Weekend Wrap Up

Hello! Another busy weekend here in Amsterdam. We are hosting some fabulous guests from the States and it has been the perfect excuse for us to take them around the city to our favorite places and, duh, eat our favorite foods.

We had a lovely dinner at home, evidenced by picture #1:

Dinner party

Those Nambe S&P shakers make the setting, don’t they?

We also, duh, strolled through some of our favorite street markets, Noordermarkt and Lindengrachtmarkt, like we do most weekends and indulged in some a dis (#2):

Hot Meat

How great does that sandwich look? More importantly, how great does that photo look? Jaro surprised me with a new camera lens (!!) and we’re having a blast taking some sweet (and savory?) shots with it.

We also tried out a cafe that we have been meaning to get to forever, Cafe Winkel. They are known for their gluttonous glorious apple tart. Can you see why? (#3):

Cafe Winkel's famous apple tart

We were also celebrating a special birthday for one of our guests (that’s you, Seweryn!) and even though he may not have wanted us to acknowledge his birthday in public, it still gave us a good reason to go to one of our favorite restaurants, Balthazar’s Keuken (#4):

Balthazar's. The decor is just as awesome as the food.

Our pictures of the food just didn’t do it justice in the low lighting, so you get this artsy shot of the cool bulbs in there instead. Where can I get these?

Chalk that up to another great weekend here in the ‘Dam. Now if only the temps would get back to where they were last weekend. …Actually, scratch that. We are about to head out this weekend for some exciting travel! Ukraine & Turkey, here we come!

xxx

Weekend Wrap Up

Hi there. I’m feeling under the weather today, so I’m sorry if this post lacks my normal enthusiam. “Under the weather” couldn’t be more appropriate right now. Our weather in Amsterdam has been AMAZING the past two weeks. Actually amazing. And I’m certainly not feeling amazing so I suppose I am, indeed, under it. But let’s talk weekend, shall we? I had a friend visiting from the U.S. and it was good to talk about how everyone is doing at home and share how things are going over here.

On Friday when she arrived, we took a nice long walk around Museumplein, over to Leidesplein and up & around to Rembrandtplein. Lots o’ pleins (which really just means square in Dutch). All this walking just means we earned our dinner at Bazar, one of my faves, and then we rolled home.

On Saturday, it was another gorgeous day, so we hopped on a Canal Bus Tour (my third time, but who’s counting?). As much as I love the architecture of my city, it was also the perfect day to stare up at this:

But also see our crazy juxtaposition of these:

Het IJ.

We, of course, also stopped in the Lindengrachtmarkt for lunch, so I could say hi to my favorite Hot Meat men.

After a long day in the warm sun, we thought there is no better way to end it than with this:

Enjoying my roof with a friend.

And after considerable chatting up there, it continued down here:

Evening stroll

Sunday rolled around and we took another walk. This time through Vondelpark and around the Pijp, stopping for lunch at another favorite haunt, De Duvel.

Sometimes, quiet weekends are just what you need. And, sometimes, they are even just what I need.

xxx

Weekend Wrap Up

Hey friends. So last week, I was really jazzed about doing this weekly post. Until I really didn’t do much this weekend and don’t have anything to write about… Awkward silence.

Okay, that’s not true. I did do stuff. I do things when my husband travels for work and I don’t tag along. When you live in a foreign country and are not planning on ever currently working, there is no excuse. There is always something new and cool to check out. I will write a separate post about my thoughts on traveling while being an expat wife this week actually. Stay tuned!

So Thursday (my weekends can start when I want them to). Thursday started my weekend. I saw the forecast, saw a bright, sunny sun, and 15 degree temps, so I headed to a popular warm weather destination here is the Netherlands – Scheveningen. This coastal town, just a skip from Den Haag, is our very own version of the Jersey Shore. No, I don’t mean Snooki or MTV, I mean a huge boardwalk filled with tons of sidewalk cafes and lots of activities for the kiddies. Tons of people were strolling around (on a Thursday, suspiciously), and enjoying the sunshine. Like this scene in picture #1:

Scheveningen's beachside cafes

And this is just the very end of the boardwalk. It stretched quite a ways in the other direction (aka: In the direction of the sun. aka: Horrible front-lit photos.) Notice how huge the beach is also? Can’t wait to party here in the summer!

On Friday night, I had some girlfriends over for dinner and cooked the delicious feast seen in picture #2:

Dinner with friends

You can’t tell because I didn’t spend the time to take a decent picture, but it’s stuffed chicken & baked goat cheese salad with bacon-wrapped scallops and a gigantic plate of cheese. Yum!

Saturday was a bit of a bust for me. I’ll admit it. I just wasn’t feeling like going out and the inevitable consequences I would have to deal with on Sunday. So what did I do instead? Maybe picture #3 is a hint:

The Blue Mosque

No, I didn’t escape town for the day, I booked a new trip! That’s right – Jaro & I are going to Istanbul, Turkey! After experiencing the incredible culture of Morocco that I wrote about at length here, here & here, I’m so curious about and excited to visit another Muslim country. Jaro has been there and swears I’ll love it, which makes me that much more pumped. We’re going at the end of April, which I hear is a great time to go. Yay!

Sunday I woke up at 8am. Feeling refreshed, excited and, guess what, not hungover! So I hopped on my bike and pedaled off to Vondelpark and the city was the quietest I have EVER seen it. Pure bliss. It was a bit soggy outside, but I managed to snap this beautiful shot for picture #4:

Spring has sprung in Amsterdam!

When I actually love on my camera a bit, it loves me back! I then had lunch with one of my high school teachers who is also an expat in Europe. It’s incredible to me to have these new connections and re-connections with people here (as in, across the pond) from my life back home. Gives me that good “it’s a small world after all” feeling. Love it.

So there you have it. My weekend wrap up. Did you all have a good weekend? Anyone else out there flying solo and making the best of it?

xxx

New Orange

Hey all. I realize I haven’t posted anything recently, but that’s because my lovely parents are visiting! Forgive me. I’ve been busy enjoying their company and showing them around Amsterdam.

Last week, Nike hosted an event at the Bijenkorf (our big department store- like Macy’s) on the Damrak here in Amsterdam. Those of you that know the city know that the Damrak is the main artery through the middle of city center. Well, guess what? Nike closed it down! Trams and cars had to be re-directed because there was a huge crowd in the middle of the street. Yeah, they have that sort of power, I suppose. Anyway, the purpose of shutting the street down and causing a huge ruckus was to unveil the Netherlands away kit for the European Championships this summer. Behold:

Black is the new orange

Cool. (read: Can’t wait til I get mine.) And yes, that is a giant projection screen on the side of Bijenkorf. Beneath it was a elevated stage, where the team captain made some remarks followed by a surprise jam session with DJ Afrojack. See?

Nike-sponsored concert on the Damrak

Not a bad way to spend a Thursday evening.