Links and Info on Europe’s Refugee Crisis

by farrah on September 4, 2015 · 0 comments

You’ve heard by now what’s going on with Europe’s refugee crisis, so I’m not going to blather on when time, knowledge, and assistance are the most important things. I’ve asked for people to send me information so that I can compile it and make it easy to find. I hope you can find this useful, and encourage you to share with those you feel can help.


Always, always, always check out the donation location as to what is needed before you ship a package or send money. Search out their FB pages and websites for latest information.  [click to continue…]


Are you going to the Lake Como vicinity in the near future? Ok, stop reading now. Email these wonderful people and make your reservation for dinner before you do anything else (and I’m not kidding). Ok, so now that that’s out of the way I can relax a bit and tell you more about the dinner and place that will most likely go down in my memory bank as one of the top 5 of my life: AZIENDA AGRICOLA SORSASSO.

Sorsasso Domaso, ItalyUnassuming entrance. 

My husband (as usual) found Sorsasso. He said to me one evening while we were in Italy, “Hey there’s a winery just up the hill that’s also a restaurant. Do you want to make a reservation? They have a five course dinner and all their own wines.”

My response: “And what do we do with the boys?”

Our reality: Bring them. [click to continue…]


Yesterday a funny thing happened. I had a meeting in Utrecht and had to drag along my boys. Except for the weather (which was dreary and dripping) we were all in good spirits so set off on foot to the train station just down the street. Everyone had their own umbrella, so we took five times longer than it would take a normal person to walk the 500 meters or so- but didn’t get hit by a car or a bike so all in all a successful journey. As we approached the station I noticed a good-looking youngish man with a man-bun getting out of a car which sparked my inner reflection for the day.

Kid backpackNo man-bun yet. [click to continue…]


Our Summer In A Nutshell: Insanity

by farrah on August 26, 2015 · 7 comments

Holy crap people! I’m back! And I really, really feel like I am back and home and so so ready to let the fall things happen and just be still. For a bit anyhow- at least until October. But for now we’re all sleeping in our own beds and eating my own typical mediocre cooking. So what has been going on? Well here’s the Cliff Notes until I can sit down and go into specifics.

Hallstatt, AustriaCan you believe I took this? [click to continue…]


Whew- so we’re home and trying to regroup. I’d say that by today (Tuesday) we’re mostly there, which is good since my sister and her family arrive today! I wanted to jot a few quick things down since it will be another bit before I can dig into the wheres, whats and all that good stuff on Hallstatt and Lake Como.

Huge appreciation and thanks to this guy- Mr. Momofthreeunder who makes our holidays happen. [click to continue…]

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Four Days In Den Haag With Kids

by farrah on July 24, 2015 · 3 comments

While my husband was away the first week the boys were out of school, I worked out a deal with my friend in Den Haag. She was going to Greece, and needed someone to look after her cat. We needed some serious distractions. I knew there was loads of stuff to do up there, so we packed up the car and drove the hour and a half north for a mini ‘vacation’.

scheveningenBoys by the iconic Kurhaus Hotel [click to continue…]


I can’t believe it was nine years ago we got married. It still feels like maybe three? four? years tops. I know many of you feel the same about your own marriages. Nine years already? For the first few anniversaries I was hell-bent on making sure we had ‘our time’ and did something special. Then kids happened, and we were lucky to acknowledge it at all. The past few years we have been damn fortunate to be able to escape for a few days, but unfortunately, not this year. And that’s ok.  Our first year I bought a journal for us to take turns writing in on each anniversary. I read the first few entries last week- oh! To be an oblivious newlywed again! [click to continue…]


I decided once again to combine two months’ worth of books for my recap. I am going to prepare you now and say that yes, I know I am predictable and yes, I realize it is not a requirement of a series to read ALL of the books in that series. But I do. I can’t help it. And the only thing that has stopped me is that Kindle Unlimited finally pissed me off enough to quit.

houseWinner of the month [click to continue…]


Unlike many of my US friends, we’re still in school. That is, until tomorrow when it’s the last day of the year! You can probably imagine then, that the past couple of weeks have been busy- and this week in particular. Monday I had a super-fun trip to the hospital (just a check up, nothing is amiss but still interesting when it’s not in your native country), the carnival is in town (Kermis), and we’ve got the end-of-year celebrationS. Add to that my husband is heading to the States and we’re about to embark on three weeks of holiday… and yes. I am a bit overwhelmed.

napWe will always find time to nap though.

I have been trying not to stress over the details or the things to do and things to get done- but I can’t help it. All I want to do is fast forward another week or so and be heading to Austria. Instead, I am stressing about packing and the little annoying details you have to cover before you go anywhere or do anything. The looming thought that my partner will be absent from the majority of my planning time is also a wee bit daunting. I’ve almost forgotten that our 9th wedding anniversary is tucked in there too.

Friends of ours are going to take over the Ritter life in our house while we’re away and I am thrilled that it worked out this way. It’s awesome but at the same time I have been stressing that I get all of the questions covered and details taken care of for them too. Sadly we’re going to miss them as the day we get back they will be leaving! We have two days to regroup and my sister and her family arrive after that. We’ve been looking forward to a visit from her family since we moved over.

My nieces, brother-in-law and sister will be here for the remainder of August and then before I know it we’re back in school. I can’t believe summer will already be over!

So at this time, the next few weeks look like this:

Den Haag–> Austria–> Italy–>NL–>Sidetrips with the fam (Paris? Germany?). That’s a whole lotta travel in just a few short weeks. Wherever you are and whatever you’re doing- enjoy the rest of summer and happy travels! I’ll be around but in what capacity is unclear :)



End of the Bucket Bike: We Five Ride

by farrah on July 8, 2015 · 2 comments

I never did an update with what happened with our beloved Madsen cycles bucket bike. I wasn’t going to at first, but then I realized that yes, I really did need to  write about it since these expat posts are important to log and remember. In the moment sometimes I just don’t feel like writing them down- but, as so many of you know- when you have the chance to look back on something- with your own words and pictures, you appreciate it that much more. So… here’s the end of our story with the bakfiets…

Madsen Bucket BikeNot only boys, but the bucket carried bikes, too. [click to continue…]