone riding bicycles. It was awesome to see her and we had a really fun day wandering around the city between my naps. Next up I'm flying to Bilbao, in northern Spain. More to come!
I'm a writer and editor in Seattle. I started this blog in 2008 to chronicle my travels in Latin America, and continued writing through jaunts in Europe and Asia.
Now I'm back where I grew up in the Pacific Northwest, and can't stop hiking to fire lookouts in the Cascade Mountains. My guidebook, Hiking Washington's Fire Lookouts, will be published by Mountaineers Books in May 2018.