Honeymoonin’

Hi guys! It’s been a while since I posted anything. So much has changed. I’m married now! My wedding was absolutely amazing and the most perfect day ever ♥ Two days later, we were on a cruise exploring the baltic sea. We have visited Oslo, Kopenhagen, Stockholm and many more beautiful cities, and of course, I’ll tell you all about them later. Right now, I’m quite busy with work and other exciting plans, but stay tuned 🙂

How to survive quarantine

Howdy strangers! It’s been a while. I’ve been gone for a bit because there wasn’t really all that much to talk about. We’re not in lockdown and everything is open (or at least until 10 p.m.) but I’ve been so swamped with work and weddingplanning that I haven’t had much time (or money) to go traveling. I have some plans coming up and another blogpost is coming about a private spa we went to on my birthday but today I want to share some more tips for my fellow travelers who are in need for travel but aren’t able to do so at the moment.

On the corona page on this blog you’ll find tips on how to survive lockdown, how to have a great staycation and tips for the best books, games, films and tv-shows, and podcasts to make sure you don’t get bored out of you’re mind whilst sitting at home. Here are some additions to that list!

Books

I’ve read some more great books that will transfer the reader to another country or let you follow an adventure. The gentleman’s guide to vice and virtue and the second installment The lady’s guide to petticoats and piracy are funny, thrilling young adult adventures that are set in different countries in Europe. The books are amazing rollercoasters and I’d especially recommend listening to them via Storytel, as the storyteller is just hilarious.

For the Dutchies in our midst, the latest book by Carlie van Tongeren is out. Het is hier helemaal (niet) perfect is a book about a girl who wants to backpack in Asia and become an influencer, but the truth is that everything behind Instagram is fake and that life isn’t picture perfect. It’s an amazingly good book. I hope it will get translated soon, so the non-Dutchies reading this will also be able to read it 🙂

Games

Just last week, this awesome new Pokémon game released. Now I’ve been a fan of Pokemon games since as far as I can remember, playing them on my gameboy and I still love to play them now. The latest game is called Pokemon Arceus and it’s available on Nintendo Switch. It’s an open world game where you get to explore the world of Pokemon. It’s a different world to travel to, one that is absolutely gorgeous and filled to the brim with the cutest creatures. The game itself is different from anything we got from Pokemon before and it’s absolutely addictive. I can highly recommend!

If you’re looking for a PC game, try Eastshade, where you’ll be a traveling painting that’s exploring a gorgeous world and trying to capture all of it on your canvas. Another recommendation is Valheim, which you really ought to try, if you haven’t yet.

TV Shows or Films

I haven’t watched that many new shows that will help you satisfy your wanderlust but there is a new season of Emily in Paris available on Netflix. If you want to watch something to binge until the end of times, try Grey’s anatomy, one that I’m currently hooked on. It goes on forever…

I hope you liked these tips! Next week I will be back with some more travel related content. Stay tuned! 🙂

2022 Plans

Happy New Year! I don’t know about you guys, but I am ready for a new start. 2022 is going to be amazing! So far, I already have some trips scheduled and it will also be the year of my wedding! I cannot wait ♥ Time to make a wishlist for 2022 of all the places I want to visit!

Honeymoon

I talked about it already, but 2022 will be the year where I’ll get married and I am super excited, both for our wedding and our amazing honeymoon we’ve planned. We are going on a cruise!

Private Spa

Maybe not really traveling, but more along the lines of doing things in my own country, we have booked a private spa for my birthday, which is also something that I’m really looking forward to!

Iceland

The vouchers we received when our trip to Iceland was cancelled due to the pandemic, are still lying in wait. Hopefully 2022 will be the year to use them, otherwise it will be 2023, which is when they expire…

Disneyland

We also already made plans to visit Disneyland again this year!

United Kingdom

I would also really like to visit the UK this year, as we weren’t able to do so last year.

Berlin

No definite plans yet, but I’d love to see Berlin. I haven’t been there before, but it isn’t that far away, so maybe I can manage to visit the city for a weekend in the coming year.

That is all for now. What are your travel plans in 2022?

Trips of 2021

Hi everyone! I hope you all had a very happy Christmas! As the new year is approaching, I’d like to look back at 2021. Just as last time, this year was different than we’d all hoped and expected. It’s easy to focus on the negative but I want to look at the positive things. Because a lot of good did happen this year for me and there was room to travel. It was a difficult year in some ways but there were also some events that I can happily look back on. Getting engaged was definitely the highlight of my year and I can surely say that my wedding will be one of the highlights for 2022!

