Time is beginning to freak me out. I can’t believe we are now halfway into March… where is the time going?? In one month, I will be traveling through Europe on my spring break. In less than two months time, I will be back in America… AH! I am so overtired and worn out but I don’t have time for rest. Too busy having the time of my life! (Not so much right now… currently sitting in class barely able to keep my eyes open, why did I think going out last night was a good idea again?)
Over the weekend, I took a trip to Amsterdam with my school. It was the first time I traveled outside of the country since I got here and I had a blast! We met at the bar on campus on Thursday night and traveled by bus and ferry to get to Amsterdam by Friday morning. I did not get much sleep because one girl was SO LOUD on the bus, so no one could sleep. We all wanted her head.
We finally arrived, exhausted, but I was not about to waste a minute in Amsterdam sleeping! My friends and I dropped our luggage at The World’s Worst Hostel (literally, they have a gold metal AND a plaque), and began exploring the city! There are rivers everywhere and it’s actually set up in a giant circle, patterned with roads and rivers. The first thing I noticed (after it’s beauty) was the insane amount of bikes. EVERYONE seems to ride bikes there, and they rule the streets over cars, pedestrians, even the tram. The bikes have their very own lane and stop lights!
The second thing you will notice about Amsterdam is the amount of coffee shops there are. No, I don’t mean cafes to grab some coffee and a croissant. Coffee shops in Amsterdam are very different… but we won’t get into that.
On the first day, we went to the Rijksmuseum, which was mostly under construction, so it was kind of a waste of money. I did get to see some original Rembrandt paintings, though! Aside from that, not so worth the €14 I paid for a ticket. Really beautiful on the outside though.
We then wandered in and out of some touristy shops to collect some items of memorabilia (I got a shot class and a postcard for my wall).
While walking though the city, we found some truly amazing street performers and street art, so I had to take some photographs. I wanted to make this guy’s dream come true and put is art on a blog, so here it is!
And it wouldn’t be Amsterdam without wooden shoes, right?
They’re everywhere! Street fries are also really popular, but I couldn’t muster up the confidence to have them with traditional ketchup and mayonnaise… but they were delicious all the same.
We then ventured our way over to the Red Light District… I don’t think I have many words for that. We were in and out of there in about 60 seconds!
For something a little more serious and less disgusting, we went to see the Anne Frank House, which was probably one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. Unfortunately, I couldn’t take any pictures there (except one at the entrance), but I highly recommend it for anyone who travels to Amsterdam. It was a little eerie being in the actual house she lived in during the Holocaust, but breathtaking and so emotional. The things they have preserved here are quite a sight to see, right down to her bedroom wallpaper and magazine clippings she hung up herself. Visitors can walk all throughout the house (even behind the bookcase to the annex!) all the way up to the attic, reading plaques and watching video clips along the way. Once we made our way back to the beginning of the house, we got to watch an interview with Otto Frank about the discovery and publication of his daughter’s diary. We even got to see the actual diary in the red plaid notebook she filled with her feelings during this excruciating time for her and her family.
Amazing, amazing, amazing. Worth the trip to Amsterdam itself.
That evening, we went to a club with my school and had a blast! Quite difficult to wake up on Saturday, but refused to waste time when we only had a weekend!
On Saturday, we started the day off right and visited the Heineken Experience, and let me tell you, it was an experience. I wasn’t expecting it to be so interactive and interesting, and I don’t even like beer! I decided to like beer that day though, as our entrance fee came with a wristband that allowed us a choice of two complementary beers, or a lesson on how to draft a perfect Heineken and one complementary beer. I choose the latter, and drafted my first beer perfectly on the first try! I got a certificate and my very own Heineken bottle with my name on it, so legit!
After staying there for… almost the entire day… we found a playground and had a photo shoot on tire swings! I then got my very first falafel wrap; it was amazing and I am now addicted to anything with falafel in it.
To be proper tourists, of course we had to stop by the I Amsterdam sign and take some photographs, posing on the letters. It was much bigger than I expected and so much fun to climb and pose on the letters. I even ran into my friend who is studying abroad in Florence! She was visiting in Amsterdam as well and we got a picture in front of the sign together… love you Alice! Xo
Sunday morning, we had to head home in the morning, but all in all, it was an incredible weekend and I would not have wanted to experience Amsterdam in any other way. We stopped at a rest area in Brussels and picked up some Belgian chocolates (YUM) and headed home!
This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day weekend… so there will definitely be some stories to blog about.
Until then, cheers!
Attending and working at Fashion Week in one of the most recognized cities in the world is something I could have only dreamed about doing. Let me begin by saying that this was not all glitz and glamor (although there was a great deal of it)—I worked harder than I ever worked in my entire life. But, I found that it is true when they say that you don’t mind working hard for a job you love to do. It’s absolutely true! I’m a little afraid to add up all the hours I worked over LFW because I know it’s not a very pretty number.
Basically the event runs over a course of ten days (5 days for womenswear, 1 day for menswear, and 4 days to open the stands to the general public). Every day, the designers have a stand where representatives from the company will show clothing from the current collection to potential buyers, bloggers, and magazine editors (a.k.a. we kiss their butts). Catwalks, exhibitions and private events also show throughout the day where visitors can gain entrance if they have a certain pass or ticket. I had an exhibitors pass so I got to wander around pretty much everywhere and sneak my way into a catwalk show one morning… amaze!
As far as the people, everyone walked around like they were famous, and during London Fashion Week, they most likely were famous. But because I don’t really know many stylists or editors popular in the UK, I could have easily been drinking champagne (yes, there was champagne… lots of champagne) and rubbing elbows with the best of them. My PR girl self was eager to network and find out everyone’s business, but I was there to work, and didn’t have much time for mingling.
Most of my time was spent printing up extra copies of biographies and press releases, delivering them to press rooms around the Somerset House, and e-mailing everyone that stopped by our stand to thank them and send out a digital lookbook. The best part of my job was getting to walk around in Henrietta’s clothing. Not just for fun, but to get photographed and end up on fashion blogs and style websites. This is not only amazing for me, but promotion for Henrietta Ludgate as a brand.
The weekend was a little less exciting because the crowd was less fabulous and famous, just a bunch of fashion wannabes essentially who couldn’t get an invite to the real fashion week! But, in their defense there were loads of designer clothes at amazing discount prices. I myself got a hot pink sheer maxi skirt and a blue sheer blouse with a gold sequin collar by Never Fully Dressed for only £50!
Overall, it was a great experience and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I learned so much about the industry and myself and I know for sure that I’m perusing the right career path. Because the past six weeks of my internship have been preparations for London Fashion Week, I really have no idea what I will be doing now, but I am eager to find out! I do know one thing is for sure though; I will be working a lot less. It’s time for me to focus on sightseeing (and some schoolwork…)! We will be making t-shirts that say: “I survived London Fashion Week” – hilarious, I can’t wait to rock it in the states!
On my day off, I really would have just loved to sleep in, but I just hate to see myself waste a day in a place like London, with so many things to do and see! I finally got the chance to see Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. They’re all in walking distance from one another and the London Eye is right over the River Thames and OH MY GOODNESS, it was beyond beautiful! Words just can’t describe, I walked up the steps from the Westminster Tube and BAM! Big Ben is right there, in your face, gigantic and stunning. I don’t think I ever took so many pictures in one place (and that’s a lot of pictures for me)! I already can’t wait to go back and visit again!
This weekend I am going to Amsterdam and I am so excited!!! Photos to come next week!