So Long, Amsterdam

It’s February 3rd and today we dropped off ~80 lbs of our stuff with one of the people who’s helping us “figure it out.” Her name is Lindsay, she’s one of my cousin’s best friends, and she’s offered to help store a lot of the extra crap we brought that we totally regret packing into our suitcases. It feels good to have less things to be responsible for and keep track of. Shoutout to Lindsay & Stefan for making our lives a thousand times easier!

relief.gif

Wus Good

Our last night in Amsterdam creeped up on me. In case you haven’t noticed, I’ve been MIA because I’ve been doing a little extra housekeeping with myself and my belongings. Not only did I have to part ways with the items I didn’t want to say goodbye to in the first place, but we’re still planning the rest of this weird trip we’ve embarked on.

No, we’re not staying in Amsterdam like we first thought…for now. BUT, I am not going to ignore the option of coming back for grad school in September. It’s something I’ve been tossing around in my head, and I think missing Amsterdam in a few days will make me want to do it more. I’m not making any decisions yet…I still have some time before that.

IMG_1870.JPG
Used my time and money wisely @ Caffe Milo

Because this is our last night in Amsterdam before we leave our apartment in Amsterdam-Zuid, I’d like to catch you up on some other tourist activities we’ve done before I go on and spoil where we’re heading next.

I Ate a Pannekoek

This week, Shannon found out she has a friend who’s killin’ the travel life and his name is Kevin. He’s in Europe networking to build his career and knocking out a degree at the same time – shoutout to you Kevin for putting in work! What better situation to meet up with him than to get pancakes, right?

pancakes amsterdam.jpg

We found Pancakes.Amsterdam using iamsterdam.com, which has been a really good guide for us on this month-long experience. Pancakes is located right by Centraal Station and is ranked #2 on the Top 10 Pancake Restaurants in Amsterdam. The dish surprised me because I didn’t quite realize what a pannekoek was before we got there.

My idea of a pancake is the classic American flapjack stack…or even the teeny ones Shan got that day at Albert Cuypmarkt. Both are sweet and fluffy. As you can see from the picture below, Dutch pancakes are a lil different from what I’m used to.

hamandcheeseRT.jpg
Traditional ham & cheese pannekoek, just like the one I got

Pannekoeks are thinner than an American pancake, thicker than a crêpe, and bigger than the plate. I would say it had a sort of hash brown consistency (though it’s not made of potatoes) and it came in sweet or savory. At Pancakes.Amsterdam, popular styles are with ham and cheese, bacon and cheese, ham and apple, or bacon and apple. The sweet and savory is not my favorite combo, so I stuck with something I felt comfortable with.

If you’re wondering, I just about ate the entire thing. #ShanVsFood

eat.gif

The Smallest House in Amsterdam

Thanks to a YouTube video with 15 of A’dam’s hidden gems, Shan O discovered the narrowest house in Amsterdam. Though there are a lot of slim buildings in this city, none compare to the little guy that holds the record…unless it’s not really the smallest house in Amsterdam but they bought a very clever trademark…hmm…🤔

img_1845

Guess the dimensions of that thing.

Just guess.

Have a guestimate in mind?

Ready for the answer?

2.02 meters (6 feet 8 inches) wide and 5 meters (16 feet 5 inches) deep.

Wtf! How could somebody live there? Who thought that was a reasonable size for a home in the first place? It looked crazy cramped. I really wanted to see how uncomfortable it was to be inside of, but it was closed. ☹️

Proost!

img_1847

Let’s play another guessing game – guess what’s inside of that building called Wynand Fockink? ⬆️

If you’re not familiar with Amsterdam or the Dutch, then your mind probably went to a dirty place. The rest of us know it’s a famous distillery that serves the oh-so famous Dutch gin aka genever.

“Genever is the juniper-flavored national and traditional liquor of the Netherlands and Belgium, from which gin evolved.”

-thx Wikipedia

I saw this place on Anthony Bourdain’s 24 Hours in Amsterdam: The Layover, in the YouTube video mentioned earlier, and had a few others suggest this tasting. Let’s be real, Bourdain alone makes it worthy of experiencing.

jenever.jpg

Here’s a cheesy stock photo of some young twenty-somethings drinking genever the proper way. It’s traditionally filled to the brim, so it’s custom to bend your butt over to sip genever to ensure it won’t spill when you pick it up – making the taste of strong alcohol last longer with baby sips – yum!

