What can I say about Amsterdam…?
The buildings all tilt in just enough to make you wonder if you should find something to prop them up with…. And come to think of it, many of the people look as if they could use a good propping-up too. There is a fair amount of bright eyed tourists, yes, but sprinkled among them are the college students, the packs of women celebrating a “hen’s night” and the drunken men in drag.
The streets are full of crowds, and a sticky sweet haze that makes me wonder if I would fail a drug test tomorrow just because I stood here tonight. We came to this city without a plan, and found that maybe we really should have consulted a map before I turned the corner and found myself with only a window between myself and a happy looking prostitute’s bare skin.
We arrived on a Saturday evening, and clearly, it was the wrong time of the day to be gallivanting around a city known for its bustling adult industry and “coffee shops” that will get you high on more than a caffeine buzz. It didn’t take long for us to become uncomfortable and tired of the street scene, so we retreated back to our hotel for a nice, quiet evening IN.
Our trip to Amsterdam was planned to celebrate Hubby’s 30th birthday. It cracks me up a little that neither Hubby nor I found the city amusing (too old for all that jazz!). Instead, we found our way to the hotel bar and restaurant where we could eat burgers and play a little GO without worrying about the air quality.
I’m finding it hard to believe I’m married to a 30 year old man, and that I am really not that far behind him. Luckily, he just gets better with age (Thank you military for encouraging his meat-head behavior!) So I don’t have to trade him in for a younger model. It just blows my mind a little that “our thirties” are here so fast. Next year, we’ll have to find a more age appropriate place to ring in his birthday!
(Okay, I know the comments are coming. I know we are super young, especially for a homeschooling family… But, being married to a 30 year old man still makes me feel a little old!)
I have a dear, sweet friend who has been offering to take my kids for the weekend for months. I hadn’t left them yet, mostly because I was worried they would either kill themselves, or make her crazy. I realized I was crazy for not just leaving my kids on her porch and speeding away before she could change her mind, so this past weekend we made arrangements and skipped down, just Hubby and I.
We started our adventure at La Trappe, a Trappist monastery and brewery in the Netherlands. Hubby is a huge beer nerd, and part of our Europe Bucketlist includes visiting all the Trappist monasteries/breweries (we have now been to 5 of the 8) who brew some of the best beers in the world.
The Trappist monasteries rarely let you actually go in them unless you are a guest (you can book a stay at a monastery if you are looking for some worship and reflection). La Trappe lets you get just close enough to snap a picture through the fence.
On the grounds they also have a book shop which sells religious articles, and the various goods the monks make- chocolate, cheese and beer. Oh my, the beer! They also have a restaurant where you can try each of the beers they brew, and food cooked with it.
The best cheese in the world!
I’m really not a beer drinker, and I don’t particularly like cheese normally. But at La Trappe? I couldn’t get enough. The cheese in this picture was like silk , and it had roasted garlic in it, and tasted like heaven in my mouth. I was even able to find a beer I really liked, their White Trappist. It was bubbly and crisp and delicious, and I actually drank the whole thing. It was a first for me, and was wonderful!
The Witte Trappist.
La Trappe was absolutely worth the visit, and we’ll be headed back soon for more of that delicious cheese. They do brewery tours on the weekends, so we need to go back to try that too, since we didn’t have time this trip!
Today we are back home with the kiddos (whom we missed SO much while we were gone!) and are back to our normal Homeschool routine, but I have a lot more to share with you about Amsterdam, the Anne Frank house, and Holland’s beautiful tulips, so look for those posts this week!