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Friday, June 28, 2019

highs and lows for our last day in amsterdam

amsterdam decided to rain on us for the last full day of our european summer extravaganza. 

normally i love the rain, but this time we were trying to hit up an outdoor farmer's market type thingy for another bucket list item that the old lady had sent me to fulfill.  and so instead of walking there like we'd originally planned, we ended up taking an uber to the albert cuyp street market.  it seemed that most of the vendors were there doing business as usual despite the rain, and there were a good number of folks strolling through the stalls.

i was amused at this sign.  we both took a sample and the cake was indeed very tasty.

i definitely eyed this and a few other stalls that were offering fabric by the yard.  i knew that 1. we didn't have luggage space for any of it and 2. the hub would kill me because my fabric stash at home is already pretty out of control.  still, it was fun to check it out and eyeball the fun designs.

i would have stopped and grabbed some fresh stroopwafels here, but i was on a mission for something in particular.

and the rotisserie chicken at this stall (and the one right next door to it) looked and smelled fantastic, but we continued on right past it.

finally, i saw it.  the old lady had sent me a link to a video on instagram that highlighted these poffertjes - tiny delicious, fluffy pancakes that were served 10 to an order.  we'd drooled over the video multiple times and i was excited to be able to try them for real and report back to her.

so you can order them with butter and powdered sugar, or have them topped with all sorts of fun stuff:

the guy used a special machine that poured the batter right into the little pancake molds:

and then he used two long forks to flip them quickly and expertly when they turned the perfect shade of golden brown.

this is actually two orders - the butter and powdered sugar on the left for the hub, and nutella on the right for me.

they were so good that we went back for another round.  i asked the hub to surprise me with the toppings on the next order, and he went with white chocolate with rainbow sprinkles.  while i'm not a huge white chocolate fan (it's NOT chocolate!), it was still delicious and i still happily shoved each and every one of those little things into my mouth as fast as i could.

while we were there, we decided to stop at another stall to pick up something we'd decided we really needed for the trip home...another suitcase.  heh.  just like the last time we were in europe, we ended up with way more stuff than we'd come with and just didn't have the room in our current luggage situation to get it all home.  and so after we'd selected a new suitcase, we decided to roll it back to the hotel before heading back out for more adventures.  along the way i mentioned that i really wanted to stop at the supermarket and pick up a bunch of fun snacks to take home and share with the kids.  and so that's how i ended up at the albert hejin market, just down the street from our hotel.

the snack aisle did not disappoint.  there were tons of cookies and chips and candy for me to pick from, and i tried to grab stuff that i thought might appeal to everyone that we likely couldn't get at home.

i ended up stuffing a reusable grocery bag with all of the goodies i picked out and then we dropped it off with the new suitcase in our hotel room. 

from there we went around the corner to a coffee shop we'd been trying to get to over the last few days.  coffee me up indeed.

as usual, i went with my iced latte while the hub ordered a double shot of espresso with steamed cream.

once we'd been properly caffeinated, we headed back out (where the rain had stopped and was down to a very light drizzle) and took one last walk through the city, just wandering down random streets and stopping to take pictures here and there.

we'd scheduled our tour of the anne frank house for our last evening in amsterdam, booking our tickets online weeks in advance (there are no walk-ins accepted).  when it was time, we made our way over and got in line.  i don't know what i was expecting, but it wasn't this modern-looking building.

this statue is around the corner in front of westerkirk church.

inside, we were asked to check our backpack at the front desk and then asked to refrain from taking pictures during the tour.  i was a little disappointed because i really wanted to share the pictures with the girls, but i understood and followed the instructions (unlike when we were inside the sistine chapel).  this is all i took the whole time we were in there:

we had headsets that took us through the self-guided tour, and went through the warehouse that hid the secret annex.  the first part of the tour was spent learning about the people who had helped to hide the frank family along with several others who were trying to avoid being sent to the concentration camps.  it was a very solemn place, and with everyone listening intently to the narration there was a peaceful, respectful silence throughout the tour.  there were lots of photographs, documents, and personal items that had belonged to those who stayed in hiding here for over two years.  we went upstairs and then behind the bookcase that had hidden the entrance to the secret annex, and went through the painfully small rooms where eight people spent their days trying their best to live their lives.  they had to stay as quiet as possible, in fear of being discovered and sent to die in the camps.  we all know the story, and how it ended...but actually being there in the place where it had all happened added a whole new layer of emotion and understanding.  i felt myself close to tears the whole time we were there, and then we exited the annex and heard the story of their capture and otto frank's discovery that he was the only survivor.  he had been specific in his request that the annex not be refurbished but left exactly as it was after the nazis emptied it of its furnishings.  only the pictures that anne had pasted on her walls and the markings that showed anne and margot's growth were left.  anne's original diary was on display as well, and looking at it was just so damn sad knowing that she died mere months before the war ended. 

it was such a sobering experience, one i'll never forget.  i'm grateful that we were able to visit, even though it left us both in a somewhat somber and quiet mood for the rest of the evening.  and after picking up a few things in the gift shop and making our exit, we found this sign on the other side of the building.

yelp helped us pick a great spot for our last dinner in amsterdam, a cute little place called black and blue.  we were seated right away and the service and food were wonderful.

and then it was time to head back and get packed for our departure the next morning.

i said this after each stop of our trip, but i really loved our time in amsterdam.  there are so many more places we'd like to explore, so i don't know if or when we'll return, but i sure hope we go back one day.  there isn't really a whole lot for the bean there (at least, not yet), but it would be a blast to take the old lady and her special friend one day.

1 comment:

  1. Another placeholder for our next European trip, it looks like.


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