Amsterdam was one of those cities that didn’t much peak my interest because, to me, it was synonymous with “legal pot,” which isn’t all that interesting after residing in Colorado. But hey guess what you guys, there’s so much more to Amsterdam than marijuana! Aside from its drizzly, uncomfortably chilly summer weather, the city was SO COOL. Yes it had amazing architecture and canals and museums and parks and attractions and public spaces and all that, but what we loved most was the FOOD. Ultimately we are governed by our bellies, and our bellies were so very happy in Amsterdam. We didn’t fully realize how tiresome German/Austrian cuisine had gotten until we were offered other options, and we were overjoyed to welcome seasonings and flavor back into our lives. In summary, Amsterdam has awesome Asian food, and Asian food is where it’s at, people. Not that I didn’t enjoy, immensely, the immense Dutch pancakes. I wish I had one right now. We even liked the traditional Dutch street snack of raw herring with onions and pickles.
Another reason Amsterdam was so enjoyable was getting to meet up with the Berman family. Exploring a new city is always more fun with friends. Originally Amsterdam wasn’t part of the itinerary but we opted to sacrifice Budapest to be able to join the Bermans for part of their vacation. So glad we did. We visited the Anne Frank House together, a somber and sobering experience but important for the kids to learn about the life of a girl who wasn’t much older than they were when she went into hiding. Afterwards the kids humored us with a tour of the Van Gogh Museum, a hike through the city, and dinner at a pan-Asian bistro.
On our last day we went all-out tourist and did the canal cruise circuit more than a couple of times, strolled through the famous flower market, ate herring, and drank Heineken. When in Amsterdam, right?