Technically the summer hasn’t come to an end, but with the rainy weather coupled with an intensive work week ahead, it seems only natural to draw the line here. Yet I feel fortunate to have had a long summer, some spent in France, some on the beaches of Zandvoort and others on the Maltese shores.

Afterwards I was given the opportunity for work to go to the Philippines and Taiwan, discovering yet more. Most of these trips I had the pleasure to do with the kids, watching Victoria take the lead in what our dinners would look like and Sebastian showing off his swimming skills.

My highlight must be the sailing trip we had for a day with family and friends along the northern coast of Malta, anchoring in the blue lagoon and exploring abandoned towers and grottoes. I took time to meditate on the bow, figuring my course of direction until that elusive date of 2020. And so I sit here in bed with classical music streaming through my iphone, coffee in one hand, and my notes I made that trip in the other, including the Mont Blanc pen I received for my birthday. Memories from past intertwines with the present and that of what is to be. #feelingblessed

lovely summer moments

I arrived back early this morning. Luckily having been upgraded to business class I succumbed to a long sleep after watching Allied with Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard. Now on to another Netflix serie making the most out of the weekend before work commence on Monday.

Allied

settling in with a glass of Champagne and a movie…not a bad way to end the home journey

the tax free shopping offered a few purchases too

a beautiful teapot gift which will take pride of place

It’s been a short but good trip to both the Philippines and Taiwan. Not much sightseeing but good meetings, conversations and fantastic food. And an excellent Chinese massage I should add. About to take off destination Amsterdam, so I’m off the grid for next 12 hours 🙂

exotic food breakfast in bed

the 101 tower

dumplings at the famous Din Tai Fung restaurant

sliced and steamed cake

window shopping from a taxi

 

Koi fish at the massage parlour 

stepping out in the warm Taipei evening 

  

Admittedly I haven’t seen much of Manila, besides corporate buildings, restaurants and hotels. Nevertheless it has been a good trip (set aside the long haul, which was pretty hard to muster being a die-hard insomniac). After catching up on emails, late breakfast and a gym session, I’m now off to Taipei.

view from hotel

travelling is no excuse…

…for not keeping up with fitness regime 

 

 

Do I need to say more?

Manila intersection

discovered a new dish – mango with sticky rice

interior shot of hotel Fairmont

Singapore sling – gin, cherry-flavored brandy, triple sec, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, and grenadine

sophistication in a bottle

window shopping

Touched down, did the laundry, had a 10 hour beauty sleep, repacked and now off for a short business trip. Before I left, I discovered the amaryllis plant from last year’s Christmas in full bloom on the balcony. A wonderful welcome and goodbye at the same time.

Beauty in all its simplicity

Food for thought – snacks and magazines in the business lounge

We are about to embark on our journey home to the Netherlands. As with most holidays, it feels far too short and have passed much too quickly. But with a very early wake-up and not much sleep either, I can’t wait to be home. Thank you family for making the holiday memorable and Malta for hosting us so graciously. I have a feeling we will be back soon!

beach fun

new trend was set – wear a cap in the pool

special treat for lunch

last pic before packing – we were all a bit downcast that the holiday was coming to an end

 

The holiday is coming to an end (today is the last day), but before we leave we had a family gathering a la Arabic cuisine at Sharma in the Portomaso marina. The food, the wine and in this case the Arabic coffee was fantastic and so was the company. The evening came to an end at a local fish spa to everyone’s amusement 🙂

this pic reminds me so much of when Victoria first started drawing with Sebastian. Always handy to have crayons with you when going out for dinner 🙂

for the last family shots of course the drawing took centre stage

thank you guys for a great evening out

 

Our vacation is almost coming to an end, but despite being a little less than 2 weeks we managed to see and do a lot. As the other day when we visit the tranquil but majestic city if Mdina and the Baroque architectural capital Valletta. Pictures follow below…

a little toysoldier

exploring the streets of Mdina

…and the many churches

picturesque streets

…and details 

such as this welcoming arrangement at Fontanella Tea Gardens

with an exceptional view over the island

followed by dinner at D’Office in Valletta

…and a late evening walk

 

Anticipations were high when we embarked on a sailing trip yesterday. As usual we took the route of the northern coast up to Comino and Gozo, hung around the blue lagoon and its grottos before sailing off again (with a few pitch stops). Just before dinner time, we entered the harbour of Portomaso where dinner was waiting at Hush. In all honesty, the best day we had so far, with the whole family gathered!

ship ahoy!

tender family moment

this is fun

the famous watchtower of Comino

Sebastian tricked the girls into jumping #schadenfreude

last picture of the day