Saturday, April 17, 2010


Here I am. Amsterdam. Sitting. Waiting. Listening to Dad snore. Doing my darndest to learn Dutch via the tele. Oiy. It was fun at first, now I just want to get moving.

So, as I'm not sure what the news covers elsewhere, here's the deal: Wednesday Dad and I were in Paris, France - as planned - when we trained up to Amsterdam, Holland to explore for a bit before our flight to Oslo, Norway. We had planned Amsterdam as well, but when a volcano errupted in Iceland, of all places, our short stay turned into nearly a new residence (pardon the sarcasm).
So excited to train from Paris, through Brussels, to Amsterdam!

Beautiful Gare du Nord.

Jefe loving life! Exploring is his favorite! (Wonder where I get it??)
We left Gare du Nord Wednesday afternoon and headed north through Brussels and arrived in Amsterdam a bit before nightfall. All was going as close to plan as it could and we were very excited to head to Norway Thursday morning (Dad's heritage is mostly from Norway and I've always wanted to go there with him as it's a HUGE interest of his). Wednesday night I remember seeing a little blurb on the television mentioning the volcanic ash cloud. Other than that, nothing was out of the ordinary. We took an evening boat tour on the canals of Amsterdam. On our tour we saw the Anne Frank house and learned a bit of Dutch history - they seem to have a perspective of their own on everything. With our day free, yesterday we walked into Amsterdam to see all it has to offer. Things certainly are different here than they are in America! Reggae, Coffeeshops, 'seeds', munchies... interesting. Dad got the herring he was afraid he'd miss. I got photos of some Jim Morrison 'coffeeshops'.

SERIOUSLY. Talk about claustrophobia.

The lines were crazy. We went back the next day and it was a total ghost-town.

This is real life.
We decided to go into this coffeeshop for the experience, don't worry, dad didn't let me try anything. It was really fun. We each got a 'small' Amstel light. The walls were covered with different currencies... looking back, I'm wondering if the staff kept any of their tips. The money all had little hand-written notes on how great the place was. Their menu consisted of large or small beer and everything else was some sort of marijuana. They also had space cakes. I started giggling as we were leaving and Dad was just sure I was second-hand high... I promised him I absolutely wasn't. I pointed at these men who were honest-to-goodness at least 7 1/2 feet tall. I had never ever seen someone so tall and slender in my life, let alone TWO people so tall and slender walking right next to each other! I mean, they were at least a good head taller than the door we were walking out of, if not even taller. All I could do was giggle. I was in awe. Dad couldn't help it either. And giggling isn't really his thing.
So many Doors themed coffeeshops! Oh, yeah... and just hemp shops in general!

I just like this one. :)

Dad's herring.

You'll have to ask him to find out how it was. He did rave about it.

If we,as Americans, or just humans in general, could learn any one thing from the Dutch, it would be to ditch the cars and experience an alternate mode of transportation. They've got this bike thing down!

Shana and Jeremy used to say they were going to name their first daughter Vespa... :) Also, on our tour, we learned that all the houses in Amsterdam are gay. Why? You ask. Because they clearly aren't straight! Bah, hahaha.

Today we'd hoped something with the weather/vocanic ash cloud would change, but no. It seems things will be getting worse before they get better. We're hoping there might be a time when we can train to Geneva and still enjoy the Italian part of our trip next week. Who knows... we did venture into Haarlem today and I got an amazing Dutch pancake with ginger... we'll continue with the waiting game, perhaps I can find an English book or something!

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