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Anne's Amsterdam

I was approached to write this review by The Anne Frank House. At this time, I do not accept money for reviews or anything of that nature on this blog. However, they thought I would be interested in their new app after reading my blog, and I am, especially since I am about to study tourism, I decided to tryout the app for myself. 

Anne's Amsterdam is a new smartphone app made in conjunction with the Anne Frank House.  The App is available in English, Dutch, and German. I have it on my iPhone. The App allows you to explore Anne Frank's life in the city before her family was forced into hiding. The way the app works is simple, it uses your location and shows you different monuments in town that were important to Anne's life. For example, you can see where Anne went to school, where her and Margot used to go skating, and other significant details of a young girls life. 

Visiting the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam is an incredibly humbling experience. I was required to read the Diary of Anne Frank when I was in High School. Visiting her house combined with seeing her life outside in the city really gives you even more of a sense as to how terrible things really were during the German Occupation. 

Whether you are an expat, a Nederlander, or a tourist to The Netherlands, I recommend that you download this free app. It is very well done, and you never know what you will discover in an unsuspecting corner of Amsterdam. 

 

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11 Things I Love About My New Home After 9 Months

I landed nine months ago. Nine months! That is long enough to have carried and given birth to a baby. Not that I'm pregnant or even thinking about having a baby for years, I mean I'm about to be in school for the next 4 years, but to give you an idea of the time I've been here, I chose that analogy. This post could not have come at a better time, I feel like I haven't really been present or sociable the last few weeks. I always do this, I have a lot to look forward to in August and July, so I forget to live in the present. I'm sorry, my friends, I am going to try to do better. But in the meantime, here are the 11 things I love about The Netherlands after 9 months!

1. I love how international it actually is here. Since I have been here, I have met so many people with so many different backgrounds. Where I grew up in The States, there were people from different backgrounds, but most of them are 3rd and 4th generation. It is really awesome to meet so many people who come from all over world. It is important to note that this isn't the case all over the country, mostly just in the larger cities to the west. 

2. I can actually stomach the milk. For those of you who know me well, you know how disgusting I find milk. I actually inherited this from my mother, even though she would think it in front of me when I was little because she thought it was important that I get the calcium I needed. It was years before I would even eat ice cream. While there is no way I would ever reach for milk as a beverage, the milk here does taste differently and I can stand to have it in my cereal and will even chug it when I have heartburn. I know, crazy talk!

3. Even though the weather in the summer is unpredictable and I haven't yet put away my jacket, I'm the tannest I have ever been. Okay, so this is probably only a Kaitlin thing. I have extremely sensitive skin, it burns extremely fast. Because of this, I tend to be an inside girl. Seriously, Nicole Kidman is my beauty icon. But, because the sun is less extreme here than in Georgia, I am definitely outside more. I'm probably three shades darker than normal.

4. Even though I complained the whole time, I know feel more at ease in communicating in Nederlands after inburgering. My last inburgering class for a month and a half, was a week ago. Even though I still don't really like the system, I do recognize that I am much more willing to try and communicate in Nederlands than I was before my classes started. I am also continuing my learning alone, because I have to switch into the evening class.

5. I'm totally obsessed with the baby birds. If you read the blog regularly you know this already, but seriously, they are so cute. Oh and the bunnies! I see wild bunnies at least once a week.

6. I'm becoming more thrifty. Going out is more expensive here, clothes are more expensive, pretty much everything but booze is more expensive here. I actually think this is a good thing, as it is ridding me of the disposable lifestyle many Americans have. Now when something breaks, I do the Dutch thing and see if I can fix it. Except for those shoes from a few posts ago, those things are toast!

7. It rains all the time. I know again this is probably a personal thing, but in coming from a place that is perpetually in a drought, the fact that I am frequently caught in afternoon is actually a great thing. 

8. The view on marriage here. The Netherlands was the first country to legalize same sex marriage. This makes me incredibly proud of my newly adopted country. In order to stay with The Verlo-, I actually don't ever have to get married. To be clear, we are engaged, but there is not the societal pressure or contingency of my visa to walk down the aisle. 

9. I love the countryside. I am a big city girl, but I do love that just a little bit outside the major cities the country is ripe with cows, goats, sheep, and horses. Seriously look out the window next time you are on an Intercity.

10. I can't believe I have not mentioned this one before, but I love the bikes. I'm still amazed by all that people can do while on their bikes. I doubt that I will ever reach the level of mastery required to talk on the phone, or transport a tv on my handlebars while cycling, but it is nice to have a goal.

11. I feel really safe here. I'm not naive enough to believe that there is no crime here, however, it is night and day between sketch parts of The Netherlands and sketch parts of The States.

Want a recap of the other things I love here? Check out:

What do you love about where you live?

 

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Baby Swans, A Cemetery, and Major Wardrobe Malfunctions

I've decided to quit This Week in Instagram. Judging by the numbers, you guys weren't really reading them anyway. Instead, I am still going to wrap up the week on Sundays, I think it is important to remain consistent. But now with catchier titles!

