For the remainder of the trip we were stationed in Utrecht, The Netherlands where Will had some work to do. But he did have a few days to explore with me and we kickstarted our day off early on Tuesday morning taking the train from Utrecht into Amsterdam. And as a precursor to the rest of the week, I just want to say that we found it extremely helpful to plan out where we wanted to go each day in advance and buy ticket to places ahead of time. Most places will send you an email with your ticket that they scan at the front door or it is available for download into your Passbook or Applewallet on your iPhone. It saved us a lot of time waiting in line and gave us specific times to be at each place which made for easy day scheduling.
First on the agenda was the Van Gogh Museum! Don't get your hopes up, Starry Starry Night isn't there. haha! Don't get me wrong, I'm glad we went and it was super interesting to see how his work progressed. I especially liked his work when he was a self-admitted patient to the St. Paul asylum. But I was disappointed to learn that we had traveled across the world to a Van Gogh museum only to find out that Starry Starry night is located in the good ol' U.S. of A. in New York! lol!
Next we had lunch at the Stedelijk Musuem directly adjacent to the Van Gogh Museum. This is where you see the giant mirrored cube. I ordered a BLT and they basically brought me 2 pounds of bacon! haha, I couldn't help but get a picture of it. Here we had our first Heinekens, a beer brewed in Amsterdam. Then we spent the day just walking around and exploring. We saw tons of shops including a street of strictly high-end shops that was fun to just go in and look. I couldn't help but pick up these super snuggly pj pants at Zara Home. I had actually never been in a Zara Home store before, it was bliss! We found a couple bridges that were covered in locks with peoples names and dates on them. We walked through Vondel Park and along the canals. And totally indulged in a couple trips to Starbucks to keep ourselves warm as we walked the streets.
Our last stop in Amsterdam that day was Anne Frank's House. It is definitely an experience worth having if you are ever in Amsterdam. I read her diary in school as I'm sure most people have. To be there in person is surreal. There are simply no words.
We ended up taking the train back to Utrecht for dinner. This old church had been turned into a pub/restaurant, "Olivier". Super cool. They had a ton of beers on tap and I found a malty Leffe double that was delish! For dessert, they served a warm waffle covered in Nutella, topped with Vanilla Ice Cream and chocolate. OMG! It was heaven! Oh and they served mints called "Wilhelmina" - a name I've teased Will with since college, lol! Another feature of this restaurant that I found so delightful was that they had a cat! Will and I laughed so hard as we watched this little guy walk underneath from table to table unnoticed by the occupants. He finally settled on a pew snuggled up in a man's jacket. The man didn't even realize he was there until he was leaving. He sweetly pet the cat and took his coat as he headed out the door. It was really neat to see the reactions of those that did see the cat. Deep down, we must all be animal lovers. Because the moment people became aware of him, they would light up! What a cool thing! I wish all places had pets!
Lots of pics today! Hope you enjoy! And if you have any questions about planning a trip to Amsterdam, please don't hesitate to ask!