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Saturday, April 27, 2019


 I feel like I'm not young enough for Amsterdam. Or as my husband put it, I don't drink, I don't smoke weed, I don't like museums (just don't like to spend hours and hours them), and I don't or can't walk for miles on uneven streets.
 We hit King's Day yesterday just by chance. We didn't know about it ahead of time. It's a huge country party for the king's birthday -- everyone wears orange, drinks, dances, and parties heavily all day and evening. The tram schedule is modified and crowded, most stores and many restaurants are closed, people put out clothes and goods to buy like a giant flea market, and the canals are full of boats filled with people. It was also very cold, windy, and rainy which made it less desirable than it already was for a woman who doesn't drink or smoke.

And yes, men piss in the streets. At least these guys were using the intended urinals, which happened to be placed at the tram station right in the middle of the busy street. 
We could only get tickets for Anne Frank House on this day at 2:45 entry followed by tickets from 4-5 at the Rijksmuseum--not nearby. I'm so glad I got to see Anne Frank's annex after reading her diary and teaching about it years ago (about 10-12 times) to 8th graders. I know the story well, and seeing the diaries was one of those bucket list items. 
We tried to race to the museum right afterwards, but since the trams were off schedule, ours didn't arrive when it should have, so we got to the museum at 5:02. They said it was closed, then finally let us in for the special Rembrandt exhibit, which closed at 6. We paid for something we didn't get, which is ridiculous. Why sell tickets for entry from 4-5 when it closes at 5?? Matthew was sure it closed at 9. We were literally kicked out at 6.

 These were mesmerizing--organic silk that flops down into flower shapes, then rise and fall again.
Below are some of the tiny Rembrandts that are so detailed.

 I had to take one photo from a larger painting...his work is exquisite to see in person. Too bad we had to rush through. Or maybe not, since I "hate" museums.  ;-)
Heading to Prague now. Hoping the blister will heal, the leg cramp will go away, and buying beads will help me relax and sleep. 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

My First Head Shop in 50 Years

Today we tried once again to get to the Albert Cuyp market but failed again. We were in the right area, but managed to turn the wrong way off the tram and walk way out of our way. But I am ahead of myself.
When we got back yesterday, I realized I had overdone my walking--4 hour food tour followed by all the walking and getting on and off the tram before heading back to the apartment. A blister has started on the bottom of my big toe. Not good. This happened before and it was not only painful, but pretty much stopped me from walking much on it.
 So today I said I cannot walk far because tomorrow is the big day at the tulip gardens--miles and miles of them--and I want to be able to enjoy the day.
You're getting the point, right? After all my comments on how great a navigator my husband is, he screws up today and leads me astray. 
I had made an online reservation for lunch at a recommended place called Senses. They have no tables available for dinner all week, but lunch sounded good. We headed there after realizing we'd only get to stay at the market a short time if we kept trying to find it. The restaurant had no other customers the whole time we were there, so we had great service (though I'm sure it's always great) and an absolutely fabulous lunch. Oh, it's a 3-course fixed price meal and we had to pay online when we made the res. 
 I highly recommend eating lunch there. It's quieter, less expensive (dinner would have cost us up to 81EU for 7 courses without wine), and the perfect amount of food.
On our walk there, we encountered a head shop, so I wandered in. It's been many years since I have been in one--the Cosmic Egg on Burlingame Ave. in the 70's. They only sold paraphernalia--this one sells it all.  

The next pictures are from Senses. Beautiful decor, stunning plates, excellent food and service. I won't be able to describe each dish--they're unique with many tiny bites of flavor.

Amuse bouche first with trout eggs and ?. We had our choice of 2 wine pairings--appetizer and main or main and dessert. I took the latter, but we each were given a sampling of every wine. Yes, I drank at lunch and stayed awake through the day.
Sea bream with cucumber cut paper thin and other delicacies.
Homemade brioche with two kinds of homemade butter. Just enough.
Main course was coming with red wine and sharp knives...
Lamb saddle with teeny potatoes, herring cannelloni and I can't do this justice. Each bite was so flavorful and unique and hard to remember what each entailed.

Oh my dessert wine. Not real sweet, but paired beautifully with the blood orange dessert. check out the puzzle pieces! They were like panna cotta--very flavorful. Little baby meringues atop something cold and delicious. Every bite--great!

 I rarely drink coffee during the day, but had a cappuccino with a sugar stick in the most beautiful cup. Honestly, everything here was perfection.
Even their several choices of business cards.

Worth every penny.
 And we finally made it to the Albert Cuyp Market, which was a good experience for local culture blended with tourist fare.