My Overly Verbose Amsterdam Trip Report

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Feb 6th, 2007, 05:58 AM
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My Overly Verbose Amsterdam Trip Report

Day 1:
We'd done the best we could, I figured: rough schedules, food suggestions, pediatrician's number, friends' numbers, extra diapers, etc., all discussed and written down for my folks, who would be watching our one-year-old. Bags in the car, route to Boston planned, tix confirmed, but there was still that nervous energy for the first big trip away from the little man. Repeated assurances that we would only be gone 100 hours and that I, after all, had turned out (kind of) OK under their watch eventually reassured me, and DH and I were good to go. After our goodbyes, we were almost out the door when my mom piped up,

"Hey, A-, just in case the worst happens – where's your will and who raises little man?"

Jesus. Thanks, ma.

A largely uneventful trip to Logan and only small carryons for the both of us smoothed things out considerably and before we knew it we were in steerage on a 1/3rd full Air France 747 (benefit of leaving on a Monday). Our 5:40 flight was wheels up at 5:50, with drinks following about 35 minutes afterwards. Standard Air France fare for dinner – viciously irradiated shrimp, brickbat baguette, and sodden potatoes countered by brie and pretty decent wine (DH chose the Strasbourg piss beer). Our on-time arrival at de Gaulle inevitably led to the standard bussing, immigration, security, Bataan-death-march routine, so by the time we hit the gate for the connection we were both in need of serious caffeine (and a Gauloise for me after my intimate pat-down from a stocky security frau.). The connection was on time, landing at Schipol around 10ish, and we handily found the train hall downstairs. Two tix to Centraal Station = E 7,20, but our US plastic wouldn't work on the automated machines and it wouldn't take a 50, so we wound up paying an extra euro for the pleasure of buying at the counter. Live and learn.

The Avenue Hotel (www.avenue-hotel.nl) is a convenient five-minute walk from the station on Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and was about 50:50 business:tourist while we were there. There's a multi-line tram stop about 1 block from the hotel, the lobby's clean, and the desk staff is friendly. The room wasn't available yet, so we left our bags in the locked baggage room and started walking through the gloomy, overcast streets towards the Jordaan neighborhood and the Anne Frank house (E 7,50, www.annefrank.org , Prinsengracht 267), figuring the walk would rouse us and the crowds wouldn't be too thick on a Monday morning. I'd toured the museum/house 11 years earlier, but in the January gloom, having just left my son, the experience was heavier-hitting – the small, empty rooms, the old movie photos Anne pasted on the walls, and the devastating recollection of how Anne's father received confirmation that both his little girls died in the camps. By the end we were both moved but in a funk, so we put the map away and wandered in the Jordaan neighborhood amongst the canals and houseboats until venturing into the eetcafe De Blauwer Pan, 1/3rd full with locals, where I had a roast pork broodje sandwich with a Dommelsch (it was cold, it was beer, it was nothing to write home about; total 2 sandwiches and a few beers E 25).

From there, we backtracked to the Singel canal, where at #166 we found the narrowest canal house in A'dam at 1 meter wide (apparently it opens up a bit in the back), and then headed back to the hotel to check in. The room was fine, but it took us a while to figure out that to turn the lights on you had to stick your cardkey into a wall socket (which at least made for juvenile entertainment when we took turns in the shower). By now it was sprinkling rain and threatening worse, so we bought a strippenkart for the trams at the bodega next door (E 6,80 for 15 units; if you stay in the tourist area chances are you'll stay in one zone, but you have to punch # of zones plus 1 = 2 units) and headed off to the Rijksmuseum, still undergoing renovations but displaying "The Masterpieces" in several galleries (E 10, www.rijksmuseum.nl). The selection is naturally from the Dutch heyday – highlights of course include Rembrandts and Vermeers with their insane detail and unrivaled use of light, and an intricate carved bassinet for a VOC (East India Trading Company) honcho's kiddo that my son could turn into kindling in 8 seconds. And, of course, Rembrandt's massive The Night Watch (1642), where you’d swear Frans Banning Cocq's hand was coming out of the painting. You can still see a repaired gash at the 11 o'clock position above the dog, where in 1975 an unemployed schoolteacher attacked the painting with a bread knife; in 1990 an escaped mental patient sprayed sulfuric acid on the painting, but little damage was done. From the ads I'd seen throughout the city, the curators were wetting themselves over Rembrandt's Portrait of Catrina Hooghsaet (1657), on loan for a limited time from its home in the breakfast room at the private-residence Penrhyn Castle in Bangor, Wales (we keep our Dutch Masters in the throne room). It is a gorgeous painting, and a great story, too – a very independent woman at the time, who thumbed her nose at two husbands and the Mennonite church (painting on loan until 27 April).

