A Weekend in Amsterdam

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It seems kind of crazy to jet off to Europe for the weekend but if you live on the East Coast, it’s actually not quite as crazy as it seems. With the luxury of time zones working in your favor, you can leave on a Friday night and wake up on a completely different world on Saturday morning. That’s precisely what we did in early February to celebrate my hubby’s birthday.

Indulging in the local foods: stroopwafel!

Indulging in the local foods: stroopwafel!

Ever since I was a kid, birthday’s have been a big deal for me. I love gathering my friends and loved ones together, I love the cake and decorations and I love the element of surprise. My hubby on the other hand, really doesn’t take birthday’s too seriously so in an effort to get him as excited as I get, I decided to surprise him with a weekend trip to Amsterdam!

I found an amazing flight deal using Hopper, my favorite flight app which left late Friday night and returned Monday afternoon. Booked the W Hotel in the center of the city using points and emailed his boss to ask for the day off work. Easy!

I find that short trips don’t need a lot of pre-planning, at least, I think part of the fun for a weekend away is to see where the day takes you. With nothing more than one dinner reservation booked (a recommendation from a friend), we set out to see what we could find.

Hanging like a local at Toscanini.

Hanging like a local at Toscanini.

Once we got to our hotel and checked in, we set out to wander the streets. We stumbled upon a cute little cafe for lunch and browsed a few tags on Instagram to bookmark some sites that looked interesting. Hands down, Instagram is my little life hack for finding hidden gems that are local-approved and from there I love wandering the streets, popping into shops and cafes that catch my eye.

We loved acting like locals and riding the bikes around the city.

We loved acting like locals and riding the bikes around the city.

For our quick 48 hour stay, we rented bikes, hopped on a river cruise to see the city from a new vantage point and wandered till our hearts were content and our feet couldn’t handle another step. We love visiting modern art museums so we checked out the Moco Museum which did not disappoint. Housed in an old ornate townhouse overlooking the Museumplein, (a main square in the heart of the city), it was filled with recognizable work from Banksy, Roy Lichtenstein and an amazing immersive installation by Daniel Arsham.

Surrounded by art. Daniel Arsham.

Surrounded by art. Daniel Arsham.

Looking back, I can attest that flying to Amsterdam for the weekend sounds rather bananas but I can assure you it was magical (and doable!).

A last ride before heading to the airport.

A last ride before heading to the airport.