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A European Summer Vacation Diary

This August, I made the journey across the pond to visit my long-distance boyfriend in Liverpool, England and stayed with his family. That, in itself, was an incredible experience. Liverpool is a revitalized city, long past its historic days of being a major port city during both World Wars, whose recent infusion of students and young people has made it into what I, as a New Yorker, interpret as the gentrified Brooklyn of the UK.  Basically, Liverpool is awesome - not just all about the Beatles. While I was there, however, we also took a train to spend a night in London, which is a cultural must-have as far as experiences. After returning from London, we flew to Amsterdam for two nights to visit my family and stroll along the beautiful canals. Here is a compilation (in no particular order) of the most amazing things we did and experiences we had while traveling in some of my favorite cities- also documented on our Instagram account, @life_travel_food_

Baltic Market and Albert Dock, Liverpool

The Baltic Market, located in the old Cains brewery, is like a hipster food court paradise. We got artisan pizza, a chicken tikka wrap, rolled ice cream, and a bubble waffle filled with gelato and other treats. Swoon. The Albert Dock, a huge Liverpool tourist attraction, is home to tons of souvenir shops, candy stores, and one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to: Smuggler’s Cove.  Cavern Club and Matou, Liverpool

The nightlife in Liverpool is not what one would expect from a university town- people of all ages mingle, drink, and have a genuinely good time together with a friendly atmosphere. We visited the Cavern Club of Beatles fame, and a rooftop bar called Matou with excellent drinks and an awesome atmosphere.Virgin Train to London from Liverpool

We traveled in the first class car for only a small increase in price on the weekend and got to see plenty of the beautiful countryside.

Black Cabs, London

They are an institution, and we loved chatting with the cabbies from the backs of the cars.

Afternoon Tea at the Ritz, London

This was one of the most elegant and surreal experiences of my life. The price tag is steep, but if you can swing it, I highly recommend booking a table for a combination of absolutely delicious food, fantastic service, and an atmosphere like absolutely no other.

Anne Frank House, Amsterdam

The painful history of this house is a chilling experience that every Amsterdam visitor should have. I appreciated this city so much more after walking through this house and understanding the dark history of World War II and the shadow it still casts.

Dutch Bakeries/ Chocolate/ Cheese/ Pancakes/ Biterballen, Amsterdam

There is no food quite like Dutch food...my boyfriend and I gained at least 4 pounds each in 3 days. Health nuts beware because you will not be able to resist.

Red Light District, Amsterdam

The history of this area of the city was even more fascinating than the walk through it was, to say the very least, odd. The Red Light District is, however, one of the safest areas of Amsterdam and is well worth the journey.

Canal Cruise, Amsterdam

We saw the streets from the vantage point of the canals with a knowledgeable tour guide and a free drink, and enjoyed every single moment. We highly recommend finding a boat right outside the Anne Frank House to show you a totally different view of Amsterdam.Bicycle Rentals, Amsterdam

Biking through the city is a must.  Locals and tourists alike get their exercise and help the planet through their favorite mode of transportation, which is safer and much easier than driving in Amsterdam.

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