amsterdam 2016

Amsterdam has always been on my list of places to see, but it was somewhere further down my list. For me, it was one of those places that I wasn’t dying to go to, but I would get to it at some point in my life.

But then I saw Fault in our Stars and the city looked amazing. The canals and the houses just seemed really unique. It seemed romantic, which was weird because you would never really associate Amsterdam with that adjective. After I stopped crying at the movie (yes, tears were shed and I will own that), I mentally moved Amsterdam up a few slots on my list.

When Ben and I were deciding where to go for our vacation for April, we knew we couldn’t go anywhere too far since we had less than a week to spend. Sweden and Norway were initial plans because roundtrip nonstop flights were less than $400. But we decided it would be too expensive since the exchange rates there were not in our favor. Iceland was another idea but Northern Lights season was over already, so we passed on that idea. We finally settled on Amsterdam because this was on the top of his list, and we felt that our 5 full days there would be a sufficient amount of time. Plus, it was tulip season! (but I’ll get into that later) And there are lots more exciting things happening there than legalized weed. Like King’s Day (or Koningsdag), which happened to fall on Ben’s birthday, April 27. It is the day to celebrate King Willem-Alexander’s birth. What that means is everybody dresses up in orange, parties, and drinks on the streets. So it’s basically like the Dutch version of St. Paddy’s Day, but less green. Unfortunately, we weren’t there for this celebration as we were only there from 4/8 – 4/15. I also didn’t find out about the holiday until after we booked our flights. But that’s okay – it just gives us another reason to come back to Amsterdam.

Until then, here are a few photos of the things that we did get the chance to experience there. I’d normally include one of the arrival passport stamp but I didn’t get stamped, which I was really sad about. So either Schiphol doesn’t stamp, or I was in the country illegally. Oh well – I’m back in one piece now and that’s all that counts, right?

Patatje oorlog – “war fries” – fries with raw onions, mayo, and peanut sauce


Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Tulips in bloom at Keukenhof
Hyacinths in bloom at Keukenhof
Rijsttafel (rice table) – a variety of small Indonesian dishes, served with rice
View from Westertoren


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