This blog is now retired. My new site is at: Predictably Irrational.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Amsterdam Day Two

We got up pretty late in the morning on day two, although they (Europe) had their version of daylight savings time and moved the clocks back an hour. Nonetheless, we enjoyed some croissants with ham and cheese for breakfast with our Senseo coffee maker, which seems pretty common around here.

We decided to hit the city and found the tram, only to find we had to switch trams to make it to Central Station.

Central Station is BUSY. When we got off the tram, we were greeted with street musicians who, strangely, were there when we left the city around 8PM.
We stopped for lunch at the tourist trap, where the food was more 'westernized' and double in price than where we are staying.I had the 'hot snacks' which consisted of fried cheese: mozzarella and a yellow cheese, fried egg rolls, and fried meat roll and meat patty. All quite good. The girls had hamburgers with french fries...the hamburgers had quite an odd texture and the taste was okay. Honestly, as long as I didn't know what it really was, I was okay with it.

Tim bought us water taxi tickets, which was great because we had it for the day – which means you can get on and off anywhere at anytime (until 6PM on Sunday). This was our hangout for the day, along with getting off and hitting a bar, much to my children's dismay.

Our intention initially was to hit Anne Frank's house and possibly the Van Gogh museum. Instead, we hit about three cafes for drinks. CJ initially was pleased to be “soda-hopping” but after one, she was pretty sick of them.

Food is amazing here. We had a cheese plate at the last place, along with french fries for the girls. I was expecting some sort of “pomme frittes” type dish – what that is, I'm not sure, but it wasn't standard shoestring American fries...which is what we end up getting at every stop.

The wonderful thing for me, as a wine drinker, is at every stop, when asked what I want, I simply say “red wine” and that's it. Whatever is served to me, which I am assuming is the house wine, is spectacular. The aroma is divine, which is the first thing I enjoy when I receive my glass.

Tim and Phillip opt for the beers while Mi-Mi has her 'lemonade” (which is really sprite) and CJ her coke. By the way, coke and pepsi come in these teeny tiny cans or bottles. It's very cool and I'm trying to figure out how I can get them smuggled into the US.

I am just enamored with the look of the city. I'm not an architectural fanatic, but I can't help but be awed by the buildings around me. The canals and the houseboats are amazing too. I just learned that houseboats are prime property as has to be 'grandfathered' in to inherit, or be given, these houseboats. And these folks can get pretty creative with the looks of these places...

Now, these are just the houseboats...apparently, property is prime in Amsterdam so finding a flat is just as hard! But wow. How amazing it would be to live here...

Here is an elaborate building that sits across from where we picked up our water taxi: Graffiti in english, right by where we picked up our water taxi: We passed another elaborate building of another kind during our water taxi ride, this Chinese restaurant: One of the many streets of Amsterdam: Crossing over one of the many canals:

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