A Milestone Birthday Celebration in Amsterdam & Ghent
On Thursday, January 10th, Xplor, Inc. founders Anju and Andrew set off for Amsterdam to celebrate Andrew's 50th birthday! Here is a recap of their adventures from Anju:
"We started off having a great time wandering the streets of Amsterdam and shopping in many of the great neighborhoods Amsterdam has to offer, such as the the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes), Jordaan, and the high end district of the P.C. Hoofstrat. The Nine Streets are located in the center of the city's canal district, and known for great cafés, jewelers, art galleries, and vintage stores, all offering unique items at a wide array of prices. P.C. Hoofstrat is the city's most exclusive shopping district, featuring well known luxury brands like as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, DKNY, and Mulberry, as well as several famous Dutch designers.
We also enjoyed classic meals as Amsterdam is known for their famous Indonesian restaurants, called a rijsttafel, which literally translated means "rice table." We also dined on the world famous Pommes Frites with Mayonnaise on a few occasions!
On Andrew’s birthday, we rented a private boat and had a beautiful three-course progressive dinner at stops along the Amstel River, cruising through the many canals of Amsterdam. Our first stop was the Dillan Hotel (where we have stayed before) for the first course; then the Grand Hotel for the entrees, and for the final course, a stop at a local bakery for a cake made out of lady fingers, cherries, and vanilla. It was unreal!
On Sunday, we ventured outside Amsterdam and took a two hour train ride to the historically beautiful city of Ghent, in Belgium. The city was founded in 1100 and Gravensteen, or the Castle of the Counts, was built in 1180. This stunning castle is located right in the center of the city, surrounded by a sizeable moat, fed with water from the Lys River.
The city has hundreds of shops and cafes, which are set along the river Scheldt. (The Scheldt and Lys Rivers converge at Ghent.) We spent the day strolling and exploring and of course buying Belgium chocolates!
Lastly, our hotel for our stay in Amsterdam, The Waldorf Astoria, needs a shoutout. I have stayed in many five-star hotels but the service was impeccable here and I was blown away by everything about the hotel. The building is made up of six small row houses and transformed into a stunning and unique property along the water. Our boat ride even picked us up right out front!"
Wow, sounds like an amazing trip with incredible new experiences! Happy birthday Andrew!!