While 2019 brought many new changes to this business, we decided to take a little break this past August and head to the free-spirited and laid-back city of Amsterdam. A couple of years ago, two of my closest friends moved to the city of canals and ever since their transplant, I had been eager to make the trip over. It took far too long for the transatlantic journey to happen but I’m already thinking about our next trip over.
Being in the Netherlands, is actually like being in a story book. Everything is polished and put together, flowering shrubbery and trees were in full bloom, and the weather was never too hot or too cool. We biked around the city, cruised around canals on a small boat while enjoying plenty of wine, and soaked in what the daily lives of expats were like in Amsterdam.
Our first full day was one of our favorites and although we were still recovering from our flight, we hit the ground running (or biking I should say) and fought through the tire. We jumped into the lifestyle right away and biked to a little boat where we cruised around the canals with a group of expats all day long. And what made this day so special was the progressive dinner. During our day of biking and boating, we stopped at the houses of these expats for drinks, appetizers and desserts. Nothing could have given us a better taste as to what everyday life is like in Amsterdam than touring four different apartments from people that live there now. The wine was quenching, the food was divine, but the company throughout the day was the best!
And from day one - we realized this little slice of heaven was just as idyllic as you see in postcards.
Later on in the trip, we took the bus to Zaanse Schans. Yes, it's touristy, is slammed with people and is basically the Dutch Disneyland, but it is a must! Everything you think about when you think of Holland is in Zaanse Schans. The windmills, the wooden clogs, and the lush landscape. If you’re looking for that picturesque spot, this is it! And it’s so accessible to get to - just a short bus ride from Amsterdam. And at the bus station, we decided to hit up a little grocer and filled a bag with hummus, veggies, crackers and small bottle of wine. We brought our own blanket and enjoyed the most peaceful picnic by a windmill.
Even with all that there is to take in, Zaanse Schans is not an all day venture. We left in the morning and were back in Amsterdam by the early afternoon. And we decided to take a stroll through the Rijksmuseum. The art is captivating and the architecture of the building is awe-inspiring. And just as impressive are the grounds of the museum. Striking trees, vine covered walkways, and towering sculptures fill up the gardens of the museum that are a must to walk through.
- Heinen Delfts Blauw - go to spot for classic Blue and White Delft Tableware
- Dille and Kamille - this kitchen goods store is like a take on Williams Sonoma, but with an even more natural vibe
- Flying Tiger - we first came across a Flying Tiger in Iceland and fell in love. Imagine if the dollar section at Target had a whole store - that would be Flying Tiger!
- Loco Llama - a quirky home goods store where I could have walked away with almost one of everything in the shop
And our final day ended the same way it began - on a canal cruise. This is truly the best way to experience this city - from the water. It presents the architecture of the city and all that it has to offer from a totally new perspective.
Months after this trip and we still bring it up once a week, so Amsterdam travels part two is definitely on the horizon.