Friday, October 3, 2014

On the road

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I went on a trip with my mama and my beautiful daughter, to a stunning city a long way away, across the ocean.  I had never been that far from home.

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We ate bitterballen, and cheeses made by hand, in cafes beside the canals.  We drank Grolsch, Amstel, and Heineken.  And, once, oude jenever, which is really just fire water, and which made my mama say, “my esophagus is hot!”

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We explored every little alley we could find.  I helped three guys hoist a bed up to their fourth floor window using a rope and pulley.  I learned to use the tram.  I saw a hundred famous paintings up close, and felt starstruck in the moment, standing face to face with Vincent—his self-painted eyes are so desperate. 

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I met a guy who uses this windmill to make peanut oil.  With ropes, the wind, and his hands.  A curly-haired kid wearing trendy glasses used two huge machines to make a wooden shoe in about three minutes.  Beautiful people were everywhere.

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I want to move there immediately, to fill a room in the attic of a Golden Age house with books and art, and then sit in the window writing poetry every day until the bells of the Westerkerk tell me its time for bed.  I want to paint things now, and ride my bicycle, and get some of those fantastic round tortoiseshell eyeglasses I saw everywhere.  I will even eat herring.  There are no lovelier, kinder, more pleasant people in all the world.  Amsterdam, I love you so.

30 comments:

  1. GOSH, I've missed you! Was so worried, and now I know I should be. We're gonna lose you to Amsterdam. So awesome you could share the trip with 2 very special ladies. Glad it was wonderful. Always wanted to go. Might have to now. Happiest weekend.

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  2. I love that place too, we went at darkest winter and it was still beautiful! J x

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  3. I am a great fan of the place and the people too. I have been several times.

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  5. So nice to read you enjoyed your stay in our main capital!!
    I´m very glad you had a good time, especially in this 3 generations trip!! What a superb idea!
    Warm greetings from Holland

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  6. With great pleasure I have read your report of the city i live close by.
    To see my daily life through your eyes I realize again how special it is.
    With love from Holland. XX Katrien.

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  7. mmmmmmmmmmm......x-x-x-x-x

    thank you for taking us with you!
    beautifuL writing + sentiment.

    yum yum

    Teri
    Oregon

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  8. Amsterdam, Baby! No other City quite like it. You were a long way from home. Glad it enthused you so.

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  9. Gosh! You make me want to go to Amsterdam.

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  10. What a lovely trip! So glad you had a nice time.

    Oddly, you are the 3rd blogger I follow who recently went to Amsterdam.

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  11. Oh you lucky duck, that sounds like a wonderful trip! That last picture of you and your daughter is so cute. Good times for sure :)

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  12. What an awesome trip with daughter and Mother in tow....
    You look like a movie star pictured in the red M....
    So wish I could have sen you hoisting the rope and pulley!!! Have seen it done on HGTV!!!! Glad You had such an amazing adventure and that You shared your photos and wonderful way with words!!!!

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  13. how awesome! i feel the same, LOVE amsterdam. LOVE.

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  14. What a great idea, a 3 generation holiday. And so glad you live my home town for over 20 years. It sure is beautiful and filled with nice people!!

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  15. Hello Kristen! Thanks for this lovely post! Amsterdam is also on my list of places I want to go to!!! Glad you had a great time and thanks for sharing! :)
    Have a nice weekend!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  16. Great to see you had such a wonderful time in our country! And you really made the best of it, you did, saw and experienced so many really Dutch things. How lovely there were 3 generations on this trip. What made you chose The Netherlands?

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    1. We chose Amsterdam because none of us had been there before, a feat which is hard to achieve when you factor in my globe-hopping mama, who has been most everywhere. :)

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  17. Ah, yes, lovely Amsterdam! I did a biking tour of the Netherlands--the whole country is just wonderful.

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  18. Oh Amsterdam. I live in a small village next to it. My son lives there and my brother. I'm happy you love Amsterdam. You took great pictures of it. What else did you visit in my country :-)

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    1. We were so lucky to also see Volendam, Zaanse Schans and Marken--stunning, lovely places, all. :)

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  19. Love your writing and your photos. I'll buy your poetry book!

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  20. I love Amsterdam! I have been there twice when my niece and her family lived there for two years, it is an amazing place to visit. I loved every minute I was there.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  21. Welcome back Kristen! Yes, Amsterdam is a lovely city. My visit was many years ago in springtime. I'm pretty sure that it's a fine place to be at all times of the year.

    How about all those bicycles!

    xo

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  22. What a wonderful trip . . . I was so glad that I visited and was able to tag along.
    Thanks for sharing your adventure with us. I will no doubt never make it to Amsterdam but it is wonderful exploring it with photos other than those seen in travel brochures . . . they never show you the real deal:)
    Connie :)

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  23. So glad you had a lovely time xxx

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  24. I love Amsterdam, my husband used to live in the netherlands for his work - and I would travel there every other weekend, a great time for us! Glad you liked it too!

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  25. Haven't been to Amsterdam for a few years but it's a great city to visit. Love it.

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  26. You really touched me with your story and beautiful pictures of your 'three generations trip' to Amsterdam. I live close by and it struck me how special it is seeing it through your eyes and that you had such a good time there. It still amazes me how many history we have in our cities, something that never get me bored.I just stayed in a quiltshop to take part in a masterclass Amish handquilting,in the south-west part of the Netherlands, called Zeeland. The town is Dreischor. it has a beautiful centre like many or the very small towns there. With houses and churches dating from the 14th and 15th century, can you imagine? Those buildings even survived many floods from the sea. And there I learned about quilting...had such a good time. Hope I get to visit New York one time and learn for example, about the historical spots where the first people from Europe landed;)
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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