Will, Molly, and I started our day with a coffee in another cute cafe. Then we checked out the Spui Book market that’s on every Friday. Molly and I were in heaven strolling down the cobbled lane surrounded by tents full of old books, about half of which were English-language. We then peeked in a few nearby bookshops that sold English-language books.
At that point, it was mid-afternoon, so we walked along the canal until we found a nice place for lunch. We walked around for a few more hours, admiring the sights of Amsterdam, and now we’re back at the hostel. It’s our last night here, so we’re going to go grab dinner and a drink and see some of Amsterdam at night.
Love, Elizabeth

Will, Molly, and I started our day with a coffee in another cute cafe. Then we checked out the Spui Book market that’s on every Friday. Molly and I were in heaven strolling down the cobbled lane surrounded by tents full of old books, about half of which were English-language. We then peeked in a few nearby bookshops that sold English-language books.

At that point, it was mid-afternoon, so we walked along the canal until we found a nice place for lunch. We walked around for a few more hours, admiring the sights of Amsterdam, and now we’re back at the hostel. It’s our last night here, so we’re going to go grab dinner and a drink and see some of Amsterdam at night.

Love, Elizabeth

I don’t know where to start. Amsterdam is my new favorite city. Molly and I got the train from Belgium this morning (Brussels was just a one-day thing) and arrived here around ten. We went on a walking tour as soon as we got here and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city.
Tonight, Molly and I went to the Anne Frank House, where the Frank family hid during the war. It was incredibly emotional (yes, I cried), and having read Anne’s diary made it seem all the more real. The house where the Franks and four of their friends stayed was actually where Anne’s father worked. They converted the upper levels of the tall canal house into a living space, where they stayed for almost two and a half years. The non-Jewish, Dutch employees who worked in the building helped the families upstairs in the Secret Annexe.
Anne kept her diary during the time they stayed there and hoped it would be published after the war. Her dream was to become a writer. Unfortunately, someone reported them, and the families were taken to concentration camps. Anne and her sister died of cholera a month before the liberation, and her father, Otto, was the only member of the family who survived the war. He found her diary and published it, giving a face to the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.
That’s just a brief summary, but I would recommend that everyone read Anne’s diary.
Will just arrived, so we’re going out for a drink and then coming back to bed so we can start off early in the morning.
Love, Elizabeth

I don’t know where to start. Amsterdam is my new favorite city. Molly and I got the train from Belgium this morning (Brussels was just a one-day thing) and arrived here around ten. We went on a walking tour as soon as we got here and it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with the city.

Tonight, Molly and I went to the Anne Frank House, where the Frank family hid during the war. It was incredibly emotional (yes, I cried), and having read Anne’s diary made it seem all the more real. The house where the Franks and four of their friends stayed was actually where Anne’s father worked. They converted the upper levels of the tall canal house into a living space, where they stayed for almost two and a half years. The non-Jewish, Dutch employees who worked in the building helped the families upstairs in the Secret Annexe.

Anne kept her diary during the time they stayed there and hoped it would be published after the war. Her dream was to become a writer. Unfortunately, someone reported them, and the families were taken to concentration camps. Anne and her sister died of cholera a month before the liberation, and her father, Otto, was the only member of the family who survived the war. He found her diary and published it, giving a face to the millions of Jews who died in the Holocaust.

That’s just a brief summary, but I would recommend that everyone read Anne’s diary.

Will just arrived, so we’re going out for a drink and then coming back to bed so we can start off early in the morning.

Love, Elizabeth

I think Big Potto loves Amsterdam as much as I do!

I think Big Potto loves Amsterdam as much as I do!

Big News

I’M FINISHED WITH MY ESSAYS! I really dislike that my essays from last term were due at the beginning of this term, because I spent my entire Christmas holiday worrying about them and still ended up working on them up until the moment they were due. But they’re over now, and my next essays aren’t due until April! Until then, I have a ton of reading to do for each week, but it’s starting to get cold, so it’s perfect weather for snuggling up with hot chocolate and a book (whilst wearing my super-cool Mickey Mouse footed pajamas!). 

To celebrate life in general, above are some photos of the sunrise some day last week, ducks, a bridge on one of Birmingham’s canals, an angst-filled note, and my friend Nicola’s hippo eating some popcorn. Below are some random recaps.

Beautiful moment of the week/update on England’s weather: The last few days have been much colder (about 30F). It feels so nice and gives me a chance to wear some really cool mittens I bought last month as well as a chance to shamelessly drink hot chocolate when I get home each day. Everything has been frost-covered and at times looks like it’s covered in snow. The reason for this is that it’s really humid here, so even though it’s not that cold, the frost gets really thick from the humidity.

Last night, my flatmates and I were celebrating the fact that we were all finished with essays, and we ended the night by walking down to the lake at about midnight. The sky was clear, and we could see a lot of stars. The lake was frozen over in most parts, and everything was covered in gorgeous frost crystals. We picked a leaf off the ground that had about an inch of fuzzy intricate frost patterns on top of it. It looked like something that I would expect to find in arctic regions, but not England! I don’t think I’m describing this very well, so I’ll try to get a picture sometime. It’s a kind of frost that I’ve never seen before, and I don’t think we have it in Ohio!

Funny moment of the week: I took a break from homework on Saturday so that my friend Kristian and I could go on a walk. We wandered through some of the parts of Birmingham we’d never seen before. Eventually we ended up on the canal and saw a canal boat that had been broken into the day before based on the note in the window to the burglars:

Note to the brain deads that broke into my home last night: What kind of burglar misses the £500 in a drawer, a PS2 + 3 (still boxed), a limited edition 18 carat gold pocket watch on an 18 carat gold chain, a DAB radio worth £120 and a Nintendo (still boxed—collectors by now). To list but a few of the things that could have gone. Obviously I have removed all the things of value now! Burglary is not your strong point, girls! Career rethink in order! And as for trashing my herbs—really? Was my sage heavy? That would be the one on the bow (or for your intellect, the front of the boat). Amateurs, girls!! Hang your heads in shame! Blatantly stealing isn’t your strong point, girls! But on the plus side you can vandalise plants! How’s that for a career choice? 

I think my favorite part of the note is that the two exclamation marks were turned into a frowny face in “Amateurs, girls!!” Oh, the interesting things you’ll find in Birmingham!

The rest of this week is going to be homework mostly, but hopefully I’ll have some sort of adventure this weekend.

Love, Elizabeth

Here are some pictures I took about a month ago on one of my walks along the canal.

Love, Elizabeth