Tip: If you want your father to *finally* start paying attention to your blog, just cave to his likings and you’ll immediately get a response. Case in point:

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So hey dad! If you’re looking for more cultural delving, you’re in luck! Just wait a few photos…

So where did we leave off? Yes, cultural immersion! How could I forget, dear father?

Will and I left the museums with a lot more knowledge, so we decided to get some drinks to rid ourselves of that same knowledge! We went all over, from your sketchy bars (the walls were literally covered in aluminum), to some pubs to crash the post-5pm office parties, and to an appropriately-tinted restaurant for some very Bradshaw-esque martinis.

Tequila became our friend of choice that night (it felt very “creative artist” and we were going for theme), so Thursday we decided to sleep in and then go pick up Will’s sister from the airport. Cool story, y’all, when Will’s sister was studying abroad in Brussels, she and her friend randomly met a Belgian guy at the bar, and the friend and him fell in love! She ended up moving to Belgium and they got engaged! So Will and his sister were invited to the wedding that weekend. Life is all about timing, right?!

We spent most of Thursday with her, talking about her life abroad and this crazy happening. She then took my spot in Will’s apartment and I moved to the Bulldog, the most famous hostel/hotel in Amsterdam. A cool story about this place, it was actually the first ever Coffee Shop in Amsterdam. And no, a “Coffee Shop” is not a place where one buys coffee in Amsty…I’ll let you look that one up on your own!

And this is how I spent my night…

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‘Nuff said.

Okay so I had some more travel issues…I was supposed to go home that Friday morning, but turns out I had a few problems with check-in and…another night in Amsty!!! Sorry, mom and dad…(seems like I’m saying that a lot lately).

Cool side of having another day in this city (besides, you know, being in this city!) was that I got to meet a friend from Notre Dame here! Some of you may have heard of my friend August, a boy I studied Italian with and one of my best friends at ND. He’s studying and working in Italy this summer, and just happened to be going to Amsterdam with some friends for the weekend.

Look at the excitement y’all!

We met up with one of his friends in Dam Square, and were interrupted by a rather strange street show…a contortionist?! But not before August and I had a little photo-session.

She bendy, y’all.

Afterwards, we headed to an oriental lunch and a nice Heineken (it was created in Amsterdam, y’all!!!) and August went a little crazy with the camera.

Then, with my last night, I convinced the boys to go to the Van Gogh Museum (another museum…I told you dad!), and boy was it incredible…but of course, we had to stop at the I amsterdam sign ONE MORE TIME.

I’m not going to say it was the scariest experience on top of that “e”, but it may be one of them…

The coolest part of the museum started out with a copy of his Sunflowers, but re-vamped so those visually-impaired visitors could experience the magnitude of the piece. They had a 3D print where you could feel the texture of the work, a box that had the scent of flowers inside, and an audio clip playing the sounds of flowers blowing in the wind. It was pretty dang cool.

I was pretty proud of myself because I read every. single. panel. in the museum…even the non-Van Gogh ones!!! Yay for artistic dedication!!! And, even after getting yelled at three times for taking pictures (apparently that’s a thing even though there were no signs?), I managed to sneak a picture of these two bad ass paintings!!! People call me stubborn for a reason #cantbestopped.

After leaving culturally heightened, we headed out to find the AirBnB they were staying in…and it was on a freaking boat, y’all?!

Amsterdam AirBnB is weird.

We then headed around the city, trying to decide where to eat, and just took in how cool this place is! Seriously jealous Will gets to call it home for the summer.

Though it was Friday night, I had to head home after dinner because I couldn’t miss my flight (again…). But OF COURSE I had to get another one of those insane waffles again. With a full, sugar-filled belly and a big hug from my college buddy, I hit the hay early (but not without spending three hours planning and organizing my next few weeks). Y’all, I blame my mom for this OCD.

Okay don’t worry I MADE MY FLIGHT YOU GUYS!!! But it was pretty sad leaving that city…one of my favorite places yet (and more to go on my to-do list), I definitely know I’ll be coming back again.

I had to get back to the real world at that point, and back to the reality that I had an exam in 48 hours. I had I studied yet? No. Was I at all prepared? Would you be after  12 days away in two of the most beautiful cities in the world? Exactly. But alas, into the night, we ride!

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And onto the next one…

 

 

Ciao,

 

– Alex

 

(hahah again I didn’t spell check I don’t care enough today)