Okay guys, so basically I think everyone in our family needs to come out to the Netherlands together for like a month and get in touch with the heritage. Seriously I´m having such a wonderful time here, and the city is becoming a close competitor with Salzburg in my ranking of favorites.

Tomorrow I expect it to surpass Salzburg, because I´ll be waking up early to rent a bike and aimlessly wander the northern outskirts of Amsterdam ALL DAY LONG!

Today I discovered why grandma Kleyn always butters toast so well. Haha.

You know how most restaurants go skimpy with the cheese for breadsticks? Well I went to a traditional Dutch restaurant for a Dutch steak with a pepper gravy sauce, and I also got some bread with the dinner. It was a Turkish bread, lightly baked, and it came served with this herb butter, and this was more herb butter than I could have possibly piled on to the bread! So I figured that that must be why grandma does such a good job with the buttering of toast. Very excellent food, though, and I had a coupon for a free glass of wine. Super.

So that was my dinner, but the rest of today was spent museuming. I first went to the Heineken brewery which basically was like a museum. Hah, it was hilarious, and very interactive and multimedia…

Then I went to the Van Gogh Museum, which was wonderful. I really like Van Gogh´s early work… the Dutch landscapes. Then I also like his later work of the white flowers, and also the Millet-influenced field scenes.

Then I went to the Ritjksmuseum (pronounced “Reeks museum”). This is where all the Rembrandts are. Basically I REALLY like his paintings. And I think everyone should. Hah. “The Night Watch” was there, and the museum had developed this amazing video installation to accompany the painting in a waiting room, and the painting itself gets its own room, where there were stadium seating, and they had a FANTASTIC sequential lighting show that did an incredible job of telling the story of the painting through the use of light and sound projected onto the painting LIKE YOU WOULDN´T BELIEVE.

So after dinner at the Dutch restaurant, I met up at the hostel to walk to church at 7 PM with a group from the hostel. Oh it was so nice… basically like camp only not. The worship music was so great to experience with like 50 other people my age — locals and from all over. It was a really laid back kind of place so personal and comfortable and .. basically amazing. Refreshing.

Then I walked home with a couple temporary friends, both from California. Mimi and Dawn. They weren´t here together.. just happened to be from the same state. Mimi graduated Wheaton College in 1999 and Dawn just graduated HS and will be going to USC. We went to a little cafe on the canal, and I tried a Dutch Farmhouse chesse sandwich which was quite good. Altogether it was and AMAZING day and I took a lot of pictures of the canals tonight.

PS it is ALWAYS light out except for like 5 hours of the night from 11 to 4. Cuz I guess we’re up north enough that it´doesn´t get dark. So it was 10 30 and STILL light as day… so weird when you were hoping to go to bed early to get up early in the morning to bike….

Haha. Well goodnight everyone.


Hannah Downey

UX Design Consultant at Salesforce focused on content & sustainability. I love information design, the art+science of text, guac, sweet potatoes, & amazing people.

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