Afterwards we poked around the nearby park and people-watched at the little temporary ice rink, then headed back along the Singel to the Leidseplein past the eight zillion shoe stores, every damn one pushing boots (from wannabe Tony Llamas to Wehrmacht sh!t-kickers). We managed to find the recommended Café Gollem, a little hole-in-the-wall brown café boasting over 200 beers, the names of which lined blackboards near the tobacco-stained ceiling spattered with coasters from around the world (www.cafegollem.nl, Ramsteeg, between Spuistraat and Kalverstraat). I indulged in a Leffe, happy to see they had the dubbel (and even their tripel, which I didn't know existed). DH sampled the microbrews on tap, and eventually we stopped across the alley at the Cracked Kettle, www.crackedkettle.com, a neat little liquor store that had an extensive selection of premium beers from throughout the EU and beyond. We walked back towards Dam square in search of food, found an Argentinian beef joint off a side street that we hoped would be good but wasn't noteworthy (they're everywhere here), and wound up moseying right into the Red Light District.

I had half-expected to be surrounded by piss-drunk soccer fans and bachelor-partying wankers yelling indecipherable slurs, getting into fights, and following their d!cks around like divining rods. No such luck, but then again it's the end of January. In fact, the only transaction for sexual congress I witnessed was the next night between a reasonably nubile blonde and an aging, unattractive Russian whose comrades were laughing the entire time. The girls indeed appeared to be segregated into streets and alleys and clusters of windows according to ethnicity (and bulk, with one alley definitely cruiserweight) - the surgically enhanced blondes had prime spots on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal. We wound up having quite a few Heinekens at the packed and fun Old Sailor bar on the same street (and found the hooligans, but perhaps it was too early for full-on marauding). Bellies full of Dutch brew, we eventually headed back to the hotel.
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Feb 6th, 2007, 06:39 AM
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Well, welcome back. Waiting for more and chuckling while reading. Didn't you find the Heineken so much better and smoother than the "stuff" they peddle to us in the States?
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Feb 6th, 2007, 07:20 AM
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Day 2:

The Avenue hotel puts out a good Euro-style breakfast – it didn't look like there was anything set out on a dare - and after adequate caffeination we again walked south through the chilly streets towards Spui. After a bit of confusion we finally found the entrance to the Begijnhof, a beautiful little enclave dating from the 14th century, where a green lawn and garden is ringed by gorgeous little almshouses formerly run by the nuns of the Catholic Beguine order. The last of the Beguines died more than 20 years ago, and now the occupants are all single women earning less than E16,000/year. The little church was closed (I had wanted to see the Mondrian pulpit panels) and you're not allowed to take pictures, but it is such a beautiful little oasis I'd recommend a peek.

We headed further south and turned left on the Singel to visit the Bloemenmarkt (50 tulip stems for E10, compared with $7.50 for 10 back home. Somebody in the tulip trade is driving a Maybach.) I have an intractable black thumb, but was still going to bring bulbs home for family and friends before we discovered from several vendors that the certifications for export were currently expired – apparently when the tulips are really in season (April - ??) the vendors get their certifications renewed and only then can you legally bring them back to the US. Bummer. But catching sight of some massive carnivorous pitcher plants in one of the stalls was like candy to my inner geek, and soon my little (doomed) tulip and I happily followed H down Vijzalgracht past the art galleries towards the Van Gogh Museum.

