Skip to main content

Trip Report: Amsterdam 2012

Last year, over the first weekend in April, Jonathan and I took a little spring escape to Amsterdam. I had already been there once at the end of 2011, but it was Jon’s first real foray into Dutch culture. And what an eye opening experience it was for both of us!

Here’s what you need to know about life in Amsterdam: it’s heavily focused on bicycles, sex, and pot. Oh and tulips I suppose. Everyone rides their bicycles in the city and it’s quite dangerous for pedestrians who aren’t carefully watching their surroundings at all times. Carelessly walk onto the bike paths and you’re a goner. Let’s talk about sex – not only is Amsterdam home to the famed red light district (seedy sex shows in the window for your entertainment) but there also seems to be a general obsession with penises. I kid you not. Stroll into any bakery and you’ll find at least one loaf of bread shaped like a penis. Penis bread! And in the chocolate shops…chocolate penises. And in the souvenir shops..porcelain penis pepper shakers and penis t-shirts and on and on. We didn’t know what to make of it. Don’t get me wrong, I like penises just fine but there’s a time and a place for everything and the place for a penis is not the bakery nor the chocolate shop. As for pot, the smell of it is everywhere in public and it’s just a wee bit revolting. So that brings us round to the tulips – we were fortunate enough to descend upon the region at the start of tulip season. It was so beautiful! We spent a full day at Keukenhof – the regional flower gardens showcasing the tulips and other flowers grown in Holland - and took a lot of pictures.

Aside from the bicycles, penises, and tulips, we also saw (and enjoyed) our share of Gouda cheese, wooden shoes, and windmills. Oh, and strangely enough we met up with one of the boys I went to middle school with when I lived in Roswell, NM in the 80s. He happened to be in the city for work and so we arranged a lunch meeting. A lot to cram into one weekend, but we did it and we had a lot of fun doing it too. Even managed to bring home a few wheels of Gouda with caraway seed (so good!).

Here are my favorite pictures from the trip.


The Jennifer Patisserie! C’est moi!



The beautiful canals and Dutch rowhouses



Windmills, windmills, spinning around..



Oh my God, why are we so happy here? Lunch must have been REALLY good



A canal at night



Here come the flowers of Keukenhof


DSCN0141  DSCN0148DSCN0164DSCN0180DSCN0192DSCN0230DSCN0241DSCN0287DSCN0314


Suzanne said…
Another fantastic trip report- I hope to get there someday and see the flowers. Not so much the penis bread and salt shakers, I cant think of a time or place that would be top of list. I love all the flower pictures, thanks for posting!

Popular posts from this blog

Board Game Review: Brass Birmingham

Here’s a story of a lovely lady (spoiler: it’s me) and her pride and how it has led to the discovery of the single greatest board game I have ever played. It’s probably also a good primer for other reviewers on increasing your reach. At GenCon this year, I was perusing the wares of the various booths and my eyes caught a glimpse of two beautiful game boxes. Each had crisp metallic lettering with an old world feel and artwork that radiated European class. I made my way to the booth and waited patiently to speak to to the team manning it as there were many buyers lined up to purchase the games. I didn’t know anything about the games (Brass Birmingham and Brass Lancashire), or the publisher – Roxley Game Laboratory – but I knew I wanted to review one or both of the games. Almost every board game love story I star in in can be summed up this way: I am seduced by the artwork or theme and then I stay for the right mechanics. When the lead rep spoke with me, he gently rejected my request. He

Board Game Review: Brass Lancashire

A few months ago, I fell in love with Brass Birmingham (you can read that review HERE ). I fell hard. It was an all time top 10 best games ever kind of love and so when Roxley Game Laboratory offered to send me Brass Lancashire to play and share my thoughts, I was a bit hesitant.  Is there even a chance I could enjoy it as much as Birmingham ? Lancashire was the original game designed by Martin Wallace, and while it’s been updated for the most recent release, I was concerned it might prove to be an older, tired version that couldn’t compete with Birmingham . My concerns were unfounded. Brass Lancashire is fantastic. Playing Lancashire after playing Birmingham is a bit like dating someone and then dating their sibling. Sure, there’s a resemblance, but the kissing feels different. The artwork for Brass Lancashire is beautiful, radiating a classic style evocative of the theme (industrial era production). The artists have shown great attention to detail such as the raised gold letter

Board Game Review: Machi Koro Legacy

M achi Koro   was one of the first games my husband Chris and I played together. It was released in 2012 and when we started gaming together in 2013, it was still a popular game on reviewer blogs and videos as we sought guidance in what to play and what to buy. Once Machi Koro   was in our collection, I spent every game trying my best to outthink Chris and acquire the best combination of establishment types to ensure victory. As we were enticed by other new games coming out and were drawn deeper into heavy Euros, we left Machi Koro on the shelf more frequently, with an occasional wistful comment about how we should play again. At GenCon earlier this year, Machi Koro Legacy   was the talk of the town. Designed by Rob Daviau, JR Honeycutt, and Masao Suganuma (Masao is the original designer of Machi Koro ), it promised to breathe new life into Machi Koro through a campaign style series of ten games, revealing new aspects of gameplay in each session at the table. We love legacy games, s