My oh my, where do I begin? First thing’s first — I loved Amsterdam approximately 23536 times more than I ever thought I would.
Sign in front of the Van Gogh Museum
Lauren and I were dropped off in the middle of the city center by the Van Gogh museum with our 30 lb backpacks and wandered to our first couchsurfing host’s home! He lived in a small studio flat near one of the canals and had a huge Obama poster put up on one of the walls.
Greetings from Philadelphia Airport! I’ve been here since 6:30 am and it is presently 5 pm! I wish I could write you about a day trek in Philly, but thanks to my packing skills and east coast weather, I never made it outside the airport. It’s a perk of flying stand-by! (which my dear friend Lauren and I are doing…yay!) Although it’s only the beginning of my journey, I’ve learned some invaluable lessons so far.
1. It is a $10,000 fine to pop bottles on the plane or throw a party at the gate with your duty-free purchase of alcohol. Why dangle the carrot in front of us if we can’t ever bite it?
2. The “cute little extras” of scarves and hats I decided to pack into my backpack last minute aren’t going to look so cute with my chafed shoulders and Quasimodo back that will inevitably come with wearing a backpack 19x my own weight and size.
3. Couch surfers are an interesting crowd. Some nice, some creepy, some completely clueless. The split is 30/30/30 but only guys with mustaches and a fond attachment to the winky face had messaged me ;).
4. There is no need to leave the airport in hellish weather to see the Liberty Bell because there is a perfectly impressive replica made out of Legos in terminal A (even though it seems that some of the pieces have been chewed off by children – or perhaps adults – who wanted a piece of freedom inside them forever).
5. The airport conveniently shuts off the heaters near the kiosks selling animal hats and scarves. How else would looking like a gerbil with blood shot eyes seem appealing?