I {Heart} Amsterdam, and aDorn Me…

Well Friends, we have landed safely back in the US of A. We spent our last day in a very favorite and familiar city, Amsterdam. Albeit I was busy with a toddler and giving birth to our second child while lived there for 2-1/2 years, but I still managed to get to know the place pretty well. It’s a wonderfully colorful city-village that you can pretty much walk clear across at a good clip in 20 minutes, weather permitting. Despite what most Americans think about the Red Light District and all, Amsterdam is actually a very family-friendly city, and not nearly as dangerous as most American big cities, I’d venture.

Here’s a shot of myself and a friend from Germany “doing the tourist thing” on a canal boat. That’s my 10-year-old incognito.

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Unlike us, the Dutch are soooo not-prudish. Check out some local artwork… Eat your heart out, Dove!

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And speaking of quality of life, I wanted to fill you all in on my experience with the cleverly-designed aDorn diabetes carrying bags from Jen Dorn in San Francisco.

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I must admit I hemmed and hawed on buying one: did I really need something specially designed for diabetes supplies? But I’ve been so hair-pullingly exasperated with every other carry-on bag I’ve used since starting to travel with diabetes. I need a laptop bag that actually protects my PC, while offering enough room for reading materials, snacks, my glasses case and sundries, PLUS (and here’s the clincher) all those darn diabetes supplies I need to have on my person as well. I’ve been using a chunky MedPort carrying case, and simply trying to stuff it into whatever backpack or briefcase seemed like it could handle the mash. Every bag I tried became essentially uncarriable and unsearchable, as in I-can’t-find-a-damn-thing-in-here, aargh!

Less than a week before this trip, I spent several nights searching Target, Amazon, and Nordstrom.com. Lots of bags looked tempting, but I was convinced than none would really solve my problem.

Then, bling! Light bulb on! What about those specially-designed bags I saw at a recent diabetes expo? Long-time Type 1 Jen Dorn designed them herself, and is now selling them all over the country.

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The cool thing about the Messenger Bag is the “inset” diabetes supplies pocket. It’s actually a small second, removable bag with compartments for all your stuff, plus a plastic-protected ice pack that fits right in. Believe it or not, you zip this pocket into the side of the Messenger Bag, and it seems to “swallow up” all your diabetes supplies without hogging up space in the rest of the bag.

What also helps is the bag’s truly rugged construction — made of tough polyester twill fabric with a heavy-duty rubber bottom — so you can mash it, smash it, overstuff it and drag it down the airport corridor with no worries. I gave mine a good workout this year, and it still looks brand new. Thanks, Jen! If this bag can stand up to Amsterdam, I’m sure it will do me well in St.Louis next month.

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9 Responses

  1. Allison
    Allison July 9, 2007 at 7:41 am | | Reply

    I really really want one of these too for when I go to Chicago in a few weeks (I’m bring with me my very first laptop) but unfortunately I don’t have the funds for it. Maybe next time. Though I do have a box of 2 of these right now for the OC New Me Challenge that Kelly Close donated. I’m dying to rip the bag open, but I know I wouldn’t be able to give them away if I touched it. Sigh.

  2. Alan
    Alan July 9, 2007 at 9:20 am | | Reply

    How lucky you are to return to San Francisco! I regard San Francisco as one of Earth’s nicest spots (the other is Santa Barbara).

    Amy, it makes me wonder if you were in Amsterdam on July 6, 2007? That was the 65th anniversary of the day Anne Frank and her family entered hiding in her father’s warehouse in Amsterdam. If you were, were you aware of this fact whilst abroad? How did it make you feel? Did the natives commemmorate this solemn anniversary?

    Alan

  3. Melissa
    Melissa July 9, 2007 at 10:25 am | | Reply

    Thanks Amy! I am so getting that messenger bag before my trip in October! I’ve been searching endlessly for a bag just like that. And I’ve plenty of time between now and my trip to scrape together the funds to get it. :)
    Melissa

  4. Chrissie in Belgium
    Chrissie in Belgium July 9, 2007 at 10:50 am | | Reply

    Yeah Amsterdam is cozy, charming but you have to be careful that you do not fall into the canals when you park the car….. we almost did exactly that!

  5. Tesney
    Tesney July 9, 2007 at 12:13 pm | | Reply

    Great bag! I’m going to have to request one for my birthday. We travel a lot and I’m always packing my diabetic supplies in baby bottle coolers. I think I’m ready for something a little less mommy-ish.

    Amersterdam is wonderful. They have the best museums in all of Europe, IMHO.

  6. Rosalind Joffe
    Rosalind Joffe July 9, 2007 at 4:49 pm | | Reply

    Oh, Amy, you world traveler. Did Ms. Dorn make this bag just for Diabetes folks or does it work for those of us who have bad backs, carry ileostomy supplies, etc?

    I loved the red light district when I was in Amsterdam in 1971 – oh, am I dating myself?

  7. SJT
    SJT July 9, 2007 at 7:22 pm | | Reply

    Did you see… http://www.rcw.bc.ca/Holiday/Holland/Penis_fountain.htm

  8. Marston A, SugarStats
    Marston A, SugarStats July 9, 2007 at 11:06 pm | | Reply

    Oh wow, welcome back!! I wish I would have known, it would have been great to meet you (I live in Rotterdam at the moment but am always in Adam, going today actually).

    I hope you had a great trip and a safe/quick journey back :-)

  9. AmyT
    AmyT July 11, 2007 at 9:59 am | | Reply

    Hey Alan,
    I spent several years living in Santa Barbara, too. Lucky me!

    Regarding Anne Frank, yes, the house/museum was too swamped for us to even get near. And as a Jew in Europe — especially Germany — I often grit my teeth at the many reminders of that dark past. My objective is to be an agent for a brighter future.

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