Thursday, November 21, 2013


Maddy, Courtney, Jess, and I flew to the Netherlands this past weekend! 

After an extremely easy flight to Amsterdam, we checked in at our hostel, Hotel MyHome, freshened up and met up with one of Maddy’s friends from high school who happens to be doing research in there for the semester. 

The hostel owner’s lovely cat!

Our first night in Amsterdam we walked around and saw a lot of the city center! We made our way through the various districts and had a blast getting to know Maddy’s friend, Myell.

The Royal Palace (which today is actually just a museum)...

Friday we decided to go on one of Amsterdam's famed bike tours. Amsterdam is another "city of canals" and has developed a very interesting city plan due to the continuous building during the Middle Ages up until the early 19th century.With that being said, the canals allow for a very bicycle-friendly city.  

Our tour guide, Jessie, was so much fun. We were introduced to the history of the provence of North Holland and the city of Amsterdam, biked through Vondelpark, and went around the center of town. We saw the numerous bridges, houseboats, and bicycle filled streets and canals. 

We also were able to go back to Dam Square where the Royal Palace and the war monument are, and happens to be the location where the first canal of Amsterdam was built.  We also made it to the Red-Light district where we saw the Old Church and many other things...use your imaginations. 

And then, we stopped for a quick drink at one of Amsterdam's best breweries... 

I had such a great time going on the tour with Mike's Bike Tours. I learned so much about the city's history as well as it's infamous reputation as a liberal, hippy's playground. The city does address many issues in a unconventional way, but they are being progressive and many of the laws that they have set in place has allowed the city to become more regulated. I'm not sure if their progressive approach is right or wrong, but at least they are addressing these issues. 

Saturday we dedicated time to go to the Vincent Van Gogh museum and wander around the city. 

We had to go see the I AMsterdam sign! 

When I was in third grade, my art teacher introduced us to Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh and I fell in love. Ever since, he has been one of my favorite artists because of his wonderful use of color, unique brush strokes, and fascinating life. 

Being the Van Gogh fan that I am, one of the biggest things I was looking forward to when going to Amsterdam was getting to go visit the Vincent Van Gogh Museum. And it was wonderful!

...Self-Portrait as a Painter


...Fishing Boats on the Beach at Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

and my favorite...Almond Blossom 

After visiting the museum we decided to go try one of the Netherland's sweet treats, the STROOPWAFEL. It was delicious.  

As we were walking around we ran into a protest against a Dutch holiday tradition, surrounding the issue of Black Pete. Personally, after looking into the holiday, I think it is pretty awful. There are a ton of interesting editorials on the topic if you are interested in looking into it. 

We ended the night with a Pancake boat cruise! 

...and Sunday morning, I fell back in love with Starbucks. Thank the Lord for Christmas drinks and cups! 

Courtney and I couldn't pass up this photo-op! 

Bye, bye Netherlands, it was lovely! 

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