This week started off pretty normal, I went to class and my tutoring gigs. I complained about Inburgering and developed a study plan for the summer. Fun fact- I have one class left until September. But then, I caught this terrible stomach bug which had me at home on Thursday and Friday. Things just got weirder on Saturday. On my way to Amsterdam, my shoe broke on the train, like not able to walk right with it, broke. I was wearing fancy flip flops and one of the sides came out and the whole bottom came apart. Luckily, I managed to buy some super glue at the Bruna in the station and was able to fix my shoe while hanging out with some friends in the Vondel Park. I ended up heading home to Utrecht super late. While waiting at the bus stop for a ride to Amsterdam Centraal, you will never believe what happened, the other shoe broke! Not as bad as the first one, this time just the side came out. However, while walking down the stairs of the train the whole damn shoe broke! Every step I took the whole bottom would spin around in a circle on the thong.

Since it was 2am and the train was late, I had to wait 40 minutes for the next night bus. I got some Julia's and then tried to repair my destitute shoe. This time however, it did not work. I did manage to accidently glue my foot to the shoe, so at least I could walk. I then proceeded to try and get on the night bus with my OV Chipkaart. Apparently, at night you have to buy a ticket for the bus. SERIOUSLY! And you can't buy it on the bus, you have to go to the overnight counter. As soon as, I stepped off the bus, my foot came unglued, so I limped towards the desk. Then they wanted 5 EUROS! 5 Euros for what in less than four hours would cost me 1.22. Then, I would have to limp the ten minutes home with my busted-ass shoe. I decided at this point  it was time to take a taxi home. 

Yep, it was a fun night! 

But on to the better parts! 

The photo above is a path in Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, it is really interesting as it runs along side the Beth Haim Jewish Cemetery. The Beth Haim is the oldest Jewish Cemetery in The Netherlands. It is trying to become a 2012 World Heritage Site. It has my vote! 

Take a gander at these baby swans! 

If you are wondering, I did in fact throw out the shoes! How was your week?

 

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The New (Not Really) Blog Title Plus This Week in Instagram Vol 8

So, you may have noticed a little redesign including a title change here at the blog. Instead of being A Georgia Peach in Utrecht, it is now A Georgia Peach Abroad. The change happened for two reasons, the first is that everything else was already branded A Georgia Peach Abroad, and the other is that while I love living in Utrecht, for the next four years I will be enrolled in an International Tourism Management program at a Hogeschool that requires me to go to Amsterdam at least 4 days a week. During this program, I will also be required to spend one quarter studying abroad outside of The Netherlands. Plus a bunch of travel, so the name change felt appropriate.

But, now on to the photos! I can't believe how many I took this week!

Up first we have the houseboats or woonboten that I pass when walking home from inburgering. I think that woonboten are really fascinating. Maybe it is because I have a huge phobia of boats. Which I know is ridiculous when you live in The Netherlands. Trust me, I am doing my best to slowly get over it.

I feel like I have been seeing a ton of flowering vines over doorways lately. I love these pink roses at this art studio. The studio also offers classes which I will take, one day...

I'm obsessed with birds, but especially baby ducks! So, here are 3 pictures!

And here is a picture of a heron, you just have to look really close!

During the longest day of the year, The Netherlands was experiencing a mega storm. I know surprise, surprise. But there were some pretty awesome clouds!

My two main guys love to cuddle. Yep, they are pretty cute!

Here are my good friends just before and while they went for a nighttime canoe ride in Utrecht, I didn't join them, because again this fear of boats. But I did play photographer. If only I remembered that my iPhone has a flash! What makes me uber sad is that Amanda is moving back to the States tomorrow! Her husband is joining her at the end of July after he wraps some stuff up here. I'm going to miss her so much! 

Last but not least, I passed this sign in a window on the Oudegracht. For me it has two meanings, sometimes it has hard to believe that I'm not just visiting here, this is now my real life. On the other hand, since I have been here for 3/4 of a year, it is frustrating to be thought of as a tourist, when I ask a question in Nederlands and I am answered in English.

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This Week In Instagram Vol.6

Welcome to the first This Week in Instagram of June! I traveled a lot this week. I might as well get used to it, come September, I'll be going to Amsterdam for school at least four days a week! I continued one tutoring job and started another. I also attended a Trial Study Day for my Tourism Program and it got me even more pumped to be back in school! Here is how my week looked in pictures! 

Light is so different here than in Georgia! This is the beginnings of a sunset, at 10:22pm! Don't worry, it starts coming up again around 6am!

There is a street in Utrecht where the lamp posts all have sayings or ads. This is my favorite, it says "Evening Time is Reading Time". I wholeheartedly agree. 

One of the families I tutor live in the most beautiful countryside. I get to see all kinds of animals I miss by living in the burb's. This week, I was greeted by close encounters of the swan kind. 

Just a little but closer.

Then I came upon these cuties. 

Last week, I took a photo on some unknown flower. I found out that these are actually poppies! They are everywhere this week!

Some more poppies!

Next week, I finally have my orientation at my Inburgering School. Look for that post Monday afternoon!

What did your week look like? I would love to hear! 

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This Week In Instagram Vol.4

Whew, this has been a crazy week! I had testing and an interview in Amsterdam for school, Book Club, an interview for a tutoring job, and a last minute freelance job start. It's been great! But I forgot to take a lot of pictures of my explorations. I did however manage a few.

After my test, I went to go meet up with my friend in Amsterdam, I missed the metro stop and decided to walk. Those are swans.

One of my interviews was in the lovely Dutch countryside. How picturesque are these horses?

These wildflowers are popping up everywhere, they also come in bright yellow!

The weather is finally starting to feel like Spring, which means it is time for Spring Cleaning! Today's task was going through all my clothes reorganizing for the warmer weather. I own a lot of floral and a lot of mustard. Who knew?

 

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This Week In Instagram Vol.3

It was a super busy week for me, I left Utrecht for interviews on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! Luckily, I managed to get a job from one of them, so it wasn't entirely time/money wasted. Even though I was busy, I did manage to take some photos with my phone. 

I have a book club meeting on Monday, so the beginning of the week I spent a lot of time reading Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. I have some mixed feelings about the novel, but since I have been getting more and more books from the library, instead of buying them for my kindle. Because of this, I was in serious need of a bookmark. I decided to make my own after something I saw on pinterest. Although, I forgot to pin it! Isn't it cute, it slips right over the page! 

Atticus thinks he is the master of our home! He's probably right. There was no more reading for mom!

Leidsche Rijn is an up and coming area. Last year, when we visited the construction site that would be our new apartment, this area was virtually uninhabited and this park was meticulously groomed, with planted lilies. Fast forward a year later, when people are actually living here and it is overgrown and they lilies are gone. What gives?

It wasn't all work and no play on my interview day. Before my appointment in Amsterdam I got to check out the Rembrandt House Museum. (Rembrandthuis) This is where Rembrandt lived before he lost all of his money. If you have a spare afternoon, go there, it's on the Museumkaart! 

When riding my bike to the Jumbo, I discovered there was a thrift store on my way. I finally went and I found a pretty decent selection of English books and this antique speculaas mold. For those of you not in the know, think of speculaas kind of like gingerbread cookies. You place the dough in a wooden mold. This one is huge, more like a speculaas cake and really old. I don't plan on using it for baking but for decoration. It is two sided, there is this one. 

But this is the side I will be displaying, aren't the carvings amazingly intricate?

Last but not least, here is the calzone that The Verlo- made for dinner last night. Mine had cheese and black olives. So lekker! 

 

Tell me about your week! 

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10 Books for 8 Euros

I have a well documented love affair with books. Just check out this post and this one! While I love the Utrecht Library System and my kindle, sometimes you just want to own books. They are great for decorating and as conversational starters. But, books printed in English are counted as imports here which can be very expensive, especially for an expat with no job and about to go back to school. 

Which is why I was so excited when in Amsterdam for an interview this week, I had time to meet up with my bud Lily. We ended up meeting at the Waterlooplein Markt, where she had already found a great deal on used English books. We shopped around, I ended up getting 10 books for 8 Euros. Pretty good deal if I say so myself. The Waterlooplein Markt is one of my favorite markets here in The Netherlands, you never know what you will find there. 

Another cool market in Amsterdam is the Boeken Markt (Book Market) which takes place every Friday at Beguinage, about a15 minute walk from the Amsterdam Centraal Station. I have only been there once, but I hope to go more often when I start attending school in September.

Are you an expat? If so, where do you get your books?

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This Week In Instagram Vol.2

It's that time again! Welcome to Volume 2 of This Week in Instagram! 

Dawn breaking on Queen's Day! I was so excited that I didn't sleep at all! Actually, this is not that unusual an occurrence! Insomniac, thy name is Kaitlin!

The awesome headband I made for Queen's Day! Yes, that is Atticus in the background!

There were ducklings being hatched in some half sunk boat on Queen's Day! Why are there so many half sunk boats in Amsterdam?

The crowd on Queen's Day!

The boats looked fun, I would say next year. But I have an irrational totally rational fear of boats!

I find it funny that these people wanted a deck so bad that they built a raft that is only accessible from  crawling out their window and down the ladder. 

This is my the bookmark I made. Isn't it cute!

What did your week look like? 

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My First Queen's Day!

Monday was my first Queen's Day! For those of you who haven't experienced it, think of it like a giant block party, only every block in the entire country is having a party and a garage sale at the same time. Now combine that with boats, and the color orange, and epic levels of intoxication. Then you'll get the general idea. 

Since this year was my first Queen's Day experience, we decided to go up to Amsterdam to really experience it! My friend Amanda and her husband came with us, and we met up with my girl Lily, some of her friends, and our new blogging bud Sherisa

We mostly hung out in the grassy knoll of the weteringcircuit-

Then an entire parade of Hare Krishna's passed. Their outfits were so beautiful to go along with the orange theme-

Eventually, the newbies decided to go explore the city.-

Then we found this, we didn't eat there, but it is on my to do list-

And at the Museumplein-

I thought it was nice that they had some volunteers to pick up trash-

Eventually, The Verlo and I had enough of walking around, so we went back and found Lily, who I totally jacked this photo from- 

As you can see, it was an awesome day! Start planning your visit now kids! 

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