That’s My Jam!!!

So…yesterday was not the smoothest day of travel. We woke up around 4 in the morning, took an Uber with Muhammad, who was amazing and dropped us in the prefect location to catch our Gatwick Express Train. As we made our way through security both mine and Mom’s bags were searched. Mom’s more so than mine. She was forced to throw away some toilette products and the left over jam from Harrods. I wanted to argue and say that jam is NOT technically a liquid, but I just wanted to make it to our flight on time. I keep seeing flashes of the security agent sitting at home spreading the delicious Harrod’s perserves over crunchy toast with me in the background yelling, “That’s my JAMMMM!!!”. My bag was pulled for the kid size scissors in my traveling art kit. I think the frustrating thing is we have been through security in the world’s biggest airport, Atlanta…why can’t all airports follow the same protocols. 
As frustrating as it was our destination was worth the struggles of jam and scissors. Amsterdam has been a calming force. Our host Vera is kind and our accommodations are perfectly decorated in Danish decor. I am obsessed with this gold wallpaper with birds and butterflies. I will be painting a picture at some point. Yesterday in our zombie state, walked to exchange money to Euros, caught a quick bite to each, dropped our laundry off at a laundry mat, did some grocery shopping and then crashed. Mom was in bed around 7 and I was quickly behind. I think the comfort of the room, the cool breeze from the windows, and the sound of passing boats in the canal was the most soothing environment.

We slept in and had an easy start to our day. I made mom an espresso, we feasted on peanut butter and bananas, and just relaxed on the bench outside our studio. No formal plans or schedule today, so we decided during breakfast we would venture to the coast by train. It is a 45-minute train ride from Amsterdam to Zandvoort aan Zee (AKA beach spot). On the way we stopped at a town called Haarlem. There is a pretty cool church with an enormous organ. The organ was played by Mozart when he was just 10 years old. There was a self-paced tour we followed where I learned the floor was completely made up of gravestones, 1,500 of them to be exact! The small detour to St. Bavo’s church was a cool stop!

Once we made it to the beach, I had a vision of mom and I riding bikes through the town and down to a tulip farm! Here in Amsterdam the cyclists are heavy pedaled and I am certain we would be clobbered. I thought the beach would be a better place to take it two-wheeling. Unfortunately, the man at the bike shop was unwilling to work with us and wasn’t eager to do business. We nixed the bikes and headed to the sand. We enjoyed lunch beach side, walked about 7 miles (12.38 miles total for the day), collected sea shells, grabbed a delicious chocolate dessert, and then headed back to Amsterdam.

Currently as I type the sun is still shining at 8:15 at night. Two small boys, I would say in 3rd grade, were playing soccer outside my window. People are casually making there way home by foot, bike, and boat. The lifestyle here in Amsterdam is calm and relaxed, at least on our side. I will say their is an element of Vegas to this town, closer to town center. From the part and people I have interacted with they are kind and relaxed but then again there is a ‘coffee shop’ around the block 🙂

Tomorrow, we head to the Anne Frank house. It is scheduled to rain, so I am hoping for some sunshine while we wait in line!