After a month of traveling for work, I can finally say I’m here for a while and truthfully, there’s nothing better! Don’t get me wrong, I obviously love the traveling part of my job – I wouldn’t go away from my kids if I didn’t believe it was for something good – but the airplane life isn’t me… Every time I step on an airplane, I try to improve my airplane-routine so that I arrive freshest and as rested as possible, but I haven’t mastered it yet. So now, my body has a month to recover until the next flight, which will be by the way, with the kids! But later more on that. Today is all about spending time as a family. The older the kids get, the more they blend into my work-life. It’s easier to travel with them, I can bring them with me, and they are the perfect little faces to practice my photography on. However, as much as possible, I leave them out. You know me by now, it’s a debate I always try to clear up when I post something about them. And once again, please be respectful and leave your negativity at my front door. There is not room for it in our lives, and moreover, you don’t have to “save” my kids from anything. They are the happiest and most confident little ones, who are growing up well-rounded and exposed to the things we decide to expose them to. Thank you!
Now back to Bellport, New York, and spending time with my family, because in the end, that’s the only thing I want to do when I’m NOT working. Who wouldn’t? So whenever we have the chance to leave the city for Upstate New York or Long Island, we go. I have plenty of destinations on my travel-wishlist that are further away, but the thing is, when I don’t fly for work, I rather take the car. Just to avoid the airport for a while. Is that crazy? Well, anyway, on 1,5 hours from Manhattan, there’s Bellport, a super cute small town with a colonial feel, white picked fences, and a certain calmness that would do good to anyone living a high paced life like me. We don’t plan much when we go, but there’s three things we can’t get around when we’re there…
First stop is definitely Carla Marla’s ice cream parlor. You won’t believe how cute this little store is, and it serves the perfect treat after 1,5+ hours drive from Manhattan in a warm car during summer. Funny story about the car by the way; we bought it four years ago in Bellport, without even realizing how much we were going to love this little town. A little less to love is the fact that the AC broke 6 months in though, and because it’s an old Jeep Cherokee, we haven’t decided if it’s worth spending a fortune on fixing it. Anyway, so a few meltdowns – literally – from James and Stella on the way to Bellport are well treated with a delicious ice-cream, or a little bag of candy. Apart from the fact that it feels like time stood still when you sit outside of this cute little parlor, it’s also the perfect Instagram opportunity, obviously!
After ice-cream and candy – since I’m literally the last person on the planet to eat one – it’s time for lunch for “us”. We always make it a thing for “them” and “us” but in reality, we obviously want them to eat healthy things more than sweets, so James and Stella know by now that even though the car ride can be hot and sweaty, there is no ice-cream if they don’t eat a healthy lunch, too. And they do. One of the places we love, which we got recommended from a friend of mine who has a little summer house here, is PORTERS on the Lane (not shown in the pictures). Fresh food, healthy options, and also for the kids. Salads with grilled chicken and dressing on the side, plenty of seafood options and a raw bar, or just a good sandwich. I love it mostly because the food is really good – and I’m picky – and the services ever so friendly. Outside terrace is great in summer with the kids!
For coffee – I found out yesterday – you have to go to Bellport General. It’s new, freshly painted white and yellow, and they sell coffee, books, home good, and other design pieces. As mentioned in my Instastories, I never drink coffee after 12PM but this store made me do it. We got two iced Americanos for on the road, and James and Stella picked iced peppermint tea. Little bags of popcorn were added and off we were, back to the City. Which is always a good feeling, too. As much as we love to leave Manhattan when it’s warm, and seek for cooling spots near the ocean on green, there’s nothing like driving up to Manhattan, seeing the skyline, and thinking “this is our home”. It’s as magical as the sea is refreshing in summer. I hope it will never change.
Key to keep that feeling is a good balance between being in the city, and being away from it. Again, we love it here, but it’s a non-stop urban jungle – which we love – but can be exhausting for me at times. So we make sure to leave for other places as often as we can. Plus, it’s good for the kids to be in touch with nature and other cultures of course. Next stop for us is not of a nature kind, but to Paris for the Bonpoint show and Haute Couture week. It’s our family tradition for a few years now, and we love it so very much. Summer in Paris is hot, but very beautiful, and also perfect with kids. James and Stella couldn’t be happier to run around in a different park and see different museums. We bring sketch books and pencils, and have them recreate old master painting… Obviously highlight for them, too, is the Bonpoint show, in which they will walk again this season. Every single time I ask them in advance, if they really want to do it, and every time they tell me yes! So off we go, soon, to the land of croissants – as James and Stella love to call it!
James is wearing Bonpoint Spring-Summer 2018 knit (sold out but other options here), t-shirt, shorts, and shoes, and Stella is wearing a Bonpoint Coutureshirt, Bonpoint Spring-Summer 2018 jacket, shorts, and the cutest cherry sandals.
Photos by Charlotte Groeneveld