You can't miss the museum on Paulus Potterstraat – the main wing has all the architectural charm of a high school gymnasium in Brooklyn. But once inside, the experience is no less than extraordinary, with more than two hundred of his works arranged chronologically. Yes, the Big Ones are here, but I really enjoyed Van Gogh's attempts at copying Japanese prints, complete with kanji characters that he didn't know anything about, and the Marylander in me loved finding a vibrant little painting of an overturned crab. Special exhibitions are housed in the newer Kurokawa-designed wing, which currently has Vincent van Gogh and Expressionism (until March 4, 2007). This exhibit is truly stunning, taking you through Van Gogh's barely posthumous influence on the Die Brucke and Die Blaue Reiter movements. When you walk into the exhibit, the change in color with artists like Kandinsky and Kirchner is an acidic smack to the retinas, but the works are so expertly curated that you can instantly see exactly what motifs, perspectives, etc. the artists borrowed from Van Gogh. And Sunflowers is something to behold – the painting is luminescent, fantastic – people much smarter than I have better described it, but… it's stunning. I think I enjoyed it even more as it had been moved to the Expressionism exhibit and countered by Egon Schiele's Autumn Sun, whose sunflowers were so critically different yet so obviously similar (see http://painting.about.com/od/famousp...chiele-Sun.htm). Even without the extra exhibit, the museum was well worth several hours' wandering, and was my favorite sight in the city (www.vangoghmuseum.com, E 10 pp, the Expressionism exhibit will be at the Neue Galerie in New York from 23 March to 2 July 2007).

After the museum, on the other hand, I made a grievous tactical error: dragging my husband across the street to Coster Diamonds while he was Totally Sober. Founded in 1840, it's one of A'dam's oldest remaining diamond factories, and after a bit of registration you can go in for free to see the cutters and polishers at work, visit the museum and gift shop, and, of course, buy sparkly carbon. The women I know have the 4 C's atomically embedded in their hippocampii, but did you know that in order to polish diamonds on the turntable-like polishing stones they use diamond dust… and olive oil?

Relieved that he escaped with wallet intact, DH sprung for sandwiches and sodas at a little stand in the Rijksmuseum park, and we finally remembered that we had a child to check on. We walked down Stadhouderskade past the Heineken brewery and found a grocery store for a phone card – the lime-green kpn booths only take kpn cards and the "click" debit cards. It was still morning in the States, but I managed to get my folks:

A: Hey, Mom, how's the little man??

Mom: He's great! Last night for dinner he ate an entire steak, some pasta, and some fruit!
Dad (in background): Tell her how many cupcakes he's eaten!

A: Oh, God.

Mom: He woke up a little past midnight and he looked hungry, so we gave him a bottle…

A: Oh, God.

Mom: …and he's doing just fine – if you would just feed him more…

A: Oh, God.

Now I needed a drink, so we headed into the Heineken Experience tour (E 10 pp, www.heinekenexperience.com) where at least after the interactive exhibits you get three beers (when I was here in '96 you had a guided tour through the old brew rooms, and afterwards you were thrown as much beer as you wanted for 30 minutes, or until the next tour group arrived. Sigh.) Hate to say it, but during my "experience" I felt old amongst the college and even high school kids giddy over the legal drinking age of 18. But at least I learned that the "e"'s on the Heineken label are purposefully tilted to make "happy e's", something I'd never noticed before.

We backtracked on Vijzelgracht and hung a left on the Prinsengracht canal while a light rain started. Fortuitously the rain really started coming down just as we neared the Frozen Fountain, one of the warhorses of cutting-edge Dutch home design (645 Prinsengracht, www.frozenfountain.nl ). I poked around some very cool animal-and-insect linens while H stood blinking at the prices, and I'll wager that pretty soon there will be an influx of miniaturized, strangely-soft-plastic children's furniture knockoffs coming to the States (half the store is being renovated, be careful on the death-defying stairs to the second floor). We walked back to the hotel a little after 6 to dry off and the left again to scare up some rijsttafel.

