Monday, June 22, 2009

Lets travel - part one: Getting there and Amsterdam

In May, Jim and I took a trip that we had dreamed of for years. It finally come to fruition after lots of saving, planning, and research. Because after all, I am married to the man that researches Consumer Reports before buying a bottle opener. That is another story for another day.

Needless to say, after recent events, I was more than ready for a trip away. Away from real life, away from Florida humidity, and away from range of Jim's blackberry service. Seriously!

So, where did we go, you ask? Amsterdam, Paris, and NYC. I am a lucky lucky girl.

My only concern was the flight. I am a bit of nervous flyer. And by a bit, I mean crazy nervous. The quick two hour flight from West Palm to Cleveland is old hat to me, but 8 hours overnight to Amsterdam? A bit scary. So, one Lunesta and sedative later, I was good to go. So good in fact, I fell asleep at takeoff and woke up in time for breakfast just before landing.

I could go on and on about British Airways Open Skies, but who wants to hear about the flight? Well ok...Let's just say, Open Skies is all business class (or better), huge, fully reclining seats, great staff, and awesome food. When we boarded the plane for the night flight we were handed a glass of champagne, an eye mask, ear plugs and sleeping socks, as well as a really nice comfy cozy blanket. I felt high class.

There really is no other way to fly. Jim secured some crazy good deal (I wonder if it had to do with all that research he does), but I was hooked. About the food. It is real food. I didn't eat on the flight to Amsterdam, but on the way home, we had a meal that consisted of an appetizer, main dish, and dessert (all served in courses), and a small snack just before landing. This was good food people. I hope Jim is realizes that this is the flying experience I am now accustomed to. I mean, don't show a girl the good life and then snatch it away.

Amsterdam was gorgeous. We stayed at a hotel with the tiniest winding staircase. No elevators in the place and I nearly fell going both up and down the stairs many times. Still, the staff was nice and our rate included yummy breakfast each morning. Does anyone know the secret to yogurt in Europe? It is good stuff. We spent the two days there relaxing, taking walks together, and enjoying being away on a vacation together, alone.

We toured the Heineken brewery, relaxed, visited pubs, and joined a group GUIDED, INFORMATIONAL tour of the red light district.

Let's discuss what everyone wants to know about Amsterdam.
Every person who I told about our trip asked this question as soon as I completed my sentence. "Are you going to go to a coffee shop?
It actually got a little annoying, and here is why.
Amsterdam is full of charm, history, amazing architecture, and gorgeous canals and landscapes. The people there are friendly and kind and we spent one afternoon just sitting at a restaurant people watching and chatting. Coffee shops are an actual legitimate business there and people treat it as such. There rules about the amount sold, who it can be sold to, etc. It's strange to me that someone would actually go to Amsterdam just for that. We weren't going to Amsterdam because of legalized pot, and I can't imagine anyone really does. I don't want to get into whether I support or am against legalization, I just think its too bad that it's what Amsterdam is know for.

We spent two days in Amsterdam, and although I took tons of pictures from the trip, not a lot were from Amsterdam because we kept it low key.

Here are a few pictures.

One of the canal photos. And no, there is no guard rail for those cars.

See this waffel stand? I bought a waffel there Sunday night. Monday morning the place was shutdown, and Tuesday it was gone. Sorry guys!

At the Heineken Brewery. We like to dress like that on vacation. And look at my arms...I have been working out.
A stop at the Old Bell Pub. We stopped there more than once.
That crazy staircase.

Stay tuned for part two: Paris memories

1 comment:

Jennifer P. said...

What an amazing, amazing trip Carrie!!! Thank you so much for sharing it! I remember staircases like that in Europe!

And I MUST fly the way you described that some day. I fly once a month and I barely have room to exhale, and they charge me for EVERYTHING! Yours sounds heavenly!

I'm glad you had such a wonderful time! Can't wait to hear more!