So, after yesterday's insanity, we have arrived in Amsterdam! We've lost a day due to the Northeast's air routes being closed for much of Sunday because of electrical storms. But better late than never, and thank goodness for Kim saving us from scrambling to find a hotel in Newark or schlepping into the city to my parents' apartment.
We had an uneventful flight once we finally boarded, and then were thrilled to see all three pieces of luggage come off the conveyer belt in Schipol Airport. We used the ticket machines in the airport, and within minutes were on the train going into Amsterdam. I wish every city had an airport that had an elevator from the arrivals terminal to the train into the city center.
We followed the apartment owner's directions, and dragged our bags over the brick streets into the Joordan. This area is full of tiny twisting streets, canals, lovely houses with those amazing gables, and a lively street scene. The apartment is pretty comfortable, very spacious, and decorated like a 60's head shop. Macrame hangings, anyone? But the huge kitchen is great, it's extremely quiet, and enormous for the three of us.
We all passed out for two hours, since none of us slept on the flight. We left Dan in his comatose state, and went grocery shopping. I found the wonderful old cheese that my co-teachers Dutch mother-in-law sends her--it's an aged gouda, with a very nutty taste and the texture of parmesean. We also got some other cheeses, vegetables and fruits, and assorted snacks. At bakery down the street we got two kinds of bread, one a very dark seeded one, the other lighter with dill. We enjoyed cheese sandwiches, and then dragged Dan out for a walk.
We ended up getting on a canal boat, and slowly wound through the city's canals. I love the scale of Amsterdam. With low buildings, small streets, bicycle as the main form of transportation, it almost feels like a network of villages. It seems very vibrant and busy, yet with a solid structure of cafes and places for people to stop, sit and talk. The boat ride was a great introduction for our first days we started to get a sense of where things are.
We found a busy Thai restaurant in the neighborhood, and had an excellent dinner.
OK, we made it till 9:00. Time for bed!