Amsterdam completely stole my heart. I was given an amazing gift of seeing the world by my wonderful sister and brother in law, Cristina and Andrew. It was one of those spontaneous adventures that part of me doubted would happen because it was almost too good to be true.
Once we got off the plane and into our AirBnb in the Jordaan neighborhood of Amsterdam eating a spectacular apple pie from Winkel, did I realize that we actually did it. We made the journey in spite of all our silly little problems.
The part of the trip that sticks out to me was biking through the city, past all the canals and buildings that were gently leaning on each other because of age. The bar Cafe 'T Papenieland is older than our entire country, and it was humbling to see all the history of it all.
The ambitious bike ride out to the Zanstaad windmills was beyond worth it. Once we got to the windmills that have been preserved and got our hot chocolate, just looking out to the end of the road I could help but picture how it must have been to live there and to wear wooden clogs while my toes were already going numb in my canvas shoes.
Another part of the trip that really stood out was the boat tour of the city canals. Our tour guide was a young student getting his masters degree and filled us in on so many interesting facts about the city. He told us that the buildings leaned because of the wooden foundations were starting to rot but the city wants to keep the history of them so they do everything they can to fix and preserve rather than start fresh. Also he gave us a look into the mindset of the locals. At a cafe afterwards we could quite pin whether it was humble arrogance or just a charming outlook on owning your story.
The rest of the trip we traveled more like locals. Starting the day off with a latte at a cafe down the street, popped into a shop that had an amazing window display, and got even more obsessed with Scotch and Soda. Traveling this way really is my favorite and I think something everyone should try out. Instead of cramming everything into a few days and taking pictures so you can relive you can actually absorb everything around you by going slow.
This trip was something that I'll be forever thankful for. As I'm back in LA in the hustle of it all, this trip still feels like a dream but so glad it really happened.