Yes, I know it's been a long time since we've met here. There's a lot that's been going on, lots of changes, all good! First of all, Cam and I drove from Boston to California, taking with us all of our stuff (well, as much as would fit in the back of his truck). Along the way we stopped in Ohio, camping right on Lake Erie, setting up our tent, and cooking beans and hot dogs in our cast iron skillet. We were pretty proud of ourselves.
Then we drove to Chicago, stopping to see some of his family, passed through Nebraska and had our first experience at Cracker Barrel, and then spent two days in Boulder hiking and seeing my good friend Jenna :)
Boulder was definitely the highlight and I'm even looking at grad schools out there...although I'm not sure I can handle any more snowy winters.
We finally made it back to Santa Rosa in time for a friend's wedding, then spend the fourth of July in Tahoe relaxing with family. Eventually, we drove back to So Cal just in time to go on my family vacation (all 13 of us) to Europe for two weeks.
After flying into Amsterdam on a Thursday morning, we found the cafe with the best coffee EVER. It could have been that I was so tired and hungry after flying all day and all night that anything would have tasted so good, but I doubt it. The Knight family has never been known for it's relaxing vacations, so right after breakfast we hit the Van Gogh Museum, which was incredible, and then went in search of some good pubs and coffee shops, because what's a trip to Amsterdam without a trip or two or three to a coffee shop?
We left Amsterdam, made a pit stop in Tournai, Belgium to see some family friends who converted a really old barn into a house with an incredible garden and an impressive collection of weapons from the Belgian Congo. Then we headed to a house we rented for a week in Normandy, where we thought we'd finally chill out, play some ping pong, badminton, swim, and bbq. And ironically, with all the great chefs we have in the family, the best meals we had consisted mainly of french bread, cheese, and wine.
We took day trips to Rouen (where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake), Honfleur, Omaha Beach, Dieppe, and Monet's house and gardens in Giverny, which was probably my favorite, although I still haven't been able to decide.
After a week there, we all parted ways and my mom, brother, grandma, Cam, and I headed first to Mont-Saint-Michel, an abbey built on a tidal island on the coast of Normandy and which dates back to the 8th century. This was also where we made friends with Dominic and Caroline from Switzerland.
Next, we headed to Chartres, a town southwest of Paris that is home to Chartres Cathedral, which houses one of the world's largest collections of stained glass, mostly from the 13th century.
The inside is even more breath-taking than the outside. The stained glass fills the cathedral with a soft light and it feels like you've walked into another world, one of silence, prayer, and peace. It truly feels like a sanctuary from the outside world. It's in the middle of renovations, as most cathedrals are, and you could see clearly where the walls had been cleaned and how it might have looked when it was built.
From there we stopped in Bruges on our way to Amsterdam. It was pouring rain so we didn't do much sight-seeing, but we did get a belgian waffle.
So now I'm back home, recovering from jetlag, finally unpacking, sorting through books, magazines, and clothes and trying to find places for it all. Inspired by the impressionists, I'll be starting an art class next week, and I've just planted my herb garden.
So, sorry for the long delay in posts, but as you can see, I've had my hands pretty full. I will be posting some recipes soon, along with updates on how the herbs are faring.
Mercury is in retrograde, tonight's a full moon, a time when deeper emotion and wisdom emerges, a time to reflect, listen to your heart, and take your time. It would seem the times really are changing.