What I learned from my quick diversion to Amsterdam: I am really good at making five days of clothes last twelve. Are you proud, Mom?!?

So like I was telling y’all, a fun few hours with Veuling Airlines turned into an early trip to Amsterdam, because, why not? Luckily, my trusted host in the Netherlands, Mr. William Abney (shoutout to high school friends) was ready for 48 hours of extra company; and then I was off. Can’t you tell I was a little excited to see the craziest person I know?

After 45 minutes of hauling my luggage to his apartment (don’t listen to boys when they say “it’s a twenty minute walk!”…or just don’t listen to boys in general, always a good rule to live by), I was finally able to unload for the day. But not for long! Wabney (as only the best of us call him) took me to Leidseplein for a big meal and to see the Saturday night life in that lively city. And let’s just say, it was an experience.

Also something I’ve learned about the Netherlands…the sun really just never sets?! It wasn’t pitch dark until midnight, and we decided to stay with nature and be up all night. Good for the soul, not so much for the body.

After sleeping in on Sunday (God’s day! the day of rest, okay?!), we headed to Vondelpark for a mid-day picnic (and by picnic I mean a few bottles of wine and some fresh squeezed orange juice from the coolest machines ever…). You can bet on it that that’s what I’ll miss most from this city.

After we enjoyed our appetizers, we head some Mexican (I miss you, Texas), headed home for naps, and spent an early night in. Definitely had to get my rest because I had a big Monday ahead of me…I got to see Femke!

For anybody who doesn’t know Fem, she was a foreign exchange student from the Netherlands that I became good friends with my junior year. I hadn’t seen her in four (FOUR!!!) years, but an hour and a half train later, we were reunited!!! With a little shoutout to Izzy (another one of the exchange students but from Germany, and basically like a sister to me) and a trip to Dam Square and Bijenkorf to see all the clothes I’ll never be able to afford (I got your favorite H, Mere!), it was like high school all over again.

But alas, our meeting could only last so long, and we had to say goodbye to our adorable little Dutch girl. And what better way to get over sadness than to sightsee (that’s a saying, right? Whatever).

It only took a pair of over-sized clogs and one trip to the Amsterdam to certify us extra-tourists. But let’s be honest, that’s the aesthetic I love. Plus, how can I even attempt to be Dutch when I couldn’t even eat the raw, food cart herring? I have included before and after pictures to show that, hey, at least we tried?

To be even extra tourist, we found a Starbucks at the train station (thank you God…it’s been MONTHS!) and I got your basic-white-girl caramel Frappuccino, scoped out a good cheese stop (my favorite’s Gouda!), and sampled the random Dutch appetizers (croquettes, y’all!).

With satisfied bellies and a slight Prosecco buzz, we saw some more of the city (canals, canals, canals!), and caved to some authentic Asian food for dinner (this place knows their oriental, y’all).

Fueled off an endorphin high (and too much wine…) we got our first insight into the Red Light District…not blog appropriate, but let’s just say y’all, it was an experience. 

The RLD really takes it out of you (but let’s be honest, so does the bubbly), so Tuesday was a rest day and some Netflix marathoning (hey now, ain’t nothing wrong with that!), but Wednesday was a cultural explosion.

First we had to get our classic “I amsterdam” sign pic (I’m basic and I’m proud), but also had to get our Chipotle craving out of the way (how else were we supposed to focus on the upcoming museums, right?!). Our crazy American selves found the closest resemblance to the delicious Mexican, and then headed off to the tourist hub of the city.

To start, we decided to go see the Rijks (the Dutch national museum). The coolest parts were definitely seeing the world famous Rembrandt painting The Night Watch, running into Italian art and sculpture that I actually studied in my Art and Society class from the semester, and getting to stand in the presence of some of the most influential pieces of all time. I don’t know if it’s Italy or just general maturing, but dang museums are so much cooler now!!! My dad would be so proud. Here are just a few of my favorite finds:


Next, we headed too the Stedelijk (a super cool, super contemporary art and design museum). Sometimes, modern art doesn’t make much sense to me…but hey, I tried to come in with an open mind! And you know what? Some I feel really in love with. I even got to see some Andy Warhol (ANDY WARHOL, YALL!!!). Reading the little descriptions for each piece, movement, and period actually peaked my interest a lot more than my pre-teen self would’ve ever believed possible; something actually serving its correct purpose…shocking! Wabney couldn’t help but being #LostinThot by some of the more…peculiar… pieces, but at least he didn’t try! Here are my favorites (an the most #aesthetic)!

I have way more pieces from both of the museums, but don’t worry (because I know you’re waiting with bated breath) I’ll make a Facebook album soon with the entirety of my Amsterdam trip.

I promised myself I wouldn’t overwhelm y’all with pictures from this trip, so instead I’m breaking it up into two parts. We have now concluded the first half of this crazy vacation, so stay tuned for part 2!





– Alex