Tag Archives: travel

James Bond Tourism: Amsterdam

Despite all my adventures these past few years, I really haven’t dedicated any of it to James Bond fanatic tourist attractions. Well, OK, except the time I planned a trip to London entirely because of the Bond in Motion exhibit.

Anyhoo, this Spring’s Euro-trip with my parentals provided an opportunity for me to do exactly that. One Bond film I’ve seen more than the others–or, at least, I remember better than others–is Diamonds Are Forever. “Oh providing the collars and cuffs match…” and “Quite a nice little nothing you’re almost wearing,” and “Goede Avond” (which I butcher attempting to say it) are phrases I use regularly. At least when I’m talking to myself. And while those quotes are all from DAF, they’re also all from one particular location in the film: Tiffany Case’s Amsterdam apartment.

And that’s exactly where my parents and I first went after disembarking our cruise. The exterior apartment shown in the film is at Reguliersgracht 36. I admit that I’m bad at directions and even more so without my hand navigation apps, so it was a little tricky getting there. But, we got there, and I was fucking stoked.

Just a hop, skimp, and jump away is another DAF hot spot, but one that’s also on the regular tourist route as well: The Skinny Bridge. This where we See Mr Kidd and Mr Wint as a dead body is pulled from the canal.

Watch the video below to see the Diamonds Are Forever clip of the Skinny Bridge and Bond’s arrival at Tiffany’s apartment.

Although it’s not the most iconic Bond film or location, it’s easy to get to and in a prime tourist destination. I highly suggest making the pilgrimage.

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The 28 List: Final Results


I don’t know how often I even thought about The List this year, mostly because I spent 28 doing EPIC SHIT ALL THE TIME. I mean, this year started when I took last summer off to patio drink my way through the season with two friends, which made me want to be social for the first time since college. That, in itself, was amazing. I actually went on a couple dates with a guy. I got to be in an Indian wedding. Then I got to go to India and attend a wedding. I also lost my job, got accepted into 9 graduate programs, and chose to move to Canada. I indulged the shit out of my bookshop, James Bond, adventure loving self. I actually went to 15 countries during my 28th year of life. I could not feel like this year was more of a win, even if I did only complete 18/28 on The List. I think I raised plenty of cups to the stars, and in no way gave up who I am.

Read the whats, hows, and how-nots, below. (And stay tuned for the 29 list.) From the original 28 List page.


“We’ve come to far to give up who we are,
So let’s raise the bar and our cups to the stars”

– Daft Punk, “Get Lucky”

Dancing at weddings, cruising in Europe… This was my jam last year. And I’m making it my motivation at 28. Here we are, two years closer to thirty and two years into my task mastering. I’ve made some great strides in the last few years and I shouldn’t stop now. But there are some big things on the list this year that are going to require commitment and a change of pace. Late nights, long weekends, early mornings–whatever it takes. I’ll stay up all night to stay lucky.

True to form, this will remain fluid and open to new goals. I’ll track my progress, in an unfashionably slow manner, here.

The 28 List

  1. Travel three places I have never been
    IMG_3979Stop one: Galena, Illinois. I went there when I was 3, and I don’t remember it, so it totally counts for this.
    Stops two through seven: Copenhagen, Denmark; Bergen, Norway; Shetland, Scotland; Thorsmork, Iceland; Belfast, Northern Ireland; Edinburgh, Scotland. A friend and I tackled a 14-day Norwegian Star cruise, pretty much owning the gloriousness of my 28th year. Then in January, I ventured to India.
    THEN my parents and I did three weeks in Europe. The headliners being Epinal, France; Paris, France; Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Luxembourg and Germany. Oh, yeah. And Vancouver, British Columbia. #NailedIt

