Finally back in Trier from a long few weeks of travel travel. Two days after I got back from the castle I left for Amsterdam to celebrate Queen’s Day with the 5 Americans and some of our friends from Trier—Oula from Finland (he also just answers to “Finland”), and Jelena and Marthe who are both from Holland. The girls drove Anie, Jenn and I which was really awesome because we got to save a bunch of money and drive on the autobahn and see the countryside of Germany, Belgium and Holland on a short little road trip. We even got Cheetoes for Anie at a gas station and other junk food items to get the real road trip feel. Marthe dropped us all of in Jelena’s hometown of Den Bosch, and then headed to her hometown while we split from Jelena to take the train the rest of the way to Amsterdam to meet the rest of the kids coming in by train from Trier. We had 4 hours until they arrived so we left the train station in Amsterdam and we didn’t get more than 15 meters from the station before Anie was asking people where the closest coffee shop was. Jenn and I walked away pretending like we weren’t with her, but surprisingly enough she found 2 brazilian girls looking for the same thing so we made quick friends and walked together to a busy looking area of the city and stopped in the first shop we came to. I took pictures and had a coffee as Jenn and Anie excitedly partook in the novelty Amsterdam traditions 😛 We continued on our exploration and saw the city setting up for the Queen’s day festivities with people prematurely sporting their orange garb, found chocolate covered waffles and ate them, and stumbled upon the red light district on our search to find orange tights to wear the next day. No luck, so we wen’t back to the train station and met the others then took the train to Haarlem, just 10 min out, to meet Oula’s finnish friend, Meija (may-uh) who we were staying with.

She met us at the station and we followed her to her dorm. Her room was insanely big and the floor was covered with a motley of mattresses she had found for us! She was awesome. I went to sleep early because my cold was getting worse :/, and the others joined the Queen’s Day Eve party that quickly moved to the city bars when they ran out of beer. Kind of a bummer since they got to meet all the floormates, but I was happy to be fresh for Queen’s Day. We got an early start and left the dorm at 9am to stop by the grocery store and then catch the train to amsterdam! The train was packed with some people already drunk, and when we got off the train in Amsterdam it was like an orange St. Patrick’s day in Chicago. There were so many people it was insane. The whole morning we walked the streets looking at people’s outfits, dancing to the music that people-packed boats were playing in the canals, smelling foods cooking in stands, looking through all the junk that people had laid on blankets to sell and fervently searching for a space brownie for me and KP, which we soon realized did not exist in Amsterdam.

We finally met up with Meija and the kids from her dorm in a park where everyone was just laying and smoking and drinking and eating yummy stroopwafles and chillin. KP and I had given up on the brownie and opted for a space brownie which made the short walk there pretty funny, but once our butts hit the grass we passed out for a couple of hours. When I woke up Jenn painted my nails orange, and then we left to find food with KP and stumbled upon a loempia stand (like 8″ fried veggie spring rolls mmmm) and bought a few since they were only 1 euro! We got back to the park and everyone was waiting for DJ Tiesto to start playing, but some of the dorm kids came from the music area and told us that there had been a minute of silence for something that had happened in the city with the Queen and that the music was cancelled for the night. The millions of Queen’s day celebrators unanimously began to head to the train station which made the walk like a slow stampede. We lost Jarred, who was really drunk and out of minutes on his phone so we were glad to see him arrive back at the dorm just 15 minutes behind us. I went to sleep again, as my cold had never been worse, and everyone went out to Haarlem again.

The next day, when everyone had awful hangovers we decided to go to the North Sea beach, which was actually closer to Haarlem than Amsterdam. It was too cold to swim, but perfect for lounging and eating and chilling out for a day. I finally got to play frisbee! Which I was so excited about because I forgot mine in Texas, but Meija’s floormate from France, Baptiste, brought it and played with me! We left and everyone got drinks at the cheap grocery store at the beach for the going away party for Lori- Meija’s English floormate. Jenn and I left the dorm and had dinner at the chinese restaurant in Haarlem that not only had good fried rice, but also made a mean cappuccino.. so I had 2. I hung out for an hour or two at the dorm, just talking to people and such, but the smoke that had accumulated in the kitchen was too much for my still sick lungs and already itchy eyes so I went back to the room. I ended up skyping until 5, because I couldn’t sleep from those 2 dang cappuccinos I had at 6, but It was good because I got to watch all the festivities.

Jarred had gotten pretty stupid drunk, and had come into the room and laid on the bed with a goofy look on his face looking at me for a few seconds, I laughed and then he preceded to make a pepperoni sandwich for himself. He grabbed 3 slices of bread and I pointed out this mistake so he angrily and hastily ate one of the slices. He ate his sandwich. Then made another one. Then laid down as Anie and Oula drunkenly came in the room. Apparently Jarred had moaned a few times so Anie suggested I put the trash can by his bed. I went to sleep and woke up later to an overwhelming smell of baby powder, jarred finally laying down to sleep, and Jenn and Anie poking their head in the room laughing so hard they weren’t making noise except when they needed more air. In the morning I found out that Jarred had indeed needed to throw up, but instead of using the trash can he had ran past the bathroom in the room, down the hall and had thrown up on the third floor landing, down the stairs, threw up on the second floor landing, down those stairs, and all the way down on his way outside where he threw up even more. We had woke up in the morning because Baptiste came into the room to tell Jarred that there was a lady cleaning up his puke and she was really mad. He went out to help her clean it and she wouldn’t let him, but when she asked him if it was his puke he said no. He was so embarassed and said he wouldn’t drink for a week, which so far he has actually accomplished. It’s been 4 days!

Anyway, that day we went shopping in Amsterdam, and I bought a dress! We ate yummy Indian food for dinner and went back and went to sleep early, and left the next day—Jenn, Anie and I to Den Bosch and the others to amsterdam for their 1pm train. We hung out in Den Bosch till 7, which turned out to be a cute town as well! There were so many cheap shoe stores and I bought some black boots for 35 euros! We had more coffee and chilled and found loempias and shopped until we met up with Jelena and Marthe, bought some fries with curry ketchup, and got some necessities at the train station grocery store (peanut butter finally! stroopwafles and fresh orange juice! dutch specialties) and then we drove the 3 hours back to lovely Trier. An exhausting trip, but an amazing experience! Hopefully I can go back some day to visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijk’s Museum and Ruben’s House and the Flower Market…..