Hallo! My name is Kelly. I grew up in New Orleans, LA. I married my husband Billy in Oct 2000 in N.O. We have three children and have moved from Abita, Springs, Louisiana to Stuttgart, Germany. This is something we have dreamed about and it is our first expat experience. I hope everyone enjoys reading about our adventures because I am very excited to share.

Sunday, December 22, 2013


Actual Dates December 6-8

We had our first "adult" trip since being in Europe and we chose Amsterdam.  We met up there with our friends Debbie and Luke who are living in London.

This was our first time flying within Europe so the differences from the states was amazing.  When we entered security we scanned our boarding passes we walked right through, NO ID check of any sort.  Now security part was normal with the detectors and the machines but no one ever asked for an ID or looked at our boarding passes.  We figured well, when we get to the plane to board they will check there, NOPE!!! We scanned our passes again and walked right on the plane.  Weirdest thing ever.
Also finally found out why we do not get stamps in our passport book for all of our travels:/ Germany has an agreement within the European Union that allows us to travel with open borders, easy but nothing to show in our passports!!!!!  Another interesting thing was our flight was only one hour and we were served breakfast, WHAT??? 

We arrived in Amsterdam at 8am and it was DARK still:(. There was a bad storm the day before on the North Sea so although the temps were around 40 the winds were awful.  It was FReezing!!

We checked out the Schiphol Airport a bit, it's new and was very nice so we wanted to see what was there.  We had a few hours to kill before the London folks arrived.  We quickly hopped our train and headed to our B&B in the city.  We stayed on the canal at a place called Margot's B&B.  It was very quaint.  Our room was literally in her home, so much so that Luke accidentally walked in her room, right next to his, in the middle of the night, thinking it was a bathroom. Haha!!! Her place was very laid back and worked out perfectly for our trip.  The location was perfect as was her breakfast.  And his was our view from our room

This was us outside the train station

Very pretty architecture!!

Once we checked in we decided to head to the Van Gogh Museum.  I really wanted to see this but we wound up in a few shops then in a bar
Then having a snack:)))) they are known for their fries with all different choices of sauces.  We tried sweet chili and peanut sauce!!! Delish 
A Dutch beer!!!  We hopped in and out of several little bars while waiting.  We had some local Dutch brews and some whiskey to help chase away my cold that I woke up with the day before:/

Holland is of course known for wooden shoes, check out this bike
Haha!!!! There are more bikes in Amsterdam than anywhere else!!! Seriously, they are literally everywhere there are even barges with 3 and 4 story bike racks to store people's bikes, it's crazy.

Once 1pm hit, Debbie and Luke arrived and we went to lunch, Italian food and then literally spent the rest of the day checking out the local bars and brews and anything else they offered.

Saturday after our delicious breakfast we visited their daily market and their Christmas market, which was nothing compared to our German markets.  We then visited more local establishments 

We also went by the cat refugee boat where they house poor homeless kitties

Saturday evening we did the Heinekin experience.  This place was huge.  There is like a little club at the end where you get your free beer and there is also a 4D ride where you get bottled and brewed:) neat experience

After our Heinekin tour we did our Festival of Lights night cruise, not much of a Festival of Lights cruise but it was ok.  We wished we would have gone ahead and done this during the day instead, could have seen more 

Funniest part of the whole night.  Coffee shops sell weed but no coffee or alcohol and cafés are bars.  Billy and Luke decided to smoke a Cuban cigar in the one cafe where you could smoke and drink.  The bartender told them to put out the cigar, you can only smoke weed in there???? Are you really serious 
Very interesting city.

Every night we walked through the red light district.  Prostitution is legal and they actually receive benefits from the govt.  this area takes up much of the city.  It's so weird to see girls in windows and they are in a room with a bed.  You knock on the door, pay 50euros and you are in.  They close the curtains and the rest is history:/ YUK!!!  There are 375 windows in the Red Light District.
We saw men knocking on the doors and going in and coming out, weird way of life for me.

On Sunday we had our yummy breakfast again and then headed out sight seeing.  We went to see the oldest home in Amsterdam
Built in 1425.  The first homes in Amsterdam were built of wood.  A fire devastated the city and there are only 2 remaining.  This is the older of the two.
Homes in Amsterdam, well the front of the homes in Amsterdam are very narrow.  The narrowest home is there also.  They were built this way because they are taxed on the amount of property that faced the road.  Crazyyyy!
A lot of the homes have settled so much they are actually leaning
Look at the top of the building with the white border, you can see the gap where it is leaning.

The most amazing thing we did on this adventure was visit the Anne Frank house.  Well, it was the annex that they hid from Hitler in.  I read the Anne Frank Diary when I was in middle school and I remembered a little but WoW.  THere is nothing like the experience of actually walking through this house where they hid:(. The markings from her and her sister's growth was still on the walls where her father marked it in pencil.  She glued pictures to the wall and they were still there as well.  This house has been very well preserved and it really makes you feel how scared they must have been.  Since visiting we bought a book exclusive to the house and I have been reading it with the boys on a nightly basis.  It is such a hard to imagine tradegy.  The world can be such a cruel place.  I am so glad we were able to visit this.  The other interesting fact was that her father was the only survivor and he lived until he was 91, he died in 1980, which makes it even more touching that he was still alive in my lifetime after experiencing this terror.

Before catching our flight back home we had a traditional Dutch Pancake dinner.  Mine had spinach, ham and cheese. Very yummy.  It kind of resembled a crepe but a little thicker!! 

This was a really fun trip with great friends.  I definitely recommend doing this trip with friends, it wouldn't have been as fun if we would have gone alone!!!

Random Pics
Best photo we could get of the Red Light District.  Photos are of course not allowed.

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