Friday, April 6, 2012

4/6/12  Friday

We are safe and sound in Germany, staying with our friends Sue and Mo.  After Paris we took the ICE high-speed train to Amsterdam.  We fell in love with the place!  We took a tram from the train station to a central location called Leidensplein (sp?).  We were supposed to meet the person we were renting the apartment from in front of a Burger King there.  Our cell phone decided it didn't like Amsterdam so I had to ask 2 different strangers on the street if I could use their phones.  The Dutch people were so warm and friendly and everyone speaks English.  Our guy came to meet us and led us down a very busy street to a Greek restaurant called "Zorba" and that's where we stayed - in the apartment above the Greek restaurant.  I kept remarking to the guy about what a convenient location it was and he kept saying, "yes, but it gets loud at night."  It was in the middle of the shopping, bars, "coffee" houses, restaurants, and fun in general.                We were thrilled to be staying in such a great spot.

We unloaded our suitcases and took off on foot to the Anne Frank house.  It was about a mile away and as we walked along the canal, I fell more and more in love with the place.  The houses are all cool row houses that are about 4-8 stories tall.  There are huge lanes for bicycles and everyone has one.  There are bicycles everywhere and none of them are what we would consider nice ones.  They're all very basic and all very rusty.  But, the cool thing is that most of them aren't even locked up.  Who would steal a bike when it's no better than the one they already have?  Very cool.

There was a pretty long line for Anne Frank's house but it went fast.  The museum was amazing and so, so moving.  It gave me goosebumps just being there and realizing all that had happened there in that very spot.  If anyone goes to Amsterdam, this place is not to be missed.  If you know nothing about Anne Frank or even the war for that matter, you leave that place in the know.  They did a great job with pictures, interviews, videos and artifacts.  We really took our time going through it, reading everything, watching every video, and just taking it all in.  It was a powerful experience and one that I'm glad I got to share with Gab.

From there we walked back to our neighborhood and found an awesome sushi joint.  We figured out pretty quickly that there were several coffee houses on every block and that they served coffee, but that coffee wasn't the primary business being done there.  Gab now knows what pot smells like!  Oh, well.  Maybe that's why everyone there is so friendly, they have legal marijuana and prostitution!  Why shouldn't they all be happy!

Gab and Mom at the Louvre

More Amsterdam

Beautiful canal in Amsterdam

Adorable painting and mini-garden outside of an apartment in Amsterdam

After sushi we headed back to Zorba's, got Gab settled in for the night, and took off for a few hours to have an adult night out.  We had a blast!  :)  Then we went back and tried to sleep.  The operative word here is "tried."  As it turns out, there was no sleep to be had.  The bars are open until 4 am, and that was our first chance for any shut-eye.  We listened to the party animals yell, scream, and sing (LOTS of singing) all night long.  The next morning we somehow got up and headed out to the Kukenhof gardens.  Spectacular!  Tulips, flowers, gorgeous landscaping, amazing!  We spent several hours there just breathing it in.  Back to town, another meal, more walking around, then up at the crack of dawn (wait, to wake up, one first has to have been sleeping) to catch a 7 am train to Frankfurt, Germany.  We landed in Frankfurt, rented a car, got lost, got stuck on the autobahn in a horrible traffic jam because of 2 accidents, then finally, finally made it to The Ritter Sport chocolate factory.  Enough said there.  Then we met Sue and Mo at a little hole in the wall for one of the best meals we had on this trip!  Slept like a rock last night,  woke up at 10 this morning and went to an indoor water park and to run some errands today.  We really needed a day to take it easy and recharge the batteries.

Gab and Mom Inside the giant letters that spell "I AmSterdam"
Mom and Gab enjoying a stroll in Amsterdam

Gab and a giant weenie!

Gab and the Easter Bunny in Keukenhoff.

Gab and Tim in the "d"

Gab in Keukenhoff

Mom and Tim tip-toeing through the Tulips.

Gab and Tim in Keukenhoff.

Gab in the giant clogs.

I wear this size!

No comments:

Post a Comment