(I love alliteration.) Sorry on the delay for this post, but here goes my Saturday!

This morning I slept in - it was great.  I then met Sarah and Pedro at the market and I had to get a stroopwafel right away of course.  I think the guy who sells them and I are going to become good friends (at least until the end of July!).  We then walked around and explored some shops seeing if there was anything "needed".  Being in a town like Leiden, there are many cute little shops, no Targets for sure.  We also stopped at a kids toy store to brainstorm and for 'inspiration' as Pedro would say for our board game we are working on developing.  I think we left with no more ideas but just wishing we were still kids and had a reason to buy and play with all of the fun things.  We also walked by a castle but decided not to go for the climb to the top.  Most of the view is blocked anyhow.  We then got another stroopwafel, well... I got a second and Sarah and Pedro got their first.  (I was just impatient earlier).  This time though, we got them from a different vendor; I think the first guy has my loyalty.
We then stopped for a coffee/drink at a cute little place called Annie's along the canal.  The whole city today has been very lively.  I'm not sure if it was because it's a holiday weekend or because the weather has been so hot.  The canal are filled with boats much like Lake Minnetonka in Minnesota.  Many just take their boats and just park it somewhere to enjoy the day on their boat.  Some get off for food, etc but it was really fun to see.  We then parted ways to get ready and meet later at the train station to go to Amsterdam for the evening.

We had no real plans when heading out to Amsterdam, but we heard there was a comedy show that was good otherwise just find somewhere for dinner and the nightlife.  Before leaving, I had a little bit of time to Skype with my family (all 5 of them - my parents, sister, brother-in-law, and my 'brother' - dog).  As I said in my last post that my mom informed me Trader Joe's sells stroopwafels, they decided to eat one then.  I would have joined but had just eaten two and don't currently have any...  They were disappointed, but I claim that to be they are not fresh.  Also, in case you plan to eat one that is not fresh, the traditional way to eat one is by putting it on top of your cup of coffee to warm the carmel syrup in the middle (they should be warm).  Guess it will give me a reason to return in the future to get a fresh one! :)

As I am in Europe, I am very excited I have the opportunity to share my love of fútbol and España.  As I truly very Norwegian, Portugal and Norway were playing so I had to root for Norway again Pedro and his home of Portugal.  Unfortunately Norway lost, but on the bright side, my true love, España beat the U.S. (of course, sorry - I love America, but the soccer just isn't there when you've got Spain in the mix!)
Maya also arrived today; she is a student from the U.S. too (Haverford College) and also interning with the UNAWE programme (see, <-- European English spelling Sarah!) like myself.  We are living in the same house too so it will be nice to have someone to commute with as well.

 We then all met at the train station and headed to Amsterdam.  First impression of the city walking out of the station, it is hectic.  There are simply a LOT of people, lanes, bikes, cars, everything.  I thought there were a lot of bikes in Leiden too, but not until you've been to Amsterdam.  Just outside of the train station, let alone everywhere else in the city, there is a sort of parking ramp for bikes.  It is two levels and nearly completely full all of the time.  It's just absolutely insane.  No need for car parking ramps here, just for bikes - literally.  We did not go to the red light district, but definitely had a share of interesting people passing by throughout the night.  Walking around, it is a reminder to know that if you want coffee in the Netherlands, you must go to a cafe, not a coffee shop.  There is a very big difference, but I'll leave that.
We had gotten into Amsterdam too late to buy tickets for the comedy show, so we went to a place called Bazaar for dinner which had North African food.  It was in a really cool building that apparently used to be a church.  The food was really good too.  I also had baklava and on top of it was a swirl of cotton candy sorts which we all laughed at and found the comparison to what Albert Einstein's hair must have been like.  


We ventured around for a little bit and I was so excited because we found the "I AMsterdam" letters.  Unfortunately though, someone thought it was funny to graffiti over one of the letters which as Pedro put it, 'they destroyed so many pictures for other tourists'.  Nonetheless, I think I got a cool one - find me inside the white 'a'!

We then decided we needed to go out and dance.  We have had multiple discussions over when is the 'correct' time to go out in Europe (apparently midnight because they stay out until 5, 6 in the morning) and also over 'how' you are supposed to dance.  I think what we concluded is that, in no way is it bad or wrong, but Europeans just seems to flail and are always having a good time when dancing.  After going out to a placed called Melkweg (which ironically? means milky way), we definitely found some prime examples of the "European" way of dancing.  The club also had other rooms with different music and the one had a band that included an accordion, fiddle, and other sorts of fun instruments.  In any way, I had a lot of fun at the disco we went to with all the fun disco music that comes with it and we 'boogied until the morning'!  (Just kidding, it wasn't even 3am : ) ).

We then took a taxi back to the train station (I have no idea how they know what is actually a lane) and the ride home on the train was interesting again to just people watch.  Fortunately, the train station is just a five to ten minute walk from where I am living so we then headed back for some much needed sleep.