It’s been a whirlwind two weeks since I last posted. I’ve had a bit of writer’s block lately, and I still don’t feel all that inspired to share much right now. I think it’s the change in the weather or something. Who knows.

Anyway, I turned 27 this past Sunday, and we lucked out with Reunification Day, Germany’s national holiday. This year, October 3rd fell on a Thursday, which meant most people took off work on Friday, including my students. So I had a long weekend, too!

As an early birthday present, Tobias planned a trip, which he managed to keep a secret from me until the very moment that we changed trains at Osnabrück and I saw the sign for the train to connect us to Amsterdam on the screen. At least, I hoped it was Amsterdam, and not Bielefeld, which was on the opposite track! (My in-laws live in Bielefeld! Wouldn’t have been much of a surprise trip. Ha!) He’d told me we were taking a trip, but I didn’t know where until that moment. We left early on Thursday morning and stayed until 7 o’clock Saturday evening.


So I was pretty excited. I’ve mentioned that I just started taking a Dutch class, and I kind of guessed that somewhere in the Netherlands is where we would be going, and I was excited to get a chance to hear some Dutch. I can’t speak it much at all yet, but I did enjoy trying to read signs and menus!


We stayed at a bed & breakfast and walked around the city all day, up and down the canals, which are just gorgeous! We marveled at the crooked-looking houses, wondering if they might indeed tip over one day. We ate at nice little restaurants and had some coffee and ice cream breaks at cafés along the canal. We had lovely weather, and it was warm enough that we didn’t need all the warm layers we thought we’d need: on the third day, we realized that just a t-shirt and a hoodie were warm enough!


We went to the Rijksmuseum and saw some famous Rembrandt paintings. We walked past many “coffeeshops” and I wrinkled my nose at the smell of pot (not so pleasant if you ask me!). We ate poffertjes (mini pancakes!) and french fries with different sauces. We had one night of really awesome Mexican food. (Not exactly famous in Amsterdam, but they had the best Mexican food I’ve had in ages and a nice outdoor terrace we could sit and eat at while people-watching!)


They put these chocolate sprinkles (and many other flavors) on bread over there!! So strange and special! We brought some home with us!


We visited a few churches and saw Rembrand’s wife’s grave. Her name was Saskia. We enjoyed all the little details of being in a new city. I’d never been there before, and the last time Tobias was there was probably 15-20 years ago.


Such cute little mini teensy tiny cars!


Very appropriate for my birthday and for feeling old.


On the way back, we took the night train in a sleeping car. Pretty darn awesome. That part was really an exciting adventure! The conductor wakes you up 30 minutes before your stop so you have time to wake up and get your things together and so you don’t sleep past your destination. Pretty cool.


It was such an awesome trip and I feel so lucky to have such a wonderful husband! Thank you, Tobi, for planning it! It was the perfect way to finish out my last few days of being 26.


7 thoughts on “Amsterdam!

  1. Happy belated birthday!! You have the most amazing husband.

    I went to Amsterdam once – it was February and what I mostly remember is COLD!!! The canal near our hotel was frozen.

  2. Hi Sarah,
    I recently found your Blog and just went on scanning through it and then I found this post. 1,5 years ago I moved from Hamburg to the Netherlands and that’s actually the reason why I started to look at your Blog, that I found on Young Germany. I was really curios about how an American sees my beloved city. I am glad to see that you seam to like it 😉 why I really comment on this post is that I saw you said you are learning Dutch and I found this hilarious Blog about a year ago about the Dutch culture. As you said you are interested in cultural differences I thought you might like it.
    I am looking forward to read more about you and your time in Hamburg.

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