travel wrapup: quirky photos

Well, I intended to report on the last few days of Amsterdam but apparently I already put lots of those photos in the first post. Oh well.

Instead, we will do something much more fun. Here are some of the quirkier photos I took. Enjoy!

Here is a woman attempting to defend her pastry from the bakery kitty. I would have been more than happy to share with the cutiepie (the cat, not the lady) but he was not interested in my pastry, only this poor woman’s.

Here we have very rude (but colorful!) dwarves. I place this phenomenon in the “peeing frite” category. Whatever that category is. Rude in animate objects?

Next up we have righteous maids at the hotel. I happen to agree with this, but thought this was kind of funny. Also a little bossy. You there! Are the lights off?!?

Always happy to see a rainbow flag being proudly flown. Even if I wouldn’t be allowed inside this fine establishment.

Also, lest you think Amsterdam all clean and shiny, may I present to you a very dirty street corner. Here is something handy for if you are a man and happen to be in the right place at the right time with the right need… just pull up to an open urinal and have at it, like the gentleman here pictured! Broad daylight, street corner, why not?

And now for the cute portion of our slideshow: cutie cute doggies in adorable situations:

I’ll leave you with this: A drunken man wearing a frog hat, balancing a flowerpot on his cranium. He made it about a block or so! I was impressed.

Oh, the things you see when you travel. Anyway. That was my trip. It was good fun, and I’m very glad to be home, where the fries do not pee (that I know of, anyway) and gnomes generally do not flip you the bird as you walk down the street.


the best place in the whole world

Is, to be precise, home in my own bed with my kitties.

However, it is fun to go away sometimes and see something new. Got home last night from a long trip to Amsterdam and Belgium. I had a great time, but I have to be honest — I was kind of a zombie half the time and it was about two or three days too long for me. I think if I could have gone in April or even May, that would have been better, but this is the time we went and this is the experience I had. It was really beautiful, we had lovely weather, I loved seeing the Anne Frank House (I cried through the entire exhibit) and eating yummy things and having some really amazing beer in Belgium, and I loved Bruges and Brussels and the Magritte Museum, and the Van Gogh museum, and riding bikes along the canals in Amsterdam. I thought the red light district was fascinating (especially during the week, when it wasn’t all crowded) and my friend’s great-aunt was a treasure and kept us well-fed, laundered, and rested.

A few highlights here. If you’re friends with me on Facebook I posted an edited bunch (if you want to be friends with me, just ask)

Schiphol was the very best airport I have ever been to. A LIBRARY in the AIRPORT. With a napping room upstairs. And a museum inside the airport, showing Dutch masterpieces. And a kid’s playroom. And a spa. I could live there.

Furniture hoists at the rooflines. Amsterdam houses are too narrow and stairs too steep to load furniture, so they have to be hoisted up and brought in through the windows.

Lovely scenes from the Dutch countryside on the bus ride home to Tante Maud’s (Vanessa’s great-aunt, whom we were staying with)

Commuter bike parking at Amsterdam Centraal (the major transportation hub)

Canal houses and a really cool streetlight. 

The best restroom of the whole trip: the lovely WC at the Tassen (the Handbag Museum). There is even a fancy little evening bag display inside the stall!

Amsterdam canals at night. So pretty. 

A gallery of photos from Amsterdam. I’ll do Belgium tomorrow and then cover anything else I left out. If you hover over the image, there should be a short explanation. Not sure if the explanations show up in the slideshow. You get the idea.

I am really glad I went. I’m also really glad to be home.

Reading notes: I barely read at all. I was exhausted on the plane trip over and tried (unsuccessfully) to sleep through most of it. Read some at home base (Tante Maud’s house), read some in Belgium, and then read half of Ian McEwan’s Amsterdam on the journey home, which Vanessa was reading — it was a strange book, and then I got a splitting headache and didn’t finish it. I like my Kindle a lot (ooh! made a very neat cover for it, more on that later) but I really didn’t use it very much. What I did use a lot was my iPod Touch, for email, web, maps, etc., wherever there was free wi-fi. That was extremely handy. I was too tired or mentally overwhelmed by the end of each day to read. Mostly I just tumbled into my little single bed and was out.

Today I’m resting. I need to go to the grocery store, but other than that, I’m going to be on the couch or back in bed. I’ll deal with the real world tomorrow. So glad to be home.