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|
|Beautiful canal in Amsterdam|
|Adorable painting and mini-garden outside of an apartment in Amsterdam|
|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!|