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We’re a bit more settled into our new place, with groceries and silverware. It’s a good feeling buying the big bottle of olive oil, knowing that you’re sticking around long enough to use it. I’m still reserving pictures of our apartment until we’ve cozied it up more.

I have better pictures, anyway. Who wants to see our place when there are canals, bikes, flowers, and houses to see? We spent yesterday wandering wide-eyed around the center of the city. Every once in awhile we had to pinch ourselves and whisper, “We live here,” to each other. Psst… we live here. This is our city. Someday we’ll feel less lost in it, but for now it’s nice to aimlessly wander in our new home.

Some things we saw:

The first thing I noticed was this row of skinny canal house. Tell me, astute readers:  do the four houses on the left look familiar to you?

Bikes and canals: this is Amsterdam. This is one example of the many, many bikes we saw, all piled around and over each other, locked to anything bolted down. I love the ridiculous paint jobs. If anyone steals this bike, it’ll be easy to find!

More canal houses, and a bike in danger of a watery grave.

A stall in the Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market), where tent after tent sells bulbs and seeds of all kind of flowers.

Handmade farmer’s Gouda cheese. Yes! This store was very touristy, but I’m excited to visit some other cheese stores. We didn’t buy anything but thoroughly tested all the different kinds. Research, you know. So far, the goat’s Gouda is my fav.

Another sweet little canal. It was such a nice day that all boat-owning Amsterdammers were out on the water, carrying a full picnic and cruising in the sun. I think I need to make friends with someone who has a boat.

This fella was one of at least three cats we said hi to on our walk. So friendly! It helps soothe the ache in our hearts for our own left-behind furball.

An old Penny Farthing. If it didn’t cost 400 euros it would be mine.

And one of me, next to the I AMsterdam sign! Somehow the other people didn’t feel the need to move for me, so just ignore them and focus on my blinding gold shorts. Yup, that me in Amsterdam, folks.

And one parting shot of the profusion of flowers in the windows. I love this! We have a balcony, you know… maybe this can be a turning point in my life as a plant-killer.

That’s all for now! This week Jesse’s in orientation for school, and we’re both busy becoming true residents, with bank accounts, bikes, and a favorite cheese store. (That last one might not be a requirement, but hey, it can be a goal.)

In the meantime, I’m planning on sorting through the pictures of our travels and posting more from Prague and Paris, so look out for that!

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