A “Dam” Good 21st Birthday

Currently sitting in my favorite Bagels and Beans drinking a birthday iced coffee, because the weather today somehow changed and it’s sunny and beautiful and warm. I even saw some tulips blooming today while biking. What a perfect day!

The weekend was pretty perfect as well. Natalie and I did a birthday day trip to Rotterdam, I celebrated on Saturday night with all my girls, and had a birthday brunch with Natalie today. Shout out to Nat for being such a wonderful friend and birthday coordinator, she made it the most special birthday.

Rotterdam is about an hour and half away from Amsterdam by train; we always get mixed reviews of the city because it’s pretty different from Amsterdam. The buildings are bigger and very modern (see photography) and it feels like a much bigger city. However, because it’s in South Holland, it was still beautiful. There’s a small historic neighborhood that does have canals, so there’s a little bit of Amsterdam charm. Just because it’s different doesn’t make it bad!  Our first stop was a conceptual cafe called Lokaal Espresso (see cafe bucket list page). We then managed to see the famous cube houses on Blaak, the Erasmus bridge, Witte de With Contemporary Art Museum, Het Nieuwe Instituut (The New Institute for architecture and design), Delfshaven, and a shopping area.

Some great Rotterdam street art

Some great Rotterdam street art

The cube houses were really neat and close to the water. I learned that my friend from Leiden has friends that actually live in the second one from the right in my picture. The Erasmus bridge was huge and we didn’t get too close but Nat thought it was important because she’s on an Erasmus program, and the bridge is named after Erasmus of Rotterdam. We stumbled upon the Witte de With museum which was free for us of course and had a really creepy exhibit called “The Crime was Almost Perfect,” all about the modern crime genre. We had planned to see the architecture museum because that’s what Rotterdam is known for, but it was somewhat underwhelming because a few exhibits were closed. We strolled through the wallpaper exhibit and that was pretty cool. They had the Warhol cows. Delfshaven is the historic district which we got somewhat lost on the way to but luckily Rotterdam isn’t that large. No shops were open but it was still a beautiful little area. After Delfshaven we headed home for a big curry dinner with all of our good girl friends, so yummy.

Cube houses on Blaak

Cube houses on Blaak

Classic study abroad bridge picture...

Classic study abroad bridge picture…

Neat street signs neat the Witte de WIth

Neat street signs neat the Witte de WIth

Witte de With exhibit, weird but enlightening

Witte de With exhibit, weird but enlightening

Delfshaven, a little bit of Amsterdam in Rotterdam

Delfshaven, a little bit of Amsterdam in Rotterdam

I spent time relaxing on Saturday before a big night out. Nat came over with champagne and gifts, so sweet. I had the rest of the girls over for some pre-drinks and we got ready to go to Chupitos, a famous shooter bar in Leidseplein (and of course the perfect place to celebrate a 21st birthday) that involves a lot of alcohol on fire and such. We met another friend while out and had a really great time at Chupitos then the Cooldown Cafe, a very dutch mini club/bar near Chupitos. Overall a great pre-brithday night and climax of my birthday weekend!

Gifts from Nat!

Gifts from Nat!

It's all legal (in America now, anyway!)

It’s all legal (in America now, anyway!)

Nat and I got up and went to a long and lazy brunch today in celebration of the real day. We found Bakers and Roasters as one of the best places for brunch in Amsterdam; brunch is my favorite meal and I wanted good brunch, not just pancakes! It’s actually an expat New Zealander establishment but yummy. I had the Huevos Rancheros (so NOT Dutch but so yummy) and Nat had the B&R churizo sweet potato hash with fried eggs. I wanted some of their amazing dessert but was way too full. Luckily my roommate bought me 3 adorable cupcakes from The Mad Bakers down Haarlemmerdijk.

Bakers and Roasters, de Pijp

Bakers and Roasters, de Pijp

Bakers and Roasters, de Pijp

Bakers and Roasters, de Pijp

Happy birthday to me! A perfect Dutch weekend and a birthday to remember.

My sleek backpack birthday present from the family on my Dutch black bike

My sleek backpack birthday present from the family on my Dutch black bike

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