Here’s just a few reasons why I love Amsterdam:

1. shoes, shoes, shoes!  Everywhere I look there’s a shoe store.  Mainly boots: tall boots, short boots, furry boots, leather boots, thigh-high boots, red boots, green boots, blue boots……every kind of boot you could imagine!  The shopping in general is fantastic here, and I will definitely be getting myself a pair of boots before leaving!

2. tea!  Everyone drinks tea no matter what time of day, and it’s always served with cookie.  Yesterday I ordered a cup of mint tea, and it came with several large sprigs of fresh mint…. possibly the best cup of tea I’ve ever had!

3. the canals ~ just absolutely gorgeous!

4. bikers.  Everyone rides on bikes.  There’s no traffic because all the people are on their little cruisers, wearing their fabulous boots, talking on their cell phones and smoking cigarettes.  It’s a great & very efficient way to get around the city! 

5. architecture.  The buildings are beautiful and everywhere you look is a picture waiting to be taken.

I’ve really fallen in love with this city.  I felt comfortable as soon as I got here ~ there’s something very home-y about Amsterdam.  It is incredibly easy to navigate around, very tourist friendly and family-oriented.  I’ve seen elderly men and women walking around by themselves and young kids rollerblading and laughing in the streets.  Like Eric said, it feels like a very safe place to be.  I wouldn’t hesitate to be here by myself.

The only downside about Amsterdam is that it’s very expensive.  But, the beauty more than makes up for it!  If you are planning a trip to Europe, make sure to include Amsterdam on your list ~ it’s a must-see & worth every penny!

Today we spent several hours wandering the city and a good 2 hours or so just at the Van Gogh museum.  The Amsterdam Marathon was happening, so we stopped for a bit to watch the amazing runners and cheered them on.  Travel tip #2, don’t do what we did and try to find a place to stay here for a reasonable price during the marathon.  Apparently this is the place to be during marathon season, and every hotel, hostel, house boat and park bench is rented out….and for big bucks.  Luckily for us, we found the very last attic in the entire city…. but we still had to pay big bucks! 🙁

We haven’t even left yet, and I’m already looking forward to coming back (partly just so I can get my boots!).  If I have the opportunity to come again, I’d LOVE to come at Christmas time ~ I imagine it’s amazing during the holiday season!

More tomorrow!