Jun 16, 2015

The Netherlands: Amsterdam


My last trip post! I know you all are thrilled. Regularly unscheduled blogging commences soon. I'm dying to show you our new house, talk about sofa buying drama, and write paragraphs about how grateful I am to have a full sized washer and dryer.

But first, Amsterdam.

Vondelpark

We only had two days in Amsterdam, so we tried to make the most of it. It's a relatively big city, but almost everything was walkable and the tram system is actually quite convenient. Brandon, otherwise known as Clark W. Griswold, does not let you sit down for one second on vacation. Must see all the sites. Must always walk. Must have a good old-fashioned family vacation.

So we did just that.

Dutch Flowers

Did I tell you how happy I was with our accommodations in Amsterdam? And it wasn't only because our Air B&B came with a bong (kidding, but really, there was a bong), but it was literally STEPS away from Vondelpark.

Vondelpark

It was always full of runners, walkers, bikers, and lots of people having picnics. Very picturesque and quiet. It was definitely one of my favorite attractions.

Vondelpark

A not so quiet attraction: The Anne Frank House

Anne Frank House

The line wrapped around the block. I was absolutely obsessed with The Diary of Anne Frank when I was in 6th grade and I even played her in a school play. Despite the fact that I was really interested in going to the museum, the crowds turned me off. We did walk by it though and used the free WiFi to get directions to the pizza place we were headed to. Is that terrible?

While public transportation is amazing in this city, we opted to walk just about everywhere. It's a big place, but not overly big that you cannot reach everything by foot. And with sites like these, why would you not want to walk?

Amsterdam

As huge fans of The Met in NYC, we definitely could not leave the Rijksmuseum off our lists.

Rijksmuseum

We spent a few hours admiring the works of art (I found the WWII exhibit to be particularly fascinating) and other forms of "art" as well...

Rijksmuseum

He's all mine, girls.

Amsterdam Canals

We also spent a really lovely afternoon on a canal cruise. It was kind of touristy, but super relaxing and a great way to learn about the city. We may or may not have dozed off a few times, but that's what jet lag and Brandon's no public transportation policy do to you.

One cool fact that we learned on the canal tour: buildings used to be taxed on their width, causing people to build extremely narrow homes to get out of paying a boatload of taxes. This is a (crappy, but sufficient) photo of the narrowest building in all of Amsterdam.

Narrowest Amsterdam House

We truly enjoyed this city, its beautiful canals, melting pot of ethnicities, fearless bicyclists, and traditional Dutch apple pie (and please don't kick me out of this country for saying this America, but Dutch apple pie is so much better than yours).

Amsterdam Canals

We left this country with a true appreciation of their people (seriously, I think hospitality was born in The Netherlands and perfected by Emma's family), culture, and views on life. It meant so much to me that I was able to meet members of Emma's family and see how and where she grew up, as well experience a truly remarkable country full of history.

Dankjewel, Netherlands! We'll see you again soon I'm sure!




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