One of my favorite creative travel keys invites you to savor one perfect sip or bite. You know when you've come across a food that you want to last in your mouth forever.
When this happens, slow way down and savor that one perfect bite or sip.
One day in Amsterdam, I savored a perfect sip of the most delicious hot chocolate in the world...
The chocolate is a cube on a stick that you dip in hot milk...
Of course, it's recommended to lick the cube while it's all hot and milky...
then top with accompanying whipped cream for the perfect Amster-treat.
I wanted to bring a case back but settled for a few of these Choc-O-Lait hot chocolates.
What's one perfect taste that you've experienced on the road or at home? What one perfect taste will you savor today?
Curious about my upcoming Curious Amsterdam Excursion?
Please join me for a telephone call to quench your curiosity about this unique creativity workshop.
The free call will take place on Wednesday, February 24th at 9:00 am MST (8 PST, 10 CST, 11 EST, 5 pm in Amsterdam). I will record and publish the recording so you can listen if you cannot come on Wednesday.
Call this number 1-218-936-4700. When prompted, enter this secret code: 194333.
There's a lot to talk about so please send me your questions in advance. Or just show up curious.
Curious Amsterdam: Tap Your Creative Juju June 13 - 19th, 2010. Early registration discount ends February 28th.
Sign up here. Bring a friend and save $100 - enough for bike rental and a meal or two in Amsterdam!
Stay tuned for more information about Amsterdam for creative travelers, including my biking tips, market recommendations and shopping gems.
If you're considering coming on my June Curious Amsterdam excursion, you're probably thinking:
"Cynthia's given me an interesting piece of the puzzle to play with...where will I stay?"
I'm happy to offer suggestions for your Amsterdam lodging comfort.One of the reasons I set up my excursions without lodging is that everyone has a certain standard for nesting while traveling. It’s a very personal decision and I think everyone should and can find the perfect lodging for them.
Live like a local
I prefer to stay in neighborhoods where the rhythms of daily life are apparent as opposed to a tourist zone where all I see are visitors with cameras and all the brightly lit joints that cater to that crowd.
To me, it’s more important to be around shops, cafes, grocery stores and street markets versus being near the museums or other attractions. I don’t mind being slightly away from the center, and you won’t catch me pitching up near Leidsplein.
I rarely stay in hotels. I prefer to rent an apartment for a week or more. This saves money and feels more comfortable and private. I like to cook some of my meals, which allows me to buy sumptuous goodies from the local market.
Of course, whether you're in a hotel or otherwise, be sure to buy flowers from one of the hundreds of flower markets in Amsterdam.
I especially like to have lovely tea or coffee and breakfast at home in a leisurely fashion before I head out into the city. During my last stay in Amsterdam, we cooked giant American breakfasts that fueled hours of biking and exploring.
We’d been traveling for four weeks and appreciated the ability to eat the kinds of breakfasts that some Americans like. We made a leek fritatta, roasted potatoes, toasted whole grain bread, yogurt (my favorite coconut flavor!), and endless cups of Earl Grey tea.
Amster-lodgingIn Amsterdam, I have stayed near Vondelpark, both across from the Rijksmuesem and in Oud-west, and in the charming Jordaan neighborhood, just near Anne Frank’s house.
I’m usually shooting to spend around 60 euros ($100) per night, which often results in really small apartments.
Paris shoebox>Amsterdam apartment 1> Amsterdam apartment 2
Finding an apartment online
You have to trust your intuition and be savvy when renting from people online. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, don’t.
There are tons of places online to rent apartments in other cities. Just search "apartment rental short term Amsterdam"If you do want to rent a place via craigslist, here’s what I do.
You may also want to rent an art studio (often a workspace and not lodging). Transartists hosts studio rentals from all around the world.
Glancing at the list is fun – I can imagine myself on a Greek island, working on my next novel, or living outside of Istanbul in my own apartment. The possibilities are endless.
Here are a few other cool places to stay, as recommended by Le Cool Amsterdam. I'll be recommending this guide to you later; stay tuned.Le Maroxidien is an ‘organic’ bed and breakfast near the Central Station.
• Ask your network – tweet or make a Facebook request for info to ask for lodging recommendations.
• Check out Couchsurfing.com. Good cochsurfing guests aren’t just in it for the free lodging. Expect to connect and make new friends.
• Do a search for your desired neighborhood, perhaps you’ll find a houseboat or an artist’s studio or something interesting.
Other ideas? Share them in a comment below.
If you haven't signed up for Curious Amsterdam: Tap Your Creative Juju, there's still time to get the early registration discount - enough to buy you at least two nights' lodging in Amsterdam! Check it all out here.
I love bicycling in Amsterdam and want to share a short video with you. Come ride with me in Amsterdam!
Watch closely for Vondeldog!
Want to go biking in Amsterdam? Join my Curious Excursion for a unique creativity and writing workshop in Amsterdam, June 13 - 19th, 2010.
Curious Excursions from Original Impulse
You see inspiration for art in the world all around you, but you haven’t picked up a paintbrush or even a piece of sketching charcoal in months. You know that you want to be a writer – but you have pages of notebooks left unfilled. You’re starting to question your creative capabilities. Maybe you don’t really have the magic to create art inside you.Don’t despair. If you’ve lost your creative juju, we know the perfect way to gather more.
You'll want to subscribe to the Original Impulse blog or hook up the RSS feed. Tweets will be posted at @originalimpulse so be sure to follow me there.
If you're a Facebook fan, you'll want to become a fan of the Original Impulse page. All my blog content will be channeled there, so you won't miss a thing if that's where you prefer to hang out.I'll be traveling to Europe this summer and perhaps in the fall. In preparation for my Amsterdam excursion in June (June 13 - 19th), I'll be sharing tips and resources here for making any trip to Amsterdam more creative. Watch for that and stay tuned to Original Impulse blog for more inspiration and support for your best creative life.
Still, window displays in Europe are killingly tempting and it’s hard to resist the lure of a stunning garment artfully displayed. The clever and classy windows of Florence and Paris are part of the urban art and demand to be appreciated. It’s free to look and slowing down for leche-vitrine (window licking, in French) is part of slowing down to relish the city’s artfulness.
Boots and shoes in particular became the focus of our shopping. Florence, famous for leather goods, flaunted an abundance of footwear. I scanned shop after shop for boots because I’d decided that I could stand another pair of boots.