the final chapter...

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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.

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the final chapter...

Postby dannymac » Sun Jun 25, 7:50 pm

Our last full day
(Damn if it aint been hard getting this written. I had got a decent start and XP went and rebooted during an auto-update and lost what I had in the process. So here goes again...)

A bit of a letdown after TAK's houseboat, but got a good nights rest at the Kap just the same. One advantage to the Kap though, is that breakfast is included. Nothing fancy mind you, but plenty filling none the less. All our sightseeing was behind us now and today was going to be a mini pub/coffeeshop crawl, after we picked up the rest of our luggage at the houseboat, picked up our booze at Wynand Fockink, and to start the day
Church services at the Engelse Kerk. It seems 'R' didnt want to miss services while on vacation, and evidently the English Reform Church (or, more than likely, its American counterpart) is her particular denomination. The Engelse Kerk is one of the older church buildings in Amsterdam, having been built in the 15th century. The services were in English and were pleasant enough (especially if compared to the Mass I sat through at St. Mark's Basilica in Venice performed in Latin, pleasant isn't the word that comes to mind for that experience). After services we had the opportunity to walk around the Begijnhof. To enter and leave the Begijnhof, we used a private entrance along the Spui. On the streetside, it looked just like a door to the building above, but walk through the door and its a narrow archway leading to the Begijnhof.

We had scheduled a 1pm arrival with Hobie at the houseboat, which gave us enough time for a leasurly walk. Not much happening on Dam Square as we walked by, except a lone bagpiper in full regalia. We continued on, doing a little window shopping along the way, until we reached the houseboat at almost 1pm exactly.
Hobie and his wife were waiting for us, and to our surprise had also prepared a wonderful meal that they insisted on sharing with us. Nothing like sharing a good meal and smoke with friends. Thanx again you two!
The original plan had been to use the Opstapper bus again to get us close to the Kap, but as it turned out it dont run on Sundays. Hence our plan to cart our bags over to Wynand Fockink and pick up the genevere and likeur we didnt have the cash for on our 1st visit.

When we arrived at Wynand Fockink it was rather crowded and I felt it was inappropriate for us to lug our bags into the place. R and sat outside on the bench with the bags, while 'S' and mrs. dannymac went in to have a few shots and make their purchases. I wanted a bottle of genevere, as a sample of the local distillate, and based on our tastings on our 1st visit, the oude genevere was the only one palatable. The mrs. also wanted some of their flavored concoctions.
Here's a warning for you to check your bottles before departure. They put the bottle in a logo'ed paper bag and staple it shut with an additional label. We didn't open either until we got home, and much to my dissatisfaction we ended up getting the Special Genevere, which really wasnt that special, or even palatable. Now, originally I marked this up to the wife miscommunicating her desire, but I'm not so sure. When we got back to the States, friends of ours were planning a trip to Amsterdam. Lucky for them they got a hold of me before they paid their travel agent, because I was able to save them over $500 a person, and got them to Amsterdam during Queens day (we booked this trip just 2 weeks before departure). I was also able to give them some tips that Ive accumulated in over 6 trips and from the combined knowledge of Channels. They of course were so grateful that they offered to stop by Wynand Fockink and get the correct genevere. I wrote oude genevere down on one of the brochures and I was assured that this was handed to the proprietor to place their order. When our friends showed up after their trip, after telling us what a great time they had (although they never did manage to meet up with any Channelites, even after I provided them with a few cell numbers) they produced the prized hootch and when I opened the paper bag, it was once again that damn Special Genevere! Now you tell me, is this a coincidence, or are they just trying to get rid of the unpalatable product to unsuspecting tourists?

Anyway, I digress, back to the trip report...

By now we were sufficiently loaded down that we had to catch a tram back to the Kap. This is a time when the Kaps great location came in handy, what with it only being a short walk from several tram stops. We were so loaded down that we ended up making 2 trips up the steps with our bags and goods. I think it was at this point though that I definitely decided we'd be taking private transport to Schiphol.

After a short pause to catch our breath, and to smoke a little, we were off by now it was late afternoon. My plan was to walk to the RLD, stopping at several beer serving coffeeshops along the way. A little window shopping in the RLD and then wed call it a night, taking a tram back to the Kap.

