Hi all. Trying to get everyone up to speed with our recent happenings here in the Dam. Over the holiday, we enjoyed the company of our first visitors from Chicago: M&M! They arrived the day after Christmas and stayed for 2 weeks. We had a blast. When visitors stay longer than a week, they really have a chance to enjoy the city, get to know their way around, and not rush all the touristy things that they have to do while they’re here. Bonus: We even took a road trip to Belgium for three days in the middle of their stay. But more on that later.
We started it off right with homecooked food for the first day and a walk around the neighborhood (which turned into a walk around half the city). They were troopers and just took a short nap and were right on our schedule.
The best part about having visitors is showing them around our beautiful city. Some highlights include:
– A delicious dinner at Cafe de Jaren (http://www.diningcity.nl/cafedejaren/), filled with boar meat pies, eggplant lasagna, and thai chicken soup
– Strolling around the City Center, pausing for some romance at the Skinny Bridge (properly known as Magere Brug):
– Some shopping in the markets where we get all our produce (Albert Cuyp Market):
…And fish (Cuyp):
One night it was crab claws, baby squids, red snapper and mussels. Note: Fish eyes are not meant to be eaten and I just learned (which I can’t believe btw) that to check for edibility of mussels, you tap on their shell and if they close, they are good for eatin’.
…And more fish (again at Cuyp):
This time it was tuna steaks, scallops, and prawns. So delicious!
…And hot meat (this is at Lindengrachtmarkt, only on Saturdays):
– Enjoying a dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, De Duvel (http://www.deduvel.nl/), which is right here in De Pijp. We chowed down on black truffle risotto, fish and duck.
– Concocting other feasts in our kitchen like this to-die-for French Onion Soup:
– And finally, throwing a massive rager for NYE in our sweet apartment with all our friends here in Amsterdam:
There is Jaro on our roof in the middle of the party. #whatablur
We really love our city and sharing it with our friends and family!
Moving right along, one of the great things about the timing of their visit was that Jaro could take a few days off since it was around the holiday. One day, we took a roadtrip of the Netherlands! Since the country is so small, you can pretty much get around most of it in a day. We went to Den Haag where we had coffee in a department store (yep):
Traveler Tip: Don’t go to Den Haag on a rainy day. There was virtually nothing to do except go to the one museum that seemed interesting, Mauritshuis, and we didn’t even go. I’ve heard that it’s a great city to bike ride around, so I’ll go back when the weather cooperates.
We then went to Delft, home of the famous Dutch white & blue porcelain. Here’s me and 9po on a cute bridge in Delft:
And me just dealing with nature:
We had lunch there in a cute restaurant right on the square, called De Waag (http://www.de-waag.nl/):
Also went into the “New” Church in Delft, which was built between 1383 and 1510, where we saw this chill guy:
And wrapped it up by visiting the Royal Delft Museum (Koninklijke Porcelyne Fles), where we snatched up some blue and white souvenirs.
Hopped back into the car to finish the day at Gouda. By the time we arrived, it was a terrible thunderstorm. And the Netherlands don’t get thunderstorms (just calm, steady rain), so you can imagine how the rest of the night went. (i.e. we pretty much drowned… in wine and beer). But, we made the best of it and had fun!
More on M&M’s visit when we roadtrip to Belgium in the next post…