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Serendipity in Amsterdam

by on April 27, 2010
 
Ser*en*dip*i*ty (noun)
Not finding what one is searching for, but finding something better.

Kate says: I love this word. Not only because of its dictionary meaning, but also because it sounds like the kind of life I’d like to have: Serene with a little dipity added!

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(You’ll find the above lines on her blog!)

Welcome to our girls day out in Amsterdam – Kate and I.
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A few weeks ago when Kate said she was coming to Amsterdam, I screamed and hollered with joy and excitement, because not only did I get to go to Amsterdam ‘proper’ (for trips to the British Embassy and the Van Gogh museum don’t count as seeing the city!) but I got to meet my Chocolate Valentine in person, one of my favourite bloggers. Food blogging can be a lonely sport. Sometimes, you long for face-to-face meetings to make that physical connection. I got enormous energy from FBC 2009 and this was a chance to charge those batteries again.
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The only moment of doubt was when Kate suggested we have a picnic with my kids! Shock…..especially as I had ‘obviously’ worked out a baby-sitting arrangement with the husband. Of course, I promptly thanked her for the offer but maintained that I would be coming on my own. Phew!
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Sunday came and it was lovely to finally put a voice and face to the exchanged emails and comments. We wandered round the city centre, with Kate as guide and me (the local) as tourist! She also let me play with her DSLR and if I had reservations about getting one, that put paid to such silly thoughts. Look ladies and gentlemen, no matter how high-end your point and shoot is (and that’s what I’ve got), the quality of the photos from a DSLR are a world apart. The edge definition of the images and the flexibility in the camera are they only 2 reasons you need. Enough said, I will get one. When, I don’t know but it will be sooner than previously planned!
A stroll along the canals after tea and lunch, showed boat owners and water worshipers out in full force – tribute to the extremely warm weather.
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We even happened upon a race of sorts – very colourful men and women in equally colourful kayaks. Good on them. Me, I was happy to laze about, walking and discovering.
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We walked past the ‘red light’ district and I was saddened but I won’t go  into that now. I guess we do what we have to do, and often some people have (think they have) limited choices.Not far from the street we walked down, there was a statue called ‘Belle’
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A tribute!
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Of course the city, like the rest of the Netherlands is beginning to go a bit orange, in preparation for Queen’s Day on April, the 30th.
We spotted Macaron shells in the window of De Bijenkorf, The Netherlands answer to Selfridges and the like.
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Upscale, upmarket, that kind of thing. We didn’t purchase any though….

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Instead, to satisfy our sweet tooth, we sampled some true Italian gelato, which was more than adequate to make up. After all, you got the sugar rush plus the coolness and refreshment!
I enjoyed trying to take ‘good’ photos of my reflections in window panes (quite dusty and dirty), never succeeding.
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At least the photos of Kate fared much better.
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We talked and talked and talked the whole day and when we didn’t, it was a comfortable silence. It was wonderful to natter about food and not feel pretentious or silly!
The huisjes were pretty, in fact, some were so pretty, they leaned. For real.
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Some of the more notable tourist shops we came across included one opposite our gelato shop. Sorry, street name not noted.
It had funny notes clipped on its wares. From signs like this
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to this
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and this!
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And to all who believe……..nothing is impossible!

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I leave you with a few more photos I loved. There’s this one of 36…..and that’s not because I’ll be turning that age in June, I am a spring chicken, young at only 33, going on…..
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I can’t remember ever being bold or talented enough to be part of a graffiti crew and in some ways admire those who are, and the beauty of their work.
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And that’s it. I leave you with a spot-metered photo, taken in the light of day (appears as night), of ‘Dam square.
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And if you want to experience the camaraderie of other food bloggers, you can at FBC 2010, which will be in London from the 4th – 6th of June, 2010.
Come if you can. Till we meet again. Much love X X X