Amsterdam & Lindsay’s Birthday


 

So April of last year, my best bud here, LIndsay, and I decided to go to Amsterdam over her birthday. I was super excited, because this was my first girls weekend trip away!

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Day 1

We were only there from Friday – Monday, but it was SUCH a great trip. The first day/night we were there, we just walked around the city to get our bearings . We had a few hours before we could check into our apartment we were staying in,  so we roamed around to see what there was to see.

Toos & Roos

We stopped first to grab some lunch at this cute little place called Toos & Roos. It was quite packed, so we figured it must be good (but was a bit worried about getting a table); however, we were able to snatch up the last one!  We ordered the Thai Lentil Soup and the smoked chicken sandwich with guacamole, bacon and lettuce. We went to order tap water as well, but were told they do not have tap water. We weren’t thirsty, so we just didn’t order any drinks. Personally, I’m not sure how you don’t provide tap water to your patrons, but maybe that’s just me. But the food totally made up for that! The servings were massive and the food was FANTASTIC! Plus there was free WIFI, so that’s always a plus.

The canals of Amsterdam

The canals of Amsterdam

Street performers from while we were walking around…

10445970_10102165878344399_3373344616787387966_nbut before going on our dinner cruise, we stopped at a restaurant called Joselito because we had about an hour to kill before boarding the boat. They had a cat LIVING in the restaurant. And I was so happy when he came up to say hi. I made friends with him pretty quickly 🙂 .

 

 

 Dinner Cruise

After our drink, we headed on over to board our boat for our pizza dinner cruise. We decided to do this first night so that we could get a good layout of the city, and see places we may want to come back to. The cruise was nice, and we got some cool views of the city. The only downside is that the pizza that they served on the boat was like a pizza hut personal pizza. But we got unlimited wine, so that made up for it! Unfortunately, I don’t have any photos worth posting (they were mostly through the windows on the boat. BUT I included a slideshow of some of the ones that turned out okay.

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Day 2

Bagels and Beans

We tried to go see the Van Gogh museum, but unfortunately all the tickets were sold out for  a couple days. So, we purchased our tickets for a few days later, and went and had breakfast/lunch at one of my FAV places in Amsterdam, Bagels and Beans. It’s a cafe chain in Holland that serves bagel sandwiches and coffee. And their food is SOOOO good.

Albert Cuypmarkt (De Pijp)

Because we were at the Bagels and Beans in De Pijp,  we decided to check out the Albert Cuypmarkt (and no, I cannot pronounce it). It’s  street market that goes for blocks and blocks. You can buy everything there from vegetables, beef, chicken, freshly caught fish, to clothing, electronics, nail polish, etc. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find here!

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So after roaming up and down, we decided that we needed a little break, so we got some freshly made stroopwafels, which is essentially heaven on earth. It’s two cinnamon flavoured wafers with caramel syrup melted in between. Then we took them to Sarphatipark and just relaxed!

Before going home and cooking dinner, we did just a little bit more roaming and stopped for a drink along the canal.

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Day 3

Renting Bicycles

If you go to Amsterdam, you HAVE to rent bicycles! We rented ours through MacBike because you could book online. Normally I’m really hesitant about cycling in large cities, but here EVERYONE cycles. This is how parents take their kids to school…

pr6s_amsterdam_bicycle_manyAnd this is the bike parking at the central station (I have no clue how anyone finds their bikes)…

Amsterdam 329Also, bicycles have the right of way over cars (and pedestrians) in this city. Which did make me feel more safe riding a bicycle. But, a note of warning…. do NOT stand in bicycle lane here. You WILL be run over!

Westerpark

After getting our bikes, we stopped a shop and got some food and drinks for a picnic, and cycled over to the park. While we were there, we also decided to get a little more exercise in and just cycle around the park itself.

It was a perfect way to spend the afternoon. Afterwards, we just cycled around the city some more, seeing a bit more of Amserdam

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De Italiaan

That evening, we decided to go out for one last dinner. We didn’t venture far from our apartment because we were STARVING. They brought out oil and bread (YAY!), and we ordered some wine and pasta with scallops and prawns. It was actually fantastic and the servings were massive. Although I could’ve done with eating like half of the dish, I totally ate the entire thing.

Day 4

Van Gogh Museum

Our flight didn’t leave till the afternoon that day, so we got up to enter the museum as soon as it opened. The line to enter was INSANE. Outside of the building, they have really nice shallow water pond feature.

2014-04-19 11.54.38The museum was interesting and informative. They did a good job of explaining how the paintings look different now than the way the did back then because the paint is aging and breaking down. It also did a good job of telling the life story of Van Gogh. At the museum, they had a little cafe you could sit in and eat, but we didn’t stay for that because we had to head back to the airport. The gift shop was really nice as well, and I’m still kicking myself for not getting something that had the cherry blossom painting on it. I really recommend checking this place out if you have the chance, although get your tickets early!

Reflections

I love this city, and it was my third time there so we didn’t do TOO much touristy stuff. It was a great girls weekend trip away for Lindsay’s birthday. There’s so many great restaurants and bars there. And if nothing else, it’s great just walking around the canals!

 

 

 

 

 

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