Thursday, September 12, 2013


So I didn't even talk about the Anne Frank House. Well, to be honest, my only connected to the Anne Frank House was really Lauren and the book "The Fault in Our Stars." The whole reason we even came to Amsterdam was because Lauren wanted to go the Anne Frank Museum. 

So we of course went and what an experience. They don't allow pictures inside so I  have none, but the museum is essentially a walking tour of the Frank house and how they lived while hiding from the Nazis. It gave so much perspective and really put a face and name to how Jews suffered during WWII. 

A great experience, all should come to Amsterdam if only for this reason. I also recommend to you the book, "The Fault in Our Stars."

Then I found this purple Volkswagen and just HAD to take a picture.!

First ugg boot sighting in Europe!

After that we walked around a bit, went shopping! We both got new boots and omg let me tell you, if you are tall, The Netherlands are the place to buy pants! I bought some postcards, and then headed back to Amsterdam Dam to catch a tram back to our hotel because we had plans for later that night but needed a break.

Well let's start by saying how nice the people in Amsterdam were. This actually happened to us twice. So obviously, everything is in Dutch. But everyone speaks English because who besides the Dutch and half of Belgium speak Dutch, right?

Anyway, we are standing at the tram station with a bunch of other foreign people who also speak a lot of languages but none of them Dutch. So we're waiting, we're waiting, we're waiting, and my god the tram is not  coming. I am so exhausted, and I'm like, okay, if the tram doesn't come, I going to that cafe over there and getting a drink. Then suddently this random Dutch guy walking by hears the announcement from our Tram Station saying, "Green Dentist" (okay actually it's something like Gien Dienst but it looks like Green Dentist!) and walks over to tell our ignorant crowd that the tram is stuck and is not coming for a long time. And he keeps going on his way! So nice of him.

So how did we solve the problem?

Also, this is my new favorite thing. It's new in Europe so they have been giving samples. It's sparkling iced tea. It kinda tastes like beer.... i just love it!

So Lauren has two modes.... hungry and not hungry. There is no  in between. When she gets hungry she has to eat immediately. It's almost savage like. Anyway, she had a hunger attack at this cafe so we ate. She obsessed with salads as there is no fresh lettuce or goat cheese in china. So she had a salad. I had a carpaccio sandwich. It was massive!

Finally, the tram came, we split from the restaurant and made it back to the hotel. Here's our view!

And the massive room!

So that morning I had woken up really early and was reading about what to do in Amsterdam. One of the things was to take a canal cruise. They said don't be swayed by the touristy aspect, that they are great. So I looked and I found the perfect thing, a cocktail cruise! Ha! It was 2 hours, 2 cocktails, and appetizers with a tour guide. Great!

Well, let me tell you, this thing turned out to be amazing! We totally scored too. Because we were on the same boat as a wine cruise, but we got our two cocktails and then all the wine we wanted.

First cocktail.

Okay, this is a terrible picture but here is what it is.One cool way to live in Amsterdam is on a houseboat on the canal. They can be incredibly expensive because you one have to pay for the mooring space and then usually your houseboat is out of this world fancy. Anyway in Amsterdam, people believe at night you should always leave your curtains open because if you close them, you are saying you have something to hide. Strange, but awesome for use because we got to see into everyone's fancy house boats!

We passed the Anne Frank House.

The canal bridges are all lines with lights so you can see the tunnels. So pretty!

Also, there are the tunnels that our massive boat goes through!

Okay, here we are going through a tunnel. Terrible picture but I am trying to show the clearance. I am not kidding, they maybe was about 6 inches on either side of the boat. The driver was amazing!

Lauren is touching the wall!

So that cruise was so so fun! And it was two hours which was really cool. I have been looking for Seine cruises in Paris and nothing compares!

Anyway, after that we headed back home and had our second encounter with a friendly Dutchman. The centreplatznespac in Amsterdam Dam was undergoing some night construction. So basically a maze had been created to get the tram for us. We were confused for about 2 seconds when a random Dutch guy comes up to us, says go this way, then this way, then this way, and then he just disappeared! What the heck? Well, we followed what he said and ended up at our tram stop!

So that was our first day in Amsterdam! We did so much! More to come!


Wednesday, September 11, 2013


Haveyoueverseenawordspelledlikethis? Welcome to Dutch 101. Or my other favorite example, the word penmanship,nor as they say it in Dutch, shipenman.  Or so it seems, right.  I have thought this in the past and it was really confirmed while I've been in Amsterdam... Is that actually a real language? Because I am not trying to be mean, but it sounds fake. if you have never heard Dutch, you must YouTube right now!

Let's discuss Amsterdam and my sleeping habits to begin. First, I no longer sleep. Greys and Twilight must have planted this idea that sleep is not a real thing because I no longer do it or need it. Usually, I am a solid 8 hour person, as of late, I sleep 5 or maybe 6 and I'm done.  Also, I don't really drink that much water and so I nevere pee. I think maybe I am just finally becoming a true Burkhalter. Dry skin included.