Back in the 1700s the Dutch snagged the formerly-Indonesian Spice Islands in the East Indies, and the acquisition has influenced their food ever since. Rijsttafel is Valhalla for an ADD palate – several kinds of rice and lots of little dishes of meat, vegetable, and garnish with flavors ranging from spicy to sweet. We headed to the recommended Aneka Rasa in the Red Light District (25 Warmoesstraat, www.finerestaurant.nl) and I was a little nervous that the place wasn't very full, but the fast, friendly service and overabundance of good food quashed any hesitation to recommend the place. Their rijsttafel comes in vegetarian (E 16,80), "Aneka" (E 17,80), and "Rasa" (E 28,80 – about 6 more dishes than "Aneka"). We went with "Aneka" and some beers and left almost an hour and a half later, fat and happy.

After dinner we walked through the Red Light for quite a while, taking it all in. We passed on the Banana Bar (color me a Puritan; just not interested in prostitutes penetrated by produce) but did mosey through a few of the shops, where the selection was not as salacious or shocking as you'd think, with the exception of the DVDs. I'm pretty sure the only vices missing here were tax evasion and arson. Holy $%^#. Moving on, we stopped by the Old Sailor again, where we had a few Heineken/Amstel and met a friendly and hammered Irish bar owner from Limerick who had brought over a squadron of his employees for a few days' R&R. In the middle of discussing the Iraq war, the qualities of Dutch beer, and how some of his staff had indulged in the horticulture of Amsterdam, he regaled us with his 3 rules of bar ownership: 1) don't trust anyone, 2) never drink whiskey, and 3) always buy the pretty girls a drink. Sage advice, I suppose. After that, we started barhopping, and somewhere around the 3rd brown cafe I realized that except for 2 coffees and a soda, I'd only drank beer all day. The proud look on my spouse's face was heartwarming.

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Feb 6th, 2007, 07:35 AM
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I love your trip report - and your wonderful sense of humor.

Although my bosses are significantly above average, they've never taken ME on an R&R vacation like the hammered Irish pub owner you met....
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Feb 6th, 2007, 07:46 AM
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Really fun report. Thanks for taking the time to post it. I can't wait to hear how much your son grew during your absence (did they think they were feeding a longshoreman?)
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Feb 6th, 2007, 08:02 AM
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AHaugeto! This is so entertaining ! Thank you for posting, what an excellent way for me to start my day
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Feb 6th, 2007, 08:15 AM
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What a hoot! More, please.
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Feb 6th, 2007, 08:49 AM
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Great report.
Although I thought I knew Amsterdam quite well, you gave me new ideas.
Thanks!
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Feb 6th, 2007, 08:57 AM
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My notes from Day 3 have gone missing, unfortunately. My son has probably mauled them and stuffed them under a couch cushion.
Or he's eaten them.
But I'll find them tonight - will post Day 3 tomorrow. Sorry!
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Feb 7th, 2007, 05:40 AM
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Day 3:

The next morning my Heineken hangover was easily vanquished with strong coffee, croissants, and lots o' hazelnut spread (yeah, I slipped a few packets a la Prague. I think I might have a Problem.) The night before we had agreed to split up for the morning – DH wanted to see windmills, dikes, and other feats of engineering that kept this below-sea-level country dry, so he arranged for a tour with the friendly desk concierge.

Me, I wanted to see dead bodies.

A Ph.D. butcher friend of mine (yeah, you read that right. I love my life.) had given me a heads-up that the Bodies exhibit would be in town, and sure enough when I checked it out online the exhibition was at the Beurs Van Berlage, the early-modernist former stock exchange that caused a storm of controversy when it opened in 1903. The large brick building a bit in front of Centraal Station now hosts concerts etc., and I was among the first in line to buy tickets when they opened at 10 (E 20 – v. glad DH wasn't with me to have a stroke – www.bodiesamsterdam.nl). Anyway, the exhibit is tasteful and highly educational, composed of actual human bodies of Chinese prison-, um, actual bodies of altruistic volunteers specially treated in a "polymer preservation process" and then peeled apart/filleted/butterflied. Highlights included a cross-section of a brain from a stroke victim – you could actually see the menacing black splotch of blood from the ruptured artery. The pulmonary exhibit was also cool, where somehow arteries and veins were treated with red and blue polymer, respectively, and the rest of the viscera eaten away, leaving delicate coral-looking webs, so fine that small broken bits were collecting in the bottoms of the tanks (quick! Get another prisoner!). Those wishing to satisfy their inner Gil Grissom should note that the exhibit is also in New York, Miami, Seattle, and, understandably, Las Vegas.