  2. Have a monthly cocktail
    June: Mimosa (home)
    July: Josh’s Poppin Lime Aid – Muddled cherries & limes with Cruzan Black Cherry, Pimm’s, grenadine, lime juice, sour & club soda. (At Fong’s)
    Aug: The Old Fashioned (Bride’s drink of choice)
    Sept: Irish Coffee with brown sugar, French press coffee, and strong whiskey
    Oct: Whatever goes with wine (I think I just mixed it with more wine)
    Nov: Eggnog and chocolate vodka (not half bad!)
    Dec:  Champagne cocktail of sparkling wine, sugar cube, and bitters
    Jan: Ciders
    Feb: Bud Light.
    Mar: Bloody Mary (in Boston, no less!)
    April: —
    May: Gin & Tonic (you need something strong when you’re about to enter the Red Light District. With your parents.)
  3. Host brunch
    Hah! Practically cheating, because I hosted a birthday brunch. Day One, one check!
  4. Attend a professional baseball game
    I came so close! It was supposed to be a Twins game. But plans got changed last minute. Oh well!
  5. Cook meat
    Yeah, buddy! I mean, it was technically pre-cooked meat I paid too much for at Target, but I put it in a skillet with oil and browned it and baked it in the oven. And it was awesome.
  6. Make a cheesecake
    I’m going to make this one: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/chocolate-cookie-cheesecake/detail.aspx
  7. Work out 30 days in a row
    Coming from working out never, this will be hard. And, 6 months in, I still haven’t done this. Aww, shit.
  8. Stop the pop
    I was doing so good. Then it spiraled out of control.
  9. Personal
    And for personal reasons, I failed.
  10. Four classics
    I really wanted to read some more classics, and actually read them, not audiobook it. Mansfield Park while happened on the cruise. The Handmaid’s Tale, a newer classic, was read for my sorority book club. Little Women hit the list because everyone should have read that, right? Finally, The Sun Also Rises happened, and I actually loved it.
  11. Birthday postcards
    Failed for three of the six months that have passed. Rats.
  12. Veggie a week
    Already failed at this. Failed hard. But I’m only three months in, and in the words of John Legend and Snoop Dogg: I can change. Six months in? Still failing hard. And I probably just ate brussels sprouts every time I even thought about it.
  13. Lose 10 lbs
    HAH omg are you serious? What was June-Kristina thinking? Not about future Kristina, I’ll tell you that much. This was more like, gain 10. Fuck me. Back on the list next year.
  14. Travel somewhere with my parents
    IMG_4695Well, we went to Galena, IL together and then Madison, WI for my high school friend’s wedding. It was a lot of fun! I’m glad we don’t go on roadtrips all the time, but I enjoy hanging with them. And then we went to France, Switzerland, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg. I say I knocked this one out of the park.
  15. Blog more books
    Hey! I’m doing this one. I’ve started a “Last & Lingering” style of blogging to cover things I’ve read/listened to, but didn’t have anything much to write. And I’m going back to the books I read in the last two years, but did take notes, and I’m finally blogging those, too. My goal is to have them done before grad school.
  16. Blog the Bond books
    As part of moving all my belongings into my parents’ house, I actually typed up my notes on these books. Yep, that’s as far as I got.
  17. Get my vintage lamp rewired
    … Or not. I changed my mind. I was worried it’d burn the house down, and so I left it plugged in for a long time. No problems. Maybe it doesn’t need to be rewired.
  18. Don’t check my phone right when I wake up
    I am SO good about this, and I definitely prefer to start my day without panic (email) or comparison (social media).
  19. Go to a Concert
    Ed Sheeran on June 9 in Des Moines, Iowa, was the best concert I’ve ever enjoyed. That man. #pantydropper
  20. Learn/attempt to master a frosting technique
    Jenn and I took a cake decorating class for her birthday. I’ve been experimenting with Wilton tips. It’s a thing.
  21. Take reusable bags to the store
    This must be happening, because I’m damn near out of Target bags which I use for trash. And, of course, I couldn’t possibly be producing more trash.
  22. Develop a routine
    Hardly. Too much traveling.
  23. Learn an e-reader
    This is important for my profession. And my cool factor. I have an iPad, and though I find it infuriating at times, it’s really easy to highlight passages–I like that a lot. BUT, you can’t easily copy the highlighted passages into blog posts. I have to type them up. Wah wah.
  24. Read magazine subscriptions the month I receive them
    I’m doing this one, and it makes me really happy. I’ve decided not to keep anything but Esquire (even though that was a little hard to narrow) and it’s been nice to read, identify if I want to keep something, then recycle.
  25. Make a conscious effort to better my handwriting
    You know, I think a lot more about it when I’m writing. It’s not drastically better, but I’m trying. That’s all I needed.
  26. Finish the Jazz documentary I started a billion years ago, and watch two more
    Ken Burns Jazz is done and it was SO good. I suggest you watch it. Then I watched a couple shorter shows, Secrets of Selfridges and Secrets of Highclere Castle from PBS, and the mini-documentary Inside LEGO.
  27. Go one day – AT WORK – without saying anything negative.
    You know, it’s damn near impossible. But I’m counting Jan 5, 2015 as the win. I wanted to avoid shit-talking my job and complaining. And I more-or-less did, even trying to avoid negativity on the weather! Any less-positive commentary was followed by a positive or acquiescing comment. Negative and realistic was acceptable. Woo!
  28. Make 10 things I’ve pinned on Pinterest
    1. Cinnamon Caramel Cookies
    2. I did a take on these Baked Tacos
    3. I did a version of slow-cooker sprouts
    4. Birthday Brunch included Cinnamon Roll Cream Cheese Monkey Bread
    5. I really only wanted the frosting on these Blueberry Pancake Muffins
    6. I had pinned something more complicated, and went with this Nutella Frosting recipe instead


