Awesome Amsterdam Adventure (Part 2)

Day 2 in Amsterdam started with a somewhat early breakfast in the hotel. I think we were eating by 8. We had to make our way to the station to catch a train to Haarlem. It was only about a 15 minute train ride or so, really quick. Actually, it was my first train experience – that I know of. Since we got to Haarlem by about 9 or so, things were still pretty sleepy in the town. We walked from the Station to the Corrie ten Boom House/Museum/Clock shop.

This sign juts out into the street above the clock/watch shop which the ten Boom family used to run. The entrance to the house is off the alley to the side.

You don’t have to make a reservation, you can just show up and there’s a schedule outside the door to the house that tells you when the next tour is and in which language (Dutch/English). They take a max of 25 people and my Mom really wanted to make sure we got into the first one so we did in fact make a reservation. There was only one other family – from the States – who was in the tour with us. It’s not as popular a place as the Anne Frank House, but I actually liked it better. It might have something to do with the fact that Corrie and her family were Christians and their faith and love was the most important thing to them. It plays a huge role in their story and why they did what they did. People don’t always respond well to the gospel. My Mom had seen the movie The Hiding Place which tells Corrie and her family’s story.

The Ten Boom’s were watch/clock makers and repair-people. They were able to use the shop as an excuse for the constant stream of people coming to and from the house during the occupation. Of course curfews made things a little difficult, but Corrie was able – with the help of many people and the Dutch underground – to supply food stamps and other things to those families and homes sheltering Jews. They had a system to let people outside know if it was safe or not to enter the house. They didn’t turn anyone away, even when one of the Jews they ended up sheltering permanently was an old woman with terrible asthma who had been turned away from every other shelter. And a man whose features were so Jewish he would have been arrested on the spot without question. His family had been taken in by others, but they wouldn’t keep him because it was too risky.

See the little triangle clock statuette there in the bottom middle of the middle window? If that was in the window people knew it was safe to enter the house. If it wasn't there they knew to steer clear.

One of their ‘boarders’ was an electrician and he installed a bell and buzzers all over the house. It was loud enough to be heard throughout the house, but not outside. At one point there were 7 Jewish adults living with the Ten Boom’s. They had to climb up a couple of flights of steps to get to the secret room. They were able to go outside a little, on the roof, because the railings surrounding the porch-like area was covered. So as long as they crouched down and stayed quiet they could get some fresh air. The secret room was a small slice of room behind a false wall placed in Corrie’s bedroom. The false wall was made of brick so as not to sound hollow. There was a little door that could be raised at the bottom of a bookshelf. The Jews living in the house had to store all of their belongings minus the clothes on their back in the hiding place when they weren’t in use. When the room was built Corrie was told that they had to run drills to try to make sure everyone one of the Jews in hiding would be able to reach that room from anywhere in the house in a minute or less. And not only reach the room, but all be inside it. This was no mean feat! This meant at least 2 flights of winding, circular, narrow stairs (I can’t remember exactly) – if they were in the dining room – and a climb through a tiny hole. During dinner this meant taking plates, cutlery, and anything else that would give away another person eating there, all done as silently as possible with no dropped food or anything. At night this meant grabbing bed sheets and blankets and flipping the mattress so as not to give away there is a warm spot from a sleeping person. They finally managed to shave the time from 4 minutes to 70 seconds. Quite impressive if you ask me. I wouldn’t have wanted to run up those stairs that fast!

Can you imagine running up two fights like this as fast and as quiet as possible? I guess if your life depended on it you would.

One day when Corrie was quite sick (fever, dizzy-ness, headache, etc) a man came to the shop and refused to speak to anyone but her. Her wouldn’t look her in the eyes and there’s a Dutch saying along the lines of ‘you’ll know the measurr of a man by the way he looks at you’ or something like that. Basically, whether or not he looks you in the eye. He kept going on about needed money to save his wife (or someone) and was really distraught, but wouldn’t look her in the eye. She was suspicious because of this, but didn’t want to take the chance that he was telling the truth and someone suffered for her inaction. It was a lot of money, but she told him to come back at a certain time. He finally looked her in the eye. Later that morning there was a raid on the house. She was in bed at the time and remembers waking up to a buzzer sounding and not remembering scheduling a drill for that day. She remembers hearing the wheezing of Mary (the women with asthma) and praying for God to heal her and stop the wheezing before the soldiers came in the room. Miraculously it worked. Corrie had prepared a prison bag that had all the essentials she would need including medicine for her sister. I didn’t mention it before, but at this time I believe Corrie was already 51. In her haste she had thrown her prison bag in front of the door to the secret room. The soldiers ordered her to get dressed and come downstairs. As she went to reach for her bag she realized they might be able to see the door that way so she left it. It was a really hard thing for her to do. So, the Ten Boom’s and some other relatives and friends who had been there for a Bible study (which if not illegal at this time was not something you wanted to be caught doing) were all herded into the dining room and one by one taken into the clock shop and questioned.

