Sunday, June 25, 2006

Playing tourists in Amsterdam

Finally, I took the time to go through the God know how may pictures Orange took.

We took an Easyjet flight (that finally cost us more than if we had booked a Swiss flight a week later!! Tsss!) on Friday afternoon from Basel to Amsterdam. We got there on time (5:30 pm) and Brenda and Harry were already waiting for us. We had to rush – Holland was playing against Ivory Coast at 6pm - but there was a lot of traffic on the road. Thank goodness, Harry and Bren know their way around, so we got off the highway and found another faster way to get us home for the match. We called a delivery service for dinner during half time (a very good one, too) Anyway, I guess is that you all know by now that Holland won the game.
So, OrangeX and I were both very tired and went to bed quite early. We did have a very busy schedule for the next day. We were – for the first time – really going to play tourists in Amsterdam! Yay! And you know what? My credit card did not suffer from the many, many stores and shops all Saturday!

We got up around 8:30am and had some coffee and a bite to eat, and waited for Jaap and Patricia to arrive. We had set to meet up at Bren and Harry’s around noon and then take the 7 minute train ride from Diemen to Amsterdam. We arrived at Amsterdam Central Station around 1 pm and started walking through this gorgeous city. We made our way through Damrak (one of the main streets leading to the centre from A’dam Central Station) to Dam Square to have our first stop for a snack (Bittergarnituur) and a drink (okay, we had 2 drinks) at a very friendly coffee house called “Majestic”. After the break, we walked onto Rokin, around to Kloveniersburgwal, crossed the Red Light District by day and then back to Station Square.

We planned to take one of these tourist boat rides, but wanted a boat that was open (either in the centre, or even better, in the back part of the boats) – it was just too hot to be in any closed cabin!! We found a first boat and stood in line, like most cultured folks do, and then, we all got very pissed off! A group of tourists stood in a separate lane with their rented bicycles (!) and had the guts to tell the captain’s assistant that they were told that they can go in first and take up the uncovered deck!! (although it wasn’t true because we were right behind them when we bought our tickets). We ended up taking the next boat and had our peace and quiet.

After the boat ride we got off again at Central Station and crossed over to the Nieuwendijk and yes, what a surprise, we came across a McDonald’s where made a quick stop for ice and burgers (well, the men had burgers). After the short stop, we got thirsty again and dropped down on the first available terrace for another drink. We continued our way to cross the Dam Square for the second time that day to continue our walk through Kalverstraat, through the Heilige Weg leading via Koninsplein to the Leidsestraat. The Leidsestraat ends at the Leidseplein, known for the many terraces in summer. On the Leidseplein, we were lucky to find an empty table, well almost empty, to sit down and quench our thirst again. We enjoyed the setting sun while chatting and watching the people going by.

We had planned to have dinner at the Casino, not far from the Leidseplein, so after our drinks we made our way to the Casino and arrived there around 19.30. We went in, paid our entrance fees and reserved a table for 20.15. Once our table was ready we sat down and looked at the great menu. A dinner in the Casino is not very expensive, the choice is excellent and the portions are huge.

We walked back through the Red Light District (this time by night) to Central station to catch a train back to Dieme.

We slept like babies that night. Hey, after all, I think we walked about 25 km that day! On Sunday, we drove by Orange's Ex for a coffee and then drove off to Ma & Pa's for lunch on Father's day. Guess what we had... Freshly made Risolles! What a treat!

I wanted to upload a map of what we walked that day, but Blogger doesn't take PDFs (a normal JPEG would not have shown enough) :-(

And because Blogger is rebelling again and not letting me post pictures, you’ll find all our trip photos here. Make sure to read the captions. You'll find more detailed information about most pictures.

I'll try to post a few again later (if his Highness Blogger permits!)

Anyway, we once again had a wonderful time with family and friends!

