Our Covid Christmas

Well, it finally happened. Our Christmas trip to New York turned into a great (but very anxious), fun ten days, followed by ten days of quarantine (and stress!) and a flight home. It was so weird, but I do not regret the trip. I realized how essential it was for me to travel to my home country, see my family, my extended family, friends, and speak my language in my country. It just filled my soul up. It felt so good. I will never forget sitting in Vivian’s kitchen, drinking coffee with her, and chatting. It just felt so good.

I feel so much better now that I am no longer running from Covid. I feel sometimes that I should be more cautious, but it feels so good to having already had it and see how my body reacted. I will post more pictures from our trip (for the memories) on my next post. For now, some great family highlights.

  • The views ice skating at Central Park. Flora being so excited to ice skate and me realizing that—I really can’t do this again unless I have had lessons.
  • Family time in Queens. The kids feeling completely at home there.
  • Seeing Lee, hugging each other and saying we love each other.
  • Our three days in NYC– Botanical Gardens, ice skating in Central Park, the tree!!! at night, the lights on 5th Avenue, eating hot nuts on the street, Thibault enjoying the bagel in queens
  • Bryant Park’s Winter village dinner outside next to the rink
  • Roosevelt Island! It felt amazing to return there. The tram ride, sushi at Fuji East. Seeing the lights of Manhattan at night from over the river. Watching how much the kids loved the tram ride. It really felt like life came full circle.
  • Time with my parents: Mills Mansion, dinner at Fosters!, walking around Rhinebeck,
  • Surviving Covid
  • My parents. They saved us. Took care of us, risked their own health and safety. They are amazing and special people.

Acadia, Maine— Snapshots


Dinner at Stewman’s 

Just a few snapshots of our stay in Maine.


Camp life at Blackwoods



Roasting marshmallows— Flora’s greatest memory of the trip


Local playground in Bar Harbor


Two girls admiring the beauty of nature.


Jordan Pond

Acadia, Maine– Hunters Beach


Hunters Beach

This was part of our first day exploring Acadia with the extended family. We went for a picnic lunch on one of the rockiest beaches in the park. Of course, this was my father’s idea. It was quite hilarious actually. The little cousins loved it though.



My favorite part was catching Flora on top of this rock. I’m not sure how long she was sitting there alone before we noticed her. She was sitting there pretending to be Ariel from The Little Mermaid. hahahaha. Another beautiful moment in Acadia…



Acadia, Maine– Hiking to Bubble Rock


Flora loved our hike up to Bubble Rock. Listed as “strenuous” by the park map, we knew she could do the thirty minute uphill climb. The views at the top made it all worth while!


This hike was invigorating. I felt alive, fresh, and appreciative of America’s natural beauty. I felt so far from home in this moment, but at the same time, I felt like I arrived. It was an incredible feeling. This trip reminded me of so many childhood memories camping with my family and also of exploring Maine as a chid and pre-teen. It feels like I’ve come full circle being their with my own husband and kids. It was so excited to show Jaap this beautiful place and it filled my heart to see Flora and Thibault appreciating the great outdoors.


Acadia, Maine— Echo Lake


I think my favorite day of the entire trip was our time spent at Echo Lake. It was a warm, sunny day, the sun was shining and we had the most beautiful setting for our swimming day at the lake. A huge lake surrounds by rocky mountains, soaring birds, nesting loons, and peace. Surprisingly it was not very busy and the swimming conditions were just right for our little ones. Flora had the greatest time hanging out with her cousin (and idol) Elin. They splashed around in the water together all afternoon. My cousin Tish came were her two year old son and it was the perfect time for us to catch up.


All the little cousins got to play together. Thibault loved playing in the sand, but also exploring the water with us. There was a raft of nesting loons roped off near the swimming area. I couldn’t believe. It was like seeing a rare species up close! The Mama and Papa protecting the little raft and nest the National Park created for them. It was truly an amazing thing to see.


The day ended with dinner at Jordan Pond. Popovers were a must, of course. And for the grand finale— wild blueberry crisp with Jordan Pond vanilla ice cream. Definitely the best tasting thing I ate on this entire vacation! Maine blueberries have such a unique taste. I savored every second of that dessert. Delicious!


Family Camping Trip, Maine & Acadia


As jetlag improves and we are settling back into the time zone and our house again, I want to write down some of our most memorable moments from our trip to Maine before I forget. I feel like I have waited my whole life for this trip and I’m so happy Jaap was finally introduced to the beauty of Maine. I know this won’t be the last time we travel to Maine and Acadia. I want to return when the children are old enough to bike and hike longer. But for now, it was the perfect Maine camping vacation.


Jaap and I ventured north with my niece Elin joining the first leg of the trip. My parents came a day later, but we knew Thibault would kill us, if he had to be in a car for 9 hours. We barely survived the first leg, but Elin was an incredible help and we were so lucky to have her in the car with us. And the hotel had a pool! Yippee and thank God! It kept us busy until dinner time and we survived the first part of the journey.

Dinner at Chilis, corn on the cob, and some happy kids. Maine was off to a good start!