Hello everyone,

I am officially back home from my trip with my family. We went to Sorrento, Italy for a week and then flew to Amsterdam, Netherlands to visit for four days (including arriving and leaving to come back home).

Housing

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While in Sorrento, we stayed at a lovely hotel with one of the best views you could possibly have. Mt. Vesuvius, the infamous volcano that destroyed Pompeii, was right across the Tyrrhenian Sea and on our peninsula there were beautiful cliffs and mountains. Not to mention our hotel was near the top of one such hill and we could see the town from our window.

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While in Amsterdam, we stayed with Air BnB in an actual dutch house. It was three floors with the steepest staircases you could imagine and a BEAUTIFUL backyard area that had plants and a nice bench to sit and relax at. The whole house was very quaint and nicely decorated. Their traditional bathroom on the first floor was…interesting. Instead of going directly into the water, you go and then when you flush whatever you did gets washed into the water and down the pipe. It was definitely different.

Highlights

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For me, one of the highlights of the trip was the Vincent Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. The museum was very well planned out and though there were hordes of people you almost always had room to squeeze into the current as it were and walk along the wall. There was a lot of literature on the walls to read, which as a writer I enjoyed immensely, that gave very detailed information about his life. The museum consisted of four floors (if I remember correctly) and each floor was a certain time period of his life. The time went chronologically with the beginning being at the first floor and the end of his life being at the top.

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Another highlight was a restaurant that we were able to go to in Sorrento for one of the dinners provided by EdwardJones (my dads company). We went to a lemon grove that had been transformed into a restaurant. The place was absolutely stunning with plant-life everywhere and beautiful lighting! They served us a variety of food and water and wine were provided (I very much enjoyed the wine).

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A second highlight was a day trip that we took to Amalfi, Italy. We took a boat and the views of the islands (including the island of Capri) and cliff-sides were spectacular. My little brother and I stood up top in the wind and watched the coastline pass us. Amalfi itself was very touristy where we went but it was so beautiful and amazing how it was built. The whole town was wedged into a valley that extended down to the coast and was surrounded by very tall and jagged mountains. The whole town was at an uphill slant and the buildings were made of/coated over with a white clay/plaster that helped move air.
One of the most surprising things to me was that every now and then there would be a little nook/recession in the wall and a Catholic altar would be present complete with candles, pictures, and other little devotions. This theme was present in Sorrento too, with big crosses on the very tops of the mountains instead of altars. One of the bus employees told us (the bus) that the crosses were built after the second World War so that if ever they were having a bad day, they could always look up and be reminded that God was there. I think that is absolutely beautiful. The crosses were built at the highest points so they would be as close to heaven and God as possible.

General Impression

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Sorrento was a nice little town. Very touristy in the area we were staying but the buildings were very pretty and the food was always very delicious, even though most of their food consists primarily of bread and cheese and by the time it was time to leave I was very tired of mozzarella. The town, as most of Europe, is very much designed to be able to walk or bike to your destination. Over my, now five, visits to Italy I have noticed that they prefer mopeds to cars. Their way of driving definitely takes some getting used to as it follows the rule of “think fast or else”. I am in awe at their ability to navigate! Sorrento is a very beautiful and lovely town to visit.

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Amsterdam is a very pleasant surprise. I have never been to the Netherlands, but the town and the area surrounding it where we were staying (about twenty minutes out of Amsterdam) was absolutely beautiful. Trees line the streets and their crosswalks are built into the very road. Instead of mopeds they prefer bikes and there are way more bikes than there are people. They are everywhere and have the right of way always. The streets in Amsterdam are bigger and more well suited to vehicles than Italy, and they make use of public transit both in the form of railway buses and free driving buses. The people are extremely friendly and English is very prevalent. Everyone could understand us, which was a contrast to in Italy where you definitely had to make use of a translator if you had a specific question (I am not complaining about this at all, it is just an observation!). The buildings are very thin and tall and built alongside each other. They also have a passion for art and have many art shops and galleries and museums of all kinds!

Overall this was a wonderful trip and I very much enjoyed being able to see new things and being able to visit Italy again, which I am very fond of by now.

Furry friends

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(above) I saw some furry friends along the way. Please enjoy the pictures of them in the slideshow above. I am sad that I did not capture a picture of all the friends I saw along the way, but I did get a few at least!

I very much enjoyed the trees

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Another thing is that I very much enjoyed the trees that were found in Amsterdam and Italy. So I have included a slideshow (above) of these pictures as well for those who enjoy trees as much as I do!

Random finds

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(above) I also stumbled across some very funny and odd things that were laying in the streets (plus a cardboard cut out). Please enjoy the above slideshow of these finds

If you have any questions please post them below and I can make a new post answering them 🙂

#travel #Italy #Netherlands #Sorrento #lemoncello #Amsterdam #tourism #flight #airplane #wildwoman #explore #cheese #VanGogh #art #moped #bike #trees

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