My Experience in the Netherlands!
Updated: Apr 2, 2019
Taking Advantage of Opportunities
When the opportunity to travel to the Netherlands presented itself, I could not say no. It was the most ideal situation. See, I have a ton of family there, and my Oma was born and raised there. So for her, it's just like going back home. My grandparents came are getting older. They are still very capable, but travelling is getting harder and harder for them each year that goes by. They reached out to me with an idea. The idea was that they would pay for my plane ticket there if I simply helped them make travelling a bit easier. My job was to help them check in for the flights, check their bags, help them through customs and the passport checkpoints, and just make their overall experience easier.
Preparing for the 11 hour Flight
For me, flying is easy. Just keep yourself occupied and it will fly by. No pun intended. Treat it like a working from home day. If you have work to do, make sure your laptop is charged, download your work, and keep yourself busy. Now a days, planes offer in-flight wifi usually for a small fee. To me, it's always worth it. If you have no work to do, binge watch some Netflix or Hulu. You can get through almost a whole season of your favorite show on one flight! Don't worry about being hungry, because they will be serving you food.
Acclimating to the Time Change
Here's the truth. You never really get used to the time difference until the day you leave. For me, the hardest thing to get used to was the idea that the sun was still up at 10pm. I'm used to living in California where the sun usually sets around 6:30pm and then I am comfortably in bed by 9pm. (Yes, I am a grandma) I found myself taking naps during the day when we would get back from the days activities. The naps definitely did help keep my energy up, and helped me acclimate with the 12 hour difference.
Things to Do
Luckily, I was blessed with my family as my tour guides. They took me around to all the best spots, and showed me all of the neat things the country has to offer. I took two separate trips to Alkmaar. Once I went and explored the shops and had some lunch. The second time I rode bikes to the kaasmarkt in Alkmaar. It takes place in the town square, and it's basically just a huge cheese market that also includes a little show where they weigh all of the different cheeses. Here are a few pictures from that;
One of my other sentimental trips was to a town where my Oma grew up called Hindeloopen. This one was particularly neat for me because I remembered visiting the same spot 20 years ago. I even was fortunate enough to get pictures in the same exact spots. We spent our time visiting a few of her favorite spots and enjoying some yummy food. Here are a few pictures of that spot;
The final visit that I made was to Amsterdam. Probably the most notable and touristy spot in the Netherlands. But alas, it was a must. I spent a total of 12 hours exploring the city. I visited the Albert Cuyp Market where I indulged in some waffles, drank countless Heineken's, shopped, and visited the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank house was definitely the most memorable. It has been something that has been on my bucket list for a long time. If you ever find yourself in Amsterdam, it is definitely a must. Here are many pictures from that trip!