florida fall’n

While most of us Floridians are continuing to hit the beach in our bikinis (who can blame us with sunny skies and day time highs in the 80s), we still make it a point to welcome fall – the right way. Summer brights are stored until next year, while burnt oranges and warm tones take their place, scented candles fill the air (currently burning at my house – sweet potato pie – oh my), favorite summer-time fraps are forgotten thanks to the ever-so-delicious Pumpkin Spice latte, boots are worn with shorts, scarves with tees, and harvest-style festivals are in full effect.

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One of my favorite fall time to-dos is visiting the local pumpkin patch. While I’ve seen my share in FL, TX and VA, Holland Farms in Allentown is, hands down, my top pick and a must-visit for local families (funny how I can’t quite get away from Holland/NL/Dutch-ness even though I’m 4,000+ miles away). From picking the perfect pumpkin, to snapping pics in a never-ending sunflower field, to finding your way through the corn maze – there’s something for everyone and the details are none-the-less, precious. Hope you enjoy just a few of my favorite details from the patch.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

land of the wooden clogs

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Welcome to farmer’s land – also known as the small village of Nieuwleusen! After spending last Thursday at the (very busy, very crowded and very loud) jazz festival, Joost and I decided to pack our bags, head north and get away for a little R&R. Obviously I have no idea what the future holds, but if the words “homeowners” and “Netherlands” are in the same sentence – I can only hope it’s somewhere of the like. Besides, where else am I going to raise my pet sheep?

After two hours or so of driving, we finally made it and were surrounded by green pastures, typical farm animals (even Belted Galloway aka oreo cows), and most importantly, Joost’s dad and Margreet! Our visit consisted of great conversation, learning how to drive a stick shift (only stalled out 7 times), highly intense board games (yours truly won every game – insert evil laugh), jogs through the forest, eventful bike rides (to be explained in just a moment), tending to the horses in wooden clogs, shopping, visiting a mansion (coming soon to a S&B post near you) and peace + quiet (minus the 9am Saturday morning tractor show, where every farmer felt it was necessary to lay on their horns… not honk, but lay). All in all, Joost and I had a wonderful weekend and can’t wait to visit again soon.

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The weather looked promising – blue skies, white, fluffy clouds and sunshine – so we decided to take a bike ride through the forest. Dear little Mother Nature proved my statement, “never trust Holland’s blue skies and sunshine” to be exactly right. About 15 minutes into our ride, the clouds turned dark, the flood gates opened and we were drenched (I should really invest in waterproof mascara) – and I’m not talking sprinkles, but a full on torrential downpour. Joost joked that I am now, officially, a Dutch woman as I’ve been initiated into the culture. But really, once was enough.

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The downpour only lasted 10 or so minutes, so Joost and I decided to head back, change and continue our cycling adventures. I gave up on ‘being cute’ and immediately went for my running gear (in case of any other wet surprises). We enjoyed ‘baa’ing at the sheep (yes, we are those kind of people) and taking in all of the beautiful country sights.

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Everything about the country agreed with me – except Ollie the Cat. He obviously wasn’t a fan.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney