A couple of weeks back I decided to treat myself for my #40plus5 birthday 😍 with a trip to Amsterdam, and Rome. Amsterdam because it’s one of those places that I always wanted to visit and Rome because of its history, and the Colosseum is one of the 7 wonders of the world and this would be my first visit to one. While I had been to Paris before this trip was an opportunity to see Tarrus Riley perform on my birthday. So I set out to explore 3 countries in 8 days #bothambitousandsilly😝but I did it and I had a wonderful time despite my exhaustion at the end of the 8 days🤪.
All three countries have great public transportation systems so it was relatively easy and inexpensive to get around the city. The late sunset time of 10:20 meant I could maximize the extra daylight hours to see more. This often meant I stayed out until sunset walking around and exploring the cities…how I became a member of #teamdoingtoomuch🤨and ended up with sore feet by getting lost and walking for hours.
I loved that Amsterdam is a walkable city, which made it easy to navigate and the people were friendly. I also liked that I could get on the tram and get to wherever I needed to go. I often got lost while walking around and often had to figure out my way back to the tram so I could get back to my hotel. I stayed in a boutique hotel near the Van Gogh and Rijks museums. I did the 2 hour free walking tour of the city which I like to do because I learn so much information about the area from a local and often add new sites to my list of places to explore. Amsterdam offered many places that I enjoyed exploring including the Van Gogh museum which is self explanatory; the Anne Frank House where you visit the actual living quarters of Anne Frank and see copies of her diary; the infamous Red Light district which features women in lingerie behind glass window boxes for sale and of course who could pass up the canal boat ride 🤗.
While my trip Paris was short, I decided to venture out to the Palace of Versailles. Even though I had an online ticket, I still had to stand in line for over an hour to get into the actual Palace 😩. If you’re interested in history this home of King Louis’ is a great place to explore. It is outside of the city limits but you can take train there and walk about 10 minutes to the Palace. The different rooms and beautifully decorated ceilings are a sight to see and the well manicured gardens offer a beautiful scenery and is the perfect place for pictures. On the way back into the city I stopped off at the Eiffel Tower and took some pictures because it was my birthday and then ate lunch at a restaurant on Champs-Elysees where I treated myself with tiramisu😍. The Tarrus Riley concert took place at Cabaret Sauvage an old circus tent that has been revamped with wooden seats, an old fashioned bar and an outside space that was used for food and drinks. It was a cool venue and Tarrus Riley put on a great concert and afterward I explored the bar scene in Bastille district which was lively and reminded me of New Orleans Bourbon Street without the smell.
Rome was an unexpected delight, I enjoyed visiting the city more than I expected. I ate some of the best meals I have had in a long time each night at a different restaurant sitting on a side walk. And the gelato, there was lots of gelato😋 which I so loved. I ate pizza which was surprisingly delicious and different than I expected. I visited the St. Peter’s Basilica and saw some amazingly beautiful religious structures, and although my trip to Colosseum almost didn’t happen due to some challenges and major frustration it turned out to be a really great visit and I took some great photos. On my last night in Rome I ate at a restaurant down the street and started up a conversation with an interesting gentleman who was the manager. It started out as an innocent offer to walk me back to my hotel and an interesting conversation using an app on his phone to communicate since he spoke little English and I spoke no Italian and an offer for drinks. The evening took an unexpected turn when he decided to proposition me by telling me that he wanted to take me back to my hotel and make love to me (yikes…no thank you 😜😳). I was not interested in being his tasty delight for the night and told him so and then subsequently left him after he kept leaning over and kissing me on the cheek…Dude was cute but I’m not the one for you – sorry, not sorry. Although I didn’t take him up on his cheeky offer, I must admit it makes for a funny story 😝😏.
All in all I had a great time in all three cities, I walked too much, got lost a lot, ate some great food and I look forward to returning to Italy to explore other cities and eat more gelato because it was heavenly yummy 😍 and there’s so many more flavors to try😋.