A few weeks ago, A fine excuse to go to away presented itself when good friends Victoria & Troy planned a 2 day stopover in Amsterdam while en route from Chicago to adopt a child in Ethiopia.
The flight is extremely short from London at forty minutes or so. We were at our hotel by lunchtime and ready to go.
By then, I had already mowed through three stroopwafels. The first one was consumed in the car from the airport.
I waste no time consuming local culture, you see. I also love stroopwafels.
We met all met up for lunch in a cafe near Rembrandt Square, and after lots of eating, Victoria & Troy went for a nap in an effort to beat jetlag, leaving Darren and I to walk around.
We walked and walked. We repeatedly got lost.
In a determined moment, Darren decided that we should find Anne Frank’s house. Despite being on the correct street and in a city with many tourist-friendly signs that provide directions to places such as Anne’s house, we failed miserably. This gross failure allowed us to answer like surly kids, “nothing” when asked later in the day what we did all afternoon.
Naturally, I consoled myself with more stroopwafels before having a pre-dinner catnap.
For dinner, we went on a bit of a wander and found ourselves at Brasserie Harkema.
The next morning, our plans to meet up at ten were changed due to uneven sleeping. Darren and I had a lovely breakfast out (yes, that’s pie!) and were about to continue our trek to nowhere, when I decided to invoke plan E.
As I hadn’t expected anyone’s jetlag before our trip, I had mailed my friend Erik, who works in Amsterdam, to let him know I’d very briefly be in town but that meeting up might have to wait until my next visit. Fortunately, Erik was having a quiet day, and was happy to have us visit his labs on very short notice. We enjoyed the grand tour at the University before heading back to meet Victoria and Troy for lunch.
After our wonderful tour, we met back up with Victoria & Troy, ate more lunch, attempted to shop, and wandered to the Rijksmuseum, which like so many buildings in the city was covered in scaffolding and under some sort of renovation. Fortuantely, part of the permanent collection was still open.
Naturally, we got lost a few times, but we managed to find our way home in time to get ready for dinner at De Kas, which is a restaurant which sources from its own farms and greenhouses.
The food was brilliant, and the space was lovely. This is a restaurant that I’d include in my top 15 easily.
After a good night’s sleep, it was time to head back to London, with plenty of licorice to tide me over until our next visit.