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Showing posts from June, 2013

Day 10 - "An Excellent Final Day" - Rotterdam/Kinderdijk

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June 19, 2013

The decision was made to try breakfast at the hotel again.  After last time's buffet debacle, we could have written off the breakfast at the hotel.  But we knew we could have breakfast a la carte.  So we tried it.  Elias got eggs and bacon.  I had croissants and jam and cheese.  They did pull the food directly from the buffet table, but it got the job done.  And for the same cost as one buffet breakfast.

I gave Elias a job.  He was to search out a place to go to see windmills.  He found Kinderdijk.  Kinderdijk is just southeast of Rotterdam and is known for windmills.  Kinderdijk had a very light entry in the Rough Guide, so I couldn't do too much on the research on the go.  I knew in general how to get there, but much of this day was going to be winging it.

The morning started out easy.  We knew where Amsterdam Centraal was.  We can definitely figure out how to buy tickets.  After that...we will let the day figure out what's going to happen.

Tickets to Rotte…

Day 9 - "Time for Some Culture" - Amsterdam

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June 18, 2013

Last night, on our way back for the museum area, we were hanging out at a tram stop and spotted a restaurant that looked like it might be a cute place for breakfast.  Imagine our surprise when it was a breakfast place and it was rated highly on TripAdvisor.  The only thing we had to do was figure out how breakfast would work with our plans for later in the morning.  We had an 11a start at the Van Gogh Museum, so breakfast shouldn't be too hard.

Greenfields was touted as an English Breakfast, Lunch, High Tea and Dinner place.  They opened at 930a and that's right about the time we got there.  Elias didn't want to sit outside and eat (what's wrong with this kid??), so we went indoors and had some breakfast.  The place was nicely wood paneled (not in a 1970's way) and cozy.  Elias ordered a full English Breakfast (but not with blood sausage) and I ended up with an Eggs Royale.  It was like an Eggs Benedict, but with salmon instead of Canadian bacon.  The…

Day 8 - "No Particular Plans" - Amsterdam

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June 17, 2013
When the plans were being made for this trip, I figured two and a half days in Amsterdam might be too long.  So I had two days set aside for day trips.  I wanted to go to Brugge.  Elias found a place in the Netherlands that had tons of windmills.  Today was scheduled for one of those days.  Yesterday, we were at dinner or lunch or something and I asked Elias if he wanted to do a day trip tomorrow or if we should just keep hanging in Amsterdam.  He voted to hang in Amsterdam.  Which was honestly fine.  I think we are both slowing down.  Scratch that.  I KNOW we are both slowing down.  So we figured we could keep ourselves busy in Amsterdam for one day longer.  
Since we didn't have very secure plans today, we started off easy.  And we decided we needed a Starbuck's treat for breakfast.  I mean, it's been 8+ days since Starbucks, so that's enough time to suffer some chai withdrawal.  Our 9 Tram would take us right by the Starbucks in Rembrandtplein Square.  P…

Day 7 - "We Always Get There in the End" - Amsterdam

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June 16, 2013
I don't know who we are anymore.  We are sleeping in and leisurely moving around.  We NEVER do that!!  Then again, we are on Day 7, with one traveler who has never been on a trip this long and another traveler who hasn't been on a trip this long in a while (not to mention said traveler is getting older and may not be able to travel at such high speeds for as long as they have done in the past).  So that is our new normal for the rest of the journey.  The alarm goes off, we sleep a little longer.  And it is glorious.
Elias was hungry for breakfast this morning (shocker!!) so  went downstairs to the hotel breakfast.  Now, I thought this breakfast was included in our room. It wasn't.  I wasn't jazzed about spending €17.50 for a breakfast buffet, but Elias was actually hungry and it was a Sunday, so I sucked it up.  We got downstairs around 1045a.  Nothing too crazy.  The waitress asked if we wanted the buffet or a la carte.  I didn't know there was an opti…

Day 6 - "Adventures in Navigating" - Den Bosch to Amsterdam

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June 15, 2013
We slept in this morning.  The wedding reception went long, so we stayed in bed a little longer than normal.  Though I feel like this is a running theme.  We normally don't sleep this long.  Then again, we normally are racing around like freaks and can barely function by Day 3.  So I think we are making better choices.  
The decision was made the day before about breakfast.  As we asked from the train station to the hotel on the first day, we passed a shop.  A pastry shop.  Jan de Groot seemed to be everywhere.  Or their pastries did.  Signs were in many windows saying the shops served Jan de Groot pastries.  Since we knew where the original shop lived, we figured we could just stop there.  By the time we got there, a line was out the door.  ALWAYS a good sign.  We picked up two pastries and a cookie and went along our merry way.  On the way back to the hotel, we talked about getting a coffee or something to drink, but neither of us were feeling the love on the hot dri…

Day 5 - "I Now Pronounce You..." - Den Bosch

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June 14, 2013
We made this a very lazy morning.  There was no reason to get up really early.  We had seen most of the city yesterday.  And we had plans for most of today.  Plus, any chance to stay in bed, even at a hotel, you take it.
Den Bosche is a cute little town.  There isn't much there, but it is a place where you can walk around for a few minutes, see the sights, then go back to your hotel room and nap.  Which we took full advantage of yesterday.  Today, we just needed some breakfast.  After some careful deliberation,  we ended up at a place called Pink Lemon.  Yes, I know what you're thinking...wasn't it just the other day you were spouting off your travel wisdom about free breakfast in the hotel??  Yes.  Yes I was.  But when you end up in a smaller town and have to find a hotel, preferably the same hotel where the wedding you are going to will be held, you can't quibble on the free food.  We did have free wifi.  Wifi always wins in a food/wifi battle of amenitie…

Day 4 - "Riding the Rails" - Brussels to Den Bosch

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June 13, 2013
I'd been slightly worried about today since the beginning.  Mostly, because I didn't have anything planned in advance.  But it's the train, you ask...why should I be nervous??  Do you not know me yet??  Planning is key to my sanity.  To not have a plan, it takes a lot.  Sure, a lot of the reason why things weren't completely planned on this trip was because of Candy Crush.  I WISH I was telling a lie.  But back to the trains.
Yesterday, I plotted out the trip to Den Bosch.  Brussels to Roosendaal.  Roosendaal to Den Bosch.  It cost less than I'd expected.  It also gave me a few options to choose the time to go.  At breakfast this morning, Elias and I talked about it.  We decided to go to the train earlier.  We didn't have anything left to do in Brussels, so why not get to our next location sooner??
I had read that Brussels was cool, but you didn't need to plan for a massive amount of time there.  And that is completely how we feel.  We really did…