London & Amsterdam 2016

August 8, 2016

By Tab Byrum

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Hello!!!! I hope this finds everyone doing well, we returned home on Saturday from two weeks of vacation which I’ll be sharing the highlights with you here on the blog over the next several days. We met our friends Donna and Geoff and their two daughters, Bella and Sophia, in London, you might remember back in May I shared the big reveal we did to Bella on her birthday about her London Trip Gift. The six of us shared a flat and saw all the sights of the British capital city during the last week of July. This was mine and Mike’s third trip to the UK so we were the unofficial tour guides. After the Potts family returned the states on July 31st Mike and I made our way east to Amsterdam, a new place to explore and we loved it. We explored the canals and streets of the Dutch capital city as well as taking several day trips outside of Amsterdam to see the countryside and the sights of Holland. If you follow me here on Instagram then you knew we were gone, I tried to post to Instagram several times a day as well as cross-posting to Twitter and Facebook from Instagram, I had wonderful intentions of live blogging while on this trip but as often happens plans went astray and time ran out every day, but I’ll share here with you everything we saw and did. Today I’m giving you a little overview of what we did and saw, check back every day for stories on the trip as well as stories on great design and products we found on our vacation. Enjoy!!!

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We started out in England, we took a day trip from London east to Stonehenge and the Georgian city of Bath. Stonehenge was great, much smaller than you think it will be, but isn’t everything? This is the only pic from my phone from England I could get to load, but there are much more to come when I upload all the pictures from the camera. 

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Michael and I moved on to Amsterdam on Sunday the 31st, a new city, and country for us. It’s a very lively and charming city with wonderful restaurants, shops, and so much scenery. 

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One of our favorite places to eat is Le Pain Quotidien, we were lucky that there was a location about three blocks from our hotel, we started all of days in Holland here. The restaurants are always simple, casual and elegant, a great way to start the day. 

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We couldn’t go the Netherlands without seeing some windmills, so we traveled about 15 miles outside of Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, a village with small beautiful houses along the river and home to several working windmills. 

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The weather was Amazing in the Netherlands, high 60’s to low 70’s during the day with occasional showers. With the cool, damp weather all the summer flowers were amazing, this is a hydrangea bush in Zaanse Schans.

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One day we traveled to The Hague, a city south of Amsterdam where the Dutch government is as well as several International Government buildings. A friend had told me about Maurits Huis Museum. It’s the former home of a wealthy man that today contains an amazing art collection, there are several Rembrandts, Ver Meers, and several other paintings by Dutch Masters. Think “The Girl With The Pearl Earring”. 

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This is one of the larger paintings inside Maurits Huis Museum, it’s called “The Bull” and is famous for its detail as well as size, and focusing on such a simple subject in a beautiful way. 

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There are lots of wonderful shops in Amsterdam and The Hague that focus on design, this shop in The Hague had the most amazing collection of chairs, all in Mid-Century style. 

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There are planters scattered all Dutch cities with flowers climbing up, I had never seen Geraniums do this, beautiful!!!

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This is Muiderslot, a castle outside of Amsterdam that’s easily reachable by bus. It gives a wonderful look at life 400 to 500 years ago, we toured the castle and grounds and I’ll share that with you later. 

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Of course every night we returned to Amsterdam and its beautiful canals, check back with me over the next couple of weeks as I’ll recap our trip for you and share pictures of our favorite things as well as design news and new products I found on vacation or have recently heard about.

All words are my own,
all pictures are my own
via iPhone 6.

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