Wednesday, November 14, 2012

What Happens in Amsterdam....

stays in Amsterdam. No, I'm just kidding. However, there aren't many stories to tell.  And ironically, despite the lack of stories to share, insights to offer or things to gush about, this was probably my favorite city that we've visited to date.  Other than a tour of the Anne Frank House, which was really well done and definitely worth a visit, and a brewery trip to the Heineken Experience, which was cool but nothing to write about, we didn't have much of an agenda. 

And that's why I loved it. (Well, that and their ability to speak English. :)) I don't like vacations where the list of things you must see or do is long, and every minute of your trip has to be planned out in order to fit it all in. Nope. That's normally not for me. I'd rather wander, see what we see and do what hits us as we happen upon it.

We strolled through Dam Square, in the center of the old town,

where we saw scenes that made it easy to imagine an Amsterdam of earlier years. 

We wandered past beautiful churches, 

and across iron bridges spanning large, flowing canals. 

We pointed out all the cyclists (so many!), but unfortunately, weren't fast enough to catch a picture of one of the cycling moms, who somehow managed two kids, a dog and a bag full of groceries all on a bike!

We couldn't get enough of the beautiful fall foliage, 

or the precious, slightly slanted narrow houses that lined every canal and street. 

We laughed at Coffee shops with funny names and laughed again when we opened the door for a peek and were hit in the face by a sweet, skunky smell. 

We discovered a new favorite drink

and the state of Oklahoma, right there on the wall of an Amsterdam restaurant!

We began to get in the Christmas spirit, which was easy given the cold temperatures and bright lights,

and saw sights that reminded us of our family at home. 

We walked by the skinniest house in all of Amsterdam


and spotted swans swimming through the canals. 

We happened upon a tiny local cafe, where the swaying shelves are solely filled with the local favorite liquor, Genebre,

and glanced in the coziest of cafe's, where it just looks like "everybody knows your name."
We pretended to be professional photographers,

and made a quick round through the Red Light District, just to say we'd seen it. No photos allowed.

We just enjoyed...every laid-back, agenda-free, worry-free, go-with-the-flow moment...together.

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