When Ryan first told me he was going to go to Amsterdam in February, I was on board. I even had to back out of a children’s play I was going to be doing, because the performances were the exact time we would be gone. Yes, I know the weather won’t be lovely and we won’t see the tulips like we would in the spring, but when are we going to be able to go to Amsterdam and have Ryan’s travel and hotel paid for? It was a MUST DO. However, I wasn’t prepared for the cold. Every day in Amsterdam I would look out the window of my hotel and see the SAME thing. I’ve been in Germany for winter, I know it’s cold, but the humidity and wind coming off the water is just bone chilling.
A lovely view of the canal behind our hotel. The sky was grey. Some days it was raining, some days it was snowing. Some days the wind was blowing.
We heard from people how nice the weather had been up until right before we came. Hmm.
In my pictures, you’ll always see me wearing my coat, sometimes with hats, most of the time with a scarf or two. Sometimes I even have an umbrella. I wore my boots every day in Amsterdam, and am so thankful for these boots.
They were comfortable and warm, and I did a LOT of walking in them. $20 from Target, by the way.
But since the only way to see things was to brave the cold and get walking, that is what I did. While Ryan was working I went out and figured out the bus or street car, or just walked.
One day I took the canal/bus tour. Interestingly, it was warmer in the canal than the bus.
I loved seeing things from the canal, without traffic, and listening to the audio tour.
When the canal tour got to the train Station, they were going to take a 20 minute break before continuing on the tour. I decided to get off and find a bathroom, which was pretty much a disaster, as described in this post
After I eventually found a bathroom, the canal boat was gone, and another didn’t come for another 30 minutes or so, so I took the tour bus instead. It was colder, and I didn’t like it quite as much. Plus, there seemed to be a mandatory stop at the diamond factory (“Free tour!” they said, “with FREE coffee or tea and a bathroom), which I went through the “tour” or advertisement for their diamonds, so that I could use the bathroom at the end.
I did also see the one remaining windmill in Amsterdam. I guess it’s a bar, now.
When the bus made it back to the museum square, which is where I had started, I was tired and hungry and cold. I trudged the mile or so walk back to the hotel, thinking I was done for the day.
But a couple hours later Ryan was finishing up with the show and we had to figure out somewhere to have dinner. So, I consulted google again to find a restaurant somewhere between where I was and where he was. More walking. In the cold. But the food was great.
All that walking in the cold definitely made us tired at night, which was a plus.
The next day I was going to go and take the canal tour again, since my ticket was good for 24 hours. Trouble was, I got there too early. They don’t even open the little booth until 10 am, and the first boat comes to that stop at 10:50. I was there before 10, and it was SO cold. Instead of the boat, I decided to walk a couple of blocks to where the bus would come. I hadn’t seen this part of the city by bus, and the bus came sooner, at 10:25. I was over to the bus place by 10:05, and decided to walk in the park for a few minutes to try to keep warm.
The problem was, the bus came early. So, at 10:15, when I was almost to the bus, and just had to cross the street, the bus pulled away, leaving me in the cold. Such a dismal start to the day that I had planned. Ok, I’ll just walk until I see a street car. I knew the 16 went into the city, so I would look for one of those.
I passed another cute pancake house that mocked me with it’s warm gluten goodness.
Eventually I did get on the street car, hoping to be going to the city, but I figured if it took me the direction of my hotel, I was good with that, too.
Success, it was going toward the city. But, then, a street car in front of us that was turning left somehow broke down. We were stopped. No problem, I thought, I can wait. It’s warm here, and if I were to get off, I’m not sure if I could find my way around.
After about 10 minutes, though, everyone was getting off. Darn.
You can’t really see from this picture, but there is a line of about 5-6 street cars in 3 directions.
I started walking in the direction I thought I wanted to go. I eventually made it down town, but by then, I was just tired and cold, and didn’t want to see things. I went into a store, ended up buying a new warm blanket scarf, a tshirt, and a cardigan. By the time I came out, I was just going to get on the street car and go back to the hotel. But first, the number 4 came by, which said it was going to the RAI, which is the convention center where Ryan was. Sure, why not?
So, I rode that to the end of the line to the convention center, texted Ryan so he could come meet me, and then came into the warm convention center. Ryan was busy, so I walked around myself looking at things and collecting free stuff to take to the kids.
I don’t know what this is, but it was just outside the convention center, and it just looked so odd, I had to take a picture.
After wandering the show floor, I was just so tired. I couldn’t imagine staying there for 2-3 more hours waiting for Ryan to be finished, so I said goodbye and trudged back to the hotel, hoping I could find my way using the little map I had. I did make it, but I was done. Spent. Tired of the day. Spending the day lost and cold and walking wasn’t my favorite day, but after a bit of time laying down, I was ready to go to the Control 4 party that night.
I don’t have very many good pictures because it’s kind of dark in the club, and it’s a lot of people drinking and eating and talking. The food was pretty good.
And thank goodness for Uber, so we could get a ride home from the party and right to the hotel.
(By the way, if this post seems long and rambling, I’m just trying to get these memories down before I forget!)