Four Days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has to be one of my favorite places in the world. I have visited there many times, and each time I go I love it even more. The Dutch are absolutely lovely people, and we have never had a negative experience with anyone during our visits. The city is clean (compared to some other European cities) and filled with beautiful flowers. So, during our summer vacation we decided to spend 4 days and show our kids this beautiful city that we love so much. Until next time Amsterdam...

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

We rented a houseboat on the Amstel and biked all over the place.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Every corner of the city has a unique and beautiful touch. It is hard not to take pictures of everything you see.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A lovely little flower shop tucked in one of the alleys in the city.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

There are bikes everywhere, EVERYone bikes - from moms with two kids in the front basket to business people dressed in suits going to work.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

One of our very own city bikers - always 100 meters ahead.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

The absolutely gorgeous giant baskets of petunia had me every time. So beautiful and abundant.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com

We biked with the kids all over the city, and although I was afraid at times that we were going to get hit by a car, or by another biker, it never happened because everyone is pretty respectful of one another and patient with city biking rookies like myself. So, we had a very fun time cruising around the city and seeing everything.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Arasteh Underwood
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Arasteh Underwood
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I loved stopping by the beautiful Albert Cuypmarkt close to where we were staying to buy some food and flowers.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Oriental poppies grow like weed in Amsterdam. I was envious and in awe!!

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

I took a quick trip with my youngest son to the amazing Rijksmuseum for some Dutch Masters while the others were waiting in the very long line for the Anne Frank Museum. We made it back just as they were getting in (2+ hours later).

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

On our walk to Rijksmuseum we encountered these beauties.

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: Nathan Underwood / nruphoto.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com
Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Photography, styling and design by Kiana Underwood Select photography by Nathan Underwood and Arasteh Underwood.

Ohio Amish Country

One of the highlights of our summer road trip was driving through Amish country in Ohio. We visited a part of northern Ohio with a large population of both Amish and Mennonites. To be honest, aside from the fact that they choose to live a very simple life, I really didn't know much about the Amish. However, after my recent visit, I have to admit that I am in awe of these people. I absolutely loved everything that I saw, from the beautifully manicured lawns and gardens, the perfectly organized clothes hanging to dry in the sun, their amazing produce and farmers markets, to their outfits and the awesome beards (my husband was jealous). It was all a breath of fresh air, and far away from the usual pretentiousness that life in a major city tends to cultivate.

The beauty in the countryside was overwhelming, so I simply took pictures everywhere I went. They absolutely love flowers - flowers everywhere...so I think that the Amish and I would be good friends, if only for the love that we share for flowers.

Our non-equine buggy. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Giant hibiscus on someone's front lawn, so of course we stopped for a snap. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

It's not ber-LIN (like the German city), it's BUR-lin! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

To me, there is something very special about people who choose this as their ride and mode of transportation as opposed to cars. Here is a great example of an Amish buggy. For the first couple of hours, my kids were looking for Volkswagen Bugs every time we said "buggy"...until we did some explaining! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

A visit to the cheese factory. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

She did give me the look of "Really?!" Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Farmland Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Clothes drying on the line. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Hard to see, but this Dalmatian was relaxing next to the driveway. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

The produce (and pies) were amazing. All fruits and vegetables were about 1/3 of the price I am used to in San Francisco. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

We found this abandoned motel about two hours from the Amish farms as we were heading out of northern Ohio. We explored for a bit - which was a lot of fun. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com

Credits:

Styling, photography, and design by Kiana Underwood Select photography by Nathan Underwood

Humans with Bouquets: NOLA

I cannot begin to convey the love I have for New Orleans. I have visited many times, and each time, I'm more in love. There is something about it - the beautiful archuitecture, the history, the art, the music, and the food. However, above all, what make NOLA is its beautiful people! I have traveled to many cities in many countries in my lifetime, but I have to say that New Orleans has some of the friendliest and kindest people I have ever encountered. So, on my recent road trip, I decided that I wanted to capture some of these lovely faces and give them the spotlight they deserved. I made a bouquet, and NRU brought his Hassie along and we went for an early evening walk in the French Quarter (with kids in tow of course). I simply walked around and asked people who seemed interesting to me if they would hold the bouquet and participate in my endeavor. No one said "no" - and here are the lovely people we were able to capture before we lost the daylight!

This lovely man - I don't know his name - couldn't hold a bouquet and play his instrument at the same time, so one of my boys gave him a hand (albeit a little hesitantly). Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

This is Bourbon Street beauty Brooke. She was very sweet, and I loved those shoes!! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

This man was busy, but he was still a willing and kind participant. I just love the bright colors of his shirt and hot dog cart! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

This serious but kind man is Vashon. He didn't have an e-mail address, but I promised I would mail him a copy of his photo to his home. Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

And last but not least, is Chris, who was playing the guitar beautifully on Royal Street! Kiana Underwood / tulipina.com | Photography: N.R. Underwood / nruphoto.com

Thank you beautiful people of New Orleans, I'm honored to have you as my humans!

Note: Once we were done, I told my husband that I would give the bouquet to the next person who admired it. So, we walked into a charming shop where the shopkeeper said "Oh, what a lovely bouquet" and they were hers. She was so shocked and thankful - and told me that I had made her day! Let's just say that I had had a pretty good day myself!

Credits:

Styling and design by Kiana Underwood Photography by N.R. Underwood