Most of the time spent in Amsterdam was in museums, trying to complete The Quest; students get a discount on museum cards, which give you free admission to 37 museums in Amsterdam, as well as museums outside the city. Claire had set a goal for herself to go to every single museum before she left, and I was more than happy to help her complete her task. Over the next few days, we hit eight museums which I think is pretty impressive. Included in that number are the canal houses, which are just old townhouses where wealthy Dutch families used to live, and everything has been preserved exactly as it was back in the day. The best part of those were the geriatric tour guides and desk workers who obviously didn't see a lot of visitors, and they were overly enthusiastic to show us around the place. The houses were quite a sight to see, though; if only I could live in a place with blue velvet wallpaper, fake cats, and French-inspired tranquility gardens:
Also great/confusing was hanging out with Claire's friends, all of whom are named Sarah. We went out to a Belgian bar the first night, and every time Claire said "Sarah," four people turned around. Yay, 1990.
By the third day, Claire had to buckle down and get to work on a 40-page research paper (yikes, whatever happened to abroad wonking?), so I hopped a train to Leiden to see Thomas for a few fabulous days. I loved biking along the snowy canals, watching Christmas movies and drinking white Russians with his friends, getting ambushed by snowballs, going to a hockey game (!!!!):
|again, I didn't take this|
So, seeing Claire was amazing, and seeing Thomas was fantastic, but seeing both of them AT THE SAME TIME was the best. We went up to Amsterdam for a bit and hit up the Dutch Resistance Museum and all hung out at a coffee shop for a while together. It was just like old times, awwww. Except, you know, in Europe instead of in Bender library or a frat house. Details, schmetails.