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Guys, I went to India!

SHIT. It was hot. Like temperature and cool-factor hot. Practically haute.

I need to tell you all about it. For now, here’s me. Living the wanderlust dream (in crabby pants).


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Currently Taking Arguments

As to whether I should try to plan a trip to Bath next spring/summer/early Fall, or a trip any-fucking-time-of-the-year to Scotland. And for how long. And with who. And when. Okay, dazzle me with your insight. GO!

Let this be known as the Austen-Bond Debate 

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Adventure Time!

Well, almost time.

That’s right, NERlanders, I’m going on a big ol’ adventure to foreign lands and seas! I bought a suitcase. I travel solely with my high school cheerleading duffle as a carry on, Londontown being the only exception, so you ought to know I’m serious about this trip.

14 days. Four+ pairs of shoes. One carry-on suitcase.

In just one week I’ll be in full-on panic mode trying to pack for my departure. And that’s probably when I’ll decide to blog and tell you all about it.

For now, much like the Londontown trip (“…see the Cliffs of Dover…”), this video includes a snapshot of one of the places I’ll be enjoying. Any guesses?

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Good Sign

This morning was a warm-but-cool, sunny, moon-roof-open-on-the-interstate kind of morning. It was also a Thursday-is-my-Friday kind of morning, because tomorrow I’m off to a weekend getaway in Lubbock.

Glorious, right?

Then this song came on:

Now, the last time I went to Lubs, I also went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, and St. Louis. It was a crazy-awesome fall and just a generally good time in my life, and I’ve always associated the song with traveling and happiness. Well, that and the fact the song is kind of about traveling and sex.

ANYWAY, it felt right having this little number come on this morning. Like it’s the right time to leave Des Moines for a bit. 

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Guys. I touched it.

I saw Bond in motion yesterday. I saw parachutes and helicoptors and boats and hovercrafts and cars, all from Bond films. It was amaaaazing. Yes the extra a’s were imperative.

When I get home I will update this post with photos. For now, I’m content telling you a bit about it. The exhibit was located at the center of the National Motor Museum in Beaulieu (pronounced b-yu-lee). We got there just as it opened, and because I had pre-purchased tickets we zoomed past the line. Suckers!

Really the only reason that matters was because we got to Bond in Motion before the majority of thr crowd so I got to take a billion photos. The quality might be questionable, but it didn’t matter. It was great. And I touched Little Nellie. And Goldfinger’s Rolls-Royce Phantom III, and Bond’s Aston Martin DB5.

Sneaky fingers didn’t get caught. Yeah!

There was a bunch of other cool stuff, but I’m getting annoyed typing on this Droid. So, more later. But I do want to tell you SKYFALL keeps getting sold out. Damn tourists. I miss the USA.

Now we’re off to Canterbury, Leeds, and the Cliffs of Dover!

Also, the hotel lobby is playing Alanis’ “Uninvited” right now. And the big news here is impending 4G. Weirdos.

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