Amsterdam

Our last city on our Europe trip was Amsterdam! I booked us two different hotels. One a little outside of downtown Amsterdam, but I thought would be fun, and one in the city center using my points. Here's the one a little outside of downtown Amsterdam in Zaandam called Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam. I mean look at this building? 

Not only is the building fun, but also the room. With the junior suite you get an indoor sauna. We were definitely living the sauna life for the two days we were there. The area around the hotel was interesting with a lot of random stores and similar architecture as the hotel. 

We decided to chill out for one day in Zaandam. Grant had to do some work and I just wanted to relax for a day. I got to go use the pool in our hotel, take a bath, and sauna. It was awesome.

The second day we headed into the center. We went to the Anne Frank House. I had read Anne Frank's Diary as a kid, but don't remember all the details. I thought that the museum was great. I enjoyed learning more about her and her family's life. It was such sad times, and I hope that we will not have to experience anything like that. I definitely teared up through the exhibit. 

We then went to get some good coffee at Screaming Beans, which also happened to be right next a board game store, so we also visited that. After that we grabbed lunch and people watched, walked around some more, and shopped. We found a HAY store full of cute danish designs. I love HAY's home stuff. I got some brass goodies and some of the kaleido trays.

We went to the Adidas store and grabbed some Gazelles. The Gazelles in Europe seem to be different from the ones in America. I like the European ones more. The shoe seems a little less bulkier to me. The sneaker trend is definitely alive and well in Europe. So women wearing sneakers. Lots of chucks, Vans, Adidas, New Balance, and Nike. I also noticed FjΓ€llrΓ€ven backpacks were also everywhere. The dress code seemed a little more relaxed that I had thought. 

Anwyays, the next day we then moved into the city to De I'Europe Amsterdam Hotel. I had used my points so we could stay in a fancy hotel for the last two nights of our trip. I definitely felt out of place in the hotel. I'm not use to such luxury. We got a sweet room after we had a little visitor in our other room. It was an amazing ostentatious room that we would not have picked for ourselves, but glad that we got to experience it. The room was bigger than our apartment in San Francisco! It had a circle bed with twinkle lights and a curtain. A huge bathroom with a jacuzzi bath with a TV and heated floors. We a had a beautiful view of the canals too. It was a great place to spend our last two nights. 

After we checked into our hotel we went to look for a market for some food. We went to Albert Cuyp Market. I thought that there was going to be more food than there actually was. The market was not as great as I had anticipated. We were able to try fresh haring, a fresh stroopwafel, and get some cheese though. Fresh haring wasn't too bad, but I probably would never get that again...After walking through the market we grabbed a burger at Geflipt and then headed to the Hutspot. The Hutspot was a cute store, cafe, barbershop, and a bar in one! 

I loved walking around Amsterdam. I liked how it wasn't too big. We could get to most of the places we wanted to in about fifteen minutes. The canals are so charming, and the biking! Oh man, the biking here is crazy. I mean, I knew that Amsterdam was a big biking city, but I didn't really know the magnitude until I was able to see it with my own eyes. There were so many bikes on the road and parked all around the city, and no one wearing helmets, I guess it's just that safe. It's awesome. 

The last day we started the day off with some dutch pancakes at The Pancake Bakery. The dutch pancakes were delicious! My favorite was the bacon, mushroom, cheese pancake that we had. After our bellies were full, we went to grab coffee at Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters, another great cafe. 

We then decided to spend the rest of the day at a museum. We only had time really for one museum. We went to the Rijksmuseum.  I loved the special exhibit that they had of model ships and old weapons. We walked around until the museum closed and then headed to the Bloemenmarkt to grab some gifts. I got some silly clog slippers for my parents and Grant found a contracting and expanding, singing Santa wreath. We dropped off our stuff at the hotel and then headed out to dinner. 

For our last dinner on our trip we decided to go get some homey dutch food at Moeders. It's like mom's home cooking, and surely it did not disappoint! We didn't have a reservation, but luckily there was a table available. I loved the stews the best. We had a beef and an oxtail stew that just melted in your mouth and warmed you up. I need to cook some stew.

After dinner we strolled through Vondelpark and tried to do some last minute shopping but all the stores were closed so we went back to the hotel to get ready to head back to the States!

Our Europe trip was awesome. I hope to come back to all of these cities during sunnier times. Either way, lots of good times were had and lots of delicious food was consumed. I can't wait for our next adventure whenever that may be. I hope next year!