That Moment When: The Most Interesting Moments From My Quick Trip to Amsterdam!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Photo Credit: smithsonianmag.com
Greetings! And welcome to a brand new work week. I am starting my week on the heels of an impromptu trip to Amsterdam with one of my best girlfriends, Vee. We both left from our respective cities (me from NYC...Vee from Chicago) on Friday night, landed in Amsterdam on Saturday morning, and headed back to our respective cities on Sunday morning. Like I said, quick trip! But the whole idea was to take a break from work (we're both lawyers), and get a change of scenery. This also goes along with that one new year's resolution I wrote about last week. That being said, I wanted to share some of the more memorable moments of our quick trip to Amsterdam. Enjoy!


The Juggle Juice Bar drew me in with Fetty Wap!
That Moment When I Landed at the Amsterdam Airport...Which Is Really a Mall: I landed in Amsterdam at about 5:45 a.m. after a 6 hour flight. Vee wasn't getting in until 9, so I had some time to kill. Once I made it through immigration, I stumbled upon the Juggle Juice Bar. At 6:00 in the morning, the Juggle Juice Bar was playing all of the latest hip-hop and R&B tunes...this had to be the place for me! I sashayed up to the bar and took a look at the menu. After the bartender informed me that fresh croissants were coming out of the oven in 5 minutes, I tossed the menu, and told him to bring me any special that included the croissants. And it was great! I sat at the bar for about an hour and watched Netflix's Making of a Murderer while I waited (AMS' wi-fi is amazing!). 


This coffee was amazing!
My breakfast with the hot croissant!




After sitting for a while, I noticed that the H&M store right next the bar had opened. I decided to walk over and check it out. Once I did, I noticed all of the other store. There were tons of them! Folks, there is a full mall in the Amsterdam airport! I walked from store to store, and even purchased a really cute winter coat from one of the stores. And...there was a Starbucks! Needless to say, I wandered the mall airport right up until the time Vee landed. Once I found her, we were ready to see Amsterdam!


Our taxi...a Tesla!
That Moment When the Tesla Taxi Picked Us Up: Vee and I find each other, and head to the airport exit to grab a cab to our hotel. Imagine our surprise when the taxi line is full of Teslas! Beautiful, fully-loaded Teslas! This was clearly a step up from the yellow cabs I'm used to seeing as a New Yorker.


The Heineken Brewery
That Moment When We Toured the City...and Missed the Boat: We get to the Okura Amsterdam Hotel...beautiful hotel! We check in, freshened up, and head back out to start touring Amsterdam. We gaze at a map so that we can somehow locate the pickup point for the Canal Hop-On, Hop-Off Ferry. The interesting thing about wandering around an unknown city looking for a location on a map is that you often happen upon other cool stuff. During our 20 minute walk the ferry stop, we stumbled upon the Heineken brewery. I'm not a beer drinker, but it was pretty cool to see it. We found the ferry stop, purchased out tickets, and hopped on the boat. We toured beautiful Amsterdam while sailing along the canal. 


The Museum of Bags and Purses...it's really a thing!
We were happy about our sightseeing...until we got hungry. Then we were on an all out mission to find food. We didn't have to look far because there were plenty of spots to eat. We headed into an Argentinian restaurant in search of burgers. The burgers were bleh...but the wine quickly made us forget the inferiority of the burger. We left the restaurant and continued wandering the streets, checking out the shops, talking to the people, and chit chatting with each other...very loudly I'm guessing! We went to the Red Light District and checked our the Erotic Museum and the Museum of Prostitution. We checked out vintage clothing stores and crepe and waffle shops. After walking around all day, we decided that we had successfully done Amsterdam and we were ready to head back to the hotel. Too bad we didn't come to this resolution 30 minutes sooner! 



Scenes from the ferry!
Scenes from the ferry!

We got back to the ferry station too late and missed the last ferry...booooooo! After realizing that we were way too far from the hotel to walk, we figured out how to take the street tram back. So we inadvertently ended up seeing more of the city. Win!

That Moment When I Had the Best Waffle Ever...Twice: We kept seeing waffle and crepe shops while walking the streets, so we decided to stop at a candy shop and get a waffle. The shop owner made us fresh waffles; I added caramel to mine and Vee added Nutella. The waffle was AMAZING! Seriously amazing. It was warm and soft and sweet. It was perfect! We continued walking the streets and eating our waffles. I was honestly sad when I ate the last bite. A few hours later, we stopped at another shop in the Red Light District for another waffle. Don't judge! Side note: this is probably why we missed the last boat!

That Moment When I Decided Against Going in the Coffee Shop: It's no secret that the consumption of marijuana is legal in Amsterdam. What was a secret to me is that the air in the coffee shops in Amsterdam are filled with marijuana smoke. How did I figure this out you ask? Well, I noticed that every time we passed a coffee shop the aroma was thick. Really, really! And then I started noticing t-shirts and magnets that would lead a logical person to believe that coffee shops are known for said thick aroma. I'll admit that I am a little square, but I am also logical...we stayed away from the coffee shops!


Dinner at the Yamazato Restaurant
That Moment When I Had the Freshest Sushi: When we returned from our day in Amsterdam we were famished. The nice woman at the hotel must have known that we were going to be hungry when we returned, because she made reservations for us at the Yamazato Restaurant at the hotel; there was a cancellation. Boy am I glad that someone cancelled, because I had some of the best sushi and the freshest miso soup ever. It was game-changing people! And for those of you who are frequent watchers of Top Chef or the Food Network, the Yamazato Restaurant has One Michelin Star!


That Moment When I Slept Like a Baby: We had dinner, and then headed to the 23rd floor for drinks and an amazing view of the city. The bartender had a heavy hand, so one drink was all I really needed. We went back down to the first floor for dessert, and then I was spent! At this point, I had been awake for over 36 hours and my bed was hollering my name. We headed back to our room. I showered, FaceTimed Mini Me and the Stud, and I was asleep before my head hit the pillow. I slept like a baby through the night with no interruption...until that alarm went off (sigh!).

That Moment When the Security Agent Searched My Hair: Before I share this moment, let me first say that I would never imagine that I would be typing this...but I must! So, we arrive at the airport on Sunday morning to head back to the United States. I was surprised at how quickly I was able to check in, get my boarding pass, and have my documents checked; it took no longer than 10 minutes! But then I had to go through security. I place my carry-on, bag of toiletries, coat, and shoes on the belt, and waited to go through the scanner. I go through, and I think I'm done...nope! The security agent scoots over to me and says that she needs to check my hair...what! I obliged, but I cringed as she reaches to rummage her hand through my hair and scalp. She rooted me! Let me put this in context. My hair is currently styled in crocket braids, and I have long, medium sized curls all over my head. Could something be hiding in there...perhaps, but not likely. Once she was done, she yelled "all clear," and I was allowed to go. She then whispered to me "your hair is very pretty!" Well, thanks...I guess!
For obvious reasons I took this pic!
I will always find a Starbucks!

I'll just leave this here!
The Canal!


So that's all I got! Shout out to the good folks over in Amsterdam. Your city is beautiful and we had a fantastic time. Hope to see you again! Have any of you ever been to Amsterdam? What was your most memorable experience?




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