Travelwise, there were still some really cool trips that I took. Time for an overview!

Star Cubicle, Twente and Ootmaarsum

We had booked a tiny house called a Star Cubicle for a weekend in Januari. The idea was lovely, unplugging on the countryside, going on walks, visit the city of Ootmarsum, eating marshmallows by the fire, and watch the stars from our bed, as the tiny house had a glass dome on the roof. Two unexpected things happened this weekend. First, we didn’t see any stars because it was snowing (which doesn’t really happen a lot in my country) and secondly, I got engaged! Boyfriend asked me when we got home but the memory is still linked with this getaway ♥

Amsterdam Beach

A couple of months later, we went on another trip in our own country, namely a weekend getaway to the beach near Amsterdam: Zandvoort, where we also saw some tulip fields and tried to find some deer. It wasn’t the most exciting location for a getaway, but it was lovely and we had a great time.

Yoga Retreat

I’ve wanted to do a yoga retreat for quite some time now, so last year, I thought, I’m just going to sign up for one! It got postponed again and again, but finally, in the summer of 2021, I was able to go. It was in my own country, not too far from my house, but it was a whole new experience for me. I wrote a very long blog about it, take a read if you haven’t yet!

Dijon

When summer came, the lockdowns were over and we were free to go. Since covid started, I’ve been dying to visit Nice again and when the time came, we could finally go. We set out on a roadtrip, but had a stopover in Dijon before we headed towards the sea. Dijon was another really lovely city, with a whole different vibe than Nice.

Two Times Nice [of: Double Nice]

Nice was amazing. The weather was fantastic, the sea as blue as it could be and we had an amazing time. We went to the beach, explored Cimiez Hill and got locked in a couple of times…

Unfortunately, the trip I had been looking forward to for years, was cut short due to some family circumstances. So we couldn’t stay as long as we had wanted. But that just meant that we could go back a month later, when the weather was even better and the sun was shining fiercely, and we the ocean was at the best possible temperature.

We were still able to do all the things we had wanted, like visit the old city, Castle Hill, Palais Lascaris, Museum Mamac and just spending some time relaxing. It was amazing and even though I now have been in this city twice this year, I still want to go back!

Paris

Because two times France in one year isn’t enough, we also went to Paris this year to shop for wedding rings! What better city to buy them in? And we decided to go for the weekend, so we could also do some sightseeing by night and visit the Louvre!

Days out

We also had some days out where we did fun things. We saw deer in Amsterdam, went to Delft and Breda, took a walk with alpaca’s, saw Bob Ross’ art and a lot of birds.

Travelwise, it was a pretty good year, still. I didn’t do all the things I had wanted. We didn’t really visit Belgium or Germany, or the United Kingdom, but we did go to Nice twice and visited Paris. Hopefully, next year will be filled with even more adventure!

The search for the perfect honeymoon (part 3)

In earlier posts about my upcoming wedding and honeymoon, I have written about looking for a destination. After a thorough brainstorm and research we landed on Australia as the perfect place to spend some quality time together after our wedding. But, 2021 wouldn’t be 2021 if covid wouldn’t interfere. Australia is closed off to tourists and we’re afraid the country won’t open in time. Also, a honeymoon should be, in our opinion, a time to rest and spend time together, and not a constant worry about having to quarantine and wondering if we will be able to get in or out of the country.

So sadly, the Australia trip is yet another one we have to postpone. I was really looking forward to it, but the stress of it all is just not worth it. Planning a wedding in covid times is stressful enough as it is.

But what then?

We started googling honeymoons – again, and though we would love to find a destination far away, it’s just not smart at this time. So we wanted something closer to home, but still something that we wouldn’t ordinarily do for a regular vacation. It needed to be something special. Something exclusive. And we found something that is absolutely perfect…

We’re going on a cruise!

If you want to do something exclusive and luxurious, a cruise is perfect, if you ask me. I’ve never done something like this before (which is very understandable if you find out what this costs…). But it’s perfect. You have the thrill of traveling to different places, without the downside of public transportation and carrying your luggage around. You just take your bed, bath and restaurants with you!

It sounds amazing. The ship has several restaurants and bars with live music, a spa, a casino and a swimming pool (a swimming pool on a boat is something that my brain can’t quite capture…). If anything is luxurious, it’s this.

I for one, can’t wait. Have you ever done a cruise before?

