Travel expert Judy Wells stops by with ideas for traveling to Amsterdam, Netherlands and Raleigh, North Carolina Check out the venerable former editor of so many of Jville's best known publications in her new turn as travel curator after the jump.
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Her article from wellsworld.net about het trip to Amsterdam and Raleigh, NC:
Amsterdam in the rain, Raleigh in the sunshine
Cold and Wet Amsterdam.
I was in Amsterdam in April with the rain that would bring the tulips and other bulb plants to this hub of the floral trade. Fortunately, my plan was to see the newly renovated Rijksmuseum and as many as possible of the smaller museums that I had never had time to visit much less explore. Rain kept me on course except for one day when sun had me making a beeline the glorious Keukenhof Gardens.
The Rijks is better than ever, with a well-lit spacious atrium lobby and more spacious exhibition spaces
Visiting smaller museums has two benefits. You can see some amazing things and in many cases, you can also see the insides of the city's famous canal houses.
The best way to do both: go to the Museum of Bags and Purses and the Van Loon Museum.
As you walk through the purse museum you see not only the trends and art of superbly decorated bags from the 16th century to present day designer beauties, but two period rooms where visitors can enjoy lunch and high tea.
The Van Loon Museum
The Van Loon Museum is authentic and period throughout, from front entrance to gardens and carriage house in the rear. The van Loon family were among the founders of the Dutch East India Company and prominent members of the highest Dutch society.
For something entirely different try Micropia, the world's only museum of microbes. Trust me, it's fascinating for kids and adults. The little "bugs" that get us down or keep us going are not only powerful, some are pretty and colorful.
Speaking of colorful, if you get a sunny day don't missKeukenhof Gardens. Designed to showcase the best of each season's bulb plants developed in the Netherlands, it is closed and dug up in September and reopened in April with all new designs. Spectacular isn't powerful enough a word to describe the array of color and glories there.
Warm and worth a visit Raleigh.
It was sunny and breezy in Raleigh, NC, a surprisingly interesting city with a lively arts community and a thriving food scene
All of the arts are booming. The North Carolina Symphony is filling also concert halls all over the state as well as in the handsome concert hall downtown. Keeping it company is CAM the non-collecting Contemporary Art Museum, where the exhibits change every 16 weeks. Admission is a nominal $5 but no one is ever turned away for lack of it. Best of all, middle school students are taught to be docents, giving them public speaking skills and art education as well as hefty doses of self confidence.
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