Day 1. Part 2 (partying). Finally we met! Idols Pre-meetup.

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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Schiphol airport

I was evening December 30 and time to finally meet my TB’s ��" people I already knew online and some new ones. I was EXCITED!!! I was sooo in a hurry to meet my people that I skipped making my hair properly (I am charming anyway, lol), put on my Moscow casual dress and ran to the Dam Square where we were to meet. I suppose on my way to it I had a pretty stupid (but happy) smile on my faceJ so excited I was.

 

As I was approaching the Dam Square I got a phone call from Ket asking where I was. It was so nice of Ket to take care after me. Thanks darling. We were still on the phone when we saw each other, recognized each other in a moment, hugged and kissed.

 

Then we turned round the white monument at the Dam Square (National Monument) and I thought I went mad…it is a totally unique and special feeling…like meeting celebrities in your local supermarket…I saw the people I had been online with just yesterday…in flesh and blood now….ahhhhhhhh!!! Alex, James, Bill, Erin…and new people…Edwin, Grace, Aioh, Tom, Melissa, Brett, Julie…sorry if I missed someone…I must have…there were many people. Unbelievable!!!

 

We went talking to the Nieuw-markt, passed it and then to a lovely place on a canal. Had some drinks and snacks but it was just the beginning of the night. Then we headed to the Red Light District (people were joining us on our way) and decided for some food at an Argentinean place. I was happy to be the only one not American person at the American table ��" James, Brett, Erin, Lynn and Julie - and did some PR work for my country J As always…lol.

King hotel

 

Finally we made our way to the main destination of the night ��" karaoke bar Casablanca.  It was our Idols Pre-Meetup organized by Kitty Ket J I entered and was frustrated... someone came up to me screaming “I know uuuuuuuuu! I saw you on the web site!” “Hm”, I thought, “where this guy could see me? Am I so popular?” It didn’t come to my humble mind that WE ALL saw each other on TBJ So my diving into the world of celebrities continued… Harriet, Lili (what a pity we didn’t talk to each other, just said hi, next time, ok?), Rob….Then Eric, Jennifer, Manuel, Oussama… GREAT, GREAT, GREAT!!!

 

The bar was full of TB’s and the only people not from our “family” were a girl and a guy from Munich.

The American Hotel
He was Russian so it was the only time in my whole 8-day trip when I needed my native languageJ He asked me who I was with. I said: “I am with everybody here”. He looked at me as if I were out of my mind. Well, I am, probably. His friend was trying to understand it and Rob took his time to explain to her the philosophy of TB. She said: “It sounds odd but I want to be a TB too”. Cool, we recruited 2 more members!

 

We had a lot of fun that night; don’t remember it we ever went for singing karaoke that much but it doesn’t matter. I got cold in Moscow, and my voice was leaving me but I managed to speak and enjoyed a lot chatting and laughing with my TB’s. I didn’t stay till the end of the party ��" I really wanted to have some voice and health for the main night. It was a terrific pre-meetup and I could hardly believe that that morning I was still in Moscow only thinking about it. COOL!!! Thanks to everybody who made it happen.

Marinushka says:
coming soon:)))
Posted on: Jan 18, 2009
Marinushka says:
Thanks Ket! Wait for the rest of the story:) I haven't yet written about our romantic evening...lol
Posted on: Jan 17, 2009
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Leidseplein

Amsterdam was on my list for a long time and when I read about the NYE Meet Up there I said to myself: “You must be there”. The thing is that I was changing my job and was not sure if I would be able to make it but finally everything worked out, I got a new job and immediately bought a ticket. YESSSSS!!!

I was so excited about the trip ��" it was going to be my first meet up and I could not wait to see all those people I was chatting with online. Although, it was one of my most unplanned trips ever ��" I was so busy with my new work that had no time to make a list of things to do and places to visit. What a shame! I was reading my guide book on the planeJ But it turned out to be just an awesome trip!

So, the whole story began on December 30.

Leidseplein
I took a day off to be in Amsterdam for a pre-meet up - I wanted to experience it all. I had to wake up early in the morning and was making my way to Sheremetyevo-II in Moscow in the total darkness of a Russian winter day. My favorite taxi driver Nikolay who always gets me to the airport when I travel asked: “Where are you going to this time?” I said: “To a TravBuddy conference” (don’t know why I could not think of a better way to explain it). “Well”, he said, “I have no idea of what it can be but have fun anyway”.  Nikolay, I did!

Travelling from Moscow to Europe always gives me additional hours due to time difference so at 12 pm I arrived to Amsterdam. I took a shuttle bus (Connexxion, 21 euro for a round ticket), it operates between Schiphol and the main hotels and stops at the American Hotel just next to mine so they dropped me in front of my door. I was staying in a very small hotel named King, located on a canal and close to Leidseplein.

I was booking it rather late so not so many options to choose so I went for location and price. Besides Mata Hari was living there so being a Mata Hari myself I made my choice in favor of King (maybe any ‘kings’ or at least ‘princes’ to meet there?:)

I checked in and was immediately off to explore…wait, no, I unpacked in 5 minutes to put my dress for the NYE party into a wardrobe.

