Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 8: American Women’s Club of Amsterdam

September 12, 2019

Dear Friends and Family,

Tom and I were talking about meeting new people in Amsterdam.  As he was searching the internet, he came across the American Women’s Club of Amsterdam (AWCA).  He highly encouraged me to join the club, so I did!

Tom was out of town for almost two weeks and I guess you could say it was a true experience of what living abroad is like without your spouse, family, and friends nearby.  Tom had been out of town several times in Texas, but I was in my “comfort zone” and was busy working.  While Tom was out of town, instead of sitting at home alone with the dogs, I actually did the opposite and found myself becoming more social and meeting new people.  I consider myself an introvert, so for me to talk to people I do not know can be very overwhelming for me.

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The first event that I attended for AWCA was Coffee Chat.  We met mid-morning to socialize and drink coffee.  Coffee Chat was very informal and we sat in a circle and introduced ourselves and talked about how long we had been in Amsterdam, etc.  As the introductions continued, more and more women continued to arrive.  The group of ladies were very welcoming and came from all over the United States (U.S.).  A few ladies were not from the U.S., but had U.S. connections.  I met a few ladies that lived in De Pijp and we walked home together.

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The second event I attended was a “Pop-Up” Lunch in De Pijp.  I was glad it was in De Pijp because I could walk to the restaurant and not worry about getting lost.  (My sense of direction is not the best.  ๐Ÿ˜ฌ)  We enjoyed lunch and each other’s company at Venster33.  There were about 10 of us that attended.  I recognized some familiar faces and was also introduced to other members.

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The third event I attended was visiting a vineyard called No Chateau Amsterdam.   No Chateau Amsterdam is a cooperative vineyard located in an area where several sustainable companies are based.  I would say “the event” for me was riding my bicycle to the vineyard!  I met two AWCA members and we started our bicycle ride to Central Station where the ferry is located.  Mind you, this is my THIRD time riding my bike.  I do not have a “city bike”, which is the best type of bike to have in Amsterdam.  I am also the only person in the city that wears a helmet – ha, ha.  I like to think that my helmet lets others know that I am “just learning” how to ride my bike in Amsterdam.  I was insistent on bringing my mountain bike from the U.S. because I feel comfortable on it and I had made some “Amsterdam adjustments” to it, i.e. adding a bell, etc.  Well needless to say how comfortable I was on my  mountain bike, the seat was too high.  Tom adjusted my seat  higher because he thought it was too low.  I was not able to lower my seat, so I had to just “go with it”.  Every time I had to stop, my toes were not able to touch the ground, so I had to hurry up and get off of my bike so I would not fall!  Things were going fine and I was following the other ladies until two teenagers cut right in front of me, which put me right next to the sidewalk.  I lost my momentum, but started pedaling again.  As I continued to pedal, I no longer saw the AWCA members that I was “following”.  I called one of them and told her that I had no idea where she was.  I tried explaining where I was by “reading” and mispronouncing the Dutch street names – ha, ha!  I also dropped a pin, at least, I thought I did.  I don’t know how, but she found me!  I was a street over from where I should have been.  We made it to the Central Station to ride the (free) ferry and saw other AWCA members.  When we got off of the ferry, we had more bicycling to do.  It was much easier riding since there were not many bike riders or people around.

We made it to our destination!  The Amsterdam city vineyard No Chateau is a non-profit foundation and was established to bring people together in a green and inspiring environment.  No Chateau also has found like-minded sustainable urban farmers, in a green, quiet, and clean environment.

Orange Bordered Fall Photo Collage

Our vinologist for the day was El.  El is a wine expert and organizes wine tastings and guided tours.  El gave us a tour of the vineyards and taught us about the wine-making process in Holland.

AA 9-VINEYARD PICS COMBINED

The wine tasting took place at Proost & Stroop (Cheers & Syrup).

AA 9-SHED AND PROOST (1)

El taught us to use our senses of sight, smell, and taste in the wine workshop called “Tasting with all your Senses”.  We sampled three white wines and three red wines.  It was the first time that I ever tasted Dutch wine.  The wine we sampled is not sold in stores. It is always interesting to hear what adjectives others use to describe the wines they are tasting.  We also sampled two different types of cheese with our wine.  A delicious surprise at the end of the wine tasting was homemade tiramisu!

AA 9-EL AND BOTTLE

After enjoying the wine and cheese, I ordered a tasty gluten-free pancake with apples and fresh maple syrup.  I figured it was the perfect item to order considering the name of the restaurant – ha, ha!

The bike ride home to De Pijp was much more enjoyable!  When I got home, I took Tylenol because I was sore and crashed on the sofa.  I can walk miles and miles, but bike riding is obviously a different story – ha, ha!

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Our first General Meeting was held in September. New members wore a red, white, and blue ribbon on their name tag, so it was nice for me to know who was a new member and who was not.  Either way, I talked to several members before the meeting started.  The meeting consisted of introductions and reviewing the calendar of events.  There are PLENTY of events to attend!  ๐Ÿ˜€

AA 9-MEETING COLLAGE

One of the AWCA members joked and said that the bicycle ride to the vineyard was my INITIATION into the group and I COULD NOT AGREE MORE – HA, HA! 

Anchored in Hope in Amsterdam,

JW

 

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2 thoughts on “Amsterdam Adventures – Edition 8: American Women’s Club of Amsterdam”

  1. JoAnn B was a member in Aberdeen Scotland. She will write on your blog. We just left Yellow Stone after a wonderful week on beautiful scenery and seeing many animals in the wild. We are on our way to southern Utah to visit national parks for five days and then home. We fly out Salt Lake City for home to pick up Maverick. We have gotten a couple of reports from the vet that he is doing fine. So happy you are making new friends and broadening your horizons.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I would definitely recommend joining some type of social organization for people living abroad.

      Sounds like you had a great trip. Tom and I I enjoyed the photos on The Cloud.

      I am glad that Maverick is doing well. I am looking forward to see you all and Maverick soon. I may have him stay with me for a few days.

      Thank you for reading my blog, I appreciate it!

      Like

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