By Cate

Iamsterdam sign outside of the Rijks Museum

Bow & Hesquiat on the "d"

Another day in beautiful Amsterdam.  Before I forget, we’re heading off on our bike and barge trip beginning tomorrow and so we’re not sure what internet access we’ll have over the course of the next week – so don’t worry mom if you don’t see anything new up here for a while.  Bow will have her photo shows all polished up and Hesquiat is planning his next great post.

Bow has already mentioned how many bikes there are here.  They’re everywhere and they take the right of way in all cases so you have to watch out for them constantly or they’ll run you over.  I’ve saved Anne Marie’s life at least 3 times since we got here.

Bikes are parked everywhere in Amsterdam

The canals make the city very picturesque.  We didn’t succumb to the tourist dinner tours on the canals but saw lots of people floating by on small boats drinking wine and eating.  We’ll get our fill of canals on the bike and barge tour I assume.  I did see canals today that were at least 2 feet higher than the surrounding farm land. 

Boats on a canal

Well that’s bicycles and boats so that leaves…right brothels.  In our tour around downtown Amsterdam, Anne Marie lead us carefully around the outskirts of the red light district in order to avoid seeing the prostitutes in the windows.  She was successful.  However, on our way home from a visit to a museum, Hesquiat was in the lead and we were no where near the red light district but somehow we ended up in the red light suburbs.  Bow complained bitterly, Hesquiat blamed me for suggesting we walk on the other side of the canal, I blamed Hesquiat because he had the map and Anne Marie laughed.  All part of our education.  I actually think I’ve seen some of that lingerie in my hockey dressing room (the gals like to dress up for big games).

Finally, buddies.  We ran in to 2 different sets of friends today.  First, we visited the van Gogh museum this morning and you’ll never guess who we ran in to in the line up?  Kate Carlson, the very one.  I thought she was in Spain but no, she missed me so much she hunted us down here in Amsterdam.  Here’s a snap to prove it:

Kate in line at the van Gogh Museum

Anne Marie has a friend here she met a few years ago working on an international project.  He lives about 1 hour outside of Amsterdam so we hopped on a train and visited Marco and his partner Petra in Zoetermeer (better get our your maps).  We had a delicious supper that included home made french fries and sorbet (a big hit with the kids, I include myself in that group).  I promised Petra I wouldn’t say anything about the ex-boyfriend and her fascination with certain types of Americans so I’ll just say that we had great food and great company.

Marco, Petra and Anne Marie