13 April – 14 April
Thursday afternoon we headed out to the airport to hop on our flight to Amsterdam. Honestly this trip was such a pain in the ass to plan and figure out. I’ll explain this story eventually but it could take a while – in short my dad would call it an ‘idiot tax.’ Anyway, I arrived in Amsterdam with Margaret, Ben and Aditya around 9 where we met up with their friend Andrew and Phillip. We figured out the train system and rode it to stops to the Sloterdijk Station which was, I kid you not, 100 meters from our hostel. Our last group member was already at the hostel when we arrived and I checked us in.
We reconvened in the lobby and went to the bar across the walkway from our hostel. I ended up getting this really good craft beer that was a hoppy blonde ale. Slowly enjoying beer more and more and finding that I have a major preference to craft beers. We called it a night after that and set a meeting time of 9 for the morning.
Friday morning we met and bought a 3-day travel pass and tickets a combined ticket to the Heineken Experience tour and a boat canal tour. We took the train one stop into the city and walked through the city to a little spot for breakfast. I ended up with a ham & cheese croissant and a fresh pressed OJ.
We found our way back to the train after breakfast and rode it all the way back to the airport where we bought tickets to the Keukenhof Gardens. We queued for the bus to the gardens which took about a half-hour. The bus ride took another half-hour and then we arrived at the most gorgeous. gardens. ever.
~see excessive number of photos below~
BLOWN AWAY by mother nature and the people who probably dedicated an insane amount of time to planting all of these tulips bulbs. Thanks for the most beautiful garden I’ve ever stepped foot in. Also Margaret knew what she was doing when she picked tulips as her favorite flower – I’m a changed woman – tulips are my favorite now too.
Fast forward to late afternoon when we finally arrived back in the city after a coffee break. We waited in line for the boat canal tour and got lucky enough to snag spots outside. This city is insane. I fell in love the minute I stepped off the train at the central station. Now I will continue to live in a fantasy world where I live in one of the row houses on a canal or a house boat until I actually do. DREAM BIG.
~hope you’re a visual person – here’s another photo montage~
We followed the canal tour with dinner at some place on a canal where I got a radler (thanks mom for teaching me what that is) and a pesto pasta. We got gelato with a stroopwafel on top and then passed though the red-light district in the evening before finding a place for a few drinks. First off, the red-light district is NOT what I expected. People made it sound like there were literal booths like standing up in the street. It did not sound like there would be red lights turned on in windows with girls in lingerie in the windows enticing customers. Seriously the most bizarre thing ever.