Leaving the Beurs, it was time to go next door for some guerrilla shopping at the Bijenkorf department store. By now I'd noticed that half the A'dam fashionistas were wearing a perfume that I really liked and hadn't smelled before, so after some attempts at subtle queries on the street an amused waitress informed me it was called Flowerbomb by the local design team Viktor & Rolf, a bergamot and tea extraction contained in an amusing little glass grenade. A friendly and patient saleswoman told me it's been around for a while (2004) but isn't sold many places in the US yet – a quick Google confirms it's around, but at horrific prices compared to what I spent (almost E 10 cheaper than Duty Free, too). The retail gods were not with me through the rest of the store (temperamental shoe deities definitely on strike), so I finally dragged myself back to the room for a mercifully infant- and phone-free powernap, with DH arriving around 1 to rouse me for more sightseeing.

We did a good bit of walking from the hotel eastbound across the Centrum and Red Light District to St. Antoniestraat towards the funky, junky Waterlooplein flea market, where you can find bike parts, vintage clothing, and other random effects. By this time I was starving, so I spotted a sketchy Frites wagon and immediately ordered the local "special" fries, delivered with (warm) mayo, ketchup, and onions. Once I got the greasy mess in my hands I could practically hear the bacteria copulating and reproducing in the mayonnaise but I didn't care – I'll try anything once. They also sold something called "War Fries", fries slathered with ketchup, mayo, onions, sate sauce, and "special" sauce. If you've eaten these sober and survived, I want to hear about it. Because you need help.

I finally chucked the offending flotsam as we strolled westbound along the Amstel canal towards Staalstrat, where a sensuous smell dragged me towards the chocolatier Puccini Bomboni, its huge steel tables beckoning with beautiful designer chocolates. The place smells like my version of heaven (minus sweaty Jason Statham), and I was about to joke that DH's Euros and my figure/hard-fought MILF-hood were about to go down the tubes when I was distracted by … is that really a thyme truffle? OhMyGod.
Godiva? Candle wax. Neuhaus? Good, but nowhere near as full-bodied and fresh. If you choose right, Puccini Bomboni is a chocoholic's Dom Perignon. That's not bombast – as my friend L would say, this is the STUFF (and friends, I know from stuff). Here they make their chocolates daily - in the next room! - with no preservatives, so you have 7-10 days after purchase to sample such exotics as cognac, calvados, tea, tamarind, rhubarb…but if you're only going to have one or two, go for the dark-chocolate ginger (!!) and dark-chocolate lemon grass (!!) – they are true revelations. And bring your Benjamins – perfection ain't cheap (www.puccinibomboni.com, 17 Staalstrat and 184 Singel– evil, hideous, vile excuses for humans, they do not ship. Bastards.)

Still riding the Bomboni high, I dragged H into the other Big Deal design house Droog, where we were both amused by pimped-out iPod earbuds, with crystals and jet beads running the length of the wire. If you're into wacky, fun, but always, if sometimes vaguely, functional design this place is great. Eat your heart out Ikea. (www.droogdesign.nl, 7b Staalstrat).

We stopped for a beer at a nice brown café on Kloveniersburgwal whose name unfortunately I didn't write down (but I remember my Leffe!), then headed for the Nieuwmarkt square, where again street food beckoned – this time, a nice, smoky raw herring broodje. By now DH probably figured that some prophylaxis against dysentery was in order, as he hauled me into the bar at the Waag, a castle-looking structure built in 1488 right in the middle of the square, for a drink. I tried one of the Wieckse beers from Maastricht and got a fizzy, lemony beverage that probably would have been refreshing on a summer day but was a bit off for the middle of winter. Oh well.