Paris guide for the ordinary traveler

Wanderlust Wonderland brings you: a travel guide for ordinary travelers, with must-sees, tips and tricks and the most delicious food, for ordinary travelers, like you and me.

Paris, city of love, I realized I hadn’t written a travel guide for the city yet. I’ve been there a couple of times and I have a kind of love/hate relationship with the city. When going there, I’m always excited to be there but usually the city feels crowded and I’ve had some bad experiences with food in the city. But it really has it’s highlights and great food and it’s certainly a city that should be on your bucketlist. If only for the higlights and the art museums.

more

A visit to the Louvre

A trip to Paris isn’t complete without a visit to a museum. There are so many wonderful museums in the city! The most famous one is the Louvre, where you’ll find the Mona Lisa, Venus de Milo, The Winged Victory and many, many more. You won’t be able to see everything the Louvre has to offer in just one visit.

I’ve been to this museum before, a couple of years ago. My friend knew a secret entrance through the shopping mall underneath the museum, and we went in super fast (and free, as it’s free if you’re under 25). The second time I wanted to visit, this entrance wasn’t so secret anymore and was even more crowded than the regular entrance, the one in the pyramid. That time we quickly decided to visit a less crowded museum, one that became my favourite one in Paris: L’orangerie, where you’ll find Monet’s waterlilies. When we returned this weekend to shop for wedding rings, we decided that now was the time to visit the Louvre.

After looking for wedding rings and seeing the highlights of Paris by night on Saturday, we started our Sunday morning having breakfast like a local. We checked out of the hotel, and walked toward the Louvre, looking for a place to have breakfast. We bought some croissants in a little bakery and ate them on our way to the museum.

Tip: buy your tickets online and pick an early timeslot, and then visit the most famous pieces first

Boyfriend had been in Paris a couple of times, but had yet to visit the Louvre. So this time we bought our tickets online (as was mandatory because of covid) and picked an early timeslot. We were inside the museum in no time instead of having to wait in line for hours.

The Louvre is so big, you really have to make a choice in what to see and what to skip. I had bought a museum guide last time I was there, which is something I really can recommend. You can easily see what the museum has to offer and decide what pieces to check out first. My tip: if you go early in the morning, check out the most famous ones first, as it will only get more and more crowded later in the day.

We decided to visit the roman statues first and saw some really beautiful ones.

Amor & Psyche is one of my favourite pieces. I love how it really tells a story and it is beautifully made. I can look at it for hours.

I don’t really like to take pictures of paintings, so most of my photos from the museum are from statues. I think we spent most of our time wandering these halls, as the art is just so beautiful.

If you’re visiting the Louvre, make sure to look up now and then. The ceilings are magnificent as well. There is so much to see, even things that aren’t really there. For example, at one time, I looked up and stared at the ceiling and saw a tiny baby dragon, that looked like one from how to train your dragon. I pointed but Boyfriend didn’t see it, until I took a picture to show him what I meant. It’s the first picture from these three. The tiny dragon is actually the upside down nose from a lion but I can’t help but see an adorable little creature in there!

We saw all the famous pieces, like this one, The winged victory of Samothrace, or Nike. This one I really liked, it’s so impressive and old and I really like the boat she’s standing on. I also really love to get to know more about these artworks, and the guide I had with me helped me greatly with this, as did the little signs next to the artworks. For instance, did you know that the boat that Nike is standing on, used to be way, way bigger? There’s only little of it left. Luckily, the statue itself has survived a great deal.

The Louvre truly is a magnificent museum. Though it is a bit too crowded for my taste. I like to be able to spend time with some artworks that speak to me, try to figure out the story. We spent quite some time looking at The raft of Meduse to figure out the story, and did a little research on it. But many rooms are so crowded it’s hard to just stand still and look at paintings. Especially if you want to take your time to see why the Mona Lisa is so famous. There’s endless rows of people in front it, waiting for their turn, whilst most of these people ignore the other paintings in the room, that might be just as beautiful.

That having said, if you haven’t visited the Louvre yet, make sure to put it on your list.

A walk along the Seine and Paris by Night

Looking for wedding rings in Paris is pretty much a perfect anniversary, if you ask me. We couldn’t celebrate our 7 years with a trip so we decided to travel on our 7,5 year anniversary!

Paris is pretty easy to reach from the Netherlands. All we had to do was get on a train to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and then get on the Thalys that would take us to Paris in 3,5 hours. It’s a really good deal.

