Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Easter Holiday: Day 2: Beer/Wine & Chocolate Tour: Saturday April 26, 2011: Amsterdam

Breakfast was coffee (espresso with milk) and muffins to-go as we headed out to the Jordaan part of town, which is away from all the tourist and more residential. It was very quiet on a Saturday morning which was nice. We meandered through giant squares, crossed canals and saw houseboats. At first we were like, aww houseboats. Then one of the houseboats started spewing water…then the water turned brown. Ick! 

After a quick stop at the hotel to grab rain gear (it had started to sprinkle) we headed for the Van Gogh museum. (Drew made a rather clever joke: What did the hippie name his gas peddle? …Van Gogh!). The museum was nice, all about Van Gogh (go figure) and his influences and people he influenced. My favorite part was his influences, because it showed the picture he was influenced by right beside his interpretation and you could look at the similarities and differences. Oh, and my other favorite part was his Japanese trees, he painted some kick-butt Japanese style cherry trees. A Picasso exhibit downstairs was a nice surprise.

Lunch was at a Guiness Aran Pub. Here’s the amusing part: we were in an Irish Pub, in Amsterdam, listening to Via Las Vegas (Elvis), whilst watching cricket (England v. Sri Lanka) with a Budlight light fixture over the pool table and Guiness on tap. 

We walked off lunch in Vandepark, which was really nice. It had pedestrian walkways so no getting runover by a bike! But there were dog everywhere and they were so cute! And they weren’t on leashes but they were perfectly behaved. It was a Dog Party!

Next was the Anne Frank House. I read the diary and saw the movie in 5th grade. At that age I can’t say that I really understood, and to be honest I don’t think about The Diary of Anne Frank unless it come up in conversation. Seeing the house really brings it home. The small cramped rooms that eight people lived in, the fact that they really couldn’t make any noise… In Anne’s room she’s decorated the walls (like any teenage girl) with snippets from magazines and postcards. People like Queen Elizabeth II, the Dutch Royal Family, Shirley Temple and Greta Garbo. In 5th grade when I had the read the diary for class I didn’t get it. Now, I get it. I understand better now. The coolest thing besides getting to walk around the house is you get to see her diaries. They’re in display cases, but you get to see her cramped hand writing on the page. You really get the sense that a real person wrote this. 

Dinner was at Sara’s Pancake House. Not American Pancakes. Think for crepe like…very thin, very huge! It was about a foot diameter. Seriously, this thing was bigger than my face! Kat got one with apple, cinnamon and honey. Drew had his with cherries, ice cream, chocolate syrup and whipped cream and I had mine with ice cream, whip cream and a caramel/mocha sauce. The pancakes were so sweet it made the coke taste bitter…not an easy feat. 

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