After spending years living in Eastern and Western Africa – where me and the local cuisine rarely see eye-to-eye – one of my favorite things about travel is the food. Amsterdam was no exception. And while I loved it for the international variety (only London surpasses it in quantity), I can happily say we enjoyed the Dutch pancakes so much we ate them twice : )
Also, every cup of hot chocolate was divine – but you could have guessed that given our chocolate-scented bike ride.
I also couldn’t get enough of the architecture – Europe has something I can’t seem to find anywhere else: buildings I could stare at for hours. And in Amsterdam, I loved it all…from the traditional to the quirky.
Something that all cities I love have in common is their green space. Between the canals and the parks, Amsterdam gave me the fresh air and outdoor space that I’ve been craving, being trapped inside our apartment in Accra.
I know I already wrote about my love of Amsterdam museums, but no list of my favorite things would be complete without these beauties. Maybe next time we’ll make our way inside the Rijksmuseum.
Avid readers that we are, every vacation requires a stop in a bookstore or two. I fell in love with the American Book Center (ABC), and not just because it claims to be the best stocked English language bookstore in continental Europe – it’s also gorgeous
Chandler and I have been talking a lot about happiness lately (he’s even taking a course on happiness at our school this semester), so I found myself purchasing The Little Book of Lykke: The Danish Search for the World’s Happiest People by Meik Wiking, the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute. I’m only about one-third of the way through it, but it already has us lighting candles for our evening meals and starting a Friday night movie club to finish the top 30 of the American Film Institute’s top films with our apartment neighbors.
But what might possibly be my favorite thing about Amsterdam: the leather jackets. Half the population has them and in every style you can think of: classic biker jackets, racers, dad jackets, bombers – they came in all sizes and colors (though of course the classic black was most common).
They were such a common sight that I began to wonder if maybe I could pull one off. Honestly, I had never felt badass enough to wear one before. But it took about 5 minutes of wandering around an open-air flea market before I had walked up to a jacket, tried it on, purchased it, and was walking away in it. One of my most spontaneous purchases ever.
So, while Amsterdam may not change your life, I’m living proof it can drastically change your wardrobe. I’m sure we’ll be back again soon.