Monday, January 19, 2009

Fresh Start & Brussels/Amsterdam Day 1

MC left on his plane this morning and it is probably on the runway right as I type this. This pretty much concludes my winter vacation with E & M. Rob and I had a great time with them here and did a lot of traveling and laughing and eating! So today starts a new phase of our swiss life where I really get to get into a routine and have a normal days. No visitors for awhile and a new apartment to put together.

The next few blogs will be a bit jumbled in order since I want to recap what we have been doing these past few weeks. I apologize for any confusion.


The day after E&M landed we headed up to Brussels where we had only planned one evening before moving on to Amsterdam. We stayed in a pretty nice hotel close to the center of town. Getting to a parking garage was an interesting experience since a major street we had to take had some traffic problems. Lots of honking and several cars blocked intersections. "The Governor" helped us out. The governor was our nickname for the TOMTOM navigation device Mr C brought over with him. He had a British accent and always told us to "Keep Left" when necessary.

We found ourselves exploring (yet again) another Christmas market and eating at an Indian place for dinner. With vin chaud and curry in our bellies, we headed to Delerium Cafe. (Posted a few pictures in my mid trip update). This place is a mix of a hotspot and a tourist must see. This place boasts and has an award confirming its legacy of offering over 2000 types on beers! Rob and I saw it on a show we like to download called "3 Sheets To The Wind" where the host travels the world and drinks whatever the locals drink. We headed downstairs to a loud smokey room filled with beer labels all over the ceiling and walls. Erin got tugged by a few strange men trying to meet a lady. We had a great time and tried some favorites and odd beers. (More about the beer of the trip later).

M, E, and I at Delirium Cafe

The next day we HAD to try some Belgium waffles. Belgium waffles are so much different then American waffles. Belgium waffles are not made from a drippy batter that is basically a pancake in a funny shape. They are made out of a more doughey mixture has these crystallized sugar sweet spots inside of them. They taste like pure heaven. They come in a variety of toppings. I wanted plain whip cream and ended up with a huge pile of it slopped on top of the waffle. Too much for my tastes so I tossed about half of it the trashcan.


The next day we headed up to Amsterdam and checked into another nice hotel close to all the sights. We ended up parking at the airport and taking the train into town. Well, we tried to take the train but we accidentlly got on the wrong one! We rode it for about 30 minutes before we realized we were going in the wrong direction. We ended up in some random suburb and had to wait 30 minutes for the train back to the city center came thru.

Sadness - Taking the wrong train into the suburbs of Amsterdam 

The hotel claimed they had some "water problems" in one of our rooms and offered to let us share an upgraded room meant for 2 with some roll away beds and only charge us for one room. We took the opportunity to save some money and rolled squeezed into the larger room. This hotel advertises itself of being a boutique hotel and had some fancy furnishings. Despite the large bathroom, there was no shower curtain. This caused issues for all four of us and we each warned each other before the next person took to the shower.

M had a friend of his brother in law Daan to meet up with and he showed us around town. It was really nice to have a local guide show us the places to see and communicate in Dutch. We had coffee at the Americana Hotel, ate Oliebollen, visited the red light district, and checked out the Anne Frank House. We went to show our first evening called Boom Chicago which was stand up improv where it gets the audience involved. It was a lot like Second City. The best part of the show was when M yelled out something obscene and they refused to use it. The other great part was when they picked on E and dressed up exactly like her for a parody on MTV's sweet sixteen. They had the same white puffy vest and white knit hat with a red undershirt. It was pretty hilarious.

Enjoying the Oliebollen

Dutch Winter Treats

Rob and I in the Red Light District. There are windows with the prostitutes on both side of the canal in the picture. Most of them had their shades closed. I guess business was booming that morning. 


Amanda January 19, 2009 at 1:48 PM  

I can't wait to read about the rest of your vacation. You are indeed living life to the fullest extent!

About This Blog

Tina & Rob have relocated their lives to Geneva, Switzerland. This blog is a story of their adventure during the year and all the details inbetween.

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Finding Simplicity

Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; 
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