Familiar Faces and Warm Places - Amsterdam Again

If Moscow was frigid, foreign wonder, Amsterdam was like stepping into summer comfort in your best friend’s back yard while her mother prepared snacks and drinks in personalized frosty mugs. (Noted that the latter might not make sense unless you were in fourth grade in the US in the early 90s).

We arrived after what seemed like five days of not sleeping to a massive ancient yet gorgeously modern apartment a la AirBNB which felt like a mansion to us. We had a kitchen and could make copious amounts of tea, hardwood floors that would later be used for a late night dance floor, and separate sleeping spaces for each of us (three levels including an uber cute loft). Within minutes of arriving I was calling my Dutch friend Sam to come and hang out with us, spend Valentines Day with three ladies, and then entertain our silliness while we eased into the next stage of our journey.

Jenna and I spent a morning vintage shopping and walking for *hours*, getting a tad lost, then meeting up to eat at the most awesome restaurant (taxidermy and historic mushrooms in jars included) where we were able to stay for hours, reading our books by the fire and consuming too much caffeine. So much of our time in Amsterdam was like this- gorgeous restaurants and cafes recommended by the Wallpaper guide, reading and chatting, just being, being warm, being comfortable.

We wound up back at the Belgian beer place, a favorite from my visit in 2010, where we played Jenna’s genius new drinking game that involved Sam kissing a cat and putting on a stranger’s coat, April drawing inappropriate things on a public chalkboard and walking to the bathroom without her shoes, Jenna talking to strangers and buying a round because she refused to make my toy horse talk, and my chugging and stealing an ashtray- all followed by some hilarity and a late night in house dance party to Whitney Huston.

a photo of me that I forgot Sam took

can you see the black cat to the left?

I ended my visit to Amsterdam in the best way imaginable, fearing for my life while riding home side-saddle on the back of Sam’s bicycle while he talked on the phone with one hand and dodged bikes and cars and people, me then freaking out that he was not to take calls again. I took this photo of him when we stopped on his favorite bridge.

Until next time, Amsterdam.