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Archive for September, 2017

I didn’t make any plans for my last day of vacation. I wanted a cushion day in case I needed more time to see what I planned to see. Well, I didn’t need any more time, so I had to decide where to go on a whim. Since it was a Sunday, I started at church.

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I went all the way out to The Hague so that I could attend a service in English!

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But the Netherlands Temple is in The Hague too, so I didn’t mind the trip down so I could go see it (Amsterdam to The Hague is about 45 minutes on the train).

Temple Grounds:
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And after church I went a little further on the train to Rotterdam.

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Rotterdam felt completely different from the rest of the Netherlands, and I’m so glad I went! Rotterdam was bombed by the Nazis in WWII, so the architecture is much more modern than that in Amsterdam.

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This shopping center was delightfully mid-century. I don’t have a lot of photos of it, but it was like time travelling back 65 years and going to the mall!

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And check out this really cool modern architecture! My guidebook named these buildings “the pencil” and “the UFO”

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This weirdly-shaped building provides shelter for a market, and actually contains apartment homes:

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And here’s what it looks like from beneath:

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These are apartment homes too!

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And I walked along the riverfront

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Parade of Flags:

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and more weird buildings:

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Rotterdam was cool. I didn’t do anything other than walk around and take photos, but I had a great time. It was so different from the other 8 days of my vacation; such a colorful end!

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And it really is the end. Back to Amsterdam for a little dinner, and left for the airport early the next morning!

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We’ve been home for a few months now, but how fun is it that American Girl’s new travel outfit features an Amsterdam-like city?

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and this Seattle backdrop?

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This trip was amazing. Longer than my usual vacation, full of beautiful weather, beautiful landscapes, beautiful art. And it was just the beginning of my fantastic summer! 3 trips to Disney World (Memorial Day, 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends) and a trip to New York that I’ll tell you about soon (I brought Caroline dressed in Caroline clothes and she looked adorable!) But now it’s time for the weather to cool down and for tourists to get off my island, which isn’t so bad either.

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The eighth day of my vacation was another day to explore Amsterdam. I started my day with some pancakes in a building that used to hold a grand carousel! Now it just has a little one:

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I continued on to the Tropenmuseum (In English, Museum of the Tropics). The museum has an intriguing history. It opened in 1871 (and has been in its current building since 1926) to showcase artifacts from Dutch colonial holdings. Sounds like a promising collection, but I didn’t find it very engaging. Maybe because there were parts that weren’t in English. The most enlightening exhibit was a photograph collection from Aleppo, Syria.

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Next stop, the Dutch Resistance Museum. This one was quite engaging, teaching that the Dutch are not Nazis, and sort of apologizing for things that happened during WWII.

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The resistance museum was a nice prologue for the Big Daddy of all Amsterdam attractions, the Anne Frank House.

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Even with a time-reserved ticket, I waited in line with tons of other tourists to walk where Anne Frank and her family hid for more than two years. I’ve read Anne’s diary and seen several different films, so I don’t think I learned anything I didn’t know. But I’ve been in the Secret Annex!

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And in the evening, I wandered the streets and canals behind my hotel, with the guidance of another audio tour. Vacation is coming to a close–just one more whole day!

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