The weather was great ��" sunny but a bit cold, -6C. I started my way from Leidseplein, walked along Leidsestraat, crossed many canals and was so charmed by the city that I put my city map into my bag and was just enjoying walking and looking around.

Then something looking different attracted my attention. It was NEMO, Science and Technology Center.   I turned left and was making my way to the Central Station but never reached it.

Flower market
I saw a lovely canal lit by the afternoon winter sun. Of course I went there and…ooppps….something strange…why do all those guys around me have such a stupid and wicked smile on their faces? Oh I got it ��" Red Light District! It was not that late so only some girls were there. I turned around and saw the Old Church (Oude Kerk). What a nice location! Just round the corner there was a monument to all the girls working in love industry. Well, why not? It is a kind of service and must be a hard workJ

Then I saw a group of giggling teenagers ��" they were approaching Condomeria, a very funny shop selling very funny things. Well, in general my first impression of the Red Light District seen during the day was that it is all a big joke.

After my first getting to know that remarkable district I finally reached the Central Station and approached Damrak, a busy street full of tourists and souvenir shops. The Dam Square at the end of it is formed by the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk) on one side and the National Monument (Nationaal Monument) to the memory of all the Dutch people died during WWII on the other.

After seeing the very heart of the city I continued my unguided by any guide book or map tour and ended up at Rembrandtsplein and saw Rembrandt Monument.

It was already dark but not that late, our Pre-Meet up was set for 8pm at karaoke bar Casablanca. I checked its location and thought that I had enough time to get ready for it but I didn’t feel like being on my own so I messaged Ket who was the organizer of that night meet up and asked him when and where we were getting together.

Girls' best friends factory
“6.30 pm at Dam”, was the reply. What? I was still walking around the city, I had just jeans and a pullover on, my dress planned for the night was relaxing in my hotel room. No hairstyle. AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!  I told Ket I would be ready by 7pm and rushed to my hotel. My first day of sightseeing was over. Time to make myself and meet my TB’s. COOL!!!

To be continued...

Marinushka says:
Thanks Yolie
Posted on: Jan 18, 2009
yjc513 says:
Love the pictures!! Wish I was there..:-)
Yolanda
Posted on: Jan 15, 2009
Marinushka says:
Thanks a lot David, very glad to have my humble writings appreciated by a native English speaker:)
Posted on: Jan 13, 2009
Schiphol airport
Schiphol airport
King hotel
King hotel
The American Hotel
The American Hotel
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Flower market
Flower market
Girls best friends factory
Girls' best friends factory
Heineken is everywhere
Heineken is everywhere
Coffeshop named after my country:)…
Coffeshop named after my country:…
Amsterdam means of transport
Amsterdam means of transport
De Waag
De Waag
Christmas tree at the New Markt (N…
Christmas tree at the New Markt (…
De Waag
De Waag
Event monuments and sculptures are…
Event monuments and sculptures ar…
Montelbaanstoren on Oudeschans can…
Montelbaanstoren on Oudeschans ca…
NEMO
NEMO
NEMO
NEMO
Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk
Oude Kerk
Belle
Belle
Condomeria
Condomeria
Damrak
Damrak
Cheeeeeeeese
Cheeeeeeeese
Sex museum (Damrak)
Sex museum (Damrak)
Central Station
Central Station
Central Station
Central Station
Near the Central Station
Near the Central Station
Bikes, bikes
Bikes, bikes
Bikes parking lot at the Central S…
Bikes parking lot at the Central …
Central Station
Central Station
De Utrecht House
De Utrecht House
Beurs (Exchange), Damrak
Beurs (Exchange), Damrak
Beurs (Exchange), Damrak
Beurs (Exchange), Damrak
Damrak as seen from the Dam Square
Damrak as seen from the Dam Square
National Monument. Dam Square
National Monument. Dam Square
De Bijenkorf department store
De Bijenkorf department store
Madame Tussauds Scenerama
Madame Tussaud's Scenerama
Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace)
Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace)
I must be working there:)))
I must be working there:)))
Remdrandtsplein
Remdrandtsplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
Leidseplein
JC
JC
Aioh and Grace
Aioh and Grace
Julie and Bill
Julie and Bill
Sylvie and Grace
Sylvie and Grace
Nice chat
Nice chat
Aioh busy taking pics
Aioh busy taking pics
JC and Erin
JC and Erin
a sweet couple Erin and Brett
a sweet couple Erin and Brett
Erin is the center of attention
Erin is the center of attention
Ket and Edwin
Ket and Edwin
Joy, Jim and the star Grace
Joy, Jim and the star Grace
Erin and Brett
Erin and Brett
at Casablanca. it is not hard at a…
at Casablanca. it is not hard at …
Grace, Manuel and Aioh
Grace, Manuel and Aioh
Alex is receiving gifts
Alex is receiving gifts
Eric and me
Eric and me
James, Grace and Sylvie
James, Grace and Sylvie
always smiling Rob
always smiling Rob
Oussama, Eric and Rob
Oussama, Eric and Rob
Alex and James
Alex and James
JC and Ket
JC and Ket
Lili and Manuel
Lili and Manuel
Ket and me
Ket and me
beer cant be enough:)))
beer can't be enough:)))
Amsterdam
photo by: pearcetoyou