Travel

#FAMSTERDAM2019 Continues

Welcome back for the final installment of #FAMSTERDAM2019 ! It warms my heart to know that part one didn’t bore you and scare you away — truly. The first half of our site-seeing adventures in Amsterdam were exciting (though I was pretty grumpy because of all the trams, bikes, cars, and Vespa-ish motorized bikes). I am not a huge people person as it is so to be surrounded by people walking and driving various high speed objects is not exactly my cup of tea. Also, I am naturally just grumpy, haha!

Sunday, we did more of a walking tour of Amsterdam. We visited the Museum Van Loon, which is still owned and used by the Van Loon family today, but only for fancy affairs and not daily usage. Their home is right on one of the prettiest canals, which is where they would have received deliveries of home goods. Our next stop, was the
Stedelijk Museum – the modern art museum. I’m not a major modern art lover, and quite frankly, not even someone who enjoys museums. This one was especially weird because they were playing this incredibly erotic and disturbing video of a man masturbating – underneath and inside of the stage, in the shower, on the floor, etc. You saw the entirety of his penis and he made nightmare haunting noises. He was panting and moaning. At one point, the museum security guard came through on one of his rounds and simply said “Wait for it” as if he knew something much more disturbing was to come. After this horrifying experience, we had lunch in the museum restaurant, where they served me a Caesar Salad, with some of the largest Anchovies you will ever find, top of it.

We had plenty of time to kill before heading into the Van Gogh museum so we sat in the park and just enjoyed the entertainment – a wannabe singer was doing covers of popular music in pursuit of money. Inside the exhibit, there is no photography, except for in front of their #selfie wall, featuring the sunflowers!

From Van Gogh, the day was just about over – and I was well into a bitter rage due to people existing around me and then having to walk the long walk back to our hotel (which turned out not to be too long), but afterwards, we prepared to go out again and this time we were taking a canal tour before dinner. The long boat led us up and around on the canals on a new side of town. We finished our night with traditional dutch dishes at Haesje Claes Restaurant , where we met Kevin, one of the most entertaining (and cute…but married) waiters that I have ever encountered.

Monday was our last full day in Amsterdam. We spent the morning inside of the Tulip Museum, walked past Anne Frank’s house (since we couldn’t get tickets. You HAVE to buy them two months ahead of time. We were unaware of this when we booked the trip so the purchasing window had closed). By way of the tram, we circled back to Rembrandtsplein to see the Willet-Holthuysen (Mansion) Museum. This is another home, completely donated to the city of Amsterdam, that housed one of the founding family’s of the city. Fun fact: The curator who took over got rid of most of the original furniture and belongings of the family, so just about everything inside is a replica or close to it. Some rooms had to be completely redesigned and re-imagined. Lunch was at this little pub called The Old Bell, where we munched on Old and New Amsterdam cheeses. From there, it was just a 15-minute walk across the canals to the Holocaust Museum. While it is still in development, we learned a lot about what the Holocaust looked like for the Jews of Amsterdam City. We had to wait for my brother to get out of class, so we sat in a park (dog park it turned out to be) and just watched the dogs and talked. I sat and read my book because I was already completely over the entire day. Since we had to walk back through Rembrandtsplein, we stopped for dinner in the area. The restaurant we attempted to find was nowhere to be found, so we ended up stopping into an Indian Restaurant and I ate some of the most delicious butter chicken in the world! YUM! Once we were back at the hotel, we skyped with my grandparents so that they could say hi to all of us, and then we went to sleep.

Tuesday – We packed up our bags and left our gorgeous Amsterdam hotel and made the trek back to Brussels for the day, but not before enjoying one last delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon, and grapes. We had a three hour train ride to do nothing but sit and, once again, watch the Belgian countryside fly past us. I listened to the audio book for Shonda Rimes The Year of Yes on my tablet using the Libby app. Not only is she a fantastic writer, but she is also a wonderful speaker. For sections where she wrote about certain events where she made speeches, they inserted the actual audio clips. I loved that! It was raining when we arrived in Belgium – no surprise there, but it was a light drizzle for a while so we set our things down at the hotel, after marching all around on the painful Belgian Blocks, suitcases in tow, and then set out to get some lunch at this Waffle place my mom loves. Then, the rain really came, and so we wandered for as much as we could before heading back to the hotel to hang out. We ate a delicious dinner at Che Leon and then went to bed, since we would be flying out the next morning and needed to be in the airport by 8:30.

Wednesday – Our flight was 10:30 am, and we had Stand-by Business Class tickets. I’ll spare you the details of my grumpy attitude towards security, haha! No one wants to read about that. The waiting game would commence, only it wasn’t as bad as it normally can be. We boarded the plane pretty quickly, got comfy in our seats, and prepared to take off. Once again, I watched Robin Hood, but then I watched Melissa McCarthy in Can You Ever Forgive Me? Such an amazing movie! I was nervous FOR her the entire film! Once we landed, all I wanted was to run home and see Cooper. I missed him so much, even though he can be really annoying. He just cries so damn much! We were home, I was wearing comfy pants, and we watched some television for a while. It felt so good to be home.

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