I'm writing from a window seat at a little coffee house in Amsterdam sipping a freshly squeezed orange juice and waiting for the rain to pass. We spent the past few days balancing relaxation with exploring the city. Highlights of the trip include eating fresh sushi, having high tea at a hotel on the water, and putting the pup in a giant clog for a photo.
Vacations are rejuvenating because they get you out of your routine and familiar surroundings, but I'm always reminded that the world really is very small and no matter where you are, you're never very far from home. Yesterday, for instance, I met a wonderful woman who just opened Milk & Honey, a little pastry and sandwich shop in the south of Amsterdam. She sold Harney & Sons tea there, a brand from my tiny hometown in Connecticut. I told her my connection to the tea company, and she beamed, saying she lived in New York for a brief period and fell in love with their teas. When she moved back to Amsterdam and opened her little shop she called the tea company and asked if they would consider selling to her. To her surprise, since they only sell to high end hotels in Amsterdam, the company agreed and the large tins of quality teas appeared on her shelf. We continued to talk, and her genuine sweetness radiated throughout her little shop. Chance encounters like these are what are most memorable to me, far more important than any photo in front of a monument or walking tour I could've taken. We head back to Germany today, but we had a great time in Amsterdam and look forward to coming back sometime.