If you’re not Dutch, you ain’t much!

Don’t know how it’s already been almost a year since I last visited one of my favorite cities in the world. A city that bikes more than it walks, and smokes more than it can breathe. I knew my trip this time around would already be such a different experience than when I last visited with my parents. As the #Amsterfam, we definitely did the trip right, but I was still excited to revisit this beautiful place with a new crowd.

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I couldn’t wait for Emily, Jilian and Alex to see what all the hype was about with Amsterdam. As soon as we landed, we put down our bags and headed straight into the action. We had just enough time to visit the Bulldog Coffee Shop and grab some dinner before the big weekend ahead of us. As we were walking along the canals to head back to our hotel, I couldn’t help but feel nostalgia. The city was just as beautiful as I remembered.
The next day, we walked around the city with Emily’s friend who is studying abroad in Amsterdam. She took us to a breakfast place I had the pleasure of trying once before with my parents last summer called The Pancake Bakery. If the name didn’t already give it away, it’s a breakfast place that only serves pancakes. And these aren’t your typical blueberry or chocolate chip pancakes. First of all, these are European pancakes, aka crepes. This means that there’s way less dough and way more room for toppings. To paint a picture in your head, it was 10:00 AM and we were loading up our pancakes with Nutella and ice cream to kick start our day. Definitely not mad about it.

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After walking off the dessert we just scarfed down for breakfast, we decided to check out some of Amsterdam’s finest museums. And by finest, we mean the cheese museum. For
those of you who have never been to Amsterdam, this is basically a little cheese shop that sells almost every different type of cheese. Naturally, we walked around, sampling every single one. Next stop was the Anne Frank House. I didn’t get the chance to visit this when I came with my parents a couple years back, and after reading her diary in middle school, I was excited to finally see the house she had always talked about. I was able to re-read some of her old diary passages, in the very place she wrote some of them. It was a heart filled moment and I was happy to have finally experienced it.

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The next day, we woke up to visit Vondelpark, where the famous iamsterdam sign resides. Naturally, we took a million pictures in front of it, trying to figure out the most creative way to take a basic picture. Emily settled for a pun about getting the D, I settled for a Nutella waffle at the food stand next door.  We took our food to the grass area of the park, relaxed for an hour or so before checking out the Van Gogh Museum. I’m usually not a fan of museums, but when I heard The Starry Night was there, I was all in. We spent over an hour in the museum looking for this one picture, only to find out at the end that it’s not even in the Van Gough Museum. We settled for the sunflower painting then ended our day.

After getting ready, we headed back out to the city to check out the Red Light District. I had been singing Roxanne in my head for the past 3 days, so naturally I had to scope out the scene. Every window was filled with naked woman; No shame, no sorrow, just a street full of working girls ready to put their talents to the test. It was definitely an experience all in it’s  own. We ended our night with a late dinner and a final trip to the coffee shop. I was sad our weekend was coming to an end, but I knew this wasn’t goodbye. I can’t thank Amsterdam enough for consistently showing me a great time with great company. I’ll be back again one day.

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