A New Year is upon us...

Amsterdam Travel Blog

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We both woke up with a headache - why I'm not sure - around 1 pm.  We scrambled to get the day started in some fashion and grabbed a snack from the hotel lobby that resembled a New Orleans-style beignet filled with raisins.  Yum!  Sanjeev reserved a boat tour for us around 3 pm and so we hit up another coffee shop before setting sail.  I really did order coffee, people!  Promise.  It turned out to be a great day to do the covered-boat tour as it rained most of the afternoon.  After moving our seats away from some unruly Italian children, and their equally loud parents, we enjoyed the beautiful Dutch architecture and historical tour of Amsterdam's legendary canals.

  I had never realized that the architectural style of New York's brownstones resembles the great Dutch homes lining the city streets.  Huge glass windows with steps reaching a lofty front door, I could have been on the upper west side, but for those canals.  I guess that makes sense given we live in what was once called New Amsterdam. 

After the canal tour, we found a delightful modern Argentinian spot (http://www.caucaucau.com/) to grab a beer and snack on a sandwich and frites.  This spot had a more modern twist than the place we'd dined the night before; however, we did confirm with our Egyptian waiter that Argentine food is extremely popular in Amsterdam.  Who knew?  Another fun fact to take away from our trip.

  At this rate, I'll be chock full of new knowledge to tell our family and friends back home.

Our "snack" held us over nicely until we went home to change to go out for dinner.  But not until we enjoyed the cozy bar I'd had my eye on since check in.  It was comfortable and warm and European through and through.  We enjoyed a few rounds of Spades before heading out to dinner at Humphreys across town.  Had we known what a feast dinner would be, Sanjeev and I agreed we could have skipped lunch.  Humphreys was a local Dutch restaurant with modern classic decor (candles, wooden tables and dim lighting) and a prix fixe menu complete with varied and interesting dishes.  Again, we found ourselves asking "are we in the Netherlands?" as the place hardly felt Dutch, whatever that is supposed to feel like.

  Our meal turned out to be quite a New Year Feast, consisitng of appetizers, main courses, salads, sides of frites and rhubarb pear-sauce (now that seemed Dutch) and desserts.  We both swore we wouldn't be eating again until the next day....  Needless to say we broke our very first new year's eve resolution after a stop at another coffee shop - this one called "Greenhouse" right around the corner from the Raddy Blu.  Greenhouse felt more like a bar than a coffee shop, demonstrated by the bar-tender's not so gentle repremand of us for playing cards at our table.  We had gotten the idea the night before at Abraxas while watching another group engage in harmless card play.  A city of peculiar social mores to say the least.  That one got us a laugh that lasted well into the night.

Sanjeev, decidedly gone mute, stared at me blankly and await my next witty comment, never lacking in hilarity I've been told.  It was a fun night that, again, ended with European tele - sans Gaga I'm afraid to report.  By the time the zealously-ordered pizza arrived to our room, I was nearly fast asleep.  And already full, I might add.  Damn M&Ms.

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photo by: pearcetoyou