Shan, Kevin & I tasted two genevers: one that resembled vodka and one that had something fancy involving bourbon. We all decided on the bourbon. As I gave my full glass a tiny taste I tried to stay down a millisecond longer so I could get the repulsed expression off of my face before anyone saw. I genuinely don’t think it tasted bad, but my body reacts to all kinds of hard alcohol like I just ingested the nastiest thing in my life. Somehow I made it through the entire tiny cup.

shot face.gif

A’dam All in All

Being able to immerse ourselves into Amsterdam to the degree that we have has been a mind-blowing experience. It’s given me space to have crazy fun, to learn more about myself, and to remember how extremely grateful I am for the opportunities I’ve been #blessed with.

img_1906

Tying back to the fact that we left our stuff with a friend in Amsterdam – we’re coming back for them! There are still some things on our to-do list (like Keukenhof) and I can’t wait to knock em off in late March/early April before we leave the Schengen Area.

Now you’re probably wondering where we’re going next…

drum roll.gifcymbal.gif

We’re Going to Rome!

lizzie-mcguire-rome

At 4 o’clock in the morning we’re parting ways with Kevin and Amsterdam, and we’re leaving for the beautiful city of Roma.

Why Rome?

For the reasons we loved Amsterdam! It’s rich with history, culture, and places to be discovered. Beginning the moment we arrive, I’ll try my best to share our adventures in Italy with you.

Ciao!

🤗

And if you’re wondering why there aren’t more pictures from me/my phone, it’s because it got taken at a nightclub in Rembrandtplein. I’ll never see it again 😢 but I’ll try to be better with the actual camera from now on for more pics!

✌🏼

“Hold On” – Alabama Shakes

I’m sitting in my cluttered room listening to the likable blues rock band called Alabama Shakes. The featured song is one that my sister Brittany and I enjoy belting in the car, which we just did on our way back from the pet store in Wallingford. We cherished a beautiful half hour with a Weimaraner named Jade.

Jade was a wittle sweepy 😴

So yeah, I put off cleaning up the tornado of a bedroom I’m living out of for another week…and the car that has my summer clothes thrown all over the backseat because they were in a garbage bag that ripped back in October – that’s how lazy I am. I moved out of my house into my parents’, and I’m being resistant.

Song change:

As terrible as it sounds, I don’t want to tie up my loose ends here. I don’t want to say goodbye to people over dinner or a drink or a tight-squeeze of a hug. I’ve learned that I’m really bad at goodbyes, so I’d rather just not do them in the first place. Nobody should take that personally, I just don’t like being sad.

sad-baby

I still don’t know what perfectly prepared looks like on paper, all I know is that I’m not it. Is anyone ever ready to take on a new adventure? All I feel is the knot in my stomach that’s reacting to the doubt whispering in my ear that’s telling me this could be a huge mistake.

In a sense, I went and fucked up my whole life…not necessarily in a bad way, but I pointed out the biggest pieces of foundation and I ripped them out of the ground. There’s rubble everywhere, and I’m being forced to clean up the literal mess that I’ve created for myself.

demolition.gif

What if somedays I don’t feel like dealing with this massive thing I’ve plopped on my to-do list for an indefinite amount of time? I’ve signed myself up for a struggle I can only tackle when I feel like I have the ability to, which will force me to find strength in unfamiliar places. I can no longer hide from my responsibilities. I can no longer choose to feel small when I have an endless amount of tasks to complete. There’s no more room for feeling sorry for myself.

flat stanley.png

I’m someone who draws power from the people I love that love me back. I want to focus on ways to keep connected with those who are fueling me even before I leave, like a Flat Stanley-type idea, for example, where myself and my support network will stay close in our hearts no matter the physical distance between us…and then we can Instagram it, of course.


While wrapping up that last paragraph, somebody rang our doorbell. My dad answered and I heard a familiar voice saying my name…it was my friend Steph‘s dad and he had an envelope in his hands. He handed it to me as he said “Steph is in Hawaii so she isn’t able to say goodbye to you and she wanted me to give you this.” Inside were exactly the words I needed to hear from such a dear friend.

15822513_10154864310879715_2102691651_n

Steph, if you’re reading this, I want you to know how lucky I am to have you in my life. You and I have been friends since God-knows-when and I know we will continue to be rooting each other on for the rest of our lives. Thank you for considering me even while you’re exploring freakin’ Hawaii…I hope you can come visit and show me around the places you went to while you were in A’dam. I love you ❤️ & hope you have an awesome trip!

4895_116416635476_4885612_n

Man, I am feeling thankful.

✌🏼