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Amsterdam: Day Two

Do we really have to get up? Well, eventually we’ll have to. For now, let’s just be lazy a bit and we’ll get going when we get going. We’re on holiday after all and this is our last city. After our slower morning, which was easy enough since we had a lighter itinerary than the other cities. Yeah, it was the city that inspired the whole European Adventure, but it was more of a leisurely visit to begin with…and it was rainy outside.

First stop was at Starbucks, which by the way (in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam) doesn’t take the Starbucks rewards card. London, took the card, but that was our first city…their go my 75 bonus stars. I did pick up a mug…and we each got a chocolate hazelnut Nordic brioche. It’s basically delicious knotted brioche, a little more dense than French brioche, but so delicious because it had actual hazelnuts. Heck, they even warmed it up for us. Yes, please!

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Afterwards, we were headed to the Van Gogh Museum. I was pleasantly surprised by how good a museum it was. It was well laid out and the different rooms weren’t so vast that they were overwhelming. You really got a feel for his life for when he decided to become and artist until when he died. He died at the age of 37, pretty young and had only cut off his ear 2 years prior. He learned about his relationship with his brother Theo and a bit about his famous artist friends. It was a great museum and comes highly recommended.

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We were going to stop by the Rijksmuseum next, but lunch first. Between the two museums is the “I Amsterdam” sign. There were so many people, we decided to come back later. The lunch spot we had picked out was Sama Sebo, an Indonesian restaurant. Indonesian food is big here (Indonesia was colonized by the Dutch). The food was fabulous. It was recommended to get the big platter, but we went for the lunch sized platter which was definitely enough food. It was the perfect meal for a cold and rainy day. We took our time while the rain continued on outside.

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After lunch, it was off to Rijksmuseum. Amsterdam’s answer to the Smithsonian. It was a really cool museum. Not just artwork, but artifacts and stuff about the Netherlands. We learned the French took over for a short while and united what is now the Netherlands and Belgian, but then were kicked out. Southern Netherlands seceded and became Belgian and thus speak Flemish and French. Hey we were just down there. There’s a room that was dedicated to dollhouses. That was insane the amount of detail and scale that went into making those pieces (they were made for those who were well-to-do). Everything was made to scale. What?!?!?!

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And yes, there were less people at the “I Amsterdam” sign. We can finally take our picture. We got a picture and it was awesome. Before heading home, we walked through the Albert Cuyp Market which was actually in the process of closing. It closes at 5pm. It looked like they had some pretty cool stalls that’d be worth checking out. So, we’ll go back tomorrow.

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We took a break back at the AirBnb to just unwind. I updated this blog and wrote in my journal a bit. We caught up on some texting and social media. We were being leisurely. And searching for a dinner option nearby, we picked Par Hasard. They had a bitterballen (crispy fried meatball) sampler and some other Dutch food.

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From L to R: beef, cheese, shrimp

Par Hasard was great. The service was awesome. The food was good. The atmosphere was that of which you would go to just hang out with your friends for a couple beers and snacks or a nice casual dinner. It was great. For my entree, I got the spare ribs and fries (Monday night special). Anne got the veggie burger and fries. We even got a bit of dessert, chocolate mouelleux (molten chocolate lava cake with vanilla ice cream). Great meal for a lazy night. Our server was super nice, too.

Fun fact: We came to Par Hasard in search of bitterballen (a Dutch bar snack) and we found gezelligheid. What is gezelligheid you say? It’s amazingness. Don’t worry, we weren’t sure what it was either so we asked the Googles for some help. We found out the gezelligheid is a Dutch word. It’s considered to be untranslateable because it is quite a vague and abstract notion. Some would even say is encompasses the heart of the Dutch culture (by some, I mean Wikipedia). What it comes down to is a general sensation of individual well-being that ones shares with others and all descriptions involve a positive atmosphere, flow or vibe that colors the individual personal experience in a favorable way and in one way or another corresponds to social contexts. So…what I’m saying is warm fuzzies all around. (Also, thanks Wiki.)

One more day in Amsterdam before heading back to the home. This trip is nearing it’s end way too soon.

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