What I did with my December

December consisted mainly of me being on holiday…..holiday that was much needed!  I went back to Jamaica after many years and it was amazing to say the least.  I caught up with old family, met the new and got to enjoy a lot of Jamaica.

It was basically a 3 week holiday of eating, beaches and family.  Being there made me realise two things, 1) how much I miss the island and 2) how much I miss having my family around me all the time.  I know everyone is biased towards family, but honestly my family is the best!  They give the hugs, laughs and love like no other!  I cannot wait to go back and see them.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Before I sign off, a few tips for anyone going to Jamaica:

1) If you intend to use your bank card at the ATM there, make sure you check that your card actually works.  I didn’t and realised that when I tried to withdraw cash.  Lucky for me, I’d taken a second card just in case.

2) The party scene is quite good.  I didn’t see much, but what I saw made me love it!  I went to I love soca and big cups.  If you are there for these, you should definitely check them out!

3) If you don’t want to spend all your time in one place, just book your ticket on the Knutsford express and you could spend a few days in Kingston or Negril if you fancy.

Trip to Amsterdam

A few weekends ago, a couple of us went to Amsterdam for a girly weekend. I knew it would be a good time because Amsterdam is a beautiful city and there is so much to see and do there. If museums are your thing, you will be spoilt for choice! There are also plenty of bars and clubs to choose from and the general beauty of the place will be enough to keep you enthralled in my opinion.

We found a lovely apartment via airbnb in liedersplein. This apartment was the perfect choice for us as we wanted to be central. We were close to all the public transports and also close to the museums, bars and restaurants. That is just what you need when you are only there for a weekend and do not want to waste time having to catch buses etc. to what you want to see. Our location was within walking distance of everything!

We drove up late on the Friday. It was literally a case of get in, dump our stuff and head right back out to see what the bars were like. I think our conclusion was that they were pretty good! It was a lovely night, so we just sat outside drinking, talking, laughing and people watching. Definitely not a bad way to spend a Friday evening at all.

We had planned before going for the weekend that we would definitely be going to the Rijkmuseum and had been savvy enough to book in advance. It is a good idea to do this as the queues for the museums can get pretty long. If you don’t want to spend a lot of time doing that, then you should definitely pre book. You won’t be disappointed with the Rijkmuseum either. It is in a gorgeous building and is filled with lots of beautiful art. I also loved the little quotes they had put beside the artwork. Some were just funny and others gave pause for thought.

For dinner, we went to a restaurant that had come highly recommended if you like Chinese food….which it so happens I do! The restaurant is called “Nam Kee” and is based in the Chinatown area of Amsterdam. It’s not much to look at from the outside, but trust me, the food is delicious! I ordered the duck with pancakes for starters and the crispy pork for main. I was not disappointed with either dish. In fact the portions were so generous that it was a struggle to finish. It was so delicious though, that your stomach just wants you to keep eating…which I happily obliged and did until it was all gone.

After being suitably fed, we decided to find a bar to try to watch the World Cup match between The Netherlands and Costa Rica. I will admit that I am not a fan of football…..I am firmly in the “don’t care” camp when it comes to it. I was not the most willing participant when it was suggested that we go watch. However, I did agree on the condition that I would need lots of beer, and may not actually watch said match. Once I arrived and the game started, I actually enjoyed it. I am still in the “don’t care” camp and would never willingly sit at home watching a match on tv, but if it was in a pub and the world cup, I wouldn’t have so many objections. It is kind of hard not to start getting into it, when everyone else around you is.

All in all it was a good weekend. Amsterdam definitely stayed true to form and did not disappoint in showing us a good weekend. If you haven’t been yet, don’t let the stories you hear scare you, there is a lot more that the city has to offer than those two things.

Other things I recommend

– Febo machines!!  A vending machine that serves hot food is a genius idea!

– Stroopwafels – The Welsh have something similar called caramel cakes, but Stroopwafels (in my opinion) are far superior.

– Take a photo by the “I Amsterdam” sign.

– Find the big clog to go and take the obligatory “I was here” photo.

– Visit the Anne Frank museum but be prepared to queue as it’s a popular one.

– Join the locals and bike around the city

– Visit the Van Gogh museum

 

Wine tasting

One of the good things about living in Luxembourg is the fact that I have lots of good wine to choose from. If you didn’t know, Luxembourg is a big fan of the wine!

On one side of luxembourg, you have the Moselle which is a big wine region. This means that we get lots of good quality local wines at very good prices. It also means lots of festivals to celebrate these wines.

This weekend is one such weekend. It is a weekend where you the wine makers open up and welcome people to have taster menus of their wines.

Today my friends and I went to Bernard Massard to one such event. This weekend is the wine tasting weekend in Luxembourg. We had 5 glasses of wine, plus 2 free glasses for the bargain price of 10 euros. Not a bad deal if you ask me!

20140607-204541-74741192.jpg