Diary: looking back on February

Last Updated on by Charlotte van de Sande

While January lasted endlessly, February seems to be in the blink of an eye! It was, therefore, a full and fun month. In this blog, I will tell you more about my February month!


Guatemala in Amsterdam

February starts with a Guatemala reunion! We met Matthias, Stef and Linda during our trip through Guatemala and this weekend we meet up in Amsterdam. The plan: Good food, drinks and of course the necessary card games! It is a nice evening and we stay dancing until late in the evening. On Sunday morning, Matthias has to return catch an early flight to Vienna. It turns out that after dry-January I can no longer tolerate alcohol: I sleep through all the alarm clocks and only wake up when Ries and Matthias have already had breakfast and Matthias has been at the airport for a long time … oops.

The end of my Post Doctoral and Naples

I am almost finished with the Post Doc Customer Experience that I am doing. In the first week of February, I have to defend my final plan. It is going well and I succeed with an 8. Yes, that means I am done with it! On the same day, I fly to Naples with my brother Maurits. We have a wonderful weekend here: we visit Pompeii, drink Aperol Spritz and enjoy the delicious Italian cuisine. You can read more about this in my diary blog of Naples.

Final presentations, Valentine’s Day and wine tasting

On Monday, we fly back to the Netherlands and a busy week awaits me. Two big projects that I am working on, will finish this week. That means a lot of work. On February 14, Valentine’s Day, I present the results and when I come home from work, I am exhausted. No romantic Valentine’s dinner for us, Ries also had a busy time at work and that’s how we find ourselves in comfy clothes on the couch, watching Temptation Island. We are both too tired to switch channels so, in the end, we keep watching Temptation Island. I know that many people are big fans but no, I will never look at this again.

In the weekend we go back to Limburg (the South of the Netherlands). This is where both Ries and I come from, just like our friends Thomas and Christine. With the four of us, we have a wine tasting in Nederweert, the city where Ries grew up. We taste delicious wines and well… the spitting out part feels like such a waste… The result: a slightly tipsy but pleasant evening!

Beer tasting and a Bachelor weekend

From wine tasting in the weekend, we continue to a beer tasting during the week. No, not a huge tasting, but for the birthday of my brother Maarten (yes I have two brothers, Maarten who is 24 and Maurits who just turned 18) we have dinner at the brewery Prael. Maarten and Ries drink a beer taste menu and then we go to the movies.

The last weekend of February Ries has a bachelor weekend from Lester, a good friend from Sao Paulo. Lester now lives in Paris and has been kidnapped by friends and brought to Amsterdam. They go power kiting on the beach and afterwards have dinner and party in the city centre. While Ries is away, I do a nice workout with Fay, have dinner with Susie and I drink coffee with Natasha.

My portion in terms of parties will come: at the moment we are aboard the Thalys, heading towards  Paris where I have the bachelor party of Jeremy (Lester’s partner) tonight, followed by their wedding tomorrow on a cruise on the Seine. It is going to be great, more about that in the next blog!


Blog

Even though February is relatively short, we managed to put eight blogs online. I recently started using a planning tool, which allows me to schedule blogs months in advance. Very useful when we don’t have access to the internet while we should publish a blog. This also helps me to post more varied, so not too many blogs in a row about the same country/area.

Top 3 best-read blogs this month:

1. 10 tips for when you go camping in New Zealand!
2. Itinerary: two weeks island hopping in French Polynesia
3. What did we spend travelling French Polynesia?


Discoveries in February

Film: Green Book
My friend Fay recommended this movie to me and it is so good! The film takes place in the 1960s in America. It describes the true story of Italian-American bouncer Tony Vallelonga who acts as a driver and bodyguard for the world famous black pianist Don Shirley. The film is often moving and contains loads of humour. Highly recommended!

TV series: Plan Coeur
This French series is perfect for an evening of binge-watching. It’s a modern fairytale about a gigolo and a customer who fall in love with each other. Very sweet with Paris as a backdrop!

App: Duolingo
In high school, I had French for a few years, but unfortunately, this knowledge has long since subsided. Because we are going to Madagascar soon, where people speak French in addition to Malagasy, I try to refresh my French with the help of the App Duolingo.

Food: Vietnamese fresh spring rolls
In Vietnam, I enjoyed the food, especially the fresh spring rolls. By fresh, I mean that they are not fried, a lot healthier than normal spring rolls. Last week we made fresh spring rolls ourselves, with cucumber, spring onion, carrot, mango and egg noodles. Tasty and a lot easier than I thought!


Favourite moments of February

  • Catching up with my friend Mirthe that I hadn’t seen for way too long. Mirthe and I have been friends since I was four. When she came for dinner to Amsterdam, we had so much catching up to do!
  • The most beautiful spring weather in Naples. Walking around without a jacket, with sunglasses while your back is heated by the sun. Nothing feels better than this!
  • A great Ayurvedic massage that I got from Sylvia Kuperus. I helped Sylvia with her website and as a thank you I received a massage from her. After some very busy weeks at work, this was the ultimate relaxation!
  • Babysitting my niece. Ries his brother got a daughter last year. Julie is a beautiful girl with a bunch of dark hair. We absolutely love her. When my sister-in-law Simone asked me if we could babysit Julie for an evening, I didn’t have to think twice. It was a lovely night!
  • Spring in Amsterdam! We have had some wonderful sunny days and the sunset is already so much later on the day! Amsterdam in the spring is so beautiful, I mean, take a look at how the Vondelpark was looking the first weekend of February:

Spring in Amsterdam

My favorite photo's of the islands off the coast of Belize
Our five favorite hikes in New Zealand

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