Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Day 1 in NL

Right now it’s exactly 12 hours since we landed this morning. That was 10:40am Europe Summer time, 2:40am US CST.

I didn’t sleep at all during the flight—I find it difficult to rest when I’m squished up—so I was pretty exhausted when we landed.

Due to helpful tips on the Trip Advisor website and from friends (mostly Alison/WindowWomanofNE) we were able to acquire a OV-chipkaart and top it off at the station in the airport (I’m certain we’ll use it quite a bit while we’re here!)

Gerry discoveres Nutella Nirvana

Gerry discoveres Nutella Nirvana

Upon arriving in Amsterdam Central Station, we dragged our sorry suitcases (and butts) over to our B&B (I’m afraid I got us lost when I forgot that I’d stored the address and directions in my contacts – silly me!) and settled into our very small, but very comfy and convenient room. For €50/day we can’t really complain, and it comes with the use of two sturdy bikes & locks for our entire visit.

We had been cautioned NOT to sleep (even though we desperately wanted to!) so we went for another long walk (this time without suitcases, SO much more enjoyable!) and basically floated in a sleep deprived fog around the central district.

At 4:00pm I’m afraid I called it quits (so much exhaustion, pain and confusion cannot be a good way to start a trip!) We returned to our digs, both of us napped for a few hours (the best sleep I ever had) and at 8pm we went out again for a walk and dinner.

The restaurant we stumbled on was Paso Doble, and it was AMAZING! We shared plates of exquisitely seasoned tapas, Gerry had a Spanish beer and I had a sangria made with champagne, then dessert of cheese cake for him and crème brûlée for me. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. It was a splurge, but it was a lovely night to do it!

Our room has a refrigerator and coffee/tea making supplies, so a visit to the local JUMBO market has us set up for breakfasts and teas on the cheap so we can splurge on nicer dinners!

The Netherlands doesn’t seem to be as gluten sensitive as Italy was when I visited a few years ago, but I’ve acquired some crackers, bread and small cookies to round out our in-room dining options.

Kitty Grafitti

Kitty Grafitti

Every time I reflect that we’re actually HERE, 7 hours from home by air and not planning on returning for 10 days, I’m stunned. This is a necessary trip in more ways than one!

Tomorrow, we may hit the Rijksmuseum if we get up early enough, and the day after that we’re going to try to get out to see the tulips.

I don’t think Gerry will be up for much bike riding (his back and bones couldn’t take the riding over the cobblestone streets) but if we can rent a tandem when we’re at Keukenhof I’ll be able to do the heavy pedaling on smooth roads that will be better for his bones and back!

The Friendly Skies

http://www.avionics-intelligence.com/content/dam/avi/online-articles/2013/09/DeltaMD88.jpgGerry and I are embarking on something we haven’t done in over 17 years – a trip alone together.

I’m sitting here staring at a huge pile of clothes and an empty suitcase. My task is to sort through the garments and choose ones that will work for 10 days in Amsterdam, but still leave room to bring home presents.

I’m still jet lagged from visiting Puget Sound University with Andy (née Hannah) earlier this week [spoiler alert, she loved it but she won’t be going there, too rich for our blood…] and—as always—I dread compacting my former 6′ frame into a coach seat for 7 hours. But we’re heading out this evening, and we’re excited.

It’s not entirely pleasure, I’m doing a bit of business while I’m there (ostensibly the reason for the trip) but we’ve been reminded time and again over the past 8 years that life is very short, and it’s meant to be LIVED, so we cashed in a bunch of frequent flier miles and Gerry’s going off with me!

We’re staying in a B&B not far from Anne Frank House (recommended by a friend) The B&B supplies bikes, and we have plans to visit another good friend over Easter weekend far from the city.

We haven’t researched or planned this trip as much as we might have, but that’s because just getting alone together is such a new experience that we’re pretty giddy about it! My friend, Alison, visited Amsterdam with her husband in October so she’s been passing on tour books and great tips.

One thing we’ve been told about Amsterdam is that the mass transit is excellent so if Gerry finds himself exhausted we can spend a day on a canal boat tour for a restful sight-seeing adventure.

Andy will be in her dorm most of the time we’re gone (just home next weekend), and the benefit of having a business partner is that Kathleen will be working in the ModeKnit Yarn offices (my basement) so Max can touch base with an adult every day when he gets home from school.  Food has been prepared, friends and neighbors drafted to ‘check in’ on the boy during our absence.

I get the distinct feeling he’s looking forward to these next 10 days as much as we are!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/57/Keukenhof_May2006.JPGWe plan to visit Keukenhof to see the tulips, Delft to see the china and KinderDijk to see the windmills.

But I’m MOST excited about seeing the knitters of Amsterdam! I’ve scheduled a few get-togethers with folks (and I’m definitely open to do more!)

Obviously, I’m also crazy nuts to get on the aforementioned bike and get some riding in.