Will & Tracy

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Sunday, November 18, 2007

I AMsterdam

Ah, we arrived cheery-eyed in Amsterdam at lunchtime on the 18th. In all actuality, my body has NO IDEA what time zone I’m in. After the second person suggested we not take the rental car in to Amsterdam for fear of getting our stuff and the car stolen, we decide that is sound advice and buy train tickets into the city. I do have to say it is impressive and also comforting for the novice traveler that I am, that the vast majority of the Dutch speak English AND are nice to boot! Those multi-lingual Europeans!

We did a quick tour around Amsterdam and I soon found out the important difference between a coffee house and a coffee shop.

Coffee House: actually sells cakes and coffee
Coffee Shop: sells space cakes and coffee

Trust me, I didn’t even have to go into the establishment to figure that one out. After lunch, we found our way to the Anne Frank House. I remember reading the book years ago and saw pictures of this secret annex, but it is humbling to walk through it and get a more vivid picture of what the family endured during their 2 years in hiding.

After that – shhh don’t tell the nieces – we bought some tulip bulbs from a local shop. Can I just tell you West Michiganders out there – that it is amazing to me how many Dutch have heard of Holland, Michigan!! The tulip guy was a little weary of how “Dutch” West Michigan really is. So I quipped back – well, uh, then can you tell me why everyone I went to school with was Vander “whatever” – the guy chuckled and said “I’m a Vander whatever!” – exactly!

So after a good ½ day around town we hopped in our car and drove off to Zaltbommel (the European offices of Sachem are located here). We navigated successfully with the help of our trusty GPS service we so gratefully added into the car rental. It was a good day that was capped off by staying at none other than a Golden Tulip Hotel.


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