Back in November Gary and I decided that we wanted to go away to celebrate New Year’s and my 35th birthday. We had both been working pretty hard on a side project and we needed a break. At first we thought we wanted to go somewhere warm where we could relax on a beach but once we started talking about places we both realized that what we really wanted to do was to go back to Europe.
After tossing some ideas back and forth, Gary reminded me that he loved Amsterdam when he traveled there in his early 20s with a friend and had always wanted to go back. So after some research and a few lucky breaks that landed us an amazing little apartment in Nieumarkt we decided we could afford the trip and booked it.
Now for a planner like me it was hard for me to agree to something this quickly and it made me a little bit twitchy. But I am trying to loosen up and be a bit more spontaneous so I decided to just let it go. I also purposely did no advance planning or booked any activities because I just wanted to let things happen organically. And let me tell you, the feeling of relief I felt to just let things be was a blessing in such a stressful time. We had some ideas of things we wanted to do but nothing concrete. We just knew that we wanted to relax.
Then the first night we arrived we met up with the lovely Rosana and she marked up our little tourist map with all the amazing spots to go. I plan on making a google map of all the things she recommended so that someone else can experience some of the little hidden gems.
Overall my favourite part of our entire trip was watching the fireworks go off in Nieumarkt on New Year’s Eve. In Amsterdam people can legally buy their own and set them off, so there were fireworks exploding all around the city. There is a certain wildness to be watching a display that was not choreographed by someone else. Where you are simply surrounded by people that have personally invested their own money to bring a moment of pleasure to a group of strangers. The smoke, noise, laughter and light was a moment I will always treasure.
If you are interested in seeing more pictures from our trip feel free to visit my flickr set or you can play the slide show below. You won’t find any wardrobe diary photos yet though, I still have to get those up on flickr.
Oh and that little side project we were working on was creating the Tales from Beyond the Pale website. It was the first time I customized WordPress so heavily and it was a fun challenge.