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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Back from Amsterdam

We are back from Amsterdam, and I miss it. As you can tell, once Chuck was done teaching, I didn't have a lot of time to update this blog. I had such a wonderful time walking around by myself and taking pictures of bikes, doors, and skinny rows of houses when he was teaching. But it was hard for me not to feel a bit guilty because Chuck wasn't able to relax and enjoy Amsterdam the way I could. Once he was done teaching, he was able to enjoy Amsterdam with me.Wednesday night we found a wonderful Dutch restaurant called, 'The Pantry" which served traditional Dutch food and the waitress was very nice. We learned a lot about traditional Dutch food from her. We liked this restaurant so much we went back Friday night. On Thursday and Friday we had time to explore together. On Thursday we went to the Rijk's Museum and saw some paintings by Rembrandt and others that were truly amazing. We also went to the Heineken Experience which was quite and adventure and I have a new found admiration for Heineken. The next day we went to the Anne Frank House and museum, which was quite sobering. We had gotten tickets to the Hop On Hop Off bus so we got a nice tour of Amsterdam on a warm bus because it was snowing again outside.Crazy that they say it doesn't snow much in Amsterdam because they are too close to the water and we had snow on and off the whole time we were there. To me, it added to the excitement of being in a foreign country, and having snow at Christmas time. That night we went on a canal cruise because it was the very first night of the Celebration of Lights that Amsterdam is trying to promote. This was the first year for this new celebration. The best part of this cruise was being able to see inside the homes to see what the skinny houses looked like on the inside. Many were decorated with Christmas trees and it was really beautiful. We were able to see inside some of the house boats as well. The lights that they were talking about were mostly in the center of town.The canal cruise actually went through the Red Light District which was interesting to say the least. We got just a glimpse of things and saw a lot of red lights! The canal ride was pretty though because each canal bridge was lit up, which is just a normal thing in Amsterdam, not having anything to do with Christmas. It was a nice way to end our trip.We got home last night at about 8:00 p.m. and found we had no heat. Fortunately Chuck had a heater here to warm the bedroom up enough that we could sleep quite comfortably. The guy came this a.m. and fixed the furnace and right now things are warming up. I am still in my clothes, a sweatshirt and a bathrobe though so it's not totally warmed up yet. Well, tomorrow it's back to our regular routine...I will be subbing in Sprague and Chuck will be heading out to Orlando for a meeting on Tuesday. But Amsterdam will forever be special in my heart!

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