Defending your Life by Hilary

Monday, 18April, 2011

Defending your Life by Hilary

by beckerich

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It was a sunny Sunday afternoon and Lauren and I were lounging in our bathrobes outside.  We were surrounded by sprawling green lawn in the middle of Amsterdam.  Each of us with a glass of white wine in our hands, totally relaxed having lazy conversation.  On one side of us lie two beautiful naked girls sipping pink champagne, giggling and smoking cigarettes.  On the other side were two naked 70 something women sitting cross-legged causally talking to the waiter in Dutch about what to have for lunch.  Directly in front of us was a beautiful hand crafted indoor / outdoor mosaic pool about three times the size of an olympic pool with various fountains.  People were swimming and then pulling their naked bodies up out of the warm water to then causally walk over to pick up their bathrobe.  We would watch them stroll over to the round infinity hot tub to relax after their swim.  Lauren put it perfectly at one point of the day,  ”I feel like we are in that movie Defending Your Life with Albert Brooks.”

We were relaxed and exhausted after having spent the last three hours in various steam rooms and saunas, aromatherapy flotation rooms and dipping ourselves from the hot tubs into cold pools.  We were joking about how far we have come.  The last time we went to a Spa in Amsterdam and they told us it was 100% nude and 100% coed we freaked.  We begged and pleaded with the old Dutch woman who ran the place, “were Americans!! Please!!.” We begged with sheer panic in our voices, “we don’t care if everyone else is naked and we have our swim suits on!  We won’t be embarrassed we promise!!” But the old woman was having none of this and came running after us practically ripping the swim suits off our shivering wet bodies.

So this time around we were ready.  It’s interesting coming from America where nothing like this exists.  Well, in the main stream population anyway.  You can find naked spas and beaches in hippy places somewhere deep in Northern California but even then it still feels like there is an element of, “I’m a super cool hippy and I’m totally down with my nakedness… and yours (while totally checking you out and making you want to cover your private areas and run out of the room).  No fault on us Americans, we were just brought up with the idea of modesty.  Cant say that for the Dutch.  They were brought up with an entirely different way of thinking.  There were at least 100 people at this spa.  Old men and women, fat, thin, perfect and scarred.  None of it matters.  No one is self-conscious of their bodies.  No one is looking at themselves in the reflection of the window and no one is looking at you either. After being there for a bout 5 minutes you pick up on the collective vibe and forget that your siting there naked with about 100 other naked people talking to your naked friend.

And that was just one day!!

We started the weekend on Friday night with Lauren’s Ghetto-gether which was absolutely amazing and so much fun.  I won’t go into detail as you can read about in the previous post but all I have to say is that if you have the opportunity to go to one, do it.  It was a great time and an absolute different experience with food.  It was amazing and the people were equally if not even more interesting than the food.  Which is a hard one to top as all the food was mind-blowing.

Saturday was our “girl day”.  Which is basically code for Lauren and I to sneak away from the men in our lives and go from cute bar to cute bar on our bikes and drink all day (no knee scabs allowed the next day either!).  We got lucky with the weather this weekend.  It was sunny and 60 so we hoped on our bikes and hit the town.  First stop on our girl day was a picnic in the park. We had stopped at the market the day before and got the most heavenly hummus from “The Hummus Man of Amsterdam.”  We had avocado and feta hummus, regular hummus, aubergine some sort of deliciousness and home-made flat breads that he sold in large plastic bags.  I don’t know what little slice of heaven this angel living on earth came from but this man can make some serious… yep, you guessed it… hummus!!  I’m officially on a mission to figure out how to make the avocado feta hummus and when I do I will be sure to share it with you.  I think I just used the word hummus about 50 times in that paragraph.  Hummus.  Dang it… I can’t stop.  Okay… pfew.

Next stop on the list was to a Jenever tasting room.  And not just any ole tasting room.  The Wynand Fockink tasting room and distillery which has been open since 1679.  If you don’t know what jenever is, as I didn’t before I started going to Amsterdam, jenever is an old Dutch liqueur.  As you walk into this place you start to feel a bit tipsy.  The walls are slanted and by some source of magic the drooping shelves that carry the old bottles are somehow still hanging on.  I found myself sort of holding my body to the right attempting to compensate for the slanted building and holding my breath for the old shelves that looked like they were ready to collapse at any moment.  We learned the proper way to drink this liqueur is to stoop towards the bar and take a sip of your drink.  This is the way it’s been done for 300 years so today was no day to break the rules!!

Great trip as always!  Though part of the trip was to get our blog site a new face and brand.  And while we are getting there, as you can see we are in a bit of a transition at the moment so bear with us while we are under “construction”!  The new face of our blog is soon to come.  We have Lauren’s man Stefan on the case doing all the computer techie stuff I am so clueless about I can’t understand half of what he is saying.  And doing our branding and design, another one of my BFF’s is on the case Alesha Bishop!  Check out her blog.  She’s an amazing designer / social media guru / eco-friendly Mommy living in San Francisco!!

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Juliana April 20, 2011 at 4:35 pm

I just ran into your blog, and it looks so interesting! I was just traveling through Europe this summer, and it’s fun to relive the memories. The only thing is, for some reason your RSS feed isn’t working. My GoogleReader can’t find your blog even with the URL. Help!


admin April 20, 2011 at 8:58 pm

Hi Juliana! Thanks for you comment. Looks like our RSS feed url had a mistake in it; it’s corrected now. Google should catch up in a couple of days. You can connect directly by subscribing to


Elaine Beckrich April 23, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Love love love love your life sista. John and are hoping you will still be in Europe in about a year, bc we are coming back for you! Miss you! Your blog is amazing!


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