After 4 years of trying, we’ve finally earned the right to display the Amsterdam travel poster on our kitchen wall. Success!
Ed and I spent 5 days in Amsterdam and 3 days in Haarlem with Excellent Friends and it was so fun. Cold, but fun. We’d actually spent the three previous years in countries much souther than the Netherlands, and so were somewhat unprepared for the horrors of a Dutch winter – the rain we could handle, but the wind and boner-killing COLD of it all was truly dazzling in the worst possible way. It seems that traveling to exciting new places and purchasing emergency climate-appropriate clothing is rapidly becoming a thing for us – we happened upon a Dutch clothing store (hilariously called America Today) selling delightfully warm and waterproof jackets, and the four of us gleefully bundled up to stave off the misery.
The weather wasn’t all bad while we were there – we did have two or three glorious days, which were appreciated that much more when they came around. I can only imagine that the Netherlands are fucking magical when it’s not winter, because even with the wind and rain it was pretty damn excellent. I would definitely go again. Maybe not in February, but again.
It’s been a while, but let’s see if I can remember how to do this.
Amsterdam in Numbers
- Dutch pancakes eaten: 14
- Bottles of Diet Coke smuggled into the country: 11; they lasted 6 days
- Museums visited: 4 (Van Gogh, Moco, a diamond museum, and the glorious Rijksmuseum)
- Epiphanies about Van Gogh: 1 (in addition to the mental illness, he had some problematic views about the “peasants” he so admired)
- Cafes visited by me: 0. Funny thing about Amsterdam’s drug culture: it’s not as good as Seattle or Vancouver. I have zero interest in mushrooms, but thought about visiting a cafe or two because when in Rome and all that. Thing is, all their joints are spliffs – a mixture of pot and tobacco. I may fill my body with chemicals and have highly questionable habits, but I draw the line at tobacco – it’s super fucking gross and makes me cough and stink and sad. Plus, I’m WAY too cool to look like a common tourist so I just didn’t bother.
- Red Light District visits: 3
- Stairs climbed to get to our amazing hotel room in Haarlem: 56, several times a day ow
- Gallons of freshly squeezed orange juice enjoyed: 4
- Canals almost fallen into: 2
- Bicycles hit by: 1
- Kitties pet: 4!
- Amazing retro clothing stores found in Haarlem: 1
- Emergency leggings purchased at Primark: 3
- Bird-shaped leather goods bought: 4
- People thanked in neither Dutch nor English: 2 (Spanish)
- Canal cruises taken: 2
- Cheese eaten: too much
- Chocolate: see above
- Shoe-themed souvenirs brought home: 8
- Trip casualties: 2 (the lint roller and my reusable straw in Fancy Case were accidentally left behind in Amsterdam)
- Hotels selected because of the great name: 1
- Likelihood of a return visit to Holland: 169
So, what’s next?
I don’t know, and it’s driving me batty. All travel planning is on hold until Covid-19 shows itself out. I’m sure my upcoming posts will be less coherent the longer my cabin fever (and hopefully not real fever) goes on.