Oud Amsterdam

We disembarked in Rotterdam on a lovely Saturday morning and made for the Grand Café Loos again. Why? Because this is what breakfast should be!

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Those dark things in the bowl? Chocolate sprinkles. Also known as springles on Dutch menus with typos. Lovely day in Rotterdam. Although we were just passing through this time, we were reminded how pleasant this city seems to be. And their new Rem Koolhaus-designed train station is handsome, too.

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From there we caught a train to Amsterdam, a 45 minute journey. When this whole sabbatical experiment began, neither of us knew we’d get back to Amsterdam.

We wondered where to go for the few days between the end of our cruise and our arrival in New York. We picked Amsterdam when we were in France, and remembered that we’d liked being near the Vondelpark when we visited Amsterdam in late spring 2011. And so we secured lodging in the Oud Zuid neighborhood this time around.

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It was the two of us, alone together for three final days, kicking (not cycling, graag gedaan citizens of Amsterdam) around the O.Z. and the park, taking the walk-on (or bike-on, or drive-on) ferry — a more casual experience than the WA State system — to the Eye (a brand-new building for Holland’s national film institute, where R would be happy to work someday)…

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…preparing meals at our flat, catching fave game show “Pointless” on the BBC a couple more times, snacking on a meal of delicious Dutch pancakes (E’s with a yummy walnut ice cream)…

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…and in between just a lot of walking and gawking at Amsterdam’s stunning built environment.

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Just before Labor Day Weekend, E headed to NYC to be reunited with the World’s Best Kitten and hang out with our friends who generously cared for our cat. And R had a week’s retreat before meeting everyone in the Grote Appel.

During that week he enjoyed looking at the view from the rooftop terrace, visiting the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, and attending a concert at the Concertgebouw.

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Inside the Concertgebouw.

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Outside the Van Gogh Museum, a temporary sunflower maze.
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Inside the Rijksmuseum.
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The floor of the Rijksmuseum. Bat and chicken.
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Rijksmuseum.

One last mini-adventure for R before arriving in NYC – a night in Reykjavik, thanks to a 20-hour layover in Iceland. Surreal. But who wouldn’t want to see Iceland, even briefly? A hard wind and a long ride in from the airport left time for a walk into downtown and a great piece of North Atlantic cod. Plus beer.

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A very Icelandic hotel room.

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Let’s end on the beer. On to New York City and the final leg.

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