Well, sleep was not so easy for me so I did not end up waking up as bright and early as I had hoped. Also, it was overcast and rainy this Monday morning, but I dragged myself out of bed anyway and hit up breakfast. Now the hotel that I am staying at does not have an actualy breakfast, but they do have bread, fruit, eggs, juice, coffee and tea 24 hours. I have coffee (it's gross) fruit and bread and go back to my room to get ready for the day. My first plan of action is the Anne Frank house. I walk there which takes me a good 45 minutes only to discover a line that is laughable. Hmmm, I guess I will go to the Anne Frank house on my next trip to Amsterdam
In retrospect, I regret not just waiting, because it's not like I had any other real plans for the day. I then debated for a good 30 minutes about renting a bike from the Bike Company around the corner, but decided against that too. What am I going to do with myself? So I walk. I walk around and around getting myself utterly and completely lost and loving it. I have no panic or anything because I have all day just to wander the streets. While I'm out I stumble upon Waterlooplein flea market. I saw several second hand items that I wish I would have purchased as gifts, but I was so miserly that the only thing I bought was a scarf. Eventually, I am hungry I buy some fries and water from the stand there and in order to save money I head back to my hotel to eat fruit and have tea there.
While I am there I discover that there is a computer with free internet service. Awesome!!! I quick shoot an email to my sister and Koby (who apparently is worried about me). Following my snack lunch I decide to head to the "floating" water market, Bloemenmarkt. Now, this thing is actually anchored, but it is fun none the less. I went into every single market and kept wondering why flowers are so much cheaper here than at home. My place would be filled with flowers if I could buy say 3 orchid plants for 10 dollars instead of 1 for 21.99! I probably spend a good 3 hours out this way and end up getting more food to eat there since fruit and tea did not hold me over all that well. As luck would have it there is a mall nearby (Kalvertoren) with a cute market with lots of carry away items.
I get a sausage roll, because the words are easy to recognize. I also get an almond crossaint for tomorrow morning. The roll is a disappointment, but it was cheap (2 Euro) and curbed my hunger. By now it is evening time and the streets are alive with people getting off work and heading home or out. I grab a seat along the Singel Canal and watch. The women look impossibly fashionable while riding their bikes. I can't decide what impresses me more - the fact that they look so fashionable or the fact that they ride their bikes so casually. I think these women are a far site more attractive and feminine than American women (in general ...in Milwaukee). I imagine American men coming here and wondering just what they ever saw in American women.
..or maybe American men are just too American and wouldn't see this as beautiful. There are also an unbelievable amount of sexy men - I think it is the fit of their clothing. Unfortunatley, there is also a lot of BO (body odor) involved with these sexy men - maybe it's the bike riding all over God's creation. As I am watching I get a text from Angela that she and Ayanna are in Houston and hoping to get the last 2 seats on a flight to Paris. I take time out from my busy people watching and pray in earnest that they make it. I am supposed to meet up with them tomorrow night in Paris and I don't even want to think about them not making it! Even though it is still light out I recognize that it is getting late and I need to get moving.
I make my way to Leidseplein to soak up the atmosphere before heading back to my hotel. I have a train the next morning at 0854 to Brussels where I hope to take a hop-on hop-off tour and then take a train to Paris at 430 in the evening. Back at the hotel I eat some fruit (and my almond crossaint that I had planned to save for tomorrow) take a shower and re-pack my suitcase for my move onward. I am about to start journaling when I notice the light blinking on the cell phone - I have a message. My heart skips a beat as I look to see if Angela and Ayanna made the flight. YES!!!! They did. I am just as happy is I myself made a flight (probably happier). I go to bed with a smile on my face looking forward to tomorrow's adventure!