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The Netherlands – Amsterdam (Mini Vacation) Day 1

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So I only have one unscheduled vacation day left.  I did have one and a half days left but we decided to leave earlier for Amsterdam.  I did work a half day so I was in at 6:30am and out at 10:30am to meet my husband for an 11am flight to Charlotte and then on to Philadelphia.  We arrived in Philly about 2 hours before the flight was scheduled to take off.  The plane was pretty full and we were seated in coach but at least we were able to sit together.  The flight was pretty much uneventful and I slept for about 2 hours.  As we were flying in the morning I took this picture from the Airplane

I’m not sure how familiar some of you are with Amsterdam but it can be pretty dreary looking.  Sometimes it can rain for days (at least that’s what my husband said).  Here is what it looked like when we landed.  Thankfully, we always have an umbrella with us.

We got off the plane and went through customs and passport control (I was able to get on the line with the European Union passport holders because my husband is not a U.S. Citizen and has an EU passport).  We then went to the car rental place and picked up our car.  A 2 cylinder turbo Fiat Panda.  It was a very cute car.  Wedrove to my husband’s aunt and uncles house in a town called Leiden.  Here is one of the many windmills we saw on the way to their house.

We got there and talked with them for a while and then got changed and headed out to Amsterdam.

First stop was the train station

The last time we were here we did a boat ride on the canals and when we went by I saw the most bikes I had ever seen.  This time we were at the train station and I saw them all up close.

We then started walking around.  I love Amsterdam this is the second time we’ve been there together and the buildings are just wonderful.  I love the difference in the architecture between our country and Europe.  Things there are just so much older.

This is the Palace

My husband was in heaven with the food there.  One of the things they serve is french fries on the street and they use mayonnaise on the fries. Here he is enjoying the fries

And here he is enjoying Herring a pure Dutch treat.  I did taste it but didn’t like it.

But I had to take a picture of it up close

We then made our way to the Red Light District where we walked around.  You are not allowed to take pictures of the women in the red light district so I did not.  Not sure if you are aware but the women are in a union and they are tested for diseases on a regular basis.  We were talking about how it seems as if most people are there to look and not buy as many of them were in the windows on their cell phones.  It was the middle of the day though and we didn’t hang around until evening to see if it got any busier but really they all seemed pretty bored to me.  They are doing a lot of renovating in the red light district.  This is one of canals in that area.

and another building

And a Museum but we didn’t go inside because we don’t really like museums.

We then made our way back to the car and I took another picture of the bicycles.  All three levels are full of parked bikes.

We then a made our way back to Leiden where we passed this apartment building which I loved because it was surrounded by water.

The next day we were heading out to the town where my husband grew up and we were also going to see a friend of his from high school that he has not seen in about 12 or 13 years.

I will post on day 2 shortly.

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