More wandering, passing through the little Chinatown on Koningstraat and then doubling back to the Red Light District where we spent exactly 45 minutes at the Museum Amstelkring (it closes at 5, www.museumamstelkring.nl, E 7,50 pp). In 1661 Jan Hartman built a house and two adjoining buildings, converting the top two stories and all three attics into a then-forbidden Catholic church, which is cool to encounter at the top of a set of stairs but no way in hell do I believe that it was kept secret – not with that big honking pipe organ. We were kind of speeding through it, but at least we got to see the crazy 17th-century box beds, and I learned a cool new word, pyx. Pyx, pyx, pyx.

At this point we performed the obligatory souvenir shopping (no, not in Red Light) and 2nd phone call home (no, you don't want to hear about the Diaper Contents Conversation). We took our loot (and a quarter of a Cuban plantation) back to the room and freshened up before hunting down dinner. Southbound once again, this time down Spuistraat towards a recommended "authentic Dutch food" place where I thought the menu (and dining room) looked a little… limited. Thankfully H has been married long enough to interpret that as "Don't make me eat here," so we kept looking, coming across another Red Light area in the process as we walked further south. Same setup, same attire, same smiles with all the sincerity of single mothers with the rent due. We passed the Female and Partners store (erotic goodies for women, 100 Spuistraat) and tragically didn't find Housewives on Fire (supposedly at 130, and really – isn't that one of the best store names you've ever heard??) but happened upon Café van Zuylen, (intersection of Spuistraat and Torensteeg), a hip little restaurant packed to the gills with what looked like local college kids, hipsters, and professors. Bingo. We lucked into a deuce, ordered some beers, and devoured some local bread and tapenade to take the edge off while we relaxed. They have a daily "student special" – tonight it was pasta Bolognese for E 8 – but I had a fabulous lamb shank with potatoes and asparagus, while H had that whole roasted trout coated in salt and pepper and stuffed with lemon and fresh herbs that we are always delighted to enjoy in its delicious simplicity but are far too lazy to make at home (total with beers, E 54,50).

Afterwards we headed back north for some barhopping, hitting in no particular order Café Karpershoek (the oldest pub in A'dam, est'd 1606) and Café Kobalt (www.cafekobalt.nl). At one point I could tell that one of the coffeshops spelled psilocybin wrong on its front window, so I started drinking more aggressively. And by the end of the night, dear readers, I learned that:

1) Duvel still hates me, 2) chocolate-covered waffles are a pretty good drunk food, and 3) the local liquor jenever really sucks, especially after 1).

(Quickie wrap-up coming tomorrow – sorry!)
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Feb 7th, 2007, 07:49 AM
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There is nothing like sitting here with my first cup of coffee and having a laugh while waking up..

Me, I wanted to see dead bodies.

A Ph.D. butcher friend of mine (yeah, you read that right. I love my life.) had given me a heads-up that the Bodies exhibit would be in town, ....Anyway, the exhibit is tasteful and highly educational, composed of actual human bodies of Chinese prison-, um, actual bodies of altruistic volunteers specially treated in a "polymer preservation process" and then peeled apart/filleted/butterflied. Highlights included a cross-section of a brain from a stroke victim – you could actually see the menacing black splotch of blood from the ruptured artery. (quick! Get another prisoner!).


A-I would love to take a trip with you !
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Feb 7th, 2007, 07:59 AM
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Housewives on Fire? I hope they've trademarked it - I can see a cult TV series AND an indy band in there...
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Feb 7th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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– they are true revelations. And bring your Benjamins – perfection ain't cheap (www.puccinibomboni.com, 17 Staalstrat and 184 Singel– evil, hideous, vile excuses for humans, they do not ship. Bastards.)

