As usual, I have been a little slow on the blog stuff. There’s been a few other trips that I will get to eventually, but this one was certainly a fun one and takes precedence.
My MIL had a business trip to Amsterdam, so of course, I gladly tagged along. Not to mention the much cooler temperature in the Netherlands in August was a welcome break from NC’s humid hot summer.
We only had a few days, so we, like your typical American Tourists, packed a LOT in. The city of Amsterdam is designed like a spindle, with canals making each spoke. Which, unfortunately can be a little disorienting if you’re a little jet lagged and trying to get your bearings. To get our lay of the city, we took a canal tour…which we both fell asleep during. Warm sun and the gentle roll of engines should be a part of every nap. We did manage, however to get a good go of it.
While Peggy was hard at work, I managed to find a lovely little Dog Park (since I was definitely missing mine) and got a bit of reading in.
Once Peggy was finished with her conference, it was on to hard core tourism. We hit up the Anne Frank House (which was oddly underwhelming-be sure to buy tickets ahead of time), The Hortus Botanicus (totally worth the visit), and the absolute star of our Amsterdam visit, The Rijksmuseum (all the Dutch masters and more- could have spent days here).
After, it was a quick 3 hour train ride to Paris on Thayls. Much cheaper than eurorail, by the way, and still an excellent ride. At a client’s recommendation, we stayed at the Helzear Champs Elyse’es. Amazing location! Slightly off the beaten path, but only a few blocks to the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triumph. I honestly wasn’t expecting much from Paris, but I have to say- it’s worth the hype. It has the vibe/feel of those cities that have their own personalty- New York, London, Berlin, Dublin…Everywhere around you is history and beauty. We didn’t have time to go inside museums, but walks along the river. Peggy insisted we go inside Notre Dame Cathedral.
We were lucky- the line for Notre Dame was fast moving, and didn’t wait more than 5 minutes or so before we were inside. There’s just something about being inside a building that King’s were crowned, the mother of Joan of Arc petitioned for her daughter, and the Coronation of Napoleon I – all happened. Such a lovely city. I can’t wait to make another trip to Paris and fully explore all its wonderful aspects.