While I was in college, my closest friend from high school went to Den Haag to study art. It wasn’t until my junior year that I was able to go to The Netherlands to visit her. It was my first time out of the country, which makes makes The Netherlands even more special to me. (That and Dutch ancestry on my mom’s side of the family.) When we booked our summer trip to Brussels, I just had to add a daytrip to Amsterdam to the itinerary. It was $80 roundtrip on the Thalys with a 6 a.m. departure time. We arrived in Amsterdam two hours later and set off to explore the city. We kept the agenda fairly open, which allowed for plenty of time to wander around the city, visit the Rijksmuseum, add a piece of Delftware to my collection, and stop at Banketbakkerij Lanskroon for the best stroopwafel ever.