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

reasons for jet lag

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As do most vacas, my trip home to Florida went by way too quickly. Our two weeks were packed with family, friends, and lots of nautical fun – and I wouldn’t have had it any other way (unless an extension of a week… or three… was an option). While I’m still recovering from jet lag (one tough ole bird), I thought I would share a slight recap of our time in beautiful, sunny (for the most part) Florida.

Blue Wahoos game – Pensacola, Florida

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Watermelon cake for my cousin’s birthday

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Necessity for a day of swimming, floating and kayaking on the river

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Pensacola Beach, Florida

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Amazing Americana/nautical manicure

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Early birthday celebration with my parents and Joost

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One of my most favorite gifts (ever) – pretty sure I’m never taking it off

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

ocean air, salty hair

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at the beach, life is different

time doesn’t move hour to hour

but mood to moment

we live by the currents

play by the tides

and follow the sun

– unknown

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I might be a little biased, but you can’t find beaches more beautiful than the ones on the Gulf Coast of Florida. Like Dorothy said, “There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home. There’s no place like home.”

Until next time – I’ll be soaking up the sun.

XX – Whitney

memories of home

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After a 4am wakeup call and 20 hour travel day (which led to a 26 hour day), Joost and I finally made it to Florida… and I couldn’t be happier. Our first day in The States consisted of good ole Southern cooking, a Wal-Mart run (never thought I’d be so happy to see that place), a couple of Starbucks stops and quality time with my parents and sweet little bichon, Muffi.

Growing up in Florida, I often took the sunsets, sights and ski time for granted. Of course, once you move away, you realize the gem you once had and long to have it back. So, it was a given, my first Florida sunset would be at home overlooking the basin. The memories here are countless as year after year, weekend after weekend, there always seemed to be a birthday party, ball team get-together or simply, my favorite, a Monster Tube date with friends. When reflecting on these memories, I couldn’t help but watch the sunset with a big smile and happy heart.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

29 degrees (celsius)

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Happy Thursday, everyone and TGIAF (thank goodness it’s almost Friday)! This week has been spectacular as temps have reached a high of 29 degrees Celsius (84 degrees Fahrenheit) in Breda – really though, it’s about time since it’s mid-June. So, in celebration of the sunny warmth, I pulled for my most favorite nautical wear and came up with this oldie, but goodie anchor dress from last summer. Adore. Can it get any better? Why yes, yes it can. No clouds in sight, I decided to take a chance and unpack my calf-hair heels (was really thinking I would never be able to wear them or anything of the like due to the very common and unforeseen surprise showers). Miraculously, there was no rain, only sunshine and smiles.

Well, I must go now and work on tanning these legs (as you can see, it’s much-needed – sorry Florida, I know I’m letting you down).

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

boys and their planes

Born and raised in a small town outside of Pensacola, Florida, I grew up watching (and loving) the Blue Angels. Some of my favorite childhood memories include boat rides with family and friends to Destin, Panama City and Pensacola Beach to watch their spectacular shows. I was always (and still am) amazed at their precise, flawless and suspenseful maneuvers, that leave you thinking, “did they really just do that… in a F-18 jet?” Knowing my love for the Blues, Joost knew exactly where we’d be this past Saturday as soon as I got wind of a Dutch air show… And he knew exactly who had dibs on the Blues cap.

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Not knowing what to expect, I was definitely in for a treat – seventeen countries were in attendance with their best pilots, aircrafts and tricks up their sleeves (some which made me ‘ooh’ and ‘awe’, while others I could watch with only one eye open due to the ‘dare devil’ stunts). Aircrafts ranged from a Finnish F-18 to the Dutch Apache helicopter (apparently this is the only Apache demo team in the world). Shows were nonstop from 9-5p, but that wasn’t the only entertainment. The grounds were packed with open aircrafts, obstacle courses, military-style face painting, simulators and much, much more (of course I loved the apparel stands – the best seller of the day had to be the flight suits for kids (so precious), as every little one seemed to be running around in them). There were also a lot of ‘demo stands’, which gave a closer look at the Air Force’s day-to-day operations, training (the wilderness, water and snow survival trainings – oh wow), equipment and weapons used. At the different stands, there were representatives from the Royal Netherlands Air Force to answer questions and provide personal insight on the subject – which I found to be super nice and a great way to make a connection.

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To not leave any team out, below you’ll find all who were in attendance for the air show, along with the 150,000 spectators (special shout out to the RNLAF, Italian Air Force and French Air Force as your shows were my favorites! Oh, and can’t forget the Italian announcer, whom the crowd and myself loved) –

Hawker Hunter, DHHF

C-47, BBMF

Saab Viggen, Swedish AF

Bolkow 105, German Army

C-1301, Royal Danish AF

MI-24, Czech AF

Red Arrows, Royal Air Force

SU-22, Polish AF

Pilatus PC-7, Austrian AF

Curtiss P-40, Fighter Collection

MIG-15, Fundacja Polskie Orly

F-16, AH-64 Demo and Launch Air Power Demo, RNLAF

F-18 Hornet, Finnish AF

Frecce Tricolori, Italian AF

Saab Gripen JAS-39, Czech AF

Patrouille Suisse, Swiss AF

Ramex Delta, Frech AF

Spitfire Formation, BBMF/RNLAF

F-16, Turkish AF

Patrouille de France, French AF

Jet Formation, RNLAF

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Happy 100th birthday, RNLAF and until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

sprinkles from the sky

My experience with rain is nonexistent, hence my background – grew up in Florida aka the Sunshine State, went to school in Virginia (not a lot of rain, but there was one snowstorm that scarred me for life), spent a summer in NYC and lastly, lived in Texas, where rain is considered a myth. So, when it did rain, it was a great excuse for a night-in – complete with a movie marathon, never-ending popcorn and PJs.

Living in the Netherlands is quite the opposite – always expect sprinkles from the sky and never leave the house without your trusty umbrella.

Miraculously, during my short seven weeks here, I’ve grown to have a slight appreciation for rainy days and nights (nights especially), as long as I’m prepared. There’s somewhat of a mysterious beauty to the glistening cobblestone streets and reflecting lights.

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I was a bit bummed when I noticed, the uninvited, precipitation was going to be a part of date night (after straightening my hair of course). But to my surprise, the city center was packed, busy as ever and the mood unscathed. Guess I’ll have to continue working on my love/hate relationship with the drizzle, because it’s true, a little rain never hurt anyone.

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Until next time – tot ziens!

XX – Whitney

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