Europe, Story, Thoughts

A Little RnR in Amsterdam


It is amazing how your travels can change once your mindset changes about your travels.

For us, this European trip had been mainly business – something that was new and completely different for us.


But Amsterdam? It had been on my vacation bucket list for quite some time and we were going to treat it as such – a vacation.


There are two things that happen when Over Yonderlust goes on vacation.

1. We spend money. A lot of money. Has anyone told you how expensive Amsterdam is?
2. It rains the entire time.


But we also had a lot of fun. We went out to eat. We grabbed brunch. We spent too much money on anything we wanted. I didn’t blink when we dropped $50 on seeing the Van Gogh Museum. It is freeing to do that. Make sure to do it every so often before you hit the crazy train.


This is also when you find yourselves in ridiculous situations and meet the most interesting people.


Coupled with the fact that it was Halloween, we couldn’t go wrong.

…except for the fact that all the festivities were on the weekend before and we couldn’t find a single costume shop since Florence, Italy. But we always make do. Halloween is our favorite holiday so I went into MacGyver mode.


After a YouTube video, an hour of our time, and a substantial amount of eyeliner, we emerged into the thick of the night – with some of the best make-up I had managed to produce out of thin air – EVER.


Now, imagine two Americans walking down the road in scary make up in Amsterdam where no one was dressed up. Awkward yes. We embraced it.

We found a pub that had warm glowing lights, halloween decorations in every nook and cranny, and quite the party inside. This is where our night became absurd.


It was karaoke night and the whole staff had dressed up in really awesome costumes. We were rallying behind 4 Aussie guys pounding back beers dressed in giant stuffed alligator costumes while everyone was breaking into song and dance.


This is when we met Steve – a Scottish sailor in the Royal Navy. They had just docked for a few days and he decided to use his shore leave to head over to Amsterdam.


Here is a thing you probably don’t know about me. I have the HARDEST TIME understanding thick UK accents… like so bad that I have to watch movies with subtitles. Generally, it isn’t so bad with people from bigger cities but Steve was from the middle of nowhere in Northeastern Scotland. Most of my night was spent nodding in agreeance – to who knows what. Shaun seemed to be understanding him though. The more Steve drank, the less I could understand.

We were going to make it a pretty easy night with just a couple of pints before heading home.


Steve would not have any of this. A round of Jager came around. A second round of Jager came around. The night went downhill from there. We somehow got wrangled into being Steve’s wingman as he tried to hit on some catty European girls dressed in slutty cat and slutty fairy costumes. Why someone thinks that a married couple would be the best people for the job, I don’t know but we sure tried.


…and he kept trying to buy us drinks.

“STEVE. You aren’t coming home with us. Go give this to a cute girl.” Shaun yelled over the live band.

He looked boggled like we had revealed the greatest secret in the world to him.

All I know is that when we finally left the pub at an ungodly hour, Steve was chatting up a cowgirl.

Good job, Steve. I hope you made it to your 8am flight back.


I would go back to Amsterdam in a heartbeat. It ended my ginormous 30th birthday perfectly. The years that I had looked forward to this moment had paid off. Next time I hope to have more than 2 ½ days – and we’re bringing friends.

28 thoughts on “A Little RnR in Amsterdam”

  1. It’s a great city-
    so much to do, and almost all of it fun.

    I went there quite a few times in my twenties… haven’t been back in a while 🙂

  2. My mom told me that I’ve already been in Amsterdam 23 years ago.
    So sad, I was still young that time, I could not even remember that.
    She said that we visited Artis zoo that time and the famous Amsterdam windmills!

    Oh I really wanted to see the windmills again, now that I am old.

  3. You may not have partied as you wanted but Kudos for getting there and taking such great pics and the tale of scary face makeup is a riot.

  4. Sounds like an awesome night! And that make-up is killer! I still have not been to Amsterdam except for 2 layovers when I didn’t even have time to leave the airport. But it’s probably only 6-8 hours by train from Freiburg, so we’ll get there eventually. I’m glad you took a few days off for yourselves!

  5. Great post! Loved the part where you walked the streets in your Halloween costumes….where no one else was dressed up! Yes, that’s us, the Dutch 🙂
    Hope you will make it back sometimes!

  6. Amsterdam was a place I had always wanted to go, and it was #1 on my husband’s list, so we went, spent just 3 days but loved it all. I need to go back and get to know the city better. I love that shot of those people standing outside the bar. Looks like so much fun! And I agree, sometimes we just have to spend the money and not worry about it.

  7. Very impressive costumes! I was a cat the last two years I celebrated out of the country… not quite as creative or motivated as you guys 🙂

  8. I went to Amsterdam right after college on one of those lame 6-countries-in-10-days tours. Needless to say, we only spent about a day in Amsterdam. In that short time, I fell in love with this gorgeous city and I have to go back! Funny post!

  9. yup my favorite place for over 30 years now. always something new, always something fascinating. keep going back again and again. alot of great rentals there too better than expensive hotels.

    1. I rather liked it. It was a bit on the expensive side (even in a cheaper apartment rental) but definitely worth every penny. I can’t wait to head back.

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