Friday, September 19, 2008


I've given up on posting pictures. The in-law's network is bouncing like a well-endowed go-go dancer and drops the uploads. Very frustrating!!!! On top of that, I've been so busy I've not had a lot of time to even think about writing it all down! We spent Monday in Amsterdam, shopping (I bought Lush products! Wheee!) and Tuesday was the Stedlijk (City) Museum. It's a modern art museum and they were having an exhibition of digital photography. It was, in a single word, horrible. If that was artistic vision, I would eat my shoes. I want art that inspires me, that moves me in some emotional sense. The only emotion I felt was anger that a man got paid to take a photo of a drunken 20-something man pissing on a chair. It wasn't even a Rietveld chair-- just a normal, average chair. UGH. The best part of Tuesday was definitely going into Amsterdam's new, gorgeous library! Seven floors of amazing architecture, beautiful modern art installations, and gorgeously laid-out shelving and seating. The top floor is a cafe with a terrace that looks out over the harbor and gives an amazing view of the city. We had lunch in the cafe to enjoy the view! I have pictures that you will see someday. I hope. *sigh*

Wednesday was spent in Haarlem. I loved this town, built around an old city square. The feeling here is timeless. We could have been walking down the street in the 14th century or modern day. It exudes the feeling of the ages. We went to the Frans Hals Museum and I finally saw my St. Adrian Civic Guard painting that I've been longing to see. Hals work is truly inspiring and perfect. He remains one of my all-time favorites.

Thursday was spent in Utrecht. An odd city, with half the city being ultra-modern and the other half being very old. It was here though, that we found our favorite museum, Utrecht Centraal Museum. They seem to have the best of everything, beautifully displayed. Some painters I wasn't familiar with, but fell in love with immediately as well as a large collection of Rietveld furniture and house plans. This museum administers the Rietveld Schroder house which we wanted to tour but couldn't get tickets! As it was, we just enjoyed the things on display. Then we went into Amsterdam for a late supper of Falafel and Belgian fries, and wandered through the red light district. It's in the old part of town and it's a lovely walk (in more ways than one! *winks*)

Today, we're off to the Rijksmuseum and tonight is dinner with an old friend of Dutch. We're eating somewhere near the beach! Tomorrow, it's off to Leiden to see Dutch's nephews play football and then dinner out with another old friend (tapas! Whee!). Sunday, we're spending the day with yet another old friend in Muiden-- visiting Muiderslot and the old city defense posts. After that?? I have no idea. There's always SOMETHING going on!

Tot Ziens!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The trip has taken a turn for the worse.

There are no mergpijpjes. That's right. We can't find them. The pastry shops??? None. The Albert Heijn?? Nope. Well, we did find the little ones, but they aren't as good. We found a few of the bigger ones in single packages by a different company at the gas station up the street but they sucked.


Monday, September 15, 2008

An update of the last two days...

Goedemorgen! Slaap goed?

Saturday was a day spent on the football pitch. The rain cleared while we were visiting Ton's old soccer club. We found out that his old team was playing at "Aufsay". I had no idea what Aufsay was. In fact, I spent a good thirty minutes trying to figure it out on the tram. I looked at the maps and still didn't see anything. Unfortunately, Dutch didn't know WHERE "Aufsay" was either-- that's not right. He DID know but he forgot. Color me surprised. *eyeroll* A two mile walk later, we come upon the Amsterdam Football Club, aka AFC. Ah. That makes more sense than Aufsay. Anyway, we watched his old team play and he disappeared into the locker room with them at half time. While this fuels many fantasies, I can't say there was a team mate worth fantasizing about!! :-P

After departing the pitch, we went into Amsterdam proper and wandered around Waterlooplein, to Rembrandtplein and the Muntplein. Muntplein is the location of the Munttoren (Mint Tower), definitely a city landmark. It's a gorgeous area to wander through and we took lots of pictures. I'm converting them now but uploading takes longer than expected. I'll try to post a few tonight or tomorrow. We also visited the flower bulb market and it's beautiful! Did you know they sell cannabis starter kits? Isn't that coolness?!? They also sell cannabis lollipops.

Our dinner that night was at an absolutely lovely little Indian restaurant that overlooked Muntplein. We walked up these narrow little stairs into a tiny little place with a beautiful view. The food was excellent! I had chicken tikka marsalla and Dutch had chicken Tandoori. The tea was delightful-- real woodbark and berries steeped in steaming water. It was amazing, really. The naan bread was to DIE for.

After dinner, we wandered back to Dutch's old neighborhood, which was a bit nostalgic and bittersweet. His downstairs neighbors, who were very old, had apparently passed on and there was no one there he knew. But it was so lovely to be in the place that I fell in love with on my last trip, and hear the tram driver call the stop for "Javaplein". The #14 will probably remain my favorite tram ride, ever.

Sunday was a "family" day! Dutch's sisters and their families descended on him and swept him away. I went with his mother into the city to see my first ballet. The National Ballet company was performing a tribute to their great dancer and choreographer, Rudi van Dantzig. The performance was vignettes from his famous ballets. It was amazing! It was such a wonderful treat to see it! And the building is absolutely glorious, with a wonderful view of Waterlooplein, the Blue Bridge, the "Skinny" Bridge and the canals. You can see the building here. After the show, we returned and had "chinese take-out" (which is a misnomer-- I had Sate Kip met Nasi. That's chicken satay with lightly fried rice for the uninitiated and Dutch had Roti. Both are not chinese!)

Today, we're back to the city for a canal cruise and more wandering. I'll sign off now and catch you soon! Tot Ziens!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


Pictures! But don't get excited. The pictures are from the plane, and our "grounding" in Charlotte. You can see the pictures here.

Tot Ziens!