Amsterdam or Bust

I’ve got the last Europe installment for ya today. It was such a blast. But before I give you a full recap, I’ve got to give you Amsterdam. I don’t  have many photos unless you count the 500 or so photos I took on our canal cruise. A lot of shots just didn’t turn out because the lighting was so dark. The weather wasn’t ideal when we visited, but we definitely tried to make do.

I believe we saw more bikes than vehicles. How amazing is that? To simply bike around your city everyday. I would absolutely love it. Amsterdam is such a quaint and unique little city. Little shops and cafes line the streets while living quarters are over your head with little flower baskets hanging outside windows. I think that’s what’s so great about Amsterdam. There isn’t a ton of things to do, but the view is worth it.

See what I mean about the weather? Check out those clouds. We spent quite a few days with overcast skies, so we always took advantage when the sun finally came out.

Thumbs up to a great finish!

Overall, the trip was great. We all experienced some frustrations and meltdowns, but I think it was all worth it in the end.

London was by far the most busiest for us. That city has so many things to do and with everything spread out, we had to take into consideration the time it would take to get to places. I would love to visit again, so I can spend hours in the museums that I missed out on. London had a fantastic and friendly atmosphere. London was the place we realized how slow the service in restaurants and cafes would be. Some places were better than others. We Americans certainly weren’t used to flagging our servers down. And I’m fairly certain Europeans don’t know what “split the check” means. Thank goodness we always had cash on us.

Paris was a nice change from London, for the most part. The Eiffel Tower really isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. I wouldn’t consider Paris to be the most romantic city considering the numerous homeless people that roam the city. In their defense, we saw homeless people everywhere we went. Paris was, by far, the hardest to deal with as far as culture shock goes. The French really don’t like Americans. We never experienced an extremely rude conversation, but their demeanor simply off putting. They aren’t friendly like the English or Dutch. My favorite place in Paris was the Louvre with Notre Dame coming in close second. I could have spent three days in the Louvre. Notre Dame was absolutely breathtaking. I think Paris had the best food. Well, actually they had the best desserts. All the croissants, eclairs, and macaroons had the sweetness that I imagined.

And to end things, Amsterdam. This was the best place to close the trip. It was the most calming of places. Amsterdam still has the hustle and bustle as other cities, but I always felt safe in this place. I was never concerned of pick pockets like in Paris and I didn’t feel like I was going to be trampled like in London. It was just cool. Maybe that’s because of the legal substances *ahem* they have floating around there. Anyway, the canals and homes were absolutely beautiful and learning a bit of the Dutch history at the Rijksmuseum was a great experience. I loved visiting the Van Gogh Museum. Four floors told Van Gogh’s story and how his sister-in-law brought his paintings out into the world after he died. And I’ll never forget the Red Light District. I was uncomfortable for the most part, but it’s just another area in town just like any other except with half naked women lining the windows. It really brings a new meaning to window shopping. I prefer window shopping with names like Gap, Armani or Juicy Couture not Kitty, Jade or Sunshine. It was an interesting experience none the less.

Europe was great, but we were so glad to come home to the familiar. It’s great to experience new things and get out of your comfort zone, but sometimes it’s just nice to get back to that comfort zone. Until next time, I’ll enjoy my comfort zone. It’s pretty nice.

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