Get a new stamp in my passport: an eternal item on my annual Birthday List. This year, I ticked it off by visiting the Netherlands with Monkey. This spontaneous venture involved limited planning in the form of a) advice from my parents, who just had a layover there (book the Anne Frank House in advance! Go to the Van Gogh Museum!), b) pages from my 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe book, and c) the neon orange Wallpaper*City Guide I picked up at Stanfords in London on the way over.
Our first stop was Pancakes!, a seriously delicious eatery where we sampled authentic Dutch pancakes. My favourite part, though, was the sidewalk chalk provided as we queued just outside.
We realised that the best thing to do in Amsterdam is wander around the canals and the “Nine Streets” – a lovely indie shopping district to browse. I was enchanted by The Darling, an adorable boutique/tea house, with cupcakes spinning on vinyl in the window. True story.The streets exploded with colour and character. It’s wonderful to feel right at home in my favourite brights.
The things I carried were coincidentally pink, with the exception of a black Muji pen. Sadly, I dropped it in the canal during a rush to whip out the umbrella, making everything Officially Pink.
In between wandering through bike-filled streets [see best decorated bike, ever, above], we stopped in cute cafés to read [more Harry Potter for Monkey, Lola and the Boy Next Door for me] and play cards, my new obsession ever since the William Schaff pack arrived in the post.
Before heading to the Van Gogh Museum, we fueled up on some of the best pizza ever at Pazzi.
> monday mini adventures: making the most of one’s surroundings through conscious exploration and appreciation