📸 — Amersfoort, Utrecht & Amsterdam, Netherlands

We were talking the other day about how untypical it has been to revisit a country you’ve had the chance to travel before. I mean, there are a few exceptions (for work Maeghan would travel to certain cities each year for conferences) but to visit a city you went to when you were in your 20s and then revisit 7 years later is a pretty cool experience.

Maeghan came to the Netherlands during college and has family scattered across the small country. She remembers having little money and being nervous to travel on her own without some sort of direction. But this time around, we’ve been lucky to make friends while traveling, had the time to mature as travellers and that makes visiting the same places in a totally different mindset is pretty awesome.

After some time in Amersfoort, we visited Utrecht and Amsterdam and got to indulge in some super fun stuff.

Oh, we also learned a lot about the Netherlands. 1) Maeghan was brought up calling it Holland. Turns out, there is an interesting reason why (Watch the CPG grey video to explain) 2) This country is tiny and so easy to get around in comparison to most of the other places we’ve visited 3) Everything and everyone is awesome here. So you should visit ❤

See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫
Oma Smulders’ best friend, Tiny and her husband Rein. Their family is very close with mine and the following two generation of kids! So We call them Aunt and Uncle.. and cousins… we are family, but not by blood. and it confuses the heck out of people! Last time Maeghan saw them was 7 years ago!
We did some biking! And Maeghan felt cool that her bike matched her jacket that matched the country’s colour — ORANGE!
This is the street that Oma Smulders grew up on and the house in the left corner is where she grew up before immigrating to Canada after WWII.
We decided to do a day trip to Utrecht and admire the architecture.

We celebrated Maeghan’s birthday in Amersfoort and she was totally spoiled. After the early gift of Balloon rides in Cappadocia, we got to tour around where her grandparents lived and grew up and had a awesome dinner at a jazz pub near by with family.

Can’t decide? eat everything! Dutch croquettes, nachos and poke fish bowl.
Maeghan’s sisters coordinated with Olivier to get a sporty new smart watch that if you ask her, she won’t stop talking about.
We parked our bikes in the garage and man, these things are efficient.
We also stopped by the Utrecht University and sat outside of a class. The lecture was in dutch but still we felt cool blending in with the young people.
This is Maeghan’s uncle’s backyard that faces a park. The weather was incredible and it was nice to have a reminder of Alberta on the placemats.
Touring around can be exhausting. Oli took a nap after we reached our 22,000 step count.
Lunch in the main square of Amersfoort.
Then Italian pizza (thinking of Margreet!) and catching up with Susan — last time we saw each other was 7 years ago and now she has her little girl named Luna who is already two years old!

So these are house boats. People buy the spot on the water and build a house that is anchored there. We were kind of mind blown, some of these house boats are super modern!

We had such great weather!! Summer in Europe was so brutal with the crazy heat wave.. but now that fall has kicked in, it is much more comfortable!
We decided to check out a local brewery in Utrecht. Oli is a strong believer that if a brewery is in the middle of nowhere, serves no food and is in a warehouse, the beer has to to be great. Turns out his theory worked in this case.
De Kromme Harring Brewery
Maeghan’s family background is Dutch-Indonesian. This week she has been able to soak in all her favorite treats!
After a week of exploring some smaller towns, we made way to the big city and had big plans for our long-weekend in Amsterdam. Here is Wilco, saying goodbye as our train leaves the station.
We went to a restaurant called “Moeder’s” which is dutch for Mother and the entire restaurant has pictures of people’s mothers posted on the wall. You can even bring a photo of yours to be added! They make typical dutch home cooking and we loved it!
Red cabbage, meat, potatoes and gravy.
After dinner, we did the tourist walk through the Red Light District.
Its funny, you see tourists everywhere in Amsterdam and it seems like a crazy place to live (or at least in the city centre)
This building is an artist space that has been squatted in the middle of the city — house pricing has sky rocketed here over the last few years.
More house boats in Amsterdam.

We had a jam-pack planned Saturday in Amsterdam. It started with Maeghan trying to be cool like all the young kids and get her ear pierced (she felt very hardcore), then strolling through some markets and craft beer stores as it was Zwanze Day (A special beer event from one of Oli’s favorite breweries) until we reached our final destination at a concert, The Pineapple Thief, that Oli had been looking forward to for weeks!

This bottle shop had craft beer from CALGARY! 15 euros… but proud to see it across the world!
We walked through almost every area of Amsterdam and they all had so much life to them.
Waffles, snacks and treats.
Cafe with a kitty friend coming to visit.

We made some Canadian friends from Newfoundland dat the bar and talked all about living and traveling abroad, and how crazy of a place Amsterdam can be!

Then we made it to the concert hall, a boyband walked by us that a line up of very young girls were freaking out about… but we instead went through a different door to enjoy our concert surrounded by middle-aged men.

The demographic of attendees was older, so there was no pushing, no garbage on the floor, lots of space and really nice people all around! What a way to enjoy a concert! :P

Pineapple Thief!
They are looking right at us! Maybe because there was a sweet boy on his dad’s shoulders freaking out… or maybe it was just us.
So we tried to go to the Van Gogh museum, but it was booked all day! So instead we went to check out a Banksy exposition and it was very timely.

The next day, Banksy had one of his famous pieces auctioned off and to everyone’s surprise, he had it self- shred upon purchase. So Oli felt very relevant after learning all about Banksy.

Some people are crazy — jumping on the letters just to get a fun photo with tons of other people in it!
Walked by a great opera singer while eating more dutch treats. These are salted black liquorice
Then we went to visit the nice park and sat and reminisced about our travels and that the trip is on its final leg.
Maeghan is bad at panorama shots.
More chess
Bitterballen — always amazing.
Checking out a very cool bar called Door 74. We walked by it twice but the atmosphere and people were so incredible.
See more on our website www.alittledetour.ca🌏✈️👫