They wouldn’t admit to hiding any Jews, knowing that it would be almost impossible to find the secret room. And in fact, I don’t believe the German’s ever found it. They found the spot where all the jewellery and things were hidden, and under the bottom step where all the food stamps were, but not the secret room with the 6 Jews (one of them was away at the time of the raid – the electrician – he was installing a buzzer system somewhere else). The ‘all’s clear’ sign had been knocked from the window and broken. One of the soldiers noticed Corrie look at it and picked it back up, put it together, and placed it in the window. Shortly after an unsuspecting person came to the door yelling that one of the others had been caught. They too were arrested and the soldier said ‘I knew it!’. He had a feeling about the clock statuette. All in all because of this I think they arrested 35 people that day. The Ten Boom’s also had a working telephone – pretty sure that also wasn’t allowed. Of course they had codes – all to do with clocks and watches – so if someone was tapping the lines they wouldn’t be found out. But that day a lot of people from the underground had been discovered and people weren’t taking precautions like normal, they were distraught. Corrie answered 3 or 4 phone calls in an unusually brisk manner, but it wasn’t until the last that the person on the other end caught on and hung up before saying anything.

Corrie and her family were all put on a bus and shipped out of Haarlem along with many of their friends and underground helpers. They were taken to prison with the others before being sent to concentration camps. Corrie was the only member of her family to survive. She was released due to a clerical error. All the women of her age were meant to be executed, but somehow (by the power of God) her name was put on a list of younger women and she was released. She spent the rest of her life telling her story and spreading God’s message across the world. It’s a very moving story. One women, one family willingly risked so much to save the lives of God’s chosen people.  There’s so much more to the story and I actually got out the book I bought there (for the first time since I bought it) and read a little bit to try to get more information. I know the people hiding had to stand in that place for at least a day if not more with no food or water. They had to wait until they were sure the coast was clear. And since the Germans were positive Jews were being hidden the house they made sure to look everywhere.

This is me trying not to get stuck in the door. The bedroom isn't that much wider than what you see in the picture. The width of the secret room was only about 2 1/2 feet or so, I think. Not very wide. With 6 adults it was standing room only.

I have to say, this tour moved me much more than going to the Anne Frank house. I think it was because it was more personal and not as many people. The women who gave the tour was an elderly volunteer, she was a child during the occupation. One ‘yeah!’ moment for me was when she informed us that it was the Canadians who liberated Haarlem. So far in my travels in Belgium and to Dachau, Germany it had been the Americans doing all the liberating. Not that that’s a bad thing! Liberation is liberation no matter who did it. It seems that the Canadians did more liberating in the Netherlands and the Americans in Belgium. I’m proud to be North American ;).

We had lunch in Haarlem before making our way back to Amsterdam. I forgot to mention that before the tour while we were waiting for it to open my parents spent a bunch of time in a cheese shop that’s just a couple of shops down from the museum/house. They bought some (picked up after the tour), but not before having a taste of a bunch of different kinds. The guy helping them was very helpful and enthusiastic. Lisa and I stood outside (I think the smell might have been a little too overpowering for me, can’t remember) watching traffic jam up on the small street. There was a truck making a delivery and because the street was narrow and because he wasn’t able to pull very far to the side, traffic was held up for a while. I thought it was funny. But only because it wasn’t me stuck in it. I think apart from the morning and the evening that street was pedestrian only.

Dutch cheese!

Once back in Amsterdam Lisa and I went off to do our own thing. She wanted to take me to the coffee-shop where you could buy brownies…or space cakes. Oh yeah, we’re bad. As an aside for those who don’t know; a coffee-shop sells marijuana, a café sells coffee.  We ended up wandering around, not knowing where we were. We managed to find this place we had been the day before and followed a group of kids in bright orange t-shirts because we figured they were going to the Anne Frank house (we were right) and the place Lisa was trying to find had sort of been around there. Her had Dad had found it the day before. Of course there are coffee-shops everywhere, it’s just trying to find one’s that sell baked goods. In our somewhat aimless wanderings we stumbled upon a shop that sells legit Absinth. It’s not green (yellow in fact) and you don’t light in on fire. Don’t let those sneaky Bohemians in Moulin Rouge fool you. The man selling it was very helpful and took us seriously. It was Lisa who wanted to buy some. I thought maybe because we are still sort of young (Lisa younger than me) that he would treat us that way, but he didn’t. Then again, we can be mature when we want/need to be ;).

