Netherlands will soon change from orange to yellow this as Utrecht hosts Le Grand Depart
of the Tour
de France. After five years, the festive start of the famous cycling race
returns to the Netherlands, marking a record sixth time that the race starts in
Holland, more than any other country outside of France.
hard to believe that just a generation ago, Lille, known as the “first factory
of France”, was seen as nothing more than a gritty industrial town. I must say
the city cleans up nicely, due in large part to it being the European Capital
of Culture in 2004, and is now a not-to-miss destination for those in the know
with numerous cultural attractions, restaurants and boutiques.
I only have a short amount of time in a city or it’s my first trip, I’m usually
an advocate for a Hop On-Hop Off
bus tour. However, on a trip to Athens with my teen and tween
queens, Miss P and Miss V, in an effort to minimize the eye rolling, sighing
and overall whining, I aimed to find a tour that would engage them more than a
basic HO-HO, and came across Scooterise.
After completing the North London Half Marathon, I am
happy to report that I have claimed another destination on my quest to run the
world. Olympic gold medalist Mo Farrah fired the starting gun, and I, along
with 7000 other runners including three buddies from my running group in
Holland, took to the streets of North London for the inaugural event. Here’s my
take on the event: the good, the bad and the ugly.
is truly a vivacious city. A little too vivacious, truth be told, so during my
recent visit, I found the Jardin Marjorelle to be a welcome reprieve. Created
in the 1920's by French painter Jacques Marjorelle, this idyllic garden set in
the center of the Ville Nouvelle neighborhood of Marrakech was made famous by
the designer Yves Saint Laurent who purchased the property after Marjorelle's
death and gifted it to the city.
Greek island of Santorini is known for the beautiful sapphire blue waters of
the Aegean Sea that surrounds it, the houses carved into its cliffs that are
stuff of architectural dreams, and of course, the white-washed buildings with
blue domes that speckle the island like polka dots.
race. In the fall. In Paris. Sounds pretty close to perfect to me! It also sounded good to 24,500 other people. 24,500
other people who were fast enough to register for the race before it sold out.
Since I’ve never been one to let lack of speed deter me from running a race, I
made my travel arrangements for Paris for said weekend with the faith that some
how, some way, I would participate in the 20 Kilometre de Paris.
long ago, I had the opportunity to spend a day in Philadelphia. Not even a day,
really. More like a few hours, so I wanted to maximize my time and see all that
I could in that short period of time. I’ve always believed the best way to get
an overview of a city is via a Hop On Hop-Off (HO-HO) bus. This is especially
true if you are somewhere for the first and/or a very short amount time. You
get the lay of the land, which, if you’re anything like me and have no sense of
direction, is really helpful. Then there’s the commentary, which provides some
history of place, and a bit local trivia.
The little ladies and I
recently joined some friends for an afternoon at De Parade, a performing arts festival that
travels around The Netherlands. A delightful combination of fair, circus, and
theater, De Parade travels through four major Dutch cities - Rotterdam,
- pitching colorful tents in parks and squares and staging a succession of
theater, musical and dance performances, bands and children’s shows.
Mauritshuis Museum in The Hague, recently reopened to great fanfare after a
2-year renovation. I’ve always loved this museum, which appears to float on the
water, because of its intimate feel. Despite its expansion, which has doubled
the size of the museum with an additional wing accessible via underground
tunnel that can accommodate larger pieces of art and house special exhibitions, this intimate