"baby went to amsterdam"

March 31, 2010
i don't actually know that whole song,
just that it peter bjorn & john have a song called "amsterdam"
and that's how it starts...


i didn't know this until my dutch physical therapist told me in september,
but tulips are a major export from the holland...
which turned out to be quite wonderful for me since
tulips are my favorite flowers!

they even have a tulip festival!

we began our day by going to the van gogh museum!
this painting (that i snuck..) of almond blossoms is one of my favorites
(along with irises & starry, starry, night)

just another afternoon in a pub
(this beer = very good)
the royal palace in all of its glory...

sometimes we take good photos...
just never together

one of the first stops on our walking tour
"old church"
in the heart of the red light district

houses along the canals
(the amsterdam citizens fought for a law that makes it
mandatory for all dutch houses must keep their original facades = love)
a lot of the houses are crooked (:
view from the widest bridge in amsterdam

swan in the red light district

headquarters of the dutch east inda trading company!
it's so weird to visit places important in my history textbooks

this used to be a post office
... and now it's a mall

that little red sliver?
that would be the narrowest house in amsterdam
westertoren and the streets around it

towards the end of our tour,
our tour guide told us that in the canals there are three layers:
at the top, water
at the bottom, sludge
and in between = bicycles

that's right, there are tons of bicycles in all of the canals.
the dutch play a game where (when they are really drunk.. or not?)
they try to find bikes that are unlocked.. then toss them into the canals
the biggest splash "wins"

at any given point at a canal, at least 4 bikes can be fished out!

and more recently,
some dutch have found a new challenge:
smart cars (:

that dutch sense of humor...
we love amsterdam.


now that we've left paris,
every city we go to seems to go by really quickly
(since we're only at each for 2 nights)

brussels was first:

the famous waffel
(and i sure look like it's morning...)

important things in brussels
as seen from our bus tour

the atomium
this is 165 billion times bigger than the real atom
it was put built for the world fair a long time ago
but was never taken down
and it sparkles at night (:

this was supposed to be for 1 human being...
it's gigantic
so we split it, of course

we like parks!
i think it's one of my favorite things to see in each city
david and i really enjoy sitting on benches and
wandering through different parks
even if my camera dies and i have no more photos of brussels...

i'm behind in posting (per usual)
and tomorrow morning we're heading to salzburg
but i'll be sure to post about amsterdam next

au revoir paris!

March 29, 2010
well since these photos were taken,
david and i have left brussels,
are spending our last night in amsterdam,
and are heading to köln and frankfurt tomorrow morning.

some bad news...
during our last minute decision to skip luxembourg
and go straight to brussels from paris,
i left a small bag (that held
my fisheye camera, one of my epi-pens, and
david's brand new digital camera that held some photos & videos from
our hike up the eiffel tower)...
on the train.

i am crushed.

and i cannot stop feeling bad about it.
i remembered the second we got to our hotel room
and we got back to the station as fast as we could
but the train was gone.
we tried seeing if anyone turned it in.. but that was wishful thinking.

but we're trying to keep our spirits up
and enjoy the rest of the time we have together
because we're seeing some really beautiful things
(and i still have my camera, so we're not completely photo-less)

luckily i brought my camera as well
when we went up the eiffel tower during our last night in paris
so here are the few photos i took from then:

view from the first level

it started sparkling!
(we made a video of this and it was so beautiful :\)

paris really is the city of lights- it just glows at night.
au revoir, paris!
i WILL be back to get a video of you sparkling...

5 museums in one day, oh my

March 27, 2010
david and i got a 2-day museum pass when we went to versailles
so we thought we'd make good use to it and go to
as many museums as we could during our last day there

we started with the louvre

view of the seine from inside

the nike!
literally the only thing i was dying to see

everyone else was excited to see the mona lisa
that little painting in the distance in this photo

before coming, everyone told me that it was a disappointment
and that it was tiny
so i expected to see some 8 x 11 and was
pleasantly surprised to see that it was much bigger (:
disappointment avoided...

david and augustus
(he was really excited about all of the roman statues)

the venus di milo
looks like she and i chose the same spot for our tats

i'm a tourist

jardin des tuileries

so so so so excited to see monet's water lilies in person
little did i know...

with the left side

the middle

and the end at the right
(they are wonderfully gigantic!)

with chaim soutine

after the louvre and l'orangerie,
we needed a lunch break so we had lunch
in a little patisserie (:

then we moved on to the hotel des invalides
paris's military museums of arms

and naturally, there was a group of 2nd graders there
learning about all of the weapons...

jousting armor

david with napoleon's tomb
"that's a very large tomb for a pretty small guy"

then we moved on to the rodin museum!
there are a few rodin sculptures in the main quad back at school
but it was cool seeing more in person

especially "the thinker"

he squints a lot

after this, we went to the musee d'orsay
but they were very strict on the "no photos"
and by then we were so exhausted we just wanted to get back and rest our feet

nonetheless it was nice finally seeing
all of the museums that are famous worldwide

(the l'orangerie was my favorite, btw)