And here are the different types of Absinthe as well as accessories to go with it.

We didn’t find what we were looking for on the other front. The Absinthe was something Lisa wanted to look for, but we weren’t really looking for. It was a fluke that we even saw the sign. And I guess we managed to find 1 of only 2 stores in Amsterdam that sell the real stuff. Finally after walking almost non-stop for about 3 hours we started to make our way back to the hotel. We hopped on a tram. We should have just walked, we weren’t that far. We started going in the wrong direction (I was still getting used to all the little tram details). I figured it would be easiest to head back to the station and then get on the right tram from there. We finally got there and got on a tram I thought would take use to our stop. There were so many, I just got one of the #s mixed up. It was not the right tram. But we got on just as it was getting ready to leave and we couldn’t get off. This one in fact only made about 6 stops and went right out of the city! Ahhh! And we were already going to be late in meeting our parents. Finally at the 2nd stop we got off, crossed to the other side and went back into the city. We then got on the correct tram and made it back in one piece. In rain because, yes, it had started raining during all this.

We ended up going for supper at a little place across the ways from our hotel. We got there just before they closed down the restaurant. After supper we wandered around more through the shops looking for little things we wanted. Some things we found, others we didn’t, and spirits weren’t the highest. Lisa and I left our parents again on our quest to find the right coffee-shop. And to see more. So we took off in a different direction. We ended up making a big circle and thankfully after a fruitful search making it back to familiar territory. We found this coffee-shop:

So classy. And right on the edge of the Red Light District too.

There are a bunch of ‘The Bulldog’ shops and I swear we went into each one. Finally outside this one there was a security guard who asked for I.D. As we were taking out our passports we asked if they had any baked good because there was no sense going in otherwise. And they did! The guy behind the counter was really open and friendly and pretty cheesy too. We were polite, saying things like ‘we would like’, ‘please’, and ‘thank you’. One thing led to another and he said ‘that’s how I knew you were Canadian, you’re so polite’. I wish I could remember the rest of our conversation with the guy because it was really entertaining and I thought it would make a great story for here. But alas, 3.5 months is too long for my brain. I know one thing you’re probably all wondering about was whether we saw the Red Light District. The answer is yes. Again, by accident. Beside this shop was an alley. In this alley there were scantily clad women in windowed rooms selling all kinds of things I would never sell and doing it in the glow of creepy red lights. We walked through this alley to get home and to say that we did. It wasn’t what I was expecting. I don’t really know what I was expecting, but I think it was something bigger (there were other alleys) and more…pronounced? I just thought since it seems like such a big deal and something that everyone always associates with the city, I thought it would be a little more obvious.

After finally achieving one of our goals for the day we quickly headed back to the hotel. We were tired, our feet were sore, and we just wanted to go to bed. And so ends day 2 of our Awesome Amsterdam Adventure!

Click here for information on the movie The Hiding Place which is based on the ten Boom family, the raid on the house, and their time spent in Concentration Camps.

Click for full album!
                                                                                                                      

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London Calling…

Hello all!

Today is Friday and that means that by the time you read this I’ll either be on my way or already in London. This weekend while I’m catching glimpses of Big Ben and Buckingham Palace, you will have the chance to read of my adventures in Amsterdam this summer.

Day 1 was posted back in September,  but there’s the link for you again if you missed reading it and want to give it a go.

And here’s the video that inspired my title:

                                                                                                                      

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Was that a cow? Oh no, it’s just a crying child.

Sylvain now has the chicken pocks. He’s got more spots and he had a fever today. He didn’t sleep very well so he’s sleeping now and will have to be woken up for supper. Bastien also didn’t take a nap today because he didn’t want to sleep. Humph. So all he’s been doing this evening since his parents got home is cry. Except when he cries because he wants attention me makes this kind of cow groan sound that is really distracting. Greg had gone to the doctor with Sylvain (Greg had the flu) and was trying to explain medication and stuff to Adeline and Bastien was doing his cow-crying.

