Sights to See


The Capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is one of the only city's that endured the wars they have been through, leaving them with a historically undamaged architectural city.  All I can say is "opmerkelijk"!  Remarkable in English!  I fell in love with the architecture, the street life, the older men and women enjoying themselves late at night with the youngins, the quaint canal streets, and gazing at the beautiful Dutch people. 

It was the end of April when I decided to take a trip to Amsterdam all by my lonesome.  Some say I was crazy to do such a thing, saying the streets are dangerous, however I am an explorer, and this is what I do.  I am a fearless individual, and besides, one of my good friends assured me of what a great city it is, and I did plenty of research beforehand.  When I arrived, I planned to join a walking tour immediately that day, and boy was it a help!  I was able to gain an abundance of history on the city, as well as learning my way around, which I suggest all of you to do!

From thereon, I obtained a few fun souvenirs, a mug with a penis handle, and an Amsterdam orange lighter, as it is the color they use to celebrate Queens Day.  Then I went up to my room, which is the size of a dorm room, showered, changed, and then started my adventures throughout this great city.

April 30th comes along, and it is the day of celebration:  Queen's Day.  Queen Beatrix birthday originally lands on the 31st of January, but due to the cold climate, they celebrate it at the end of April.  This event is one of the reasons why I decided to go when I did, as it is a festival that is ongoing from the evening of April 29th, til the party shuts down on the 31st.  There are streets filled with people, young and old, parties galore, bands and clubs that entertain you 'til nights end.  Just make sure you wear orange, as you will fit right in with the locals.

During my 6 day travel adventure, I jumped on a bus to the Keukenoff, which is where fields of tulips lie, scattered amongst hundreds of other beautiful flowers.  This was definitely a sight to see, as the tulip is what the Dutch are known for.   I perused the streets and canals, glancing into record stores, or coffee shops, shopping at local street markets, and even browsing inside there grocery store to find any goodies that I cannot obtain in the states.
I ventured to the famous Bloemenmarkt, which is the world's only floating flower market, where locals go to buy their flowers and plants.  This market runs along the canal called Singel between Muntplein and Koningsplein in the city's southern canal belt.  

Next I visited Vondelpark, which reminded me of Central Park in New York City.  It sits on 120 acres, which is only 1/8th of Central Park at 843 acres.  But it is beautiful in its own right, supplying acres of tree's, lush lawns, a cute restaurant to have a mozzarella and tomato pesto sandwich, rimmed with beautiful architecture.  I was able to watch a unique and wonderful live performance by Po' Girls,, who were touring from Canada, and witnessed a Buddhist group practicing their religion. 

Throughout my stay, I visited museums such as:

The Purse Museum


Vangogh Museum

Museum Van Loon

Foto Museum

and many many more.   Sadly, I wasn't able to visit Anne Frank's house, and can you believe, I didn't venture onto an actual canal ride!  The transportation to get around the city is quite easy, as you are able to jump onto there above ground transit system.  I actually also took there subway system too, and all was quite easy to do.

There were a variety of restaurant choices .  I kept it within a low budget, but I spent some money on a few dishes.  I actually did not eat the traditional Dutch food, which is meat and potato's, or herring.  I chose this awesome Thai restaurant, Raan Phad Thai, which served the biggest succulent shrimp I have ever had in a Massaman Curry dish.  Pictured on the left is the inside of the cozy down home cooking of Raan Phad Thai.  The city also has plenty of Argentenian restaurants, which I scored a meal for 9 Euros, consisting of steak, french fries, and
salad with a great garlic aioli dipping sauce.  My nights occasionally ended with dessert, as I ventured across the street from my hotel on Damstraat to Rene's Croissants.  This has been the best croissant filled with custard and topped with  fresh strawberries I have ever had! My mouth is watering just thinking about them.  I can't leave out the Pannenkoekhuis, as I treated myself to a coffee and a pancake topped with ice cream and  chocolate syrup.  This was a runner up to the strawberry croissant. 

oxo Jamie

Land's End Trail - San Francisco, CA

Ah yes, hiking through the Land's End Trails of San Francisco.  This hike was a good workout, with steps "going up" galore!  That's ok, my butt will thank me when her spirit has lifted!  

The views were beautiful!  Many different angles to view the Golden Gate Bridge, and the Pacific ocean crashing against the rocks was astonishing. 

You are able to hike down to the ocean, and feel the cold water on your toes, as SF isn't known for their warm water, catch my drift?  When you reach the end of the mountains, you will hit an elite, established, with old world charm neighborhood.  
These San Francisco treats will give you a bevy of ah's, and a wimper full of waaah's, as you realize you may never be able to afford one of these homes in your life!  The beauty, and architecture are amazing, and the view's are one's to die for! 

Hike Land's End Trail, it is worth the time, and the workout, and can you believe you can hike all the way to Mexico?!!