It’s spring in Atlanta and I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate then by taking a stroll through the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
I loved looking at the flowers and plants through my camera lens and experimenting with different angles and perspectives. I hope you enjoy the images that I compiled in the photo gallery below.
Wherever you live, look up your local garden and make a point to stop in soon. It’s a great way to say goodbye to winter and welcome in the spring season!
This small island near Venice boasts street after street of colorful houses and shops. Famous for its lace, Burano is a shoppers dream and is easy to explore. You need just a few hours to explore this whimsical island.
Amsterdam may have been my favorite city to visit during my latest trip to Europe. Whether you join the many bikers, hop on the tram or head out on foot, this city is so easy to maneuver. You can get by just fine by speaking English and the people are as nice as you’ll find in any southern town here in the U.S.
I especially loved how soft drugs and prostitution aren’t seen as problems to combat but rather inevitable facets to be integrated into society.
My goal while in Amsterdam wasn’t to cram as many attractions as possible into my short visit but rather explore and enjoy the canals, people and all around culture.
Here are my recommendations of what to do while in Amsterdam:
– Eat at The Pancake Bakery
– Visit the Van Gogh Museum
– Admire a young girl’s spirit at the Anne Frank House
– Eat fries slathered in mayo at one of the many french fry stands
– Explore the Red Light District
– Stroll through a street market
– Pop into a coffee shop like the Bluebird
– Check out Museumplein
– Take a canal cruise at night so that you can peek into strangers houseboats (not creepy at all).
Remember, Don’t Waste Time In Line. Get your museum tickets before you arrive.
Be sure to click on the pictures for fun facts about Amsterdam or for more on this wonderful city click here.
While my visit wasn’t the ideal time to visit the famed tulip fields (mid-April) the bulbs were still in abundance.
Amsterdam has 2,500 houseboats ranging from small, simple vessels to floating luxury homes. I stayed on the small boat on the left during my visit.
Fun Fact: Amsterdam has 165 canals equaling a combined length of 60 Miles.
Because of its many canals Amsterdam is known as the ‘Venice of the North’.
Cannibas-themed merchandise is a common sight in store windows.
In Amsterdam, a coffee shop is a place where you can legally buy soft drugs (marijuana or hashish) as well as coffee and tea. A coffee house is strictly an establishment for refreshments, no drugs.
There are 6,800 buildings in Amsterdam that date back to the 16th, 17th and 18th century.
There are 1,281 bridges in Amsterdam.
A popular nickname for Amsterdam is “Mokum”. It comes from the Hebrew word ‘makom,’ which means ‘place.’
Museumplein is home to 3 popular museums: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum
The Van Gogh Museum was founded in 1973 and is home to the largest collection of Van Gogh drawings and paintings in the world.
There was a beautiful display of lamps near my houseboat which made night time strolls even more beautiful.
City authorities estimate that there are over 600,000 bikes in Amsterdam.
There was always a wait at the many Fry Stands but it was always worth it.
Pancakes? Yes, please!
According to the 2008 Quality of Life Survey from international consultancy firm Mercer, Amsterdam ranks 22 out of 215 world cities for personal safety.
“The right of the people to be secure…against unreasonable searches and seizure, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” – Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
The above is what was distributed to those who chose to spend this Independance Day protesting the National Security Agency (NSA) and its newly discovered surveillance program of citizens’ telephone records and Internet traffic.
About 50 Atlantans gathered outside the State Capitol Building with signs and chanting such things as “Hey! Hey! NSA, How many calls did you track today?”
Copwatch of East Atlanta, an organization designed to protect communities from police abuse and educate the public on their rights, was also on hand to speak with people about getting involved with their efforts.
While the whole scene was pretty unorganized, people had the opportunity to voice their opinions, concerns and criticism in an open-mic format. One man wondered why the protest was happening in front of an empty state capitol building surrounded only by like-minded individuals. Many agreed and tentative plans were made for future protests and demonstrations in an effort to better spread their message.
We Americans like to think that we set the standard for the rest of the world when it comes to freedom and liberty but the current standard in not something to be proud of. NSA spying is not reflective of the Constitution and is not something to ignore.
I hope that people in Atlanta and all over the country can stand together on this issue and let our government officials know that we are not OK with imposing on our rights in this way.