Luxe in the Afternoon


Two sisters and their mother take a private cruise and tour a diamond workshop in Amsterdam.

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"My sister, my mother, and I are going to Amsterdam to see the tulips in bloom. The trip is in honor of my sister's birthday, but the three of us love to travel together and do so whenever we can. We always have such a blast." Angela Lootens, Houston, Tex.

Using our powers for the good of the people
Since tulips are the favorite flower of Houstonians Angela Lootens; her mother, Virginia Lootens; and her sister, Alison Putman, a spring trip to the Netherlands was an ideal way to celebrate Alison's birthday. After a stroll through the Keukenhof gardens, next on the women's agenda was a canal tour through Amsterdam—so we chartered them an antique boat for a private sunset cruise. "It was so nice to sit back, relax, and chat with Captain Joost about what it's like to live in Amsterdam," says Angela. ("And what a good-looking guy!" adds Virginia.) As an extra treat, we arranged for a private tour of Gassan Diamonds, where the women got to try on exquisite jewelry from the company's collection. "I went straight for the biggest rock on the tray," says Angela. "It was a diamond ring worth fifty thousand euros!" The tour ended with champagne, and at the bottom of each flute was what appeared to be a diamond. An expert was called in to examine the stones: Two were cubic zirconias, but the third was real. "I was the lucky one!" says Angela. "And it wasn't just a speck of a diamond, either!"

Many thanks to...
The Netherlands Board of Tourism & Conventions (, Classic Canal Charters (, and Gassan Diamonds (

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