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8 Feb

OMG  I want to move to Amsterdam! That’s how much I loved it! It definitely is the my favorite of any place I’ve visited in Europe. Jeta and I booked this trip awhile ago for our birthday weekend (we are birthday twins!) and because it was International Fashion Week. It’s definitely the best birthday decision I’ve ever made.


Waterways all around the city.

We knew we wouldn’t get to do too manyshows on the fashion week catwalk since we aren’t designers, models or anyone else who would be on anyone’s guest list, but we did make it to two pretty cool events. The first night we went to a new designer’s fashion show. I loved the collection (“Afrocentric” cuts with modern fabrics and styling) and the hair styles on all of the models!! The venue was super cool, right on one of the many channels that run through the city in the shape of horse shoes, but the lighting was not cooperating with my camera. They served fancy hor de ourves before the show started. I felt pretty cool, haha!

Our last night there we went to a launch party. It was held at a store that was launching its first-ever line of shoes. It was very relaxed, free drinks, a D.J. and a lot of cool, friendly people. We thought all of the people in Amsterdam we friendly, actually, which only adds to how much I liked the city! There are a lot of English people living in Amsterdam, and they tended to be especially outgoing, louder and more drunk than the natives, LOL!

One of fairly few signs for fashion week.

We didn’t do a ton of touristy things, but we did go to the Van Gough museum and the Red Light district (of course!). I enjoyed the museum, especially because I didn’t know a lot about Van Gough before going. My favorite part, though, was the collection of Monet paintings on the last floor. But enough about that…

I (somewhat surprisingly) really liked the Red Light district! It wasn’t super sketchy, dirty or dangerous like I was expecting. It had great bars, swans, sex shops and working girls in the windows. I was shocked at my fist few vistas, if you will, the first night we checked out RLD. There are pictures of porn everywhere and, of course, the prostitute windows. In some of the windows you can see back into the rooms where the girls, ahem, work. It kind of feels like you’re intruding on their privacy, but since they are everywhere (and considering their field of work) that feeling wares off pretty fast. There are windows with women for everyone’s taste, including big women!

Bar, hotel, prostitutes...NBD.

Definitely wasn't surprised to find this!

Other highlights included french fries, cheese, stroopwaffles and shopping. Clearly, I like food! Amsterdam is known for its fries with ketchup and mayo (which I ate everyday I was there) and for its delicious cheese. There are cheese shops all over the city and you can sample whatever they have as many times as you want! I’ve never seen so many different types of cheese! I’ve also never seen stroopwaffles, but just so you know they are heaven in your mouth. Super thin waffle crisps sandwiching syrup (or caramel or honey) with a little cinnamon…YUM! I ate two packs.

The shopping was so much better in Amsterdam than in Madrid. I say this because there are more shops and boutiques and less mega stores (aka Zara, H&M, Bershka, etc. on every block). Not that I don’t love H&M, but there’s more variety when you shop in smaller stores. I absolutely fell in love with one shoe store that had styles clearly inspired by the classic dutch wooden clog but in a super modern way. Definitely nothing you can find anywhere else…and definiely too expensive for me to leave with a pair. (That’s the downside of boutiques, but most places weren’t so bad and I did buy myself two things.)

There’s so much more I could say! (For example, I DID go to a coffee shop where I drank hot tea, LOL, but it was still cool.) But I will end with that I can’t wait to go back to Amsterdam!!

Cute Dutch town houses.