Opinion

'A little bit of Kirkland ... in Amsterdam | Discover Kirkland

In a remarkably short time frame, my husband accepted a job headquartered in Amsterdam. As he would be deep in deals from the start, it was decided that I would be doing the 'commuting!' How could I say no?

I resigned from my beloved bookseller position, packed my suitcase, put my son in charge of the house and our dogs while he works and attends college, deposited money into his account, put all my bills on autopay and off I went.

I flew out on the red-eye on Oct. 21 and have been in Amsterdam ever since.

Just as I have absolutely fallen in love with Kirkland ... I have also fallen in love with my adopted city of Amsterdam.

As I think about how fortunate I am to have residences in two wonderful cities - though one permanent and one temporary - I think about how Kirkland and Amsterdam are alike in many ways.

In Amsterdam, every neighborhood has its local cafes, shops, restaurants, grocery stores and outdoor markets. The downtown Kirkland core feels just like a small neighborhood. Everyone is very friendly, very supportive of each other and has everything you could want.

Amsterdam is the city of water - there are more than 100 canals coursing through the city and is located not far from the North Sea. There are thousands of houseboats on the canals. All year long there are day and night tour boats that snake through the canals for a great sightseeing experience. The city of Kirkland is beautifully situated on the shores of Lake Washington. Lake Washington provides for wonderful water activities such as boating, jet skiing, paddle boarding, sailing, swimming and lake cruises. One can also walk along the many paths or just relax on one of the strategically located benches on the banks of the lake. One can also attend free concerts at the gazebo during the summer and feed the ducks. On a Saturday morning there are lots of dogs walking their owners. My dogs love to 'attack' the waves that lap at the shoreline.

From Amsterdam city centre it is quick and easy access to the North Sea, south to Rotterdam, The Hague, beautiful countryside and so many other enchanting villages and towns; even south to Brussels and Bruges, Belgium. Within a day's drive from Kirkland, you can be in downtown Seattle, head down to Tacoma, Olympia and other points south, east to Stevens Pass, Snoqualmie Falls, and Leavenworth, north to Edmonds, Bow-Edison, and Bellingham, and west to Hurricane Ridge, Port Townsend and the Olympic Peninsula. What beauty abounds in all of these very special places - and that's just to name a few.

I have now lived in Kirkland for two years and have formed a special bond with many shop keepers and I can find everything I need in my hometown.

I feel very comfortable here in Amsterdam as well. The Dutch are very friendly and everyone speaks English. I have been fortunate to be able to explore everything the city of Amsterdam has to offer with the leisure of a local. It has been a terrific experience for me and I look forward to many more adventures.

I love my adopted city of Amsterdam and I love my hometown of Kirkland.

Kirkland resident Victoria Martin welcomes reader feedback at martin.victoria917@gmail.com.

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