Day 7

I’m lactose intolerant. Any kind of dairy gives me stomach aches. But I’m also a foodie. I love everything about food. How it’s made, what to do with it, putting different ingredients together to make a meal.

So, when I found out that we could go to a little village about 10 minutes from Amsterdam and visit a cheese farm, the answer was obvious! So me and cheese…it’s like watching ‘The Real Housewives of New Jersey” you know it’s going to be a painful experience when you’re going through it but it’s so freakin’ awesome you can’t stop yourself from doing it.

So, we left our hotel with about 15 minutes to get to the tour bus and grab breakfast. Have we discussed that Craig and I don’t do well in the morning unless we have food and caffeine?

Thus, Craig and I sped walked (heel.toe.heel.toe) to the museum district where our tour bus was waiting…but made a pit stop to get breakfast. A chocolate croissant, apple turnover, and chocolate covered waffle…ok so it sounds more like dessert but in Europe they call this stuff “breakfast.” I like to call it “YES-FEST!”

Have we discussed how Type A I am? Not good when you travel – got to be go with the flow. Anyhoo, I freaked out because I didn’t see the tour bus and I was sure the bus left us. But, it didn’t. So, after scarfing down our food and me running around trying to find the bus to cheese heaven, we boarded our bus. Craig and I sat in the back so we could make out.

Just kidding…making sure ya’ll were awake.

We stopped in a little town called Alkamaar about 20 minutes outside the city to visit a cheese market. I braced myself and my stomach for the adventure of trying different milk fermented delicacies…but was quickly disappointed. Who knew that other people wanted to witness the old tradition of carrying blocks of cheese in funny hats on gondolas? Craig and I don’t do crowds well and it was like a Justin Beiber concert…just too many people looking at something that really isn’t that great to begin with.

But, it was our last day on vacation so we were troopers and braced the market. I bought cheese slicing things and toys for Iz. I didn’t sample cheese…seeing the cheese sit in the sun made me rethink the sampling…

Back on the bus…and off to the cheese farm. The farm also housed a place where we could see clogs being made and a windmill farm.

Craig loves me. Really…he took me to a cheese farm, clog farm and windmill farm…
We were told to watch the clog making demo and then we’d head over to the cheese demo. (I can’t believe that sentence is a real sentence in my world).

We spent about 5 minutes in the clog demo and I decided it was time to test my iron stomach. I watched the cheese making demo for about 2 seconds and decided to go into the cheese store.

As the double doors swung open, I was welcomed by ladies in funny hats, matching aprons and rows and rows of cheese. Cow’s milk cheese, goat’s milk cheese….cheese with peppers, cheese with meat….

I sampled. Ok – I think sampling means you take a small bit and move onto the next small item. So in all honesty – for 10 minutes I just ate cheese. Slice after slice of pure lactose filled heaven (and later on…hell).

Of course…me being me…I decided it was the smart thing to do and buy about $200 worth of cheese. Because after all…who doesn’t love cheese. Did I mention that I’m lactose intolerant?

I need a foodie intervention.

So, with 4 bags of cheese in tow, we headed over to windmill farm. I wanted to go up the windmill and take pictures but I had 10 lbs of cheese to watch. So, Craig climbed up and checked out the sights from the top.

20 pounds of cheese, a bag full of items from the clog store, and one happy girl later…we boarded our buses back to Amsterdam.

We went back to the hotel to drop off the 50 lbs of cheese so our hands would be free to do more shopping.

We walked the markets and shopped in Amsterdam until our wallets were empty. We stopped and bought Turkish food from a small little stand, sat on a bench in a small square that was hopping with tourists to eat our meal, and headed back to the Hilton to pack and get ready for the long flight home.

What a GREAT DAY!