Birthday weekend: Amanda

Spreading out the activities!


I took the day off from work and Graeme and I had planned to visit the Queen’s Palace in Apeldoorn until…I got a call from the US Consulate persuading us to rush the ‘readiness’ form so that Graeme could get scheduled for his interview in late September. So, due to this recent great news and the bad weather we scratched our Palace plans and enjoyed a leisurely breakfast before heading into the rainy world.

rain, rain, go away

I opened a mountain of cards (thank you all so much!!) and my very special present from Graeme (see photo below). Even though we had hoped for more sun, we were able to make a stop by a favorite bakery of ours to collect some birthday cake that I ate while waiting for Graeme at the consulate. When he was finished we grabbed some croquettes at a cafe and reflected on our wonderful year. We had planned to do dinner at a Japanese restaurant but since our lunch was a little later, we traded our date for a future night.

reading birthday messages on my phone

It was a great day, but it felt quite different. Last year I spent my birthday part on my honeymoon, part on a plane and the rest with my family in TX. As Julie wrote in my card “where will the birthday card be sent next year?”

carrot cake

I ate this cake while waiting for Graeme at the US Consulate


Full day of work (praise the Lord for my freelance projects!) followed by a nice dinner at home. We took a stroll through the Westergasfabriek (a reclaimed re-use building project with tons of arts, foodie and design focused tenants). We wandered over to a great little cafe and enjoyed a midnight cheese platter. WOW.

The platter was made of 4 regional Dutch cheeses, which were decorated with edible flowers, nuts, bergamot jellie, stroop waffle syrup and sliced pieces of toast. We were told to start with a certain cheese and work our way around the plate clockwise. It was delicious!


Noordermarkt shopping, haircut, photographing, enjoying the sun! Japanese dinner at a cozy place. It was fabulous! We then joined the hundreds of Amsterdammers vying for positions to enjoy the concert on Princengraght. It was a lovely mix of classical, traditional Dutch folk songs and a girl falling into the canal off her boat.


Princengracht for the concert

What a great weekend. Thank you Graeme!


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