Sunday, June 18, 2006

We're back from A'dam - Amended

*** I added 2 more picts and will now start to go through the 100 and something photos we took in Holland ***

Yes, we just got home about an hour and a half ago to find a soaking wet Dale sqeezing himself from under his shelter (our covered grill). We had asked Paolo and Markus to feed him while we were in Holland and since the weather was so nice, they decided to leave him outside after feeding him his dinner tonight. An hour after that, it covered up real quick and it started pouring down! Dale was dumb enough to leave his backside outside of the covered area so he was dry from the waist (do cats have waists??) up and the rest looked like he'd been dipped in a pool. I did my best to dry him off, but his backside really looked funny. I should have taken a picture, but he seemed sooooo ashamded of his looks! I just didn't have the heart to do it.

So, reel back to last week (you can read about our trip to Holland later) at Jasmine's birthday. Jasmine is a charming young co-worker of ours who just turned 26 last Wednesday and OrangeX and I (odlies, compared to the rest) were invited to her B-Day party and we weren't even the oldest there! Now how lovely is that!?! It was such a great mix of open minded people.

There was a lot of BBQ-ing - OrangeX and Doni were making sure that all was cooked to perfection. There was music, then the soccer fans watched the Germany vs. Poland match, then more loud music. It was just great! We chatted, laughed and had a wonderful time. Our group from work gave Jasmine 2 VIP-tickets to go to the Knie Circus, (link in German/French only) the most famous Swiss Circus family in Switzerland (they hosted the Cirque du Soleil somewhere in the mid-90's).

Here are a few picts of the evening.

Jasmine and her lovely (and very cool) mom

From l. to r. Bianca, Nelli and Patricia

I can't remember all the names (I'm very bad at it!), but here are a few more:

Nani, Michael (I think) and Cristian. Hmmm. Looks like our friend Cristian in the back is getting a wee bit tired.

Doni and Sanya (Sp??)

Just to let you know: Jasmine was sooo nervous that she a) either wouldn't have enough food, or b) not be able to serve her guests what they would "rather have" (she told me that on the very afternoon) that she ended up in bed before we did. Well Jasmine: You did a wonderful job of it! We all had a great time, more than enough to eat and drink, and meeting your family and friends was very enriching and fun.

By the way, I hope to be able to catch up, because I have very little time. Jaap and Patricia are dropping-in on Wednesday on their way to Bari, Italy for a friends' wedding and probably on the way back up again, too. So, stay tuned!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Our week and cat entertainement

Here's a bit of entertainment while I work on my next posts (coming up in the coming days). Here's a sum-up of what we've been up to this week.

Saturday: OrangeX finalised the move of the company into our building (from 6:30 am until 8pm!). I spent about 6 hours reading through about 55 CV's for him to sort the "Yes'", "Maybes" and "NOTs".

Sunday: Chilling out... I think...

Monday-Wed.: Work, reading more CV's in the evening, not eating before 10pm and creating a birthday card for a friend that *%&&*!!%! wouldn't print out right (read about Jasmine's B-Day party later).

Wednesday evening: Jasmine's Party until 2:30 am

Today- I'm off but we cleaned the house, did most of the laundry, it's beautiful, hot, sticky weather and OrangeX is still going through CV's.

On another note (and to keep you busy), just follow this link. Some of you might know this video already, but I love watching it over and over again. BTW, do I have to download the film onto my harddisk (if not self made) to upload it again on blogger?

Anyway, just enjoy.

PS: Hey, we're off to Holland tomorrow, so stay tuned. More to follow soon. Have a great, sunny weekend!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Where I've been...

These are the places I've visited and I loved them all. OrangeX has a few more places, but I'd like to visit much more!!

Where have you been??

Have a good week!

create your own visited countries map
or vertaling Duits Nederlands

By the way, I stole it from this fabulous guy

Monday, June 05, 2006

Nothing special

We've taken this Whit Monday weekend to do following: spring cleaning (you know, all these little things you put off until you've had enough of it), washing and OrangeX spent 6-8 hours daily on work. He has to move his company over to the location I am at this week, so lot's of logistic work. The good thing is, we'll be working in one building.

Otherwise, nothing special going on. We both need a break, so I'm holding back with the blogging, but we'll be back soon with new adventures (we're off to Holland in 2 weeks!!!) AND I'm taking my laptop with me. Hopefully, I'll find some time during the game between Holland and Ivory Coast to put up a post (and picts of the addicted) :-)

Have a good week!