Good evening! It’s 12am and it just got dark – love it in Holland where during these summer solstice days it’s not getting dark til 11pm! Happy Full Moon!!!

Mediterranean magic

I am finally sitting down to give another adventure update, but there is SO much that has transpired I hardly know where to begin! I am right now sitting in the living room of one of the classiest, funkiest, most rad houses I’ve ever been in, the Dutch “Knip.” We are staying with the Van Kesteren family in Voorhout, Holland — the small town where Erol’s mama Henny grew up, which is a huge family of beautiful people that are dear friends of Suzan and Erol. Suzan has been best friends with their daughter Fleur since a little girl so the family loves her and Erol. So lucky to be staying here! They are such incredible people and have dreamy lives. The home is just 10 Km from the North Sea coastline, and we’ve been blessed with just magical weather! Thank goodnes, because they’ve been having the same rainy weather that we had on and off for a week in Italy! Now it’s just pure blue sky breezy sunshine. We arrived yesterday from Italia!

the Van Kesteren Knip

Yesterday was crazy. Woke up speaking Italian and went to bed speaking Dutch! Erol and I woke up at 4:30am in San Gimignano, in the heart of Tuscany.

We drove three hours to Rome to make a 10:40am flight but there was a 9 car pile up accident just before the airport (because Italians are the craziest drivers EVER and tailgate so badly in addition to driving like bats out of hell) which put us almost an hour behind schedule. Erol had to pee in a bottle while driving because were so late and stuck in traffic which was hilarious and then we had to race through one way streets the wrong direction to return our rental car. For some reason in Italy, we really do stand out as the confused, dumb Americans, and I’m not sure why. Whether its handling fruit in the produce section of grocery stores & forgetting to weigh each item, holding up lines, or driving down one way streets the wrong way 4 time in a row, or ordering 4 ham sandwiches when trying to order oranges in a gas station and holding up a line of 10 pissed off Italians, we’ve definitely found it challenging to master the unique Italian sytem. Anyhow, we just barely made our flight to Amsterdam!

We got here, to this wonderous Holland, yesterday afternoon, and went straight to the sunny park in central Amterdam. After we got our fill, we spent the evening with Niek & Marian here in their awesome home – herring, beer, and a delicious dinner. Then we biked over to their daughter Mirel’s house just 4 blocks away, and watched the Netherlands-Cameroon World Cup match. It was such a rich cultural experience! Hours of dutch language, orange outfits, orange cake, and every time Netherlands scored every kid in the whole neighborhood ran outide cheering and blowing horns.

Erol is totally fluent in Dutch, it’s pretty awesome seeing him back to his roots. We’ve spent time with all 3 of the Van Kesteren daughters and their 7 kids, and we still get to visit with his aunts, uncles and cousins. Such a good time here, and such a rich cultural experience hearing all the dutch and living in a dutch house. I love the people here! Maybe we’ll live here for a time some day…

Tuscan sunset in san gimi

San Gimignano was probably my favorite Italian spot out of our entire trip. The vibe there was just so chill – very friendly Italians, a dope room for cheap, epic views, the most delicious gelato I’ve ever had in my life (blackberry lavender!!!), yummy salads every day cut up in our bathroom sink filled with fresh veggies, red wine bottles and dark chocolate dinners at sunset, driving off on dirt roads leading to magical meadows to paint and draw and read and play….

gratitude

Erol and I spent three whole nights and two days there, which was sweet after so much moving around. It’s this magical, quaint castle-like village that sits perched atop a green valley of grapes, castles and olive. The most incredible architecture (I’m obsessed with all the archways, windows and doors), narrow cobble stone paths leading to breathtaking panoramic views, singing birds, . We drove in at sunset on the Summer Solstice, our 6 month anniversary!

san gimignano reflections

siena love

Before San Gimignano we lived it up at the villa outside of Siena, which was one of the more gorgeous places I’ve ever been, as well as 3 days in Florence and Lucca.

Florence piazza da santa marella

Firenze

Well it’s really late and I need to get some sleep after a long day of fribee and play at the h0t beach today!

Here are some photos to enjoy!!

xoxo

Ferry to Elba

San Gimignano

wine Italy style

yum

Italy Wedding Dance party!

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