Today at lunch I noticed that Sylvain’s right eye was really red. Around the outside it had that purple look that you get when you don’t sleep, but in the inside corner it was really red. I put a drop in it before he went down for his nap. I don’t know how much he slept I only know it was just a little. When he got up it wasn’t as red, but there’s a bump now and I think it’s a chicken pock. Poor guy.

Adeline sent Bastien up to bed because he wouldn’t stop making noise/crying and of course this is horrible for us all, but Greg more because he’s sick. She told him not to make noise and not to wake up his brother, but the next thing I hear is high-pitched squealy talk. I run up there and tell him to be quiet and I see that Sylvain is sleeping doubled over. It’s like he was sitting up and decided to fold himself in half to sleep. I moved him and noticed that he was a bit sweaty so hopefully that means his fever has broken. I think he woke up for a bit because we heard crying, but then all was silent.

I finally got my first Amsterdam post published and the pictures are up on Facebook. They’re actually not that exciting. One thing I realized is I don’t think, in all 3 days we were there, that I once got a picture of the Anne Frank house. I could take a picture of the stuff I got there, but I didn’t take a picture of the outside (you can’t take any inside). Lisa and I even walked past it on Day 2, but I didn’t get my camera out.

So tomorrow I’m going to the school to re-register for my French course. I’m not exactly sure what’s happening with it, but she said I could go in tomorrow between 1-5.  And it’s kind of a big deal because I’m going to get another letter soon from the work permit people (hopefully only one more) that’s going to ask for signed proof by the school that I’m attending regularly so I have to make sure I get signed up again! Since the course technically runs from September to June I have to re-register. Oh well.

I think we’re about to eat supper so I should get going.

*****some time later*****

One thing I was  going to mention yesterday that’s really cute. There’s this little puppet song with hand actions that you sing with kids. Basically it’s moving your hands (waving like the Queen of England, but more splayed fingers), then you make a rolling motion with them, then you hide them behind your back. Well, Sylvain is starting to do the wave motion. It’s mostly just with his left hand, but he started doing it today on his own, no prompting. It’s adorable. Hopefully the boys will sleep tonight. I know they’re tired, but when your sleep schedule gets messed up that does all sorts of odd things to you.

This morning I got up for a walk for the first time in over a week. I actually jogged a bit too. More than ever before. I would say that of the 5km I was out for I probably jogged for just over .5km. I know it’s not much, and it wasn’t all at once, but for me it’s a big deal. I know this is super weird, but I was watching Bride Wars last night (I’m not even sure why, I don’t like it that much….) and there is at least two scenes where the main characters (Anne Hathaway and Kate Hudson) are out jogging (or power walking :P) and I just really got the urge to jog. To feel the freedom that you don’t get from walking. Sometimes when I’m walking fast I get the urge to run, I just want to be able to. I want to be able to really stretch out and go. It’s harder because it’s colder now in the mornings, but I really am going to make an effort to up the ante a bit. What’s the point in doing this every day if I’m not going to strive towards actually moving better/more.

                                                                                                                       

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Awesome Amsterdam Adventure (Part 1)

Don’t mind the alliteration. I couldn’t help it. I know this is what you’ve all been waiting on pins and needles for. You’re getting antsy wondering what kind of crazy capers we all got into up there.

Wednesday August 3rd 2011. The weather was  a little nippy, overcast, and off and on rain. We left some time in the morning, around 9 I think. There isn’t really much to tell about the journey. Lisa listened to her music, I listened to an audio book, and I think we both fell asleep at one point. I actually woke up when we were almost at the stadium where we were parking our car for the Park + Ride. We parked at the Bijlmer ArenA. For those of you not familiar with the Park + Ride system I will explain it. There are about 7 or so stations outside of the city that you can park in and leave your car there for the duration of your stay in Amsterdam. You get metro tickets that will take you to the Centraal Station and bring you back at the end (all included in the price to park). Normally the metro would take you all the way into the city, but there was construction being done so we had to get off of that and take a bus. It was quite the journey, but we made it. Once you get to Centraal (it’s not a typo, it’s Dutch ^_^) you decide what type of transportation tickets you want to buy. We had considered getting 48h ‘I Amsterdam’ cards that include free public transport, free admission to a bunch of museums, and discounts on a whole bunch of stuff. We decided that for the price and what we were planning on doing the cards weren’t worth it. The transit system tickets for 48h were quite cheap in my mind. I think they might have been €11/person or something. And that’s unlimited use of the trams for 48 hours. Good deal I think. Since the two museums we had previously planned on seeing weren’t included in the ‘I Amsterdam’ card they really didn’t do us much good. So instead of paying €48/person to get into more museums than we had time for, and discounts for things we weren’t going to do, we paid the €11/person to get around and the other stuff we would have had to pay for anyway. It ended up working out really well. There were about 5 or 6 lines that would take us right to our hotel. We were just 2 stops away from the Station and our stop was maybe…100ft or so from our hotel.

