I went on a weekend trip to Amsterdam in late June. The middle of summer never felt so good!
I was graciously invited to stay with some friends I had met back last year in Thailand. Stefan + Romy, who are a power couple with strong individual traits and ambitions. It seemed like everyone that I got introduced to in their circle was living off of their dreams and aspirations. I was in love with Amsterdams people.
I have so much love for these two lovely beings for inviting me into their home, for making me coffee, for giving me a bed to sleep in and a place to rest.
I spent so much time walking up and down this park, I had many adventures within adventures. There were so many paths to different areas of the park, so many that I got turned around a few times. I found a small bridge with locks clamped all across it, to a huge botanical garden, to a stage like amphitheater that led me into a impromptu jam session with two guys who mostly spoke dutch, with a group of guys break dancing to our music, with another group of people doing karate, while another group was doing their group exercises. It felt like everyone was so active in participating in this thing called life.
It’s funny, because I met this lady on the same trip in Thailand. She and my power couple above both live in Amsterdam and I was so lucky to see my lovely Chanti! We now have been able to see each other in Thailand, Paris, Washington State (home state!) and now hers in Amsterdam!
I met her at her lovely home, where plants, and her beautiful feminine energy surrounded these walls. where she shared and taught me about Tonys chocolate (The best slave free chocolate there is). We we were able to catch up with each other here and it was the begining of a beautiful day.
We then went out to sit and sip coffee outside at STROOM, (highly recommended!) then went on a walk where we happened upon a shop where a cat was on the counter, sprawled out and happy to be there and happy to be pet. I would never see such a thing in the States, where health inspectors would immediately close up shop on the owners.
Amsterdam has a history on cats. They love em so much that cats are regulars in bars and cafes, and they even have a cafe dedicated to cats. Because Amsterdam is built on and around canals, there is such a thing as a rat problem, where cats will gladly keep them out of sight. I guess seeing a car inside a store front is much better for business then a rat.
We were getting hungry then happened upon our traditional meal together - a Toasti. (In Thailand we couldn’t get enough of these. Toasti = Grilled cheese)
When then went to strolled through the nearby market that as outside between time-honored traditional buildings. We walked around another park nearby with turtles hanging out in the pond, took a few photos in front of the I Amsterdam sign, and last but not least, ate some delicious desserts together before parting ways.
On my last day in town my canal boat tour ride got canceled. There was already a rainstorm that came through earlier that day when I was eating lunch, and when I went back to go on my canal tour, I was told that they had to cancel due to the weather. I started my walk down one of the main streets, to nowhere particular. That is when another rainstorm came over again. This time pedestrians getting under an awning outside store fronts shops.
These two gentlemen and I stood in with each other in conversation. We somehow got onto the topic of a rather controversial topic, one that I had never heard of.
We stood with each other in conversation as the rain came down. We somehow got onto the topic of a rather controversial topic, one that I had never heard of before. A traditional holiday festivities by dressing up as St. Nicholas and his "assistant," Black Pete.
Yes, it’s still a thing! Not a popular thing, but it’s still a thing….
Afterwards we got a few traditional Dutch tapas called Bitterbal. - (tapas: Americas version of appetizer). Bitterbal contains either a beef or veal sauce inside that sits inside the deep friend breadcrumb coated bar food treat.
I arrived pretty early in the day, On my last day I did some searching for an art district people kept pointing me towards. The only thing I was able to find was this building with some graffiti on it. Luckily I was near the Red Light District, so I thought it was a good time to go check that out. It was still light out, and not much action was going on. I walked in front of a prostitution museum and learned the in's and outs and basics and dangers of being a legal prostitute in the Red Light District. The cost of the museum was called Red Light Secrets and a walk up ticket was around $13 USD. I think it was way worth it. When I got done, it was still not popping off with people and or ladies in windows, so I headed to a “coffee shop” to get myself a traditional pre-roll and delicious tea from The Bulldog.
Travel tip - Coffee Shop doesn’t serve coffee, they serve marijuana you can smoke in store, along with non alcoholic drinks. I hear bars are usually placed right next doors of coffee shops, but they are not legally allowed to serve both marijuana and alcohol in the same venue. If you want coffee, you want to look for a cafe.
I noticed that Amsterdam has a sweet tooth. There were places that were open late and always had a line of people funneling out of them. Last year where I left Paris last without eating a crepe I felt devastated (okay a bit dramatic… I know) I didn’t want to leave Amsterdam without eating a bouquet of chocolate churros. So I caved and bought some. Of course it was so big I couldn’t finish it alone!
Bucket list destination checked off the list!