Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Fun with Amsterdam

We’re back.

We had a fabulous time.

We left about 8 A.M. on Friday morning; first we drove to Dover to catch the car ferry. The drive was fine as long as I didn’t look at the speedometer and see how fast we were going. On the way we saw rolling green hills, pine trees and in Dover, white cliffs. It looked a lot different than our part of England.

We had no idea what to expect on the ferry. I’ve been on the ferry in Seattle. This was a huge ferry .Busses and semi trucks even got on there. We had paid extra for priority loading. Meaning we were one of the first cars on and off the ferry. So we park and go up the stairs. You could tell it was a pretty old boat. The life boats were probably rusted into place. I think the ferry was 9 stories high. It had bars, restaurants, a duty free shop, a food court and a smoking area (woot!) We were starving by the time we got to the food court and I was hoping for something good. But what do we see?

Fish and chips, curry, baked beans and baked potatoes. Gah! I wound up with some crappy frozen French fries errr. .chips.

Once we got to Calais, France that’s where we continued our journey, I was hoping to see some exciting picture worthy sights on the rest of our drive. What did I see? Plowed fields and farm country. Hours worth .The roadside trees mostly blocked the view of the fields. I also saw plenty of graffiti; it was on nearly every over pass.

It was still light out when we arrived in Amsterdam. The second you hit the city, there are bikes every where .More bikes than you could imagine. No one wears bike helmets either, not even the little kids. The city is just packed with people .It seemed so “alive” .

Thanks to our good ole Garmen we had no trouble finding K and C’s apartment. And what an apartment it was. They had an awesome patio with glass doors that folded open, accordion style, transforming it to either an open balcony or a conservatory (glass room) Their apartment was right in the city, one could sit and watch people all day and never get bored. We were greeted with cocktails and a delicious dinner of lasagne and salad .K and C are just lovely people. K, like my husband travels all the time for work. C is in the same boat as I am. We all sat around talking and laughing until it was nearly 2 in the morning.

They had a list already prepared full of things to see and do the next day. I could barely drag my spouse out of bed the next morning. (old people ) lol

The first thing we did was walk down to the market. It’s a street market going on for blocks and blocks. I could have bought some clog shaped slippers, raw chicken feet, a giant wheel of cheese, or some chocolate penis’s.

Next we hopped on the tram (cable car) down to where the canal cruises start. Once we got on the canal boat my spouse informs me that he did not bring his camera. The tour was cool but I was wishing it was more into spring time, the trees were still naked and very few flowers were blooming. We cruised down several canals and even past Anne Franks house. Every where you looked were bikes, bikes and more bikes. The city was just teaming with life.

After the canal cruise we set off to find a place for lunch. We found a little restaurant, with a little menu. There is no danger of being over fed here. I ordered the filet. It came with a bowl of chips and about a teaspoon of salad. (we would have thought it was a garnish) When I stepped outside to smoke I saw a Mexican place right across the street .Gah! How I would loved to have found that place first.

Next we walked through a pedestrian shopping area. There are just miles and miles of pedestrian streets and little ally ways full of shops. There were so many people walking in one big crowd, at times you could not take a full step forward .This is why it really would be very easy for pick pockets to be successful. I was trying to find a cute (yet cheap) pair of boots so the only stores I went into were shoe stores. No luck though. However there were lots of cowboy boots in the shops. Oddly, I did not see any one wearing them on the streets.

We saw these big urinals right out in public. Also saw girls riding side saddle on the backs of bikes. C and I went to the coffee shop. It was packed with mostly young people, just sitting there rolling joints on the tables and at the bar. Apparently this was the coffee shop that was on the movie Oceans 12 .they had a picture of George Clooney on the wall. We did not stick around, nor did we buy anything. I just wanted to see what it looked like.

By this time my camera batteries were dying and hubby did not bring his camera. Ack! We took a break and had some coffee alfresco. The coffee was delicious but they serve you a little tiny cup of coffee. No refills either.

Off we went to the Van Gogh museum. The man was obviously nuts. My guess is schizophrenic .Some of his art was so dark and depressing I wouldn’t even want it on my walls.

Next we walked to the red light district. I really did not know what to expect .You walk by these windows and there are girls in skimpy bikinis .Most of them were sitting on some ratty barstool, bored to death, talking on their cell phones. It was broad daylight and none of it looked too pretty. The girls were nothing special, One looked about 12, One had stretch marks shining in the sunlight. The window settings themselves made me think that if I were to go inside, I would find shag carpeting and a waterbed. All in all, it was pathetic and I pity those poor girls.

We had dinner reservations for later that night. We had time to go back to their apartment for happy hour. I had over packed like crazy because I had no idea if we’d be getting dressed up to go out or what. Luckily we stayed casual. No miserable dress clothes for me. Lol

We walked over to the restaurant, and oh how I wish WE lived in a city. Again, no danger of being over fed. Since I had eaten a steak for lunch, I ordered a chicken salad. It was really a bowl of greens with a couple bites of chicken and 3 shavings of cheese. I was so hungry I think I ate 3 pieces of buttered bread. I was still starving. Everyone else’s food was piled up gourmet style .Huge plate, very little food. :)

I was all excited about what we would see the next day, until Hubby reminded me that we had to leave at 9 A.M. to get to our ferry in France.

Damn. I had totally forgotten about that. I wish we could have stayed longer.

We really had a wonderful time. Thank you again K and C !!


Jamie said...

I loved every second of this video..I want to visit there, someday.

Hope this week is great! Hugs.. :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the video! I'm surprised hubby let you post his pictures! You look absolutely beautiful! Coat looks very nice! I liked the dog. The picture of bikes all grouped up, how could a person ever get his own out of that jumble! aj

Golden To Silver Val said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for these beautiful pictures. I feel almost like I was there! I agree, you look amazing....but I still love you as a blonde. LOL, I'm still shaking my head over the sidewalk urinals!! Is there something to wash hands with afterwards? Hmmmmm, I thought not. LOL

Vicki says said...

again dahlink you must post me the you tube site so i can go see the video.. but it sounded like you had a great time....yea! glad to hear it.....dave said they even have hash bars....or something like that....love me

Mary said...

Thanks for sharing your trip. The pictures are wonderful. Sidewalk urnials would be shocking in the states. Like Val, I wonder about washing hands.

I'm happy that you had a weekend with compatable real live people. Everyone looks happy. That makes me feel good for you.

Corie said...

LOVEing the chocolate penis's on display. What great pictures all around. Thanks for sharing! I want to go now too!!! I'm so glad you got out of the house and had an adventure.

ps....you look fab!

Anonymous said...

Great pics! Thanks for all of em. I meant to tell you about the coffee houses. Go in and have a cup, breathe deeply, you don't even need a joint. The air is thick with it. Chocolate penises? What do you do with it if you buy one - suck on it like a popsicle? On the street? Dutch horses look amazingly like American horses. You didn't stay in Amster love enuf to do it justice - so you will just have to go back. G5

Tina... said...

Tell me you got me a chocolate penis. And you didn't take photos of the skanky girls? Omg, out of that giant post all I got was penises and skanky girls...I need some love.

marry said...

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HubbleSpacePaws said...

I've been following Skelly's progress for a while and saw your post. I just popped over to tell you that you raised a terrific son! Wesley's kind heart is an inspiration!

Now, off to read your post and meet you... looks like a wonderful trip!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Hubblespacepaws! aj

Sandy said...

Nice job on the video!! Love the photos. Holland is on my to visit list....not this year but maybe next. Wish I could drive there!