Finally, the Mooney family is back together again. Throughout the week, we are all four going our separates ways, and rarely do we have more than a few hours to spend together. So, we booked our trip to Amsterdam and Ireland last November 2013, and the time has finally come for us to jet set over seas to visit our family in Amsterdam and get in touch with our Irish heritage in Ireland.

This first post will focus on Amsterdam followed by two more entries on Ireland.

I sometimes think that a story or adventure can be told better through photos, so that is exactly what I’m going to do with our trip to Amsterdam. To give you a quick overview, we went to visit our family who is living there for a few years. Not only did they welcome us with open arms, but they took us to the best spots in the city. Tours, restaurants, cafes, museums, lunch, etc you name it, we saw it. Amsterdam is a pretty amazing and emotional city. This was my second time visiting, and my second time visiting the Anne Frank house. Even with touring it again, I still feel the initial shock and realization as you step into the building. Amsterdam has a lot to offer my friends, so put it on your list.

There are canals that float throughout the city and everyone travels by bike. Literally, the bikers, believe it or not, always have the right of way. You a people watcher? This city is perfect for you. Grab a coffee, grab a seat facing towards the street and enjoy!

FOOD

During our time here, we ate at some of the most delicious restaurants. Our family knew all the great spots.

And did I mention cappuccinos? Yes please – we had a least two of those a day, that were poured into mugs the size of our heads. I’m going to feel the withdrawal at 4:00pm when I go back to work :).

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Gluten free bagels for breakfast, topped with Brie cheese, bacon and pine nuts.

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Lentil and quinoa salad with goat cheese over arugula with avocado

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Indonesian food…absolutely amazing

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Mediterranean rice bowls…

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Down the street from our hotel, they had this intriguing and vibrant outdoor market. Kiara and I obviously wanted to go there to get these popular pants all the girls we wearing in Amsterdam, but we found so much more..candy, chocolate, fish, meat, cheese, spices, you name it, they had it.

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And last but certainly and deliciously not least is French fries. Yummmmy. They had these stands all over the place where they fry them fresh for you, and you can choose between 15 dipping sauces.

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ADVENTURES

Did I mention that we walked a lot in this town? Don’t get me wrong, it reassured me I could keep eating those French fries 🙂 – but in total, we walked about 15-20 miles over the few days we were there!

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Two of the most powerful places we visited were the Anne Frank house and the Dutch resistance museum. It is just mind blowing when you take a moment to really absorb what happened.

Lastly, one other highlight was being in Amsterdam when Holland won their game against Mexico – absolute craziness in the city!

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Well, that’s it for Amsterdam folks. Remember, life’s too short not to make time for good food, good wine, family, friends and great adventures.

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