Our hotel. We knew going there that it was only 2 star, but I don’t stay in a lot of hotels so I don’t know what to expect. It wasn’t that bad, really. It actually added to the experience. There was a steep staircase leading up to the hotel (it was above a store). I think there were another 2 floors with super steep/small staircases, but thankfully we were on the ‘main’ floor of the hotel. Since we got there before check-in we were told we could just leave our suitcases in the reception area/breakfast room. The room was small enough that the person at the desk could see the suitcases at all times. So we left to do some wandering. The others had spotted a McDonald’s or two on the way so we decided to walk back to one of them. It was actually my first time eating McDonald’s since last December. We got Big Mac Meals that came with a free ‘Coke’ glass. They came in a bunch of different colours (of course I wanted a green one and Lisa wanted purple), but they only had blue at that time. In Amsterdam there are two things you can definitely be sure of; a McDonald’s and an H&M on almost every block. Literally. It’s ridiculous. After that we headed back to the hotel .

When we finally got to go to our rooms only one was actually ready. I don’t know how we decided who go it, but it ended up being Mom and Dad. First thing; small. It’s to be expected and really, they were big enough for what we needed them for. Except for the bathroom. Oh the bathroom. Now, in my family, we’re not tiny people, but even if you were anorexic you’d have trouble with that first bathroom! When you opened the door the sink was right there. There was just enough room to get in and close the door. The shower was on the right and the toilet on the left. But the toilet was practically under the sink! The thing that matters was that it worked. Always try to make the best of every situation because it could always be worse. And it was really warm and muggy in that room. When you opened the windows it was super noisy. Which makes sense because we were right in the centre of town. We didn’t get to see the other room until we got back from supper, but I’ll just describe it for you now. It was the same size as the first, but quieter (because the alley on this side was a lot smaller and you couldn’t walk in it) and not as hot. There was also an air conditioner. The bathroom was a little better, but still tiny. It was just shaped differently. You opened the door and the toilet was right there. You could actually stick your toes out under the door when you were sitting on the toilet. The shower and sink were to the right and the standing space was just wide enough for the small sink. But again, it fit out purposes. I was going to wait to mention this until Part 2, but I might as well say it now. The reason the 1st room was so hot was because the heater was on. I don’t know why it was on, but it was. We didn’t discover this until the 2nd night when Lisa and I switched rooms with our parents. They had hardly gotten any sleep at all the 1st night, what with the noise and the heat, and (especially since they were the one’s driving) we thought it would only be fair to switch. It was after this switch that Lisa and I were at the windows looking out at the alley and the main street that I put my hand on the heater and noticed how hot it was. All that suffering for nothing. We still kept the windows open, but it was about the same temperature as the other room, maybe not quite as chilled, once that heater was off. I couldn’t believe it. My parents never thought to check because even though the sun wasn’t out it was still quite warm outside so why would anyone have the heater on?

After depositing our things in the room we left for our first order of business. We had two tickets for the Anne Frank Museum. My Dad had thought a few days before we went that it might be a good idea to get our tickets ahead of time because we know it’s a popular museum. Well, by the time Dad searched for them all we could get was 2. This was for the English introduction. And it was 2 on the 3rd, and there was 1 for the 4th. So he snatched up those 2 and decided that Lisa and I could fight over who would go with Mom. I offered it to Lisa, but she knows that museums/history and things like that are more down my alley than hers so she let me have it. She just wanted to be able to go to the book store to see what they had there. It turns out that if you want to wait in line for hours you don’t have to buy tickets ahead of time and if we would have went as soon as we got to the city, Dad and Lisa probably could have gotten into the museum as well. Yeah right, like they’d want to wait that long! And the tickets you buy from waiting in line don’t include an introduction, it’s just the museum. Because Mom and I already had tickets we got to go in a side door all sneaky like and wait for our introduction inside. I won’t take the time talking about Anne Frank because most of you already know the story and if you don’t it’s so widely accessible you can find out about it easily if you’re so inclined. It was really neat to be inside the house where they hid. I haven’t read the book yet (although I bought a copy there), but I’ve seen the play. I can’t really comprehend what it would have been like not to be able to make noise when you needed to, or to not be able to get fresh air any time you wanted. I guess people are capable of a lot of things when their lives depend on it.

