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amsterdam = european vegas

Amsterdam Train Station September 2015

Happy Monday! Said no one, ever.  I hope you had a great weekend, and that Monday wasn’t too hard on you!  I am determined to get these pictures to you from our vacation in September. Slowest share ever, I swear.  But it’s kind of cool for me, because every time I edit or upload a new picture of my trip to the blog, I remember the amazing time I spent there.  It’s sort of bittersweet to go on the trip of your dreams, because once you do, it’s this build up for FOREVER, then you’re there and it’s awesome and time warps and before you know it, it’s over.  You build up all this anticipation, all these expectations, and then, BLINK! it’s gone. Of course the memories are there, the experience of seeing a different corner of the world stays, but let’s be real here: memories fade.  They’re fleeting.  So having a ridiculous amount of photos and my journals from each day of our adventure helps to make it seem like yes, it was real.

Amsterdam Flower Market

I never intended to see Amsterdam in my first excursion out of the US.  A co-worker recommended it to me over Paris because she thought my sister and I would have more fun.  I think she was right, although I don’t know what Paris is like.  Amsterdam is bustling.  Do you ever hear a word and know what it means, but have never truly experienced it in everyday life? Like, “bustling.” Do you ever sit there and think to yourself in any given situation, “Wow.  This place is really bustling”? Amsterdam is the epitome of that word.  Bikes, trams, cars, buses, people – they are all going at the same time, in the same street, with a one-inch bump in the road to serve as a division between them.  It’s organized chaos at it’s finest, and that’s an understatement! My sister and I became jumpy, twitchy little things our first day there, dodging this and that, looking over our shoulders for bikes and people and traffic and trams.  Bicycle bells taunted me in my sleep.  Thankfully, we figured out the system quick, but it was an experience.  No joke.

Amsterdam Street paintedposies.comAmsterdam Shopping

It’s funny.  Looking back, we definitely picked up the pace on this stretch of our trip.  While England was more sit and wait and walk at our own pace and relax, Amsterdam was go, go, GO! We had less time there, but it was also just a more upbeat atmosphere.  In one day, we went to a fantastic out-of-the way restaurant for lunch, did a tour of the Heineken factory, and then took a canal cruise. And it left us ready and rearing to go for more!

Restaurant de Kaz Amsterdam paintedposies.comSisters Vacation Amsterdam

If I had a Euro, Pound or Dollar for every time someone told me and my sister we were twins, oh! I could go back to Europe this very minute!

Heineken Factory Part paintedposies.comHeineken Factory Amsterdam paintedposies.comHeineken Factory Tour Amsterdam paintedposies.comAmsterdam House Boats paintedposies.comAmsterdam Canal paintedposies.comAmsterdam Canal Cruise paintedposies.comAmsterdam Canal Tour Bridges paintedposies.comSea Palace Chin Restaurant Amsterdam paintedposies.comAmsterdam Sunset Canal Cruise paintedposies.comAmsterdam Sunset Canal Cruise paintedposies.comAmsterdam Sunset Canal Cruise 3

When we weren’t wining, dining and cruising, we were exploring the city and enjoying the people and sights.  Amsterdam is a friendly, fun place and there is more to see and do than you can squeeze into one trip.  The Van Gogh and Diamond Museums, cafes, flower markets, coffee shops.  You could probably spend a lifetime there and never see everything!

Amsterdam public park paintedposies.comAmsterdam Shopping Mall paintedposies.comAmsterdam Coffee Shop paintedposies.comAmsterdam Cheese Company paintedposies.comAmsterdam paintedposies.comAmsterdam Flower Market Bulbs paintedposies.comAmsterdam paintedposies.comAmsterdam Flower Bins

OH! We stayed at a hostel while we were visiting – the Stayokay Vondelpark.  Highly, highly recommend.  The vibe is fun, there’s a bar, a game room, common area, laundry, free breakfast in the morning and bike rentals (among so many other things!).  The other guests are fun and talkative, and out of our whole trip to Europe, this was the place we mingled the most.  Added bonus: it’s literally right next door to a ginormous park that takes up a big chunk of map.  It’s seriously the coolest place.  Don’t expect too many luxuries, though.  It is a hostel, after all.

Stayokay Vondelpark Amsterdam paintedposies.comStayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark

Even the airport was cool:

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport paintedposies.comAmsterdam Schiphol Terminal Edit

And there it is.  My last vacation post.  Excuse me while I go dry my eyes…

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