For my 30th Birthday, Sharon decided to fly me to Europe for the weekend — to Amsterdam! We left Thursday night on a 8hr flight, time traveling to Friday morning when we checked into the InterContinental Amstel Hotel. Without much sleep, we quickly checked into our beautiful accommodations and headed out to explore the city. First and foremost we needed breakfast and walked to the Leidesplein to enjoy some pannenkoeken. Stuffed by these giant pancakes filled with apples and cheese, we strolled out to get our bearings. Sharon wanted some candy at Jamin! and proceeded to fill a bag with assorted Dutch treats.
After a couple hours of wandering past smart shops, flower markets and places to have “coffee”, we were really feeling the time difference. Ending up in the Rembrandtplein, Sharon and I grabbed our first Heineken of the trip at The Three Sisters pub. It was delicious, and tasted much lighter and fresher than the American version. Rejuvenated, we headed back downtown to the University area and stopped by De Dampkring, a place I heard good things about from Sharon.
At this point we were exhausted and went back to the hotel to rest a little and change before our dinner at Temple Doeloe — a traditional rijsttafel. Dinner was excellent and spicy, Sharon singed her tongue off at the last dish!
Day 2 was another busy one with 2 main stops — The Heineken Experience and The Van Gogh Museum. The Heineken Experience was a wonderful tour of not only how the fantastic beer gets made, but a well-executed tour through the brewery’s history. 2 pints at the end of the special “EXTRA COLD” brew were also amazing — A must-go! The Van Gogh Museum was also great, especially with no line since we prepaid our tickets online back home before the trip. I loved seeing all the different periods in the artists life, and many important pieces I only have seen in my Art History books. His correspondence with his brother Theo was displayed well amongst the gallery floors.
The rest of the day was filled with fries (plus frite sauce!) more Heinekens, the organic(!) BioMarkt, cheese, walks through Vondelpark, Dam Square and the Red Light District. It was wonderful to be in Europe and we were loving every minute!