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A Day in Amsterdam

November 19, 2016

“Life doesn’t always go as planned, but there is beauty and blessings hidden in every inconvenience.”

A few weeks ago the husband and I had a trip planned to go to the Swiss Alps, however the day before the trip we were notified that my younger brother had gotten sick while visiting his girlfriend and had to have emergency surgery in The Netherlands. Being the closest one of my family members to my brother’s location, and most of the rest of the family being several thousands of kilometers away, my husband and I changed our weekend plans and reservations and made the trip to go see him. We spent all day Saturday with my brother, his girlfriend, and her family and Sunday we went to Amsterdam, spent all day there and then drove home Sunday night.

(check out my video vlog here)

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My brother has recovered well and is back home again now, but I am grateful for the opportunity we had to go visit him, and I am grateful also for the reminder that this trip gave me that some of the most beautiful opportunities in life are unplanned and spontaneous.

Would I have enjoyed to go to the Swiss Alps that weekend? Absolutely! Was going to the Netherlands a detour around our plans we had already made? Definitely! Was it stressful to change our plans last minute? Without a doubt! But was it also incredible to have the opportunity both to see my younger brother, his girlfriend and her family while getting to visit a beautiful city? Yes! Life doesn’t always go as planned, but there is beauty and blessings hidden in every inconvenience.

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Some of my favorite things about this trip (aside from road-tripping with the husband and spending time with family) were; 1.  Visiting a forest that has been grown as a memorial for people who have died from cancer. Each tree has been planted in memory of someone’s parent, child, friend, or sibling who was taken by cancer, and I found the concept incredibly moving. What a wonderful idea that something so dark and confusing like cancer or disease in general has served as the breeding ground for something so beautiful and calm as nature

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2. Few things beat slowly floating down the canals of Amsterdam while seeing the city. It allows for a different perspective from the one walking through the city allows you to see, and there is something truly magical about the buildings and churches towering above you on either side while slowly gliding down stream.

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3. Another fun thing to see was how modern mixed with the old in the city. Amsterdam is not a city of pure antiquity and neither is it a place of extreme modernization, instead there is a fine mix of both throughout and it truly is a place where the old has been married with the new.

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4. A post about the Netherlands would not be complete without a mention of the bikes- Seeing bikes everywhere was so refreshing! Although I have to say, the bikers here ride fast, and if you get in their way it will be to your inconvenience rather than theirs! One of the more impressive things that I saw was a parking garage for bikes that could fit more than 3,000 bikes. It reminded me of Tokyo, where they also have large parking garages for bikes. Great concept.
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img_1300All in all, although unplanned and unexpected our short weekend trip to the Netherlands was a beautiful and enjoyable experience, and I feel grateful for the opportunity to have gone. Though I run the risk of once again forgetting, I hope I can always remember that

life doesn’t always go as planned, but there is beauty and blessings hidden in every inconvenience.img_1436

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Jeanette

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