Tuesday, July 01, 2008
holiday in Amsterdam
There is something about the word holiday, as opposed to vacation that makes it seem, like it's so much more. In America we use the word vacation, in Europe they use the word holiday, which sounds like a better deal.
But actually whatever word you use,last month I went to Amsterdam with my husband and my son.I had been there two years previous. I went with friends we stayed on a houseboat, we fell in love with the city.
My plan was while I was there, I would blog daily, and write about it, but realistically there were 3 of us using the same computer, and well typing with any type of speed, is not my strong suit, so I opted for the moleskine method...pen and paper, what a concept, and portable too.
So with out further adieu, I'll now blog about my trip.
Thursday June 5 Logan Airport- Boston, Massachusetts
We just went through security, I remembered to wear my Ecco shoes, so i could slip them off, and walk through with socks. Not have to bend over untie. So here we sit, near our gate, watching the Big TV, which is on CNN, over and over it plays that Barack Obama has won the nomination for the Democratic party which I take as a good omen, for our trip, as I am an Obama Mama. They've just called us for boarding, I'm looking forward to getting back to Amsterdam, to see the houseboat, the canals, the cobblestones of the street.
Our flight is your typical red-eye, and older smaller plane, where they have the little movie screens in the aisle, and the purser, who tells us, he won't make a lot of announcements, so we can all sleep, feels the need to go up and down the aisles, offering water...Water....WATER! i want to shove the water bottle somewhere...so he'll shush and be quiet.
Vridag -6 June Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
We have arrived, 30 minutes earlier, which is nice but we have time to kill before 2pm, when the houseboat will be ready.
We pass through customs, they are patronizingly friendly and ask us if we will be riding bikes around Amsterdam, I mention we are staying in a houseboat on the canal, they remain friendly, but the patronizing tone stops...does this mean we are cool now?
My husband and his little nicotine monkey need to walk outside, I am sleep deprived, and take every sign so literally, that I question whether it's okay if we go out the revolving door that's marked to buses and taxis...my husband silently rolls his eyes, and lights up, he and his little nicotine monkey take a deep inhale, and all is good. We stand outside in hot weather, like mid 80's degree weather...a thought circles in my head... that perhaps I should have packed more pairs of shorts.
The weather report at home for Amsterdam, spoke of 60-70 degree weather....ah well welcome to global warming.I also discover my dual band phone, not so great, but luckily my son has a more modern phone, and it's quad band, so after figuring out I need to dial the country code, we connect with Rene, who is the owner of the houseboat, he tells us the should be ready at 2pm, and he'll see us then.
We go back into Schiphol, to keep cool and kill a little time, before then. We purchase some wi-fi and surf on Zack's Mac. I send of some local emails, I'm meeting up with a friend I have known from Flickr, and I send her off a email, to get an immediate reply, as we are now in the same timezone, she in Rotterdam visiting her boyfriend. As we kill our wait the people watching is fun, there is a young Mom and her Daughter, waiting for her Daddy to come home, It makes me think of my son, who is now a young man sitting across from me, and how when they are little they hang on your every word.
Finally it's time we take a cab, into Amsterdam. Our Cab driver is older, and speak only when spoken to,so we have a quiet ride, but we are all, a little sleep deprived,and not really talking either, so it's okay.
We arrive at the houseboat!! We have the great fortune of meeting Rene, the owner, what a great host, friendly, colorful, his personality fits the decor of the houseboat perfectly.We go over some new improvements of the houseboat, since I've been there last, he points out the magnet if we drop the keys into the canal, Tom learns how to use the Senseo coffee maker. I also enjoy how Rene speaks of the canal being a public road, so we should shot the windows on the houseboat when we leave, not that anything has happened, as far as theft, but we should be wise about it.
If you saw the number of boats that pass by daily you would agree.
This time around it's a little different I know my way around the neighborhood, I'm familiar with the boat, it's still great to be back. We go off to the mini market,and pick up some breakfast things, and stop in one of the bakeries for something for lunch, which we bring home and eat on the houseboat, we also decide to take a little nap, which is great, before we go out for supper.
After sleeping for an hour or so, there were a few snooze alarm hits, we're up to find supper, that night we eat at Na Siam a wonderful Thai restaurant, on Kerkstraat, reasonably priced it costs 53Euros for the 3 of us, the spring rolls were light and crisp, the Singha, relatively cold. Our food was fresh, so delicious, and cooked to order, this is the night we discover they would let us sit for hours and hours, they don't bring the check until you ask for it. So we ask.
By now our jet lag has caught up we watch a little TV, that has dutch subtitles, then we are off to sleep.