We took a little longer at the house than we thought so Dad and Lisa were at a bit of a loose end for a little while, but eventually we saw them again and let them in through the ‘sneaky side door’ (it’s actually on the same wall as the main entrance) as long as they promised to only go into the book store.

By that time we were hungry so Dad and Lisa guided us to this restaurant they had found that served up a platter of traditional Dutch food. It was quite the platter, let me tell you. It had 3 or 4 different types of meat, that mashed potato/carrot concoction that I always forget the name of, and then in bowls on the side were more potatoes and other veggies. We all got plates and then just dug in. The amount we got could have fed 6 or 7 people and we had to stop my Dad from eating when he was clearly way too full and just kept taking stuff because it was sitting there. He was being quite the joker about it. We had to hide all the cutlery. Mom got a bottle of wine that she was able to take with her if she didn’t finish it. I felt sort of odd carrying an opened bottle of wine out of a restaurant in my backpack…. Our waiter was really nice. My Mom kept saying he looked like he could have been the younger brother of a friend of theirs who was in their wedding party if said friend (Rob I think) would have had a younger brother. We ended up asking him if we could take a picture of him. He said yes even before we explained why. Again, awkward. Actually, I’m the one with the picture, so I have to remember to email it to my Dad. It was good, by the way, the food. I know I have a picture of it all, but except for that I couldn’t tell you what the meat was or what the platter was called because as you’ve all figured out by now I have the memory of a…well, not an elephant and I never write things down.

One thing we had to be careful of with the trams is that on different lines there might be the same stop name, but it won’t be the same stop. It will be in the same area, but a street over or something. We figured that out trying to get back to the hotel. To get right to the hotel the 9 and 4 (among others) were perfect. The 1, 2, or 5 got us around it, but we had to still find our way from the stop. I’m not sure what we did exactly after dinner. We must have hung out at the hotel for a while because it was still light out when we got back there, but it wasn’t until after dark that we left again. I’m drawing a blank, unless we didn’t actually do anything and then that makes sense. That night anyway, we went to the Medieval Torture Museum. Nothing like looking at crazy painful ways of getting people to talk to get you in a good mood. It took us a little bit to find it because it was dark and all, but it wasn’t actually that hard. We were the only one’s there (by this time it was 10pm I think). We napped! That’s what we did after supper. Now that that’s taken care of… The others just sped through, but I took the time to actually read the plaques which, although gruesome in their descriptions of the methods and devices involved and the reasons one would be picked for such a torture, were actually quite cleverly written, enough so to be slightly amusing. I started reading them aloud because the others weren’t bothering to take the time and for some reason they just sounded better with a British accent. Or at least my attempt at a British accent of some sort. Eventually I gave up on the ‘aloud’ bit and just read them for myself. At this point they had completely lost me. Well, at least they were able to rest at the end while they waited for me to finish.

When we left I’m not sure why we didn’t just go back the way we came. Maybe we started to, but we definitely got lost somewhere along the way. I can’t even remember if our plan was to go straight back or not.  At one point my Mom was completely outraged because some guy was talking on his phone, his dog took a crap on the edge of the sidewalk (which he was clearly aware of), and when it was finished he just walked away. There’s not much ‘poop and scoop’ enforcing there. Eventually Lisa and I got ahead of the ‘rents. We must have looked like we knew our way around (I didn’t have my backpack on, maybe that was it) because we were stopped by this young couple who asked us how to get to another museum. Of course, we were as lost as they were so we weren’t much help, but we all did our best to help each other. We ended up chatting a bit and found out they were from Australia. The guy was 30 and this was the first time he’d ever gotten a passport. I guess, if we didn’t need one to get in the States, that would be my story to, just not the ’30’ part. They were really cool and we shared stories of why we were there and stuff like that. Don’t you just love those kinds of encounters?

So as you can see, even though we didn’t ‘do’ that much stuff we still had an action packed 1st day. Yes, I know, super long post and it’s only one day! For your sake I’m spacing it out a bit ;). Stay tuned for AAA (Part 2), coming to a computer near you.

Pictures from this day can be seen here: Awesome Amsterdam Adventure – Day 1 [Hollyjb]

                                                                                                            

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