This is SO funny, I have been reading this to my husband, I have to take breaks to recover from laughing
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Feb 7th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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I probably shouldn't read trip reports like yours...I think our trip to Amsterdam next summer with three kids will be a BIT different than yours....(But we did take a trip to Germany 16 years ago sans our little man...9 months later, a little lady was added to our family.)
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Feb 8th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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Day 4 (Kind Of):

Another gray morning, with the fog in my head complementing the one outside and my more intelligent neurons informing me that next time I go on vacation sans enfant, I had damn well better schedule an entire day just to sleep. At breakfast we worked the coffeepot like guards on the low post, boxing out German businessmen with our elbows and running screens for each other to grab another cup. Hopped up on caffeine and fake Nutella we were off like a prom dress to catch the train back to Schipol.

The flight back to de Gaulle was on time and blissfully unremarkable; the connection, however, was its usual delight, French transportation engineering at its finest (does anyone remember Le Car?). But at least you get a real multicultural feel as you're hauling your s#&^ all over Hell's half-acre (hectare?), because the genius who designed this mess knows waaayy too much about the Cherokee Trail of Tears. The current repairs are annoying - if there were still chunks of concrete and glass falling from the ceiling then at least have been some impetus for the doublewide mosey-ers to Move It Or Get Out Of My Way (some of us had the lovely 45-minute-but-still-"legal"-AF-connections to make).

Have I mentioned how much I hate de Gaulle?

Finally boarded the 2/3rds full 747 with 10 minutes to go to takeoff, which conveniently was delayed half an hour. Fine. Get. Me. Champagne. Now. After takeoff I figured we had 7.5 hours in the air and another 2.5 or less to see my son, so please God let there be a decent movie (or three) on. The first one was fine, and then it switched to a National Geographic special, which I was kind of interested in – exploring the Arctic or Antarctic something or other (yeah US public school education!). That is, until about 10 minutes in when they showed Orcas dining at the Baby Seal Buffet. Oh, God - I mean, really. Can't this plane go any faster? A few more clicks per hour isn't going to pummel the Ozone layer. Much.

The usual travesty of a dinner (baguette had gotten even worse – could they be using the same ones from Monday?) was eventually followed by the horror of a "snack," which had a tired wedge of bread with something potentially plant-derived but basically unidentifiable squashed therein (but I could tell there was mucho mayonnaise, and I've had my fill of mayo now for 2007, thankyouverymuch). Soon, though, we landed at Logan and breezed through security (but if you are a knit-capped, unshaven, jeans-clad, t-shirt with a "witty" slogan on it-wearing kind of person, then you, my friend, are screwed.) And finally, we raced home to see my beautiful, gorgeous, happy, funny little dude, who looked up at me, laughed, and kept on playing with Yet Another New Grandparent Toy.

Typical grandparent gloating, I suppose: he did great, he was wonderful, he was terrific, he was an Angel, he crawls on water. Several nights later we still haven't had him sleep through the night, so the next time about 12 hours before Grandma and Grandpa volunteer to take him while Mommy and Daddy slip away for some adult time…
I'm feeding him War Fries.

Happy travels.
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Feb 8th, 2007, 07:40 AM
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Thanks so much for the trip report. The Tn Trio is heading off to Amsterdam in March and we just can't get enough of hearing how much fun we are going to have there. SharonG has emailed me several times with selected quotes from your report to put in my spreadsheet.

Hope the little man gets back on schedule for you soon!

Amy
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Feb 8th, 2007, 07:53 AM
  #17
 
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This is a hoot! I may even be pursuaded to change my itinerary to somehow get to AMS. Thanks for sharing.

Rick
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Feb 9th, 2007, 06:20 AM
  #18
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Topping for J and H (thx for the call!)
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Feb 9th, 2007, 07:15 AM
  #19
 
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I had so much fun reading your report, I am heading to AM in June with my teenager grandaughter.

Thanks for the laughter, I almost chocked drinking my morning cup of java.
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Feb 9th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #20
rhapsody
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Kismetchimera. Agree with you about the report. Do you really make a cup of java every morning?
 
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