Sex, Drugs, and Bikes

Trip Start Mar 01, 2012
Trip End Apr 30, 2012

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Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Friday, April 13, 2012

April 13:

Arrive in Amsterdam after a 6 hour train ride that put us in the heart of the city and did not fail to make an interesting first impression. As we walk through the streets with our baby elephants in tow, there were streets of bars full (this is 5:00 mind you) of tourists with girls dancing on tables singing karaoke with the crowd helping at out with the chorus… It was only ten minutes later when Bridget and I stepped through an invisible door into a neighborhood that shared no resemblance to its sister street around the corner.. Here there were water canals aligned with a plethora of apartments that boasted extremely large windows of all shapes and sizes. It was an interesting change to see such a lack of privacy, anyone could literally walk up to your living room window and have a sign language conversation.. These streets were also quite narrow with few cars and excess bikes, making it a quite intimate occasion..

We were warming greeted by our hotel staff and walked up to our room by a wonderful concierge who loved San Fran (surprising) and was extremely happy that the euro is down allowing more American tourists are make their way to Amsterdam… 

For dinner we went to a local hot-spot-neighborhood called Jordan and had a flavorful meal (When I told the waitress I liked spicy food I should have specified that I also am a fan of my taste-buds, several thousand were lost this night).. While 3 liters of water would have only dampened the fire in my mouth for about a minute, the food was still excellent and Bridget remained unscathed after the entire event…. Until that is we had desert and somehow the cook managed to sneak in an odd indian-origin spice that almost made Bridge tear and want to puke at the same time… I somehow avoided the spice-bomb infested apple and pear tart, licking my fingers in delight..

After dinner, we went wandering through the city, where both Bridget and I fell in love.. For about 2 hours, the only sounds we made were either "oohs and ahhh's" or a weak whine because we were slightly upset that we could not call this beautiful place home.. 

And of course, what night in Amsterdam would be complete without visiting the infamous red light district… As we walked through the streets, we anticipated every turn, waiting to see what makes men fly all over the world to visit this one little city in the Netherlands… After about a half hour of walking, we stop to check the map because something is amiss, and we realize that we are somehow about 10 yards away from our hotel, somehow missing the red light district entirely. Not really sure where we went wrong, we hop in the hotel room, re-group and do some research on the exact street where everything happens (such tourists I know), and then we embark on the Adventure of Amsterdam Part II… We literally walked straight for about 10 minutes and ran head on into windows with girls that were not mannequins and sold something other than clothing apparel. Pushed by the crowds in a general direction, we perused street after street of girls in neon swimsuits, either standing, sitting, playing with their iphone, and/or napping (similar to a regular office environment)… Both Bridge and I waited to see someone approach one of the window-girls, curious as to how the trade went down… With the streets crowded by people, we decided that this would be the perfect place to people watch so we grabbed a beer at the local pub and perched outside as we watched bachelor parties and groups of young men peruse the streets, huddling together to pool money so that one lucky guy could afford 15 minutes in amsterdam heaven… It was actually a pretty enjoyable experience, and only made me like the city more… As we were told the next day, if you can't stop it from happening, tax it and make some money… This is probably why it is expensive to live in the city because they are so incredibly wealthy. 

PS….Bridget and I signed a guys cheeks (the pants kind, not the ones to the right and left of the nose) while sitting on the streets sipping our irish cider… It was a task on his list that he had to complete for his bachelor party… This should be a Proud moment for you mom and dad

April 14:

Free walking tour with a guide that could probably have his own t.v. show talking about whatever floats in to his head--and his name was Jed so the catchy phrases would be endless… His talking cadence was spot on as he discussed the local currency (weed sold at coffee shops and the prostitutes) and other random historical facts that were just fillers in between his stories about drugs and sex… One of he highlights of the tour was when he gave us the top ten places to buy weed, detailing the exact protocol of hour to undergo a deal without getting ripped off.. Mind you, there were several older adults in the audience, some nodding their heads with approval as he gave us suggestions and tips on how to go approach all the "Coffee Shops".. Jed was a very lively character that did not fail to entertain us..

For lunch we decided to do pancakes since apparently that is what the Netherlands are known for (who knew?).. They are also known for their love of cheese (reason number 2 why I am obsessed with Amsterdam), so I decided to combine to two in a cheese-pancake situation which did not fail to live up to my expectations.. Bridge also got the infamous Jack Johnson Banana Pancakes which everyone can agree is an ideal combination..

We ran across an american bookstore, where Bridget went to go look for a book that one of our tour guides advised that we read.. It's call "Non-violent Communication" which makes me think that during our early days of travel, Bridge and I were giving off vibes of built of tension and anguish.. Nevertheless, this novel actually discusses how to properly communicate with one another, explaining how most relationships fail when there becomes a disconnect in talking to one another.. Too bad it cost $30 which compared to the States is $17 more expensive, and since we were not feeling the need to tear each other's hair out at that moment in time, we could probably put that money to better use (like $17 in weed that would have bought us enough peace to last us the rest of the trip if we were law breakers, which we are not)…

For dinner, we were sat at this highly recommended place that was busting at the seems with parties and tables, making Bridget and I feel lucky that we were able to snag a two-top at the peak of their busyness. I got the cheese fondue which came with fresh bread and vegetables while bridget got skewered chicken that was soaked in peanut sauce.. We definitely understood why they were so popular, especially after we rolled out of the place as customers were rushing in to snag a table..

Our evening entertainment was "Boom Chicago" which is an improv show by American comedians who did little short segments based on the title of the show "Branded for Life"… They basically poked fun at all the brands that we identify with, while also making fun of the audience based on advertisements and the sort.. It was an AMAZING show that had Bridge and I giddy with laughter, so much so that we decided to stay for "Shot of Improv" where all the comedians undress into their normal clothes, take the stage to do even more "Whose Line is it Anyway" type of skits, and give out free shots to any audience member who shouted out an original suggestion when they asked for events, situations, names, ect.. We literally were slapping anything that was around us, the show was historical… It definitely gave our trip a little boost of laughter that made our time in Amsterdam that much more memorable..
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