how to staycation Amsterdam-style

We had been lusting after a getaway for a year, paging squinty-eyed through our agendas waiting for a weekend to magically open up. When time and space suddenly shifted to uncover three days off midweek, we balked for about 4 minutes. Then on a whim we booked two nights in the captain’s quarters on a houseboat in Amsterdam…

BEST WHIM OF 2013. 

houseboat

The water lulls us into a lazy, almost woozy state. We nap. We read. We drink wine. One of us smokes a pipe.

houseboat

houseboat

We manage to get out – a little. At Lot Sixty One, the new roaster in town, we clink our flat whites together and toast to eight years of friendship and four years of good, hard, good marriage. Our bud Florian turns from behind the bar and hands us a shotglass of cold brew coffee that slams the nose like whiskey. 

lot 61

lot 61
lot 61

Our stomachs are growling so we walk a few blocks further and duck into the Ten Katestraat, home to one of Amsterdam’s many open-air markets and a certain legendary hummus truck (“not the big flashy one, the small one you’re likely to miss!” urged the friend who tipped us off) at the very end of the street. We start swooning after the first bite, and agree with our mouths full that this is the best falafel we’ve EVER had. 

But no visit to Amsterdam is complete without a pit-stop at Chocolatl. Our friend Debby leads us around her chocolaterie with a little spoon, feeding us mini samples of single-estate bars and truffle-laced bars and bars from the far-flung corners of the earth.

chocolatl

We leave in a blissful chocolate haze and head to the station with two bars to nibble on the train ride home to Utrecht.

chocolatl

Short but sweet — Amsterdam, it was a real pleasure. 

Itching for a houseboat getaway too? Check out the beautiful place we stayed here. Jake and Ayla are the friendliest, loveliest hosts — we spent one delightful evening lounging on their dock with them and their dog Max, and I suspect we’ll be back!

 

 

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