Okay, so back o Amsterdam. First of all, come here! It's stunning, absolutely gorgeous. The people are rediculouly nice, they all speak English perfectly, which makes me feel like me pretend Dutch is not far from the truth, and this is definitely the place for someone with a 32 in inseam and size 40 feet.  In Hawaii, when you go to try on shoes, the sample size is usually s 6 or 7. Here. It's a 9.5.... Just my size! Went to buy pants yesterday, and they had a size 29x32.  Who has that?!

The main square here is called Amsterdam Dam or just Dam. I prefer to say Amsterdam Dam. This is just one of the many, many fun words to say. To be honest, they all sound funny.

So the only train that we could get on from Paris left at 7pm and arrived in Amsterdam at 10:30pm. I was worried that wasn't going to be safe. It was just the opposite. I have no clue what sort of timetable these people operate on, but things were in full swing at 10:30 at night. The only thing missing was the sun. After a small bit of confusion, we found some wifi, found out hotel, yes we should have probably looked up where the hotel was before we got there, we hopped on a tram and rode to muslim neighborhood.

Really quick, this is finally a picture of the storage unit. Here we are packing for Amsterdam.

Okay, so we make it to the hotel in Amsterdam which is on the outskirts of the city, but at the last minute, it was the cheapest one and it didn't have bedbugs like the hostel that I initally booked that Lauren nixed. Probably a wise decision. It was a Christian hostel in the red light district. For 20 bucks more, we got this hotel. Which turned out to be amazing. Usually, rooms in europe are tiny. We had the worlds largest room, like the size of my living room in Hawaii for those of you who know and it was on the top floor overlooking the city! Way cool!

So we stayed there. Immediately, we were both so tired and went to sleep. BTW this is a very common theme for us.

The next morning, we woke up, walked through what turned out to be a very pleasant neighborhood and headed for AmsterdamDam. First question, what are the dutch known for? Clogs, windmills, and cheese!

So we found some cheese!

Are sampling everything, we selected a fine herbed cheese. We bought some bread, plastic knives and sat by a canal and ate it.\

So Amsterdam is stunningly beautiful. Amazing.

Our next stop was to the Anne Frank House. So we walked there. It was stunning. Saw this on the way.

Oh look....

So this is the outside of the Anne Frank House. You can wait in line forever or you can just by your tickets online. We did that. We were a bit early so we went to a canalside cafe to get a coffee.

Here's the cafe. What a terrible view.

So, if you look closely, you can see a boat is coming under the bridge. The boats are huge and the canals are so so narrow. You'll see what I mean later.

So close! Okay, that was Amsterdam part one. Get ready for some more!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Where Are We?

So no, I didn't forget about you all. Mostly, me and iPad did not work out and I also had no way and no time really to update pictures and blog. Today, right now, is like the first time that I am not doing something. So, get ready, here comes some new stuff! But first, some left over France pictures....

Lauren disapproves of something. We were so tired here. We were sitting in the shade of a lamp post in hopes of getting some respite from the sun.

The sun in all its glory.

I am currently and still reading 1984.

This was our hotel room. It was awesome!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Fun France


So my genius plan of ditching my computer and blogging from my iPad has a few kinks.  One big one being my memory on iPad is full of Grey's Anatomy, there is no room to upload any pictures from my camera. So I now have to post pictures to my blog from my phone, and then go add the comments on iPad. But that's okay, it keeps it interesting. It's also teaching to me type on iPad. And you thought that the typos were bad before!

So today, I am actually in Amsterdam but I can't show you my pictures from Amstedam for reasons I mentioned above and I have some pictures from the last few days in France. So Amsterdam update tomorrow and France update now.

So, Monday was still more apartment hunting. An oh, it was a thousand degrees outside. Like surface of the sun hot. I have never felt the energy of the sun until yesterday. Thank god that my shirt was quick dry.

Walking around, in the heat, we came across this hotel and bar.  I should stay here or at least imbibe something he sometime. How appropriate, right? Maybe we can come celebrate here when I finally find a place to live.

These pictures are a bit out of order, it was the best I could do, but here is the view from our hotel room.  I randomly choose a hotel somewhere in Paris because it was cheap and I needed it for my visa, but then I forgot to cancel it so we actually stayed there, which turned out to be the cutest neighborhood!

Saw this blue door and blue car. It needed to be captured for color alliteration or assonance sake.

Opp, here's another picture of my bar. Told you, out of order.

Alright, so that was Monday. We we're getting kicked out of the hotel on Tuesday so we needed a plan.  Stay in Paris and look for apartments that don't really exist yet because the entire country is still one vacation, or go on a trip ourselves and deal with important life things later. Well duh, leave! It actually wasn't that irresponsible, there really were no apartments to see until Monday so we split!

Thank god for my storage unit. Essentially, we have moved into that. Leaving our hotel for the storage unit to repack our bags so they were light!

Because these are way way too big! Remember, we have ones one the front too! That honestly was hard on the lungs.

Hmm...Walking to the storage unit.... It was HOT!

We repacked, picture to come, ditched th bags and explored. Lauren wants me to drink more water so here she is kindly refilling my water bottle.
We walked around a bit more before heading back to the station to catch our train to Amsterdam.

So to recap....typing on iPad sucks, France was hot, i still have no place to live, and now off to Amsterdam!