seriously.. the streets. that’s where the party was. amsterdam’s idea of a party is like no other. i kid you not when i say there were fireworks going off left and right. literally. you could be standing less than 2 ft away from someone and then boom. fireworks right infront of you. i saw fireworks go off under cars, in trash bins, in the canals, under bikes.. you name it. it was a madhouse. and they weren’t just fireworks that went off as the clock struck midnight. oh no, these fireworks continued to go off well into the next day. party on, amsterdam!
|this happened, go frogs!|
other than dodging sparkles in the sky all night, our new years celebration was a blast. we found a fun little dance spot and danced into the wee hours of the morning. quite possibly the best way to welcome a new year.
we rested a lot of the next day, but as soon as we got our energy back we were off! our first stop was visiting the rijks museum followed by the iconic ‘i amsterdam’ sign right outside.
we lucked out and had no wait time for the museum. we walked right in. i assume the rest of amsterdam was still in recovery mode from the previous nights’ festivities.
the rijks museum was fascinating. they have a handy tour guide app you can download right onto your phone (which they conveniently provide free wifi throughout the museum so you can do so). not to mention, the app itself is free. very little in europe is free, water being no exception. needless to say, it was a great time getting lost in history.
we spent the rest of the night strolling through amsterdam, watching out for bikers and enjoying the day. throughout our stroll i quickly learned that coffee shop is not the term used synonymously with starbucks and amsterdam’s laws are quite different.
next on our list was the ann frank house. this is a must visit. the line is outrageous but it is well worth it. we woke up bright and early and got in line about an hour prior to opening. it was the right move to make. had we arrived any later, we would have been waiting in line for hours on end in a line that seemed to go on forever. it’s a very emotional and moving tour. if you get the chance, do it. words can’t do the experience any justice.
after leaving the ann frank house we grabbed a bite to eat and decompressed. we then hopped into the fearless little peugot and drove to quite possibly one of my most favorite restaurants i have ever been to.
volendam, amsterdam is home to a quaint little fishing village. we debated even making the trip and i still thank my lucky stars we did. it was the best food, ever. ever. it was so good. i savored every bite. i ate slowly, cut my food up into small pieces, alternated with sips of water… i used every trick in the book to make that meal last as long as possible. if smit bokkum (the name of the restaurant) sold souvenir shirts, i would have bought one in each design just to commemorate how great that meal was.
with full and happy bellies, we ended our dream vacation with a castle viewing and dress up party at muiderslot. the castle was fully equipped with interactive activities such as mini arcade-style games, jousting competitions and more. it definitely put a fun spin on the castle tour.
|it’s not a party until you play dress up|
europe was unbelievable. in fact, during most of the trip i felt as if i were living in a fairytale. we saw so much in our short time, but there is so much left to see. i already miss it. i miss the sights and i miss the feel of getting lost in a moment and having excitement at every corner. i cannot wait to make a triumphant return and explore all that is left!
my amsterdam warning: beware of bikers. they stop for no one.
the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.