An old posting series is returning! Worldly Wednesday will highlight my travels while I was studying abroad last semester. Our first destination is Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Amsterdam was not on my list of places I had to visit but I am very glad my friend and I decided to go for a four day weekend there. In connection with my photos, here are my thoughts on the city…
The Brightly Colored Sandwich: Yes, I could get a sandwich anywhere. But, my friend found this wonderful breakfast restaurant in her guidebook called Omelegg. I highly recommend eating at this quaint spot in the Red Light District but you will probably have to wait outside. We also ate at a cafe called Blushing for two meals that had delicious sandwiches as well. I did not know what type of food to expect but overall our meals in Amsterdam exceeded my expectations.
The Canals: Amsterdam is known for its canals and it was especially pretty when we visited in the fall with the foliage changing colors. We took a canal cruise as well which I recommend as we were able to take a break from walking all day and hear about the history of the city with the audio guide. If you have a map, it is a very walkable city and we walked all around each day, sometimes from one end of the city to another. We would count how many canals to cross to keep our sense of direction.
The Clogs: My friend ended up purchasing some clog slippers during the trip but I just enjoyed browsing at all of the different stores. It was interesting to see the many clog variations and see how each retailer used the shoe.
The Museums: We visited the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and of course the Anne Frank Museum during our weekend. The Rijksmuseum was neat and very large. The famous I Amsterdam sign is in front of the museum. The Van Gogh Museum is a must do but make sure to go before it gets too crowded and buy tickets ahead of time. I couldn’t go to Amsterdam and not visit the Anne Frank Museum, especially since my friend and I had done a project on Anne Frank for our English class the semester before. We were not able to get tickets in advance, but that morning at breakfast I checked online and a few slots opened up. So, I used my international data and got us in. It was such a moving experience to be able to see where Anne Frank hid and now I’m inspired to re-read her diary.
A couple of years ago, I visited Lake Placid, NY with my family. Probably around 10 years ago, we each wrote a list of our top destinations to go over the next few years and Lake Placid was on more than one of our list so we went there for a long weekend.
We enjoyed taking the elevator up to the top of the ski jump, which is in the second photo. I do not understand how Olympic athletes went down this though because it was so steep. I am glad I never got into winter sports too much. We went to the museum as well, which is where the third photo of my sister and the mascot was taken. We saw the goal that the US team scored in to win the Miracle on Ice game against the Soviet Union.
The Cottage was a great restaurant we ate at for two nights where I had a fantastic beef barley soup in a bread bowl. Whoever invented bread bowls was a genius. My dad and I went skiing on Whiteface Mountain one day which was very fun. I (think) I am improving on skiing. I even got on the ski lift on my own! (Besides my fear of animatronic dinosaurs, I also have a fear of ski lifts) We went ice skating and had a fun long weekend. I definitely recommend visiting Lake Placid for a long weekend, but you do not need to go for more than 5 days.
I wish I had a photo of how beautiful Kent is in the Fall, but unfortunately, it is on my other computer. Kent is a lovely small town in the Western part of Connecticut and is a great place for a weekend New England trip. I highly recommend visiting in the fall, as the foliage is amazing and Kent has been voted as one of the top 15 places to see fall foliage. For a sample day in Kent here’s what I would do:
- Have an early morning breakfast or lunch
(depending on your arrival time) at The Villager as their chocolate chip pancakes are delicious. For lunch, I recommend the quesadillas or the chicken caesar wrap. The milkshakes are very good as well.
- Walk around the town and visit the different stores. On the weekends, the town is bustling with out of town visitors. I would definitely visit the old bookstore which is tucked back among the other stores and is worth a look.
- Visit the Art Galleries.
- See Kent Falls which is a short drive away from the main town center.
- Have a meal at JP Gifford’s Marketplace or Gifford’s Restaurant. My personal recommendation would be to have the Pad Thai as it is my absolute favorite.
Last year, we went into New York City around this time and saw the musical Once. We also saw the Christmas Tree and went shopping in a few stores. I would recommend seeing the tree and the Christmas windows if it isn’t too crowded. We could not move for a few blocks and were packed in, hobbling like penguins along with the crowd. It also took us forever to get the subway but it was nice seeing the tree. We went to see the tree at night, so I believe that might have been our mistake too. It would probably be less crowded early in the morning. A few weeks later I went back to New York City for my birthday and got the chance to skate at Rockefeller Center with a few of my friends which was really fun, although freezing!
If you’re heading to New York City for the holidays, I would highly recommend waking up early to get everything done. My ideal day would be to go see the tree and the windows in the morning. Then, although not really a holiday tourist activity, I would go and do the NBC Studio Tour I have not been since they re-imagined the experience but I really enjoyed it years ago. We were able to see where SNL is filmed, as well as a few other shows. For lunch, I would try to go to Carmine’s which is a family style Italian restaurant. Make sure everyone is hungry before eating here because the family style portions are huge! After lunch, I would go ice skating at Rockefeller Center and then get warm inside a museum. I would also visit Eataly which is an Italian grocery store/restaurant/gelateria and Laduree to have some macarons. Then I would end the day with seeing a Broadway Show (My favorite show is Wicked) and maybe grabbing a fancy dinner at Il Mulino. I realize I have all Italian food in my ideal day in the city, but I really like pasta!
Well I thought the Victoria and Albert Museum would be really fancy due to the restaurant in Walt Disney World copying the name, however it was not super fancy. I even think I enjoyed this museum more than the British Museum. The exterior and interior of the building are beautiful. I will definitely head back next time I am in London because there is so much to see in this museum. I thought the “All of This Belongs To You” sign was very neat. The museum is also free! Unless you want to go into one of the special exhibits, which we did.
We saw the exhibit “Shoes: Pleasure & Pain.” My mom and my sister spent a good amount of time looking at this exhibit. I thought it was neat but I also thought it was crazy how many shoes some people have collected. I collect packs of cards and those are much cheaper than some of the exclusive shoes on display. I did not even know shoe collecting was a thing! I would never wear even half of the shoes that were on display due to their high heels or uncomfortable style. I was super excited because we got to see the Glass Slipper from the Cinderella movie which came out last year. Unfortunately, no photos were allowed inside of the exhibit so I do not have any of the Glass Slipper. I would definitely recommend the Victoria and Albert Museum as a sight to see on your next trip to London!