Amsterdam For New Years

I don't know about you, but I hate New Year's Eve. Think about it. There's so much pressure for that night to be awesome that it literally never lives up to the hype. Well, at least that's what I thought until I went to Amsterdam, officially setting the bar for future NYE celebrations at unattainable levels. So here I am, 25, and I will most likely never top that experience. Tampering future expectations obviously. Or maybe I'll just have to spend NYE in a different country every year. What an adventure that would be. 

SO we did literally a million things on New Year's Eve/New Year's Day. It was a fast trip. Way too fast. I probably could have spent two weeks in Amsterdam alone. I'll have to go back in the summer. One of, if not my favorite activity on the whole stay in Amsterdam, was the self-guided canal boat tour. Our group rented three boats, we piled in with baguettes, boxed wine, cheeses, and grapes, then took off down the canals. Obviously, our fearless leader knew his way around, but it was fantastic. We dodged a few giant canal cruises with a bunch of miserable looking people on them, and waved our hello's to everyone, just in case they were thinking we might not be tourists.

Before the canal tour, we had a guided walking tour of the city. Our tour guide was the best, cracking jokes and taking us to all the places we wanted to go and some we didn't even know we would want to go. Our tour ended at the Ann Frank House, which I would have loved to have had a little more time to take in. There were some pushy people behind our group, as well as a few people who maybe didn't understand the gravity of that place. I'd have to say, I don't feel like that's really the place for joking around. Maybe that's just me though.

Finally, for the actual NYE festivities, we all hopped on the tram from our hostel (which, by the way, was not anything like we were expecting from the movie Hostel. It was just like summer camp, aside from having to push a button to keep the shower water running + the motion sensor lights in the bathroom not staying on long enough for you to pee, I would totally stay in one again!) Grabbed a quick pizza (you know, "American food") and tried to find a good bar to start the evening at. I learned that they don't drink tequila in Amsterdam (or Paris, if you're wondering.) I ordered one tequila drink, where I was promptly told she couldn't make me a tequila drink, but I could have a tequila shot. Seems reasonable. She ended up giving me too much change anyways, so I got paid to take a tequila shot.. We then headed to a market, because we figured why not take advantage of how "open container laws" are an American thing.
I'd be surprised if you expected anything less
A bottle of wine to each of us, we wandered around to Nieuwmarkt, found a bar to settle in, then rang in the new year out on the square where there were literally all kinds of fireworks from all angles. I definitely got hit in the face with one or two. It was equal parts beautiful and terrifying. They really love their explosives over there. I'd say the fireworks were going off until about the time we left on January 2nd. Sometime before our adventurous two mile walk home, I lost my driver's license, then turned super melodramatic exclaiming that I didn't even exist any more. Which is reasonable.

New Year's Day we did some more exploring and made our way to the Heineken Experience. Y'all. If you're in Amsterdam, you gotta do it. Buy your tickets in advance though, so you save a couple of Euro and don't have to wait in line. It was so cool. The brewery has so much more history than the craft beer places over here, so there's so much more to the tour than "this is where we mix the hops. not sorry about the smell." There was even a 4D tour where we were turned into beer + then taught how to take "manly sips" to enjoy the beer better. I would actually probably do that tour again.

All in all, Amsterdam was definitely the best place I could have possibly picked for my first adventure out of the States. I will be back. In the summer. I'll rent a bike and look at the tulips that started wars and take another boat ride down the canals. I will absolutely be back.

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