As many of you know, I am back in the beautiful South of France for (now less than) a week until I return to the States. The past two weeks I have been traveling all over Europe, Paris, Amsterdam and 4 stops in Italy. Over 400 photos later I’m feeling slightly overwhelmed at the daunting task of creating a blog post that fully shows all of the trip details. Soo, I decided to split it up by city! First stops: Paris (which was really only a half a day) and Amsterdam! I left Istres on Thursday morning to train to Amsterdam and take a quick pit stop in Paris to see the museums I hadn’t gotten a chance to see. I started at the Louvre for an obligatory visit to the Mona Lisa and then to the Musée D’Orsay for an absolutely incredible Van Gogh exhibit. Friday morning before my train left for Amsterdam I got a chance to stop at the Paris Museum of Modern Art. Lots of crazy stuff much different from what I had seen the night before, but still awesome. I left around lunch on Friday for a 3 hour train to Amsterdam. We planned to be in the Netherlands this weekend, failing to realize the HUGE King’s Day (formerly called Queen’s Day) festival that would be taking place on Saturday. Thankfully I got in the night before and I was able to get my bearings and find my hotel before chaos began to ensue early Saturday morning. I spent all Friday afternoon wandering. I ate at a killer vegan restaurant and had a few beers at one of the many local pubs. One of my friends from high school spent a lot of time in the city and he told me a bunch of places to check out. During my wanderings there were lots of crazy scenes. The women sitting in their windowsills in lingerie in the red light district, and the cat that sat next to me on the bar in one of the bars I went into. Also, I stumbled into a little carnival by myself, and being a sucker for fair food, of course I had to try this! It was a cool way to get an authentic feel for the city. An awesome thing about Amsterdam is that so many people speak English! Listening to Dutch people in their lofts speaking Dutch and then English in the same sentence was pretty cool. It just goes to show how English dominated the city is. And really cool to feel the blend between the two. Amsterdamians really have created their own little cool part of the world. Alyssa and crew flew in early Saturday morning, and I met them at their hostel before we went out for the day. I woke uo super early, and of course couldn’t find the shower in the hostel, so I had to rough it a little bit, but it was fine! The streets were PACKED with people. I read an article that this festival is comparable to Louisiana’s Mardi Gras, except EVERYONE was in orange! It was a Tennessee fans paradise! We spent Sunday and Monday a little more low-key. Sunday we went to the Anne Frank Haus, which I honestly didn’t even know was in Amsterdam. It was hard to believe we walked through the actual space she lived in with her family for so long. I need to re-read her diary, now that I have seen the actual real thing. Monday, Alyssa and I ventured to the Van Gogh Museum and through a giant market before we headed to Italy. It was an awesome way to end the trip. What a fun, eclectic city and a fun warmup to our week in Italy. There will of course be more to come as I have time while I am home! But for now, more beach volley and packing! I leave in 5 days!! See you soon America!