The Netherlands (The Hague, Utrecht, and Amsterdam)

Here’s where I just went:

In The Netherlands/Holland: Amsterdam, Utrecht, and The Hague

In Sweden: Stockholm and Mariefred

In this post I’ll be covering the Dutch cities Utrecht and Amsterdam because we spent the most time in the Hague and it needs its own post, which will come soon.

We were in Amsterdam briefly because we flew into it from Atlanta, but it’s one of my favorite cities (we spent a week there two years ago and ever since I’ve been figuring out how I’m going to work in Art History there as an adult), so I might as well cover the few things we did this time.

We love this cafe called Nel that we went to in 2011, so we visited again. Delicious.

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ImageFor dinner I recommend either a place called Red (which has almost entirely green decor) if you want something fancy (fantastic steak, seriously one of the best I’ve ever had, but very filling) or Pastini, which is a good Italian place we go to.

ImageThe Rijksmuseum there just reopened after a nine year (!!) stint of being almost entirely closed down for remodeling, and so we went this year since we couldn’t in 2011. Absolutely go, some very famous and fantastic works including The Night Watch and Vermeer’s incredibly lovely The Milkmaid.

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ImageIt was very crowded in Amsterdam when we were there on August 3rd because of the gay pride festival, which was really cool to watch

ImageUtrecht is basically a smaller Amsterdam, so I’d recommend going to Amsterdam instead really, but I had lots of fun there too.

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ImageBasically, Holland is beautiful and amazing, and you should go there.

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One-Sentence Book Reviews of Books I’ve Read Recently

A Streetcar Named Desire: (By Tennessee Williams) This play is depressing and does absolutely nothing to enrich your life or educate you, unless for some reason you’re trying to become more cynical, in which case you should go for it.

Regeneration: (By Pat Barker) Read this absolutely as soon as you can, especially if you are interested in World War I, but anyone can enjoy it because the characters are beautifully developed and the language, pacing, and small snippets of wisdom are compelling.

The Elegance of the Hedgehog: (By Muriel Barbery) Read this book, absolutely read it, it is beautiful, and I have read constantly since I was five, and this is my favorite book; the language is beautiful, the story is incredible and powerful, and it is full of pieces of wisdom and art references, and the entire book is brilliant and beautiful.

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Breakdown of the Loire Valley

Breakdown of the Loire Valley

My family and I visited more than ten chateaux in the Loire Valley of France this past summer (2012), so it’s high time for a breakdown of my favorites
4. Chateau de Blois
3. Chateau de Azay-le-Rideau (be sure to check out the fantastic outdoor show if you’re traveling with kids)
2. Chateau de Villandry
1. Chateau de Chenonceaux, the best on several levels but partially because we figured out how to swim in the river that runs under the castle

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

This is a rather old picture that I just found, but I thought it was cute and pretty cool, so… A few years ago when the last Harry Potter movie came out, my family and I decided to wait a few weeks to see it (even though the series is/was/has been/will always be my life) so that we could see it for the first time in London when we went there. We dressed for the occasion.

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Ballet “Photoshoot”

My sister got a new camera a while ago, and I got new pointe shoes, so we tested out both of those by having a sort of amateur photoshoot outside today, with her as photographer and me as subject for her pictures.

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ImageI’ve actually had my shoes for a few classes now, so they’re already rather beat up, as you can tell.

 

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Copper Pots and Pans

Copper is definitely my favorite material in kitchens

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Especially in really cool old kitchens in chateaux in France like the one where I took this.

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Heart Dress

I really liked this dress when I saw it on ModCloth, which is significant because I have to sift through their stuff extensively before I find anything that actually looks like it would be flattering.

The front is rather boring,

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but the back is very pretty and is a very interesting and creative idea

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Although I agree with my mother that perhaps it would show a bit too much skin and would definitely be too short on my legs.

I’m also quite excited that interesting uses of lace and lace in general are in style lately, but at this point it feels very overdone, as everyone has hopped on the bandwagon.

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