Love Letter To Amsterdam

Love Letter To Amsterdam – Farewell

Love Letter To Amsterdam – Farewell…for now…


January 9, 2016

My Dearest Amsterdam,

I woke under the cover of darkness this morning with a knot in my belly and a sadness in my soul. The time has come. I must leave you.

Love Letter To Amsterdam

As I say my final farewell, I can hardly see your through the tears but I am grateful for the time we had together. I will always remember these moments, so special. Not only did I fall more deeply in love with you, but others developed a crush on you as well. You, my dearest Amsterdam, allowed me to feel my love and pass it on.

Thank you to all I met, to all I experienced, to all I felt, to all I learned to, to all I COLORED and to all who joined me and LOVED with me.

Love Always,

Melissa

PS – I’ll be back. I just KNOW it! Vaarwel & tot gauw


#LoveLettersToAmsterdam

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Love Letter To Amsterdam

Love Letter To Amsterdam – See Yourself

Love Letter To Amsterdam – See Yourself


January 7, 2016

My Dearest Amsterdam,

When the wind hushes and the water lies still, I love how you look at yourself “in the mirror.”

Love Letter To Amsterdam

You know don’t you? You see it in your own reflection, yes?

How beautiful you are.

How grand your architecture is.

How romantic your boats are.

I love you for knowing, dear Amsterdam, and looking.

Love always,

Melissa


#LoveLettersToAmsterdam

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Ushering In A New Year Amsterdam Style

After my very long day in Haarlem on the week spent ushering in a new year Amsterdam style (read about my adventures on the Day Trip To Haarlem post), Mr. Visserplein was my destination and the Portuguese Synagogue which opens for one night a year to the public with a bright and beautiful display of candles.  An hour wait in line was worth it for this spectacular scene.

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Beautiful, serene, shiny, magical. Thank you Amsterdam!

Monday was a busy and active day so I decided Tuesday was a good day to take a little break, which I did at CT Coffee and Coconuts in De Pijp. Coffee and Coconuts is a very popular cafe in an old theatre. Three stories of seating at tables, sofas, cushions and a continuous line for a seat.

After I got mine, I relaxed without technology and had some comfort food in the form of hot cocoa and the Dutch version of avocado toast. This avo addict loves her avocado toasts from Ask For Janice in London and London Plane in Seattle._MG_7686

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Now I have an avo love in Amsterdam. Perfect! World-wide addiction options.

Wednesday brought nice weather which I took FULL advantage of and did a little camera walk through neighborhoods in the East.

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I got a little friendly with this blue and yellow beauty.

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I love the diversity of the bridges over the canals!

New Years Eve day was spent quietly reflecting and doing a little shopping at one of favorite Dutch fashion spots, Laundry Industry…sans camera in honor of my SCREAMING shoulder who BEGGED me to give it a break for the day.  Peace be unto my body today!

And before you know it…it’s JANUARY 1st! And, what a January 1st it was! THE most beautiful light I could ever ask for kicked on 2016 as I welcomed the New Year Amsterdam style. I’m taking it as a message for a bright and creative year! Check out these light gifted reflections.

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In addition to light and reflections, it was fun and funky to see all the “leftovers” from the party the night before. Amsterdam knows how to ring in the new year…I’m pretty sure my EARS are still ringing from all the fireworks explosions! New Years Amsterdam style!

This is what the streets looked like the next day (and still today)…

Love Letter To Amsterdam

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That pretty much sums up every part of Amsterdam on New Year’s Eve: fireworks, streamers, popping corks, toasting the new year Amsterdam style. A party tradition!

Oh, and speaking of tradition, I got to partake in a SWEET one in the afternoon.

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Oliebollen and Appelfrappen, the traditional Dutch New Year’s snack. Where I’m from we eat black-eyed peas. THIS is a better tradition! YUM!! New Year Amsterdam style!

And, to finish out the first day of 2016 on a musical, adorable, and colorful note, I happened upon this entertainer navigating canals and serenading all.

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Watch a full serenade on my YouTube channel! It’s worth the click over! LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Before I hang up my….shoes…

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 for the day. My LAST indulgence of the week was Dutch apple pie at Winkel in the Noordermarkt.

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I don’t even know how to describe this pie.  Part pie…part cake…all parts YUM! Stop by Winkel for pie!

Thanks for a great week 3, Amsterdam! I love you!!

#LoveLettersToAmsterdam

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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!

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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.

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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

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

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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.

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Here are a few of my favorite cathedral treasures.

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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!

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

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And this organ!

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

That MOZART played on.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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!

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

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

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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.

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

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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?

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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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