Archive for category Travel – Amsterdam

Two Thumbs Up!

Here’s just a few reasons why I love Amsterdam:

1. shoes, shoes, shoes!  Everywhere I look there’s a shoe store.  Mainly boots: tall boots, short boots, furry boots, leather boots, thigh-high boots, red boots, green boots, blue boots……every kind of boot you could imagine!  The shopping in general is fantastic here, and I will definitely be getting myself a pair of boots before leaving!

2. tea!  Everyone drinks tea no matter what time of day, and it’s always served with cookie.  Yesterday I ordered a cup of mint tea, and it came with several large sprigs of fresh mint…. possibly the best cup of tea I’ve ever had!

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Just a 2 hour nap…

Its funny how a 2 hour nap can turn into a 7 hour sleep.  Sometimes alarms aren’t worth anything.

Aside from that, today we visited the house of Anne Frank and roamed the city a bit.  Anne Franks house was interesting, its hard to imagine any of the events that occurred there.  I will be honest here, I didn’t ever read her diary, although I was aware of who she was and generally her story.  I wasn’t aware that her father survived to make this all happen, I had always thought that her diary was just found.  From everything that I saw there, it seemed that her diary really gave a face and narrative to the persecution of the Jewish people during WWII.   While there are hundreds of thousands of stories, only a few are really documented.

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Arrival in Amsterdam

There was nothing really unusual about the flight, neither Jane nor I got any good sleep on the plane.  We opted for the airline  pasta as our meal, instead of the chicken.  I had visions of the old movie ‘Airplane’ when thinking of airline chicken, although I think in that case it was fish. 

We made it into Amsterdam and it took us an hour and a half to get out of the airport, just because we didn’t really have a plan.  I remembered from 10 years ago that you want to jump on the train to get to town, and with a little  brain digging I figured it was Central Amsterdam that we would want to go to.  From the time I had been here before with Jhavid, I remembered fondly the hotel that we had stayed at.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t for the life of me remember the plaza it was on, or its name.  As Jane and I began wandering the streets of Amsterdam, it began to rain.  I felt kind of like the clueless leading the blind, but through following my instinct we finally found it.  Of course, my instincts got us to a nearby hotel where I knew we were in the right area, but couldn’t quite find the plaza I was looking for.  I asked the desk clerk, and she looked at me like a Moron and told me the plaza was right up the block.

We headed up the block, and indeed it was Rembrandt Plein, and the hotel was still there.  We checked it out, but they didn’t have rooms available for two.  We ended up getting an attic room in this other hotel, I think Im going to hate the stairs, especially if we stop and get a beer anywhere.

We’re Off!

Today is a day of firsts: my first blog(!) and the first official day of our trip ~ an exciting day all around!  We were up until about 3am packing; good thing we have a 10 hour flight to get caught up on sleep.  We are only taking our backpacks, which don’t fit much for a 3 month vacation, but somehow I’m certain I’ve managed to overpack! 

We’re about 3 hours away from getting on the plane.  First stop is Amsterdam ~~ again, another first for me!  We’ll be there for just 4 days, which I’m sure isn’t nearly long enough, but hopefully enough to get a bit of a feel for the city and be able to see some historic and memorable sites. 

Here’s my travel tip #1: if you ever plan an excursion that takes you around the world, it’s much, much cheaper to pick a city in Europe to use as a “hub” than it is to buy an around the world ticket.   Amsterdam (or anywhere in Europe, for that matter) wasn’t originally on our itinerary, and while it means we’ll be doing a bit of backtracking during our trip, it saved us thousands of dollars (literally!) and allows us the opportunity to see a city that we otherwise wouldn’t have seen.  Double bonus!

See you in Amsterdam!