Holland, deel een (part one!)


One of the best parts of traveling to Holland was meeting a friend along the way. Jennifer and I have been chatting on the phone for years (and years, and years). She’s my Dutch flower vendor. And she’s been a part of my life for as long as I’ve been at Fearrington. And up until July, I had never laid eyes on her! When I told her that R.B. was arranging for me to see the Dutch auction, her immediate response was “Don’t think you’re going without me!” She was such a great hostess and travel mate — I am so glad to have had her with me!

We met at JFK, and then we were off to Amsterdam! The charming Arjan, who works at the auction in Aalsmeer, met us in Schiphol when we landed at about 6am. We couldn’t check into the hotel until 3pm, so we hit the ground running!

We started the day at the Rijks Mueseum – recently re-opened after 10 years of renovations. I get goose-bumpy just thinking about it! The building itself is an amazing work of art. And it’s filled with masterpieces. I stood nose to canvas with Dutch masters. Rembrandt, Vermeer, & Van Gogh, oh my! “Middle Ages to Mondrian!” It was overwhelming — in the best possible way.

The park surrounding the museum displays a staggering exhibition of Henry Moore sculptures. And a wading pool with lighthearted and colorful sculptures, and the iconic “I AmSterdam!”

Next we were off to explore the city via boat. We took a canal tour of the old city. I know, I know, it’s totally touristy, but we only had one day, so cut me some slack! Our tour guide was really informative and funny – and not completely politically correct, which was rather entertaining! We were able to see a whole lot of the city —  money and time well spent, I say!

So that was my introduction to the city! No too shabby, eh? Right off the bat, Amsterdam felt approachable, and inclusive, and lighthearted! Its a city that wants you to have a good time. I was happy to oblige!

After dinner and a drink, I finally got some sleep! I was impressed with myself, 26 hours of travel, walking and exploring — I didn’t know I had it in me anymore! Up the next day at dawn for day 2 in Geithoorn! Stay tuned!

– Mary