Amsterdam - September, 2001
Sept 4/5
Hotel Winston
De Oude Kerk

Sept 6
Van Gogh Museum
Modern Art

Sept 7
Anne Frank House
New Church

Sept 8
Boat Trip
Rembrandt House
Heineken Brewery

Tuesday, September 4th - pictures

On this trip, I am taking my iPAQ with attachable keyboard. It is so nice to be able to put in my notes as I go along. Once I get back to my computer, I can just copy over my notes to the Internet for my webpages. Very cool. At the OKC airport, Tracy Leeper was on the same flight as I was. All these times flying, and I've never seen anyone I've none but once. She was on her way to a Drug Court Convention in Pensacola, FL.

Made it to Memphis with no problems. Had a four-hour layover there. Had a few beers at Cheers. McDonalds for supper, because we didn't think we would get food on the airplane for a while. Well, we were wrong. We were on a DC-11, which is 2-4-3. I'm in an aisle set, and so is Ty. Not to bad. Sitting next Jennifer, who is in the Air Force. Ty has open seat next to him. The guy by him has an OSU hat. Go Cowboys!

First trip by for the stewardess was a Coke. Added my own Bacardi. Next was dinner. Which wasn't very good. But, got a Heineken with it. Then they brought by a nightcap. First, Ty and I had Conteraui (orange liquor), which was nasty. Then, we got some Bailey's Irish Cream. Much Better. Flight Attendants are very nice!!! The movie we get is 'Bridgette Jones Diary'. Don't know anything about it, so I'm skipping. It's been a great trip so far, and we aren't even over the Atlantic yet!!

Wednesday, September 5th  - pictures

Not surprising, neither Ty nor I slept to well on plane. With both had chair-knockers behinds us. Breakfast was so-so. In the morning, we watched 'Spy Kids'. It was very entertaining. We arrive on time with out any problems. Going through passport control, the guy asked said 'I guess you wanted your passport stamped.' Well, if you're stamping, I'll take it. Luggage arrived just fine and we walked through customs without anyone asking a thing. Dave was waiting for us outside.

We found a ticket kiosk, and bought a train ticket from the airport into Amsterdam. Cost 6.5f - about 3 bucks. Once we got on the train, Dave pointed out that the smoking section was everyone. A little smokey in areas. The train took about 15 minutes to get into Central Station.

At Central Station, we headed down the Damrak, over Warmostraat, and then found our hotel, The Winston. The cost for all four nights was 960f. A very good price. That includes breakfast, which we will see if that is worth anything. Our hotel room is the DNA room. Very cool. Our room is right on the street. It's not luxury, but it will work. Have to drop off the key at the front desk every time you leave. Ty and I put our passports and plane tickets in the safe downstairs.

We immediately headed out to see the sights. We walked around the Oude Kerk area, seeing all the interesting sights that are to be seen. Plenty of people begging for change. Just have to keep saying 'No'. We stopped at a sports bar and had a half pint of Guinness, walked around some more, and a pint of Heineken at a Harley Bar, and then Ty and I went back to the hotel for a nap. Dave wandered around, and met some OB-GYN from Belgium, who filled him in on all the information about the area.

After our nap, we headed out for the evening. On the Damrak, they're tons of places to eat. Can't remember want the name of the place was, but we had a good dinner for about $10 a piece. Lots of people out and about.

We stopped back by the hotel to get some rain gear before continue on for the night. There was a girls-only party going on at the Hotel bar, so we weren't invited. We found a friendly bar called the 'Coffeshop 39 '. It sat on the canal, which was nice. You could see the Damrak, with all its neon and lights. Disco music was playing, but not the kind of bar that you dance at. It was a little too loud, so went didn't stay to long.

We walked around for another hour. We were definitely in the area of town where cameras were not welcome, so I haven't got a lot of pictures for this day. I hope to do better tomorrow.

Once we got back to the hotel, there was a private party in the disco. It had spilled out into the bar. We each had a pint of Heineken. We're not sure, but the party was all women, and we weren't to sure about their preferences. The bar was nice and lively. People from all over the place.

Well, that was plenty for one day. Need to try to find an Internet cafe in the morning to email everyone. Breakfast starts at 8 am, but the museums don't open until 10 am. I'm sure we will find plenty to do!

It sprinkled a little bit today, and was a little cold for me. Ty was in shorts for most of the day, so he's enjoying the weather. Food is affordable in our area and beer is 7f a draw. Lots of Heineken and Guinness to be drank. Transportation is cheap, as long as you don't take a taxi. Hotel is cool. All in all - an all right city. Not a bad place to visit for my first time in Europe.

