And we are here. Our flight landed in Amsterdam Friday morning the 10th at 11am. Since we were tired from not sleeping all that well on the flight we decided to take a taxi to IJmuiden aan Zee (on the north sea) where we had booked a room at the trusty Holiday Inn. I think the driver charged us a bit too much but at that point all we wanted to do was get a good long nap. We walked around the “boardwalk” and found a cafe to get a snack (frites=french fires with mayonnaise) before we could check in at noon. I really believe we would have slept all the way till midnight if someone hadn’t accidentally rung our phone in the room at 6pm. Nevertheless, we got up and went for a walk on the beach, put our feet into the North Sea (chilly but not as cold as the Pacific) and went to dinner. Kris ordered a delicious pan-fried Dover Sole and I had a pasta dish with “gamba’s” or shrimp as we Americans call them. We enjoyed our meal with a local beer.

On Saturday morning we were up at 5:30am with no place to go since the locals don’t start moving until 7 or 8am. The hotel breakfast room opened at 7am finally and we enjoyed¬† traditional Dutch fare which included some American/ English breakfast items like scrambled eggs, bacon, and sausage but the best part were the breads, various cheese’s and meats with the best yogurt I’ve ever tasted in my life. Kris even tried the yogurt with fruit jam and liked it. Amazing, huh? The little seaside town was perfect to get our bearings before we headed to Amsterdam on a local bus at 9:30am.

Arriving in Amsterdam approximately an hour and 1/2 later, we found ourselves at the bus depot without a clue on which way to go. We walked for quite a while with our big suitcase and backpack type bags marveling at the quaint old buildings trying to figure out where the canal street where our houseboat might be.

Finding ourselves back at the bus depot, we decided to get a taxi. By that time Kris had found the location of the houseboat on her trusty little gadget (Android) giving the taxi driver instructions on where to turn. A neighbor on the canal street was watching for us and waved us over to the houseboat. Melle, the owner had left a key hidden with a note on the houseboat’s door so we were able to get in and get oriented.

Making sure to carry proper ID and euros, we headed out to explore our neighborhood and get burner phones so we could make local calls while here in Europe. Most everyone speaks perfect English here making it easy to make purchases and get basic directions. I have to say that Amsterdam reminds me of a cross between New Orleans and New York City with all the people bustling around. The only difference is the amount of bicycles everyone rides. It is nuts and rather scary if you are not on the alert. Of course we rented bikes for ourselves Saturday afternoon so we’d have an easy mode of transportation. Not near as easy to maneuver as it looks but we made it back alive to the houseboat to meet our host that evening to get instructions and pay our rent.

There is lots more but right now it is almost 7:30am on Monday morning and I need breakfast. I will catch you up later with all of our adventures from Sunday. Our main destinations today are the Anne Frank House, the Dutch Fighter’s Resistance Museum, the Heineken Brewery tour, and much more.¬† We will put some pictures on the travel blog soon!

Till next time,

K & K