I always like ending the week on an uplifting note, and there are few things in the world that give my spirits a lift quite like fresh flowers. As I’m sure you’ve noticed from my recent travel posts, Amsterdam is full of flowers. The city even has a giant Floating Flower Market, which isn’t technically floating because it’s located on a dock, but you can rest assured semantics don’t detract from the beauty of this tourist attraction. This string of shops spans about three blocks of canal-front property, yet there are also numerous florists located on almost every street in Amsterdam. I’m no economist, but I’d say the sheer number of these stores in the city indicates that flowers are not just a tourist industry or a seasonal money-maker; they are something average people buy on a regular basis. In the states we tend to leave flower-shopping up to suitors, funeral attendees and upper-class women in New York City, but in Europe there seems to be a different code of conduct…I saw countless people carrying flowers home with them on the train, and when I asked one Dutch woman with a particularly beautiful bouquet what the occasion was she told me, “They’re for my dining table and for a reminder spring is coming.” I wouldn’t mind taking a leaf (and numerous petals) out of this Dutch woman’s book, and I encourage you to do the same by treating yourself to some small pleasure this weekend that you normally wouldn’t indulge in. We could all use a reminder that springtime is coming, after all, so here’s to all the little indulgences that bring nature inside and make sunshine feel close by.