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Sunday, May 14, 2006: Day 9 - Taking it easy in Amsterdam

Click here to view more honeymoon picturesUnfortunately, Sunday morning didn't start off much better than Saturday. Lisa woke up in the middle of the night with a swollen foot and what felt like an ankle sprain. In one of the airports the night before we were in these big tube things with moving sidewalks that was taking us up to the gate. The whole thing was not very steady (that sort of thing would never be permitted to operate in the US) and that is likely where her injury happened.

Dennis went down to the desk and the desk worker was nice enough to get some ice from the bar area. They didn't have any ace bandages but gave us a bandage we could use to kind of wrap her foot and give her ankle some support. The desk worker also told Dennis that he doubted if any pharmacy would be open on a Sunday, but would let him know if Lisa needed to go to the hospital. Dennis thanked him , went back up to the room and helped Lisa ice her foot and wrap it.

Our plan for the day was to visit some museums in the area, but we decided to forgo that and take it easy. Lisa stayed in the hotel room and kept ice on her sprain. We needed one of us to be there to sign for the luggage when that arrived anyway. So Dennis went downstairs to see if the kitchen was still serving breakfast. They closed the kitchen 15 minutes before that but since they knew Lisa was off her feet temporarily, they let Dennis fill a couple plates and take it up to the room. Not really the way we wanted to have our first "breakfast in bed" on our honeymoon, but very nice of the staff to accommodate us this way!

Later that morning, Dennis did a bit of a walk about to see what was in the area. In addition to the shops and numerous restaurants/bars, there were tents lined out outside the hotel with local artists selling their works. We picked a good area to stay in.

He returned to the room about the same time that the luggage arrived. We were happy to find both of our luggage. Somehow the airport person in Paris listed both checked bags under Lisa's name. That was a good sign.

By this time Lisa was feeling a bit better and was good enough to go out and get a bite of lunch. So, we changed clothes and together slowly went out for a walk. We had lunch outside at an Irish Pub (seemed appropriate since we didn't get a meal while in Ireland at the airport). Dennis had a Shepard's pie and a hard cider while Lisa had a steak with a beer. For Lisa it was good to get on her feet and out of the hotel room again.

While eating a street musician was playing an accordion on the sidewalk. Now we've all heard people play the "squeeze box" or watched Lawrence Welk, but this was unlike anything we have ever heard. He was playing music you might expect a concert violinist to be playing. It was amazing. We commented on the difference in street musicians with this in Amsterdam, jazz on the sax in Paris, and drums and bagpipes in Edinburgh. What an experience!

We then went to do a little souvenir shopping. On the way there was a street mime doing his thing by helping ladies cross the street and other things. He drew quite a crowd and we watched him for quite some time. We stopped in several shops buying postcards and trinkets and even found a store similar to a Walgreen's where we bought an ankle wrap to give Lisa's sore ankle some better support until she was back at 100%.

Lisa was getting around slowly but better than we expected, so that was good. We went back to the hotel and got dressed for dinner. We went to the NH Schiller hotel restaurant as we wanted to again treat ourselves to a fine dining experience. For appetizer we had something called a "small Dutch shrimp" plate. Boy were they small! For the main meal Lisa had the monkfish with baked asparagus and a spinata romana sauce, tarragon and shallots. Dennis had a ribeye steak with mushrooms and onions. The meal was served with these small brown bread squares. We also tried the Wieckse Witte beer too. Everything was very good.

After dinner, we went to the room and wrapped Lisa's ankle and decided to go for a walk. It really helped with support because we ended up walking all the way up to the "red light district" of Amsterdam. Here was the starkest example that we were in a different world, with women sitting in windows of the buildings with a red light overhead offering their so called services, and with the smell of marijuana coming from various coffee houses, it was unlike anything we had ever seem in our travels. We laughed that there were several fast food type shops (not any chain restaurants) there trying to cash in on the intoxicated men wandering around the district.

We didn't walk through the entire area, figuring that what we saw in the first couple blocks gave us a feel for what this area, which Amsterdam is famous for, is about. Having seen plenty, we hailed a taxi and went back to the hotel. As it was still early we stopped for a quick drink in the hotel bar. We found it odd that there was no way to get to the bar from inside the hotel. It was a unique place, very narrow with some seating, a large bar, then more seating beyond.

When we noticed the wait staff bringing in the plants and outdoor seating we realized it was getting late. Where had the time gone. I guess that happens when you are in love! So we left to rest up for a big day coming up. We were happy that although we were not able to see the museums and other sights of this city as planned, that we survived the challenges and in the end we faced it together.


Copyright © 2006, Dennis Shaw, Menomonie, WI

Last update: Monday, June 12, 2006
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