On Thursday, I left Nature’s Pride early around 12:45 to head to Amsterdam! Ivo drove me, Lara and two of her good friends, Lisa and Robyn, to central station in Amsterdam and dropped us off. I was very excited! Although I have been to Amsterdam before, we were always on a tight schedule and weren’t able to wander around and explore the city! Plus, this time I was shown around by locals my age, and the girls Lara brought were so sweet! It is interesting how many things we have in common and the similarities in popular culture and slang even from 3,000 miles away. However, of course, there were a loooot of differences there as well which was even more interesting to learn!
The second we stepped out of the car, you could smell Amsterdam and all the things it is known for. For a second, I thought I was back in my dorm building at Boo-U.
We walked around and dodged bicycles and mopeds–and stopped at Dunkin Donuts–until we reached the shopping street. First stop: Forever 21, which was having a big sale. I know, I know, I can get that in the states, but how do you pass up 50-70% off?! Besides, a lot of the styles were different and I found a few really cute pieces for very cheap.
While Robyn, Lara and I were still trying on clothes, Lisa ran to the McDonald’s next door. She brought me back a cheeseburger so I try it to see the difference between McDonald’s here and at home. The main differences were that they wouldn’t put Big Mac sauce on it (sad face) and how much less greasy it was. The bun wasn’t greasy on top so after eating it my fingers didn’t feel greasy. Plus I didn’t feel sick afterwards.
After taking awhile to explore the 3-story store, we moved on to another that Lara wanted to show me. It was a makeup brand named Kiko Cosmetics which is based out of Milan. I have never seen it in America, which is saying something for how much I shop at cosmetic retailers. It was very affordable (I got 5 items for 40 Euros which is less than my foundation costs in the US), but the quality was surprisingly good. I would definitely recommend checking it out! They have 18 stores in the US which are all on the east coast and in Texas, but you can buy them online at Kiko Cosmetics. I got the Extra Scult Volume Mascara, which both Lara and Ylenia recommended to me, and I’m amazed! It is comparable to (if not better than) mascaras I’ve tried from Lancome, Two Faced and Urban Decay, and truly waterproof but for only $14!
We then checked out a few more shops, like Hunkemöller where I found this wall that matched my outfit, so we obviously had to do a mini photoshoot…
Then we headed to dinner where we met a few more of Lara’s friends from school. We went to an Italian restaurant called Ristorante Saturnino. I had bruschetta and tortellini alla panna which had cheese tortellini, a cream sauce and prosciutto. The bruschetta was okay. Not as good as in Italy three years ago, but the pasta was fantastic.
After dinner, we started walking to BOOM Chicago. Lara’s school had arranged a private show with them, and Lara talked with her teachers so that I could come along! It was a mix of skits and improv comedy by a cast that was mostly American. It was especially funny because they talked about what they thought of Dutch brand names, and there was one skit about an American English speaker on a Dutch game show. I could definitely relate.
Ivo picked us up at about 11:45 and I slept the whole way home. Lara is coming to stay with us for the rest of my visit, and I couldn’t be more excited.
Here are a few more pictures from Amsterdam…
Don’t forget to stay tuned to see what we’ll be up to this weekend! I cannot wait!