Tuesday, February 25, 2014

{paris: week eight + florence & amsterdam}

Our eighth week in Paris was actually not spent in Paris at all!  We spent Sunday to Wednesday in Florence, Italy (I shared a glimpse at our awesome hotel room in last week's recap) then flew to Amsterdam until Saturday afternoon.  Florence was such a relaxing city to getaway to and I was convinced we should cancel our Amsterdam trip in order to stay there all week if only to facilitate more pasta eating.  I'll be sharing a full recap including a short itinerary for Florence later this week so I won't go into too much detail about that city now.   

Amsterdam truly surprised me as I was not expecting to enjoy our time there nearly as much as we did!  We stayed in Hotel Vondel which felt like the Dutch version of The Ace hotel chain.  The three days we spent in the Netherlands were enjoyed by wandering around the city's curvy streets and getting lost in shops and restaurants along the numerous canals.  Decadent Dutch breakfast spreads were one of the highlights of the city for me- my favorite of which was at G's Really Nice Place.  G's  is located in a more residential neighborhood and the decor is quaint with pink tufted sofas and quirky comic book tablecloths, but the restaurant has a playful edge with a stripper pole gracing the edge of the coffee bar and the photo background of the menus reminiscent of an American Apparel ad.  Another dining highlight was getting to try a traditional rijsttafel meal (translates to rice table) which is a spread of 40+ tiny Indonesian dishes served alongside heaping portions of white rice which we experienced at Indrapura.   We returned to Paris late Saturday via high speed Thalys train which took about 3 and a half hours.

I can't believe we only have a few more weeks left of our time here which I know will fly by especially with a trip to London coming up this weekend, friends visiting the following week and a trip to Morocco at the end of March before we head home. 

 {Florence- beautiful even when it's gloomy}

 {a small sampling of the perfumes at Santa Maria Novella}

 {all the pretty things I purchased in Florence}

 {feeding swans in the Amsterdam canals. Chris practically had to yank me away from this activity or I would have stayed there all day.}

{Ksumi tea boutique in Paris makes some of the most delicious tea blends I have ever had.  They are bit pricey, but truly luxurious in flavor.  We walked over to their Opera location in the beautiful weather today to pick up some of the Prince Vladmir tea}

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