Life in the slow lane – Amsterdam

by Mike Aux-Tinee.

With all of the snow that’s fallen lately, I’m so unmotivated. I’ve still made it to the YMCA for yoga and cycling. I visit with my family and friends. And I spend time thinking about writing. Past that, my life is in the slow lane.

With nothing (a-hem) better to do today, I parked myself on the couch and scrolled through photos from my trips. I’ve had some pretty interesting adventures: I’ve climbed Mayan ruins, gazed at Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and stood in the middle of the Roman Colosseum sharing what I knew about it with a mother and daughter from Ohio.

One thing I noticed about nearly all of my photos, (outside the fact that I am smiling), is that it looks like I am constantly on the go. I am wearing different clothes, the scenery is never the same and there are hundreds photos to look through when I get back. Even I get the impression that I am a mover and shaker once I hit the ground – and I was the one there.

But that’s not always the case. My recent trip to Amsterdam, was much different from my trip to say Rome-Venice-Lake Como. Before I headed to the Netherlands, I had to do a lot of research. I knew next to nothing about the place, except for tulips, windmills and Dutch dating. (hint… what I found was really cool!)

The first piece of my trip that I squared away was a place to stay. I found an apartment on Vacation rentals by owner located in the De Pijp neighborhood. I waned to find a place that’s accessible to mass transit and that’s in a quiet neighborhood. I got both criteria met with the rental. I discovered that if I do not sleep well at night, then I don’t enjoy the next day (and I hate that burnt out feeling).

The next piece of the trip was to find something to do that’s off the beaten path. I love to get out of the big city and see what the countryside is like. I headed to Keukenhof gardens. This place is amazing! There are over seven million tulips throughout thirty-two hectares – check out the photos. The weather cooperated and it was partly sunny and a little on the cooler side. And this will come as no surprise, there are some awesome photos!

With my tip-toe through the tulips over (sorry about that), I found myself in the bustling town of Madurodam. Well, I know what I said earlier about getting out of the big city but I could not resist a visit to this ‘little big city’! From the moment I came across the website, this was definitely going on the must see list. The park is a miniature of the various places around the Netherlands (ex. the airport, etc…). The weather did not cooperate and it rained all day. But with my trusty rain jacket and an umbrella, I had a pretty good time.

The weather forecast for the remainder of my trip called for cooler temps and rain. Yea great. It was time to abandon my jaunts through the country side and find something to do in Amsterdam. There is nothing better than a nice and dry museum. This part of town is called the Museumplein. This is the place to go if you’d like to see an entire museum devoted to Van Gogh. Or maybe check out Rembrandt’s The Nightwatchman. But be prepared for a little (major understatement) sticker shock when you buy your ticket.

Amsterdam is one of the most unique cities I have visited and has a lot going on. If you want to get off the beaten path, Amsterdam is the place to go. Of course with the rain and cooler temperatures, it was difficult to get a vibe on the cafe culture.  Hummm… sounds like I’ll need to head back!

Peace dudes!



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