Thursday, Sept 6th  - pictures

Had breakfast at the hotel. I had some granola with milk, hard-boiled egg and a Coke. Also available was cheese, bread, orange juice, coffee, liverwurst, and bread. Pretty good.

I stopped at the Internet cafe to send email to everyone. Only cost about 2 bucks for twenty minutes.

We took Tram 5 to the museum area. We got there early and walked past the Hard Rock Cafe. Also had time to stop at the Museum shop. The Rijksmuseum cost 17.50f to get in. We had to check our bag at the front. Which was great. Mine is way to heavy, and I'm already tired of carrying it. We started on the top floor with the Night Watch, one of Rembrandt's most famous paintings. I took a lot of pictures. Flash was not allowed, so I hope that they come out OK. Saw paintings by Van Dyck, Venmeer. Lots of 16th and 17th Century Dutch paintings. Took about three hours to finish.

Lunch was at some outdoor cafe. I had a ham and cheese toasted sandwich, which was flattened by the grill. Not too bad.

The next stop was the Van Gogh Museum. It had lot paintings. Nicely designed. I wish it had more paintings that I recognized, but nice no the less.

Next door was the Modern Art museum. It had one or two paintings that I recognize, but not much. Had a lot of experimental art. One of the displays was a Chinese woman shooting herself with onions, with only a frying pan to defend her.

After museuming all day, it was time for a nap for Ty and I. Dave went out and about. For dinner we had Chinese food, which was very good. We all had roast duck, buy I got mine with noodle soup.

After dinner, we barhopped a while and ended up at the hotel bar. Our next door neighbors where in the bar, so we joined them for a few pints. Their names were Rebecca and Dan. They were from Cambridge, England. They had some great stories about England. Dave and I stayed up until 2:30 am enjoying our conversation with them.

Friday, Sep 7th  - pictures

I skipped breakfast, deciding to sleep in. After cleaning up, we went out for another long day for museums.

The first stop was the Anne Frank House. Even though it is one of the most famous places in Amsterdam, we didn't have to wait more than 15 minutes to get in. They did a real good job on the displays. Well worth visiting.

For lunch, we ate at a fast food fish place restaurant. I had a crab broojle with a coke, about 10f. Ty and Dave both got the fish and chips.

The Amsterdam Historical Museum was next on our list. The museum told the history of Amsterdam. It was cool to see how they reclaimed land from the sea. Unfortunately, the 16th, 17th, and first half of the 18th Century was shut down. Oh, well.

The Royal palace wasn't far from there, so that was our next stop. The Royal Palace was originally the city hall, but had become the place were dignitaries were entertained. The museum had a good brochure that walked you thru the entire area.

Next door was the New Church. Very large church. Many famous people from old time are buried there. A lot of cool engraving, but very plain compared to a Catholic Church. The church was Dutch Reformed, so not much ornamentation.

Well, after four museums, our feet are very tired. We retired to a sport's bar to have a few beers before we decided our evening plans.

We decided to eat at a Mexican Restaurant for dinner. Ty and I split fajitas, while Dave had a chimichanga. We were pleasantly surprised how good the food was. The guacamole was excellent. Walked around and had a few more beers. Dave and I went to the hotel bar, and we got to hear a story from some freak about fleas crawling out his skin.

Saturday, Sep 8th  - pictures

We decided to rent a boat for the morning. What a great idea. We floated around most of Amsterdam for about two hours. This is something everyone should do. It is much better than going on a guide tour. You don't get the extra information about Amsterdam, but it is nice to set your own itinerary. If you go to Amsterdam, you must do this!

After lunch, we went to Rembrandt's house. Today was 'free museum' day, so we got in free. The museum has a large number of paintings. It gives you a good idea of how he would have lived, painted, and entertained.

The open flea market, Waterpoolien, was just around the corner. Neither Ty nor I where interested in anything, but Dave found some leather coats that he wanted to take home with him.

The Heineken brewery was a nice little walk from where we were. The brewery no longer makes beer, but is a great multi-media place. They have done an outstanding job. Plus, you get free beer! What could be better?

After walking around for what seemed like forever, we decided to go back to a restaurant that we had past before. Well, you can't win them all. Service was terrible, and I had to send my steak back.

We walked back to hotel, and a few beers and called it quits. We had seen and done a lot in four days, and we were tired. On Sunday, Dave had to leave very early, and Ty and I just camped ourselves at the airport. We could have seen a little on Sunday, but we thought we would wait until next time we came back. The End.