Love Letter To Amsterdam – Moutarde

Love Letter to Amsterdam – Moutarde

January 3, 2016

Mustard…gasp, grimace, NO THANK YOU!

My sister will support me on this. We aren’t fans of this condiment. It’s up there with our dislike of pickles.

Today I went to the Amsterdam Sunday Market West held every first Sunday in Westergasfabriek. The square if full of food vendors and the stalls continue indoors with more food and local artists.

I was smitten by the looks of the bread and scent of the grilled sausage at the French vendor, so I decided to stop for a snack.


“Sausage on sourdough or a stick?”

“Sourdough, please?”

“What kind of mustard?”

Uhm…my insides grimaced. I froze. I had a feeling not liking mustard and saying none would be highly inappropriate here. I asked about the three options available: Sweet, Spicy, or Original.  They all looked different. The original had a little of the yellow coloring I associate with mustard in the US. I wasn’t sure which way to go but I decided traditional, original was the way to go.

“Original please.”

The “sandwich dance ensued as he began to toast slices of bread.


Spread mustard on the bread while it was still on the grill. Oh, and mustard from a jar not a squeeze bottle so already we were headed in a better direction than the “mustard memories” of my youth.


Add a sliced sausage to the bread and mustard and it’s served up hot, crispy and ready to bite into!


It smelled divine! I took a bite. Slightly anxious by my Mustard Memories…

OH!  Mustard, who? French moutarde is where it’s at!

More please!

Love always,





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Amsterdam Adventure Day Trip To Haarlem

It was a busy week closing up 2015 and ushering in new year Amsterdam style and it included an Amsterdam adventure day trip to Haarlem. For many of you it’s the first Monday of 2016 and you may be resuming a routine of school, office…post-holiday “normalcy”. Since returns to normalcy can sometimes be challenging, I hope this Haarlem virtual tour is a fun way to get your week started!

I’m choosing to start my first Monday the way I’d like to start many more: in a coffee shop in Amsterdam working on my travel blog. I know it seems like my days of full of play and frivolity as you read along with me on the blog, but it also takes a lot of work to get the photos ready and assemble in a post! It IS work, TRUST me on this!

Work I LOVE of course!

Last Monday morning (after staying up late working on my last full blog) I got up early and jumped the tram to Centraal Station and got a ticket on the Intercity train to a new destination. Haarlem, I was coming at you!


A beautiful welcome to Haarlem in this lovely stained glass adorned train station as I disembarked and prepared for a walk around journey. I was starving by the time I got to Haarlem so on my walk to Grote Markt I stopped at Chocolate Company for a quick bite. You saw my 3 Steps To Win My Heart blog last week, this was actually from my morning hot cocoa and croissant breakfast in Haarlem.


Starvation averted and chocolate happy buzz on high, I walked over to Grote Markt and the spectacular Cathedral of St Bavo and surrounding architectural jewels._MG_7209



A little annual Christmas ornament selfie tradition with the cathedral in the background…




St Bavo is amazing on the outside and I had no idea the magic it held inside, but I paid my €2.50 walked through the vault-like entrance and quickly discovered.


Here are a few of my favorite cathedral treasures.




This is one of the newer windows at the cathedral and it is absolutely beautiful. The blues are rich and the red glows like fire when the sun comes through. I was fascinated by it and bought the book of how it was designed and created at the gift shop. I just couldn’t resist!


Can we talk about THIS amazement.  WAY overhead this caught my eye. Beautiful, just beautiful!


And this organ!




I mean, it’s just an ordinary, ornate, spectacular organ right?

That MOZART played on.


In the energetic presence of greatness I was! #sigh

On the other end of this massive cathedral was a serene and colorful little chapel alcove that was stunning and inviting.



I paid my €.50 and as I always do when in Europe I lit a candle. It’s something I do for someone who left my life much too soon.  He’s had candles burn for him across Europe. This year, unfortunately, I lit a candle for someone new who left my life recently. It seemed like a perfect spot to remember him.



As I sat on the chapel bench looking into this beautiful, colorful tapestry. I felt such immense gratitude for the opportunity to be where I am and the joy I get from sharing it with you all. Part of me wanted to sit there forever, so nothing would change. But, that’s not how life works and if I made the decision to stop and avoid change, well, ne’er another adventure I would see.  So up we go!



And, onward we go. Thank you St Bavo for a truly inspirational and beautiful morning in your architectural perfection and spiritual light. YOU are a treasure!!

Back out to the streets of Haarlem for a little touring around, I walk along…yep…more canals!




And, more COLOR! I love walking the streets and exploring. You find really interesting things and some great wisdom!




I’ll get “lost” in the streets of Haarlem happy place and eat fries with curry sauce to that (sorry, no pie)!


OK…can I just say that all fries and curry sauce are not created equal. I was STARVING after all this walking around and I was so excited to see a “walk up window” for fries. LET DOWN! I threw most of them away. SADNESS! #FryFail

Wandering a few streets in fry sadness and continued starvation, I happened upon the adorable cafe, By Lima, and away went my sadness! Magically replaced by more words of wisdom, a baked egg dish and winter thee.



Yeeeees! YEEEEEEES! Time machine! Y E S ! ! ! 



I REALLY want to stop back into this cafe before I head back to the States.  It was such a happy place!

I had somewhere to be that evening back in Amsterdam, so at dusk I headed back to the train station as my day trip to Haarlem came to an end. Along the way I was greeted by these lovelies again. WHAT ARE THEY?


Less than 30 minutes later, I’m back at Amsterdam Centraal Station with a warm welcome.

Love Letter To Amsterdam

Haarlem! A wonderful day trip experience full of beautiful architecture, canals, reflections, and quaint restaurants and shops. I definitely recommend you jump a train for a day trip to Haarlem if you visit Amsterdam. It’s a quick and easy train ride!

Back later this week on the blog ushering in the New Year Amsterdam style. And, I hope to get back to #LoveLettersToAmsterdam this week!

Happy New Year!



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Love Letter To Amsterdam – 2016 Is Off To A Bright Start

Love Letter To Amsterdam – 2016 Off To A Bright Start

January 1, 2016 !!!

My Dearest Amsterdam,

Well I made it through your rather boisterous New Years Eve festivities.  I’ve never HEARD such explosive celebrations! I believe you cured me of my sensitivity to fireworks.

KAPOW KABOOM CRACKLE! {Repeat for 8 hours!!!}

As I walked the streets today you were littered with “leftovers” of spirits and sparkles everywhere I went.

Love Letter To Amsterdam


You sure didn’t seem to mind though, because you my dear Amsterdam were glowing brighter than I’ve ever seen you! Your colors and your energy could only be described as magical. 2016 looks GOOD on you!





Thank you for the message, my love:  Reflect. Look at things differently. Change perspectives.  

Got it. Noted. You’re the BEST!

Love Always,





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Love Letter To Amsterdam

Love Letter To Amsterdam – Closing 2015

Love Letter To Amsterdam – Closing 2015

December 31, 2015

My Dearest Amsterdam,

Ending 2015 on a sweet note of love for you and the magic of dreams coming true! Here’s to you Amsterdam, all 12 months of the year!

Love Letter To AmsterdamLove Letter To Amsterdam

On to 2016!  Happy New Year!!

Love Always,





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