europe, travel

A Visit to Ghent, Belgium

Last year when we went to The Netherlands to visit family, we took a road trip down to Ghent, Belgium for a night and strolled around the city for two days. It reminded me of a miniature Amsterdam, without the modern touches the Dutch are so great at weaving into their charming, old cities. It was quite lovely, as you can see:

Ghent, Belgium

Ghent_fromboat

ghent_castleexterior2

Gravensteen Castle was built in 1180, and is right in the city center. At the time of my visit (last August) it was one of the oldest standing structure I’d ever visited. (However, I went to Rome shortly after my night in Ghent. America is such a young baby, yall.) Also, while in the castle, I saw a guillotine that had actually chopped off heads before. (Ahh!)

ghent_castledoor

ghent_rooftops

ghent_afterdinner2

ghent_afterdinner

I was working on organizing my photo archive tonight and these reminded me how thankful I am to have these experiences and not even need these photos to know what it’s like to stand in a place so old and fantastic. Life is good.

travel

Back to Phoenix

Driving to Phoenix
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We drove from Williams back to Phoenix today, along the sometimes icy and sometimes winding paths of Interstates 40 and 17.

Driving to Phoenix from Williams

The original reason I went to Arizona starts tomorrow… my work team’s meetup! 😀

travel

Grand Canyon Today

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Cold afternoon at the Grand Canyon.

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Hanging at the Grand Canyon.

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Winter at the Grand Canyon.

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It was beautiful & more than I expected. It was also very cold. I’ll share details & more photos soon.

travel

Sedona to Flagstaff

Hiking in Red Rock State Park near Sedona

We spent the late morning in Sedona hiking around Red Rock State Park (after a leisurely wake up, then toast & jam for breakfast). I walk places sometimes, but I hadn’t officially hiked in years (or sort of ever?) so it was a nice change. I think I prefer hiking in this sort of spot over walking around the neighborhood just to walk. The weather was warm and the surroundings were beautiful. We wandered for a few miles, and went up to Eagle’s Nest Overlook.

On the road between Sedona and Flagstaff

After our hike, we wound our way up the mountains to head to Flagstaff. We stopped shortly before arriving at a lookout point and I took the above photo. It was suddenly much colder when we got out of the car there, so it felt like we’d driven so much further. It’s sort of amazing how going up a mountain changes things so much. I can’t recall ever seeing a view quite like this one.

Tomorrow: the Grand Canyon!

travel

Phoenix to Sedona

Sedona Arizona in the afternoon

We drove from Phoenix to Sedona today. It was in the 50s and sunny, without a cloud in the sky, this afternoon when we ate lunch outside. It’s a cute town and the surrounding area is beautiful, rough, and red.

Red Rock State Park area near Sedona Arizona

The place we’re staying tonight is off a winding, not quite paved country road and runs up against Red Rock State Park. We wandered around the property a bit during sunset, and now at bedtime, it’s pitch black outside of the window and I haven’t seen so many stars in the sky in a long time.

travel

Freq in Phoenix

Feminist Frequency tshirt and Automattic hoodie

I flew to Phoenix today (in my Feminist Frequency tshirt & favorite Automattic hoodie). My team’s meetup is in a few days, so I’m in/around Phoenix a few days early with two coworkers/friends to check out the Grand Canyon and whatever else we find along the way.

Send tips if you’ve been to the area & have any recommendations! We’re in Phoenix, then going to Sedona, and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and maybe Horseshoe Bend and Flagstaff too.

life, travel

Ghent, Belgium

While away in Europe for 2.5 weeks, we drove to Belgium and spent one day and night exploring Ghent (a small city that’s quite large by Belgian standards). The majority of my time in Europe has been spent in The Netherlands (since I lived there before & it’s my husband’s home country), so I’ve logged a lot of Amsterdam hours. Ghent was less like Amsterdam than I would’ve guessed before visiting.

The city has lots of old buildings, like Amsterdam, but doesn’t seem to have the same mix of modern that Amsterdam embraces and does so well. Ghent feels like a step back in time, or at least a modern, restored version of long ago, and is much smaller, so the pace felt more leisurely and relaxed.

Honestly, I could stroll around any place that looks like this for a while:

View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium
View of Street from a Boat in Ghent, Belgium

Especially if I get to go in a super old castle:

Gravensteen castle in Ghent, Belgium, built in 1180.
Gravensteen castle in Ghent, Belgium, built in 1180.

And if walking back to the hotel after dinner looks like this:

A street in Ghent, Belgium while walking back to the hotel after dinner. Beautiful place.
A street in Ghent, Belgium while walking back to the hotel after dinner. Beautiful place.

And this:

A street in Ghent, Belgium after dinner. Made for a lovely walk.
A street in Ghent, Belgium after dinner. Made for a lovely walk.

It was like spending the day in a postcard.

More soon! I’m still getting back to normal at home and sorting trip images & details to share over the next few weeks.