Adventures in Amsterdam: Part II

I posted about our first couple of days in Amsterdam a few days ago, but since we were in this city for a solid five days I wanted to go ahead and share more about the last half of our stay. Like I stated time and time again, we just had so much fun in this city. Amsterdam is such a unique kind of place and is nothing short of a great adventure. It has so much charm — which you know I’m a sucker for — and has so many little hidden treasures along its darling streets and canals. You’ve just got to remember to keep an eye out for them!

One of my favorite things to do in this city was simply observe. While Amsterdam does have a laid-back feel to it, there are just so many things going on around you all at once. Cars. Trams. Pedestrians. Everyone in every form of transportation trying to cross the streets at once. While it can be a bit overwhelming at first, all this movement is superb for people watching. But what I found myself most captivated by were all the bikers. Of course, right!? I’m sure you’re thinking, “Well, duh. It’s Amsterdam!”

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But really though. I couldn’t help but just gaze in astonishment while so many pedaled past us. People of all ages just riding along. At extra high speeds, might I add. You could certainly tell it was the ultimate form of transportation, and with good reason. I’ve never seen such generous bike lanes! But what caught my eyes the most was seeing parents bike along with their children. Whether there were little tots riding in the long wagons attached to the front, or strapped in seats in the back, it was all so precious to watch. We even witnessed small children standing on the back plates holding onto their parents’ shoulders as they weaved their ways through traffic. How cool would that ride be!? All I knew growing up was my mom’s minivan so this form of riding definitely intrigued me.

It was so beautiful to witness this different kind of lifestyle. One I was instantly drawn to.

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I’ve read a couple of times that Amsterdam is sometimes referred to as the “Venice of the North,” and I can certainly see why. Can you imagine living on a houseboat? I would have loved to tour some of these homes because so many looked so nice inside. I wonder if the residents can feel the gentle movement of the waters as boats glide by?

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The flowers here were so gorgeous. If our Airbnb host hadn’t of graciously greeted us with fresh tulips, I would have for sure bought some of these beauties below. The color was just so vibrant!

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When exploring the Jordaan neighborhood, we stopped in Vinnies for a quick bite to eat. The food was just delicious, not to mention the chill atmosphere this place hosted. It was the perfect start to the day.

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I fell in love with this bright blue. Isn’t it just gorgeous!?

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Later in the day we stumbled upon this place called Cafe Brecht. Such a cool bar. When we stepped inside it was as if we had stepped back in time. All mix-match vintage furniture. Peeling wallpaper. Antique lamps. It was such an eclectic gem and had a super cozy vibe.

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We gallivanted around and found some of the coolest shops on Haarlemmerstraat. This street was a plethora of design and concept stores. One find was the store below called Sukha. This place was all decked out in whites and neutrals and felt so dreamy.

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I loved all the trinkets it had, too!

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Another good find was Store Without A Home. Pale pink walls with a cobalt blue floor, this place was so beautifully decorated and really fun to explore. It was filled with so many cool interior goods. I became so inspired to get started on decorating whatever home we will soon find in San Fransisco!

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With all the roaming, we really worked up an appetite. I had read on so many blogs online that Winkel had the best apple pie, so off we went to check it out for ourselves. Um, yummm. This pie was stacked a couple inches high with thinly sliced apples and had a generous layer of golden-brown crust. Served with a dollop of homemade whipped cream, this thing was basically a taste of heaven.

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After all the pie slices, pancakes and stroopwafels we devoured, we finally sniffed our way to find a much lighter meal. SLA was the perfect choice. Delicious, fresh salads and smoothies. Definitely a good — and much needed — cleanse!

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One of my favorite memories in Amsterdam had to have been when we rented our own boat and cruised the canals ourselves. Derek and I both wanted to somehow cruise the canals, but weren’t really into the idea of the guided tours. I never really considered this even an option but we somehow came across a company online called Boaty that rented individual boats. And the prices were actually really, really affordable!

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I can’t even tell you how much fun this was. Even though this little tug-boat only went about three miles per hour (HA!) it was such a cool experience cruising down the canals just the two of us. We made sure to take our cruise first thing in the morning to avoid any canal traffic, which was by far the best decision. Hardly any other boats were floating around, especially compared to the boat jams we witnessed later in the day.

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We on we made our way to a micro-brewery across town called Brouwerij ‘t IJ. The cool thing about this place: it’s located in an old windmill! If you have the chance to go, get the flight!

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On our last morning we made the decision to get up super early. Our mission was to beat the crowds that would soon flock to the I AM letters. Even though the wake-up call was a bit treacherous, our plan worked. We hurried to the letters and there they were, without a single soul around. No people. No selfie sticks. Just us and the golden morning light. And it was glorious!

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Ah, the benefits of being an early bird!!

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Amsterdam, I love you. So much. Until we meet again, my friend!

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I couldn’t help but end this post with the mini film Derek created of our time in this amazing city. It’s short and sweet — only two minutes — so have a look, if you’d like. It certainly brings a big smile to my face every time I watch it, and I hope it does the same to you! You can also find Part I of our time in Amsterdam here!

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