We had made an appointment to go look for wedding rings at Edenly but had some time to spare so we walked around in the area a little bit, towards my favourite building in the city, namely: L’opera garnier. It’s so beautiful inside! Unfortunately, we didn’t have enough time to go inside, so we just looked at the building, listened to the music that was played outside and did some people watching until it was time to visit the jewelry store.

I’ve written a separate post about shopping for rings, so I won’t go into much detail. But the shop was cute and perfect and we fell in love with some rings. I can’t wait until they arrive!

After the jewelry store, we headed towards our hotel to drop off our bags. We had booked a room at Hotel Des Ducs d’Anjou which was in the city center. The room was perfectly fine, nothing too special but we would only stay for a night. After we dropped off our bags, we set out for something to eat and headed into the direction of the Eiffel Tower.

We had skipped lunch so at this point, we were getting really hungry. I was craving some pasta so we went into Il Timo, some kind of fastfood pasta restaurant. It reminded me of the Julia’s we have in the Netherlands. It was nothing fancy but the food was good.

I always like to do cities on foot. Of course, Paris has an elaborate subway system, but if you walk you just see so much more. We walked towards the Seine and could already see the Eiffel Tower from the distance. It was a lovely, romantic walk on the riverside.

A walk along the Seine is a must when you’re in Paris. You can see so much, there are often street performers and vendors selling portraits, postcards and trinkets along the riverbanks. You can see the Eiffel Tower from a distance and the Notre Dame on the other side, as well as the Louvre, Musée D’orsay and Musée l’orangerie. Besides, it’s a very pretty view, way prettier than the metro stations!

The sun was setting as we walked along the riverside so when we finally got to the Eiffel Tower, it was pretty dark and it was lit up. It was really cool, and I hadn’t seen it like this before.

There were a lot of vendors selling miniature eiffel towers that had some dancing lights. Nothing like the real thing, for that one was just lit up. Until the clocks striked six. Small lights appeared and started dancing on the eiffel tower. It was really beautiful! Check out my instagram for a video.

We took a hundred photo’s, trying to position the camera so that we could take a picture with the eiffel tower. It was a hastle, but we had fun and we took some really cool pictures!

After the lights stopped, we decided it was time to go back to the hotel, so we slowly headed back. It was quite dark now and the entire city was lit up. All of it was mezmerizing.

I really love how the city looked at night. Then we heard music playing from the square at the Louvre. A man playing the saxophone was making music and we sat there, listening to him and taking in the lights. Of course I also had to take some photos and videos, all of it was just so beautiful, but we made sure to enjoy the moment there too. We even danced a little when nobody was watching ♥

Shopping for Wedding Rings in Paris

When you get engaged, there’s quite a lot of planning that needs to be done and things you need to think about. One such thing is the wedding rings. There are many jewelry stores that offer wedding rings and most of them look a lot alike. As is often the case with wedding rings. I keep saying that, for a lot of people, if they were to take off their rings and put them on a table with a bunch of other people’s rings, none of them would recognize their own ring anymore.

And I don’t want that. I want something fun and unique, but also not too expensive as I would feel very uncomfortable wearing them. It was kind of a pickle.

We have been searching for rings for quite some time, but never found any that felt like us. Until, somehow, I stumbled upon the website of Edenly. A French boutique that sells not-that-expensive but gorgeous and original rings. We could easily pick out what we liked from the website and order them online.

But where’s the fun in that?

For our anniversary, we usually book a trip to celebrate. We went to Venice in 2018, the German Eifel in 2019 and in 2020 Covid hit so we had to stay home. This year, it was the same story and we couldn’t go anywhere. So we were thinking to maybe celebrate our 7,5 year anniversary instead of our 7 years with a trip. And though we were thinking to visit Vienna, a new city, we rather opted for a city that we already knew, so we wouldn’t have to spend too much time planning.

And as the one and only Edenly Boutique happened to be in Paris, the decision was easily made to celebrate our anniversary in the city. It was perfect.

The Edenly Boutique is small and has a lot of charm. It was a perfect little haven. The women in the store were really sweet and showed us a lot of rings for us to try on. After trying a couple, I put one on that I had already seen on the website and it clicked. This was MY ring and I didn’t want to take it off anymore (except for that it wasn’t my size and probable a dummy, but whatever). It was perfect! I’m so glad we went to Paris to check out the rings!

Boyfriend didn’t have an immediate click, as the one he had had in mind, didn’t look that great on his finger. He tried some others and found another beautiful ring he was really happy with.

We found wedding rings in the city of love. Could it have been more perfect? They are ordered and should be here before Christmas. I for one, cannot wait ♥