Ready for some pictures? Photo dump begins in 3, 2, 1...
Spent a weekend in Amsterdam and saw a great concert by the fabulous band, The Black Keys. I'm not cool enough to be one of those people that have known about them for years [insert hipster speech] you know, before they were big and mainstream, back when they were still releasing LPs and playing in small venues..
Even as a Fall-2010 newbie, they did not disappoint! Cool indeed. My sidekick, Brittany, joined me from Switzerland and we met early Friday morning, me having taken the bus the night before. Bus got in at 5am so let's just say that it was a long day, supplemented by lots of cheap coffee. Which brings me to one of my favorite things about the Netherlands: they are convenience store junkies! Okay, nothing to the likes of America's 7-11's and QT's and Casey's, but still. You are never far from 1€ coffee and donuts. And waffles. And cookies. And little cakes I don't know the name of that are delicious. There are also these hot snack machines in train stations, on corners, anywhere you can fit them..pretty sure I gained at least 10 pounds in my 2.5 days there. Worth it!
This was my third time in Amsterdam, but there were plenty of things I hadn't gotten a chance to see yet. We went around some neighborhoods to get off the beaten path a bit. Got some good pics in a district not far from the center, called Jordaan. At the edge of the district lies the Anne Frank House, but I got the impression that not many tourists ventured past that part because we were definitely the only ones speaking English (quietly) in the streets. I love it when that happens!
So, all in all, a good little weekend. I like the Dutch a whole lot. I don't know if I could live in Amsterdam per se, but maybe a different city farther south in the country. I love the weird language, the brick streets, the thousands of bikes you see everywhere.
They are obviously not afraid of killing their children:
So that was Amsterdam. Had a lovely time, will probably not be back for a while as I desperately need to branch out in terms of traveling. Must..visit..somewhere..NEW. Soon.
Onwards, shall we? Let's back up in time to 1 month ago, when one of my besties from high school came to Paris for a long weekend for a conference. I only saw Katie for one night, but we managed to talk about her cute chubby baby, Emerson,
[let's stop here for a moment to show how f-ing cute he is]
and catch up on other things like small-town gossip, work, life in general. I hadn't seen her for a while, so it was a good little visit. We also took a boat tour down the Seine, and even though I've lived here for going on 3 years, I'd never taken one. Check!
Notre Dame and her flying buttresses from behind..ha
So fast forward to last week, when I was asked to accompany a 12-year-old girl to the Louvre and Eiffel Tower while her mom was in meetings. Of course I said yes, because hey, being paid on top of guided tour and going up in Paris' most famous monument? No brainer.
Our tour guide was a bit cheeky..
Seine looking northwest
Seine looking west
Looking southeast. Big tower is Tour Montparnasse, close to where I used to live
See the Arc de Triomphe?
Okay, I think I'm caught up for the moment. I'll leave you with a picture of Girl #2's arm yesterday. She was bored in class and drew an entire BD (comic book) on her arm. How she avoided a scolding from her teacher is beyond me. Kids...