Omg, I can't believe it's been at least a month since I last blogged! Crazy! One excuse I have for you is that we weren't home for a whole week. I finally set foot outside of the country recently to live it up with Matt in Amsterdam! To say it was awesome would be an understatement. Anyway, let's get started with the barrage of pictures.
Upon arriving in Amsterdam we tried to check into our room, but failed. Apparently our room wasn't ready at 9am. Go figure! So after checking our luggage we wandered around. While we were walking I was welcomed by an adorable little orange kitty playing on some chairs in a shop. I was pretty hopeful that there'd be cats everywhere, and this was a promising sign. On average I probably saw at least three kitties a day!
We didn't have a set itinerary for the trip, but here's some of the highlights! Since we had been to a recent Van Gough exhibit at our art museum we decided on the Rijksmuse. We spent a half day wandering around looking at their collection. It's mostly art, however there were rooms filled with other 'stuff'. Stuff like really intricate working ship models, clothes from the olden days, a lot of swords, really intricate furniture, china, old timey clothes... You name it, they had it. Well, as long as it was old and museum worthy.
Their collection of art was outstanding! The quality was unreal. I think it's because the Dutch used to collect a lot of art back in the old times. They were pretty rich before Napoleon ruined the party and apparently had nothing better to do with their money than collect art and commission portraits (including this one of a really buff baby). I was really impressed with the size of the paintings. The Waterloo painting (middle) went all the way up to the ceiling, which was probably 12-15 feet.
These pictures are warercolors! I was really surprised because they look so realistic, and nothing like the trendy-intentionally-sloppy watercolor so that are so trendy right now (which I love).
These bouquets on black backgrounds were my favorites! I think I really like how vivid the colors are on that dark background. I even saw a pair of skinny jeans with a similar print in a store on our last day that I wanted to buy, but apparently they were being saved for the price circus the next day. That's what they called their sales, and apparently they like to taunt you with stuff that isn't currently for sale yet because they wouldn't let me buy them. }:(
Wandering around a museum works up your appetite, so after a quick search on Yelp we made our way to The Butcher. It was literally the best burger I have ever had. So good that we went back the next day for seconds. Ron Swanson would approve.
Getting around Amsterdam was pretty easy with the google maps app, even without service. But we wanted to see some windmills, so we took one of those double decker bus tours that filled with other tourists. We dislike being stuck with "other tourists", but it was an easy way to see some stuff outside of the city. At one point Matt was convinced that this trio of older Asian women were following him around and ruining his pictures on purpose. I found it hysterical. At least we have pictures to remember them by. The bus took us to three stops; a cheese factory, a clog factory and some working windmills. This is one of the villages we stopped in.
I kinda wish I had one of these clog planters now. Some people had theirs hung by the little loop on the back and they were so cute!
At the clog making factory they gave a quick demo of how a clog is carved. It's mostly automated, but they still cut the toe and heal by hand with a giant knife.
Since one can't go to a clog factory without at least trying some on, here's some novelty pics of us wearing novelty clogs. They are surprisingly light and comfortable, the real ones, not the novelty oversized ones. Who knew!
The windmills were pretty awesome in person. The top part actually turns so no matter which direction the wind is coming from, they can use it very efficiently. The one we went inside was a spice mill. Oh, and if you're wondering where the pictures from the cheese factory are, well there aren't really any. We got lost from our tour group for what felt like an eternity and missed half of the presentation.
We also took a candle light canal cruise one evening. The cruise took us in a large loop to see different parts of the city. This giant boat was right outside of the maritime museum.
This Chinese restaurant had a funny story. Apparently it is a replication of one in Hong Kong that on opening night started to sink! The fresh water wasn't taken into account when they booked the restaurant to capacity. So just remember that when building a giant restaurant on the water.
Towards the end of our trip they pointed out the dancing houses and Amsterdam's smallest house. My picture of the smallest house looks like poop, but it was as wide as the front door and two stories. These are the dancing houses, which get their name because of how much they are leaning. I guess that's a downside to building your house where there used to be ocean.
They also drove us through the Red Light District. We walked around there one evening as well. We saw some ladies get angry at other people for taking pictures, but mostly they were just passing time playing Candy Crush (maybe). We did see one guy take a lady up on her services, they were both very awkward about the situation.
Even with the activities that we did, the thing that still stands out in my mind is just how beautiful all those old buildings were. This one in particular is a mall with a Toni&Guy inside. I of course had to go check that out.
This is the royal palace, which before it was a royal palace it was the town hall. So gorgeous!
We even found a market where we bought some flowers for the room! It's kind of becoming a little tradition to get a bouquet, if they're readily available. I'm. to going to go to the grocery store or anything like that.
And speaking of vacation rituals, here's my commemorative vacation ring from this trip! I found it at this adorable shop called Fair + Fair.
We were both a little sad to leave, farewell Amsterdam!
Why can't we be on permanent vacation? Have you been on an awesome vacation lately? Where to?