Thursday, March 21, 2019

Amsterdam

Last March, we went on a semi-spontaneous trip to Amsterdam. Mike is always wanting to take spontaneous trips and I always dream squash him. I need to plan everything and worry about money and etc., etc.  I had recently subscribed to Scott's Cheap Flights (do it, do it now) and we had been talking a bunch about when we were going to do our next big trip. We both had good jobs, no kids, and loved our new dog sitters so WHY THE EFF NOT. One day at work, I got a Scott's Cheap Flights email for tickets less than $500 each round trip to Amsterdam and I forwarded it to Mike and said, "Book it." He was so excited that I was the instigator and we quickly booked and were ready to head out a couple months later.

(We also started hardcore fertility treatments that same month which is a horrible idea stress and body-wise, but that's a story for another day.)

Go to Amsterdam, everyone. It's gorgeous, walkable, has delicious food, everyone was friendly and spoke English, and even in shite weather, it was still worth every second.

Hotels are pretty pricey there and we didn't plan to spend that much time in ours, so we stayed at CityHub. It's basically a really nice hostel slash pod hotel. It was super cool and modern and the hosts who work there were crazy nice. You get a wristband at check in that gets you into your room, you can use on the vending machines, and can use to poor your own coffee, tea, beer, and wine in the self service bar. I had a tiny panic attack thinking about how small this pod was going to be for my semi-claustrophobic self, but once I crawled in, it was totally fine. Not the easiest to change clothes in, but the bathrooms were huge and clean, so it worked out great!

Let's pretend this isn't totally obnoxious and is just to prove how me-sized these pods were?

Looking down the hall, pods could be upper or lower (we had a lower)





I wish I could look back on the trip a year later and give you our full itinerary and intelligently talk about what we did, but honestly we walked about 12 miles a day, did a couple museums, drank a ton of gin, and ate our faces off. THE CHEESE. You guys, the cheese. Here are a bunch of photos, both phone and fancy camera. Side note: CityHub gives you a portable wifi for your stay so that was awesome and very handy.

On the way there!

We took a red eye flight that we barely slept on, got to our hotel, showered, and then headed out to breakfast. We were exhausted, but the food was amazing and we rallied hard.


It was gloomy as hell during our trip, but still gorgeous (and cheaper because of the season)



If I remember correctly, this was either in a museum or on the side of a building? I'm helpful...

In a museum. This 100% would be what my child would have looked like.


We of course found a brewery. Cold wind makes me PRETTY, guys.

This is such a walkable place, look at this random street! Swoon!

Fun fact: I was eating cheese while touring this church.

Get ready for all the canal photos.











In another life, I am living on this houseboat, walk to work every day, and am much nicer to strangers.
Did we wait in line for the tour? Nope.



Those shutters!


There were awesome markets everywhere and this one had CONES OF GOUDA TO GO AND YES I BOUGHT ONE AND YES I WOULD NOT SHUT UP ABOUT IT.


Gin goblets! 

We went to a nice restaurant and did the rice table per Anthony Bourdain's recommendation.
One of the funnest things we did was cheese tasting at Reypenaer. We showed up to the shop and there a giant line outside, so we dip inside and ask if that line is for the tasting. They laugh and say no, it's for the weed shop next door. Mike and I are so confused why people would wait in line for weed and not cheese. 

The tasting was great though. They gave you a ton of cheese, some wine, some info, and let you cut that shit yourself (never would fly in the US). Have I mentioned cheese yet? The cheese shops you walk by just let you try everything! It was a god damn dream. We brought so much home. Side note: we claimed all the cheese on our forms on our flight home and when we went through security or immigration or whatever the guy looked on our form and was like, "You brought back dairy?" We explained that we had a couple blocks of cheese. He then looked at us like we were total idiots and told us to keep walking. Apparently you don't need to claim that...



This is still on the fridge, I'm so proud.


Another really fun thing was jenever tasting at Wynand Fockink. It's been open since the 1600's so it's this cool, dark, old pub building. They fill up your glass until it almost spills over and you have to bend down with your hands behind your back and suck some off the top before you can pick it up. We were prepared because of Anthony Bourdain (we watched all his Amsterdam episodes before this trip, obvi) so they didn't have to school us. It's like gin, but easier to sip and we definitely brought home two bottles. 





Amsterdam rules! Go travel! The end!



CHEESE!





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