For whatever reason (possibly because its a rather scenic canal) we head down the Reguliersgracht towards Rembrandtplein. The 1st coffeeshop we find ourselves in is Smokey's. This place usually gets neutral to poor reviews, but the atmosphere was pleasant enough. Nothing on their weed menu struck my fancy so we just smoked what we had on hand and had a few beers. This place just felt like a typical bar that youd see back home, albeit a bit larger than the places in Hazleton.
One thing I wanted to check on was my hunch concerning Budweiser. While at the Paris Hilton, the executive lounge was serving Bud in the familiar red and white label, only it said Bud and not Budweiser. Nowhere could the word Budweiser be found. It seems the EU courts have been siding with a small Czech brewery that lays claim to the Budweiser name. Just as I suspected, the Bud at Smokey's was also thusly labeled, even though their own beer menu called it Budweiser. Regardless, none of us were drinkin' the shit anyway.
Well, after finishing a couple beers and bowls, it was off to our next destination, a repeat - The Dampkring. It seems 'S' wanted more souvenir menus and she was hoping they got more in. It was a bit more crowded this night, and we started by crowding around a tiny table back near the restroom. Soon after getting our drinks and some smoke (sorry, but the strain eludes me now) a larger table opens up and pounce.
As it turns out, we ended up at the Oceans 12 table. I know this not because I remember the scene from when I 1st viewed this flick - no, I know this because the owners of the Dampkring have turned the place into an Oceans 12 shrine! Besides the Oceans 12 Haze on the menu, they've got Oceans 12 postcards, a large print on the wall, and multiple monitors playing a loop of the Dampkring scenes and some fluff.
We got all caught up in the Oceans 12 moment, and even had the cute and personable barmaid take our picture.
Eventually we turn our attention to the next destination, which is the Nes Cafe/Coffeeshop, but before departing for the Nes Cafe, the mrs. picks up a couple space cakes for the flight home tomorrow. Now were off to the Nes Cafe.

Nes Cafe's a place that I'd never been to, but got added to the list because they serve booze. Whereas Smokey's compared favorably to some bars back home, this Nes Cafe definitely reminded me of a local neighborhood bar. A bit more worn along the edges than Smokey's, with a nice homey feel to it. And as it turned out, the house beer was to 'S' liking and reasonably priced. Smoke prices were fair too. I also picked up a gram of their weekly special (no other name given) for 6 euros, and was satisfied.
Mrs. dannymac saw some absinthe behind the counter and decided that she must have some. Although the shot of absinthe definitely contributed to her attitude this evening [/i](more a function of the fact that most of this stuff is well over 100 proof)[/i], the act of procuring the absinthe was anti-climactic for the poor wife. I think she's more fond of the preparation ritual than the actual drink, and this bartender was having none of it.
The mrs. walks up to the bar, places her order, and the bartender proceeds to pour. "No, thats not how you do it," says the wife. Wherein the bartender looks at her a bit puzzled and annoyed, and tells her he doesnt have a clue how she was expecting it to be served, but he'd attempt to grant her wish if only she'd explain what needed to be done.
Under normal circumstances the wife wouldn't hesitate to explain, but for some reason the cat got her tongue at this particular moment. She sheepishly grabbed her drink and went back to the table - but as I said, none of that seemed to matter once the green goddess worked its magic.
Got real comfortable here and had a few beers and bowls. 'S' even commented on how he wish we'd stopped at this place earlier. But, we had an agenda to keep and eventually were off to the RLD.

By now it must be about 8 or 9pm and the RLD is a bit livelier than when we did a walk through a few days ago. Although 'R' originally wanted to visit the Casa Rosa, she decided against it now that we were here. So we end up wandering some more and admiring the ladies. Business must not have been too great this evening though. At one point, as we walked down that narrowest of RLD streets, we had one girl call out to us that, she'd do both of us. I wasn't quite sure if she meant the 2 of us men, or the mrs. and me? Regardless of which it was, we didn't take her up on the offer.
Eventually we end up at the Stones Cafe/Coffeeshop. This place was hopping and was definitely more of a bar than a coffeeshop. I didn't check out their menu and just smoked what we had on hand here. Because the place was full of guys, 'R' thought that we had stumbled into a gay bar - but I was pretty sure it was just full of hetero Brits trying to get in their final bit of debauchery before flying back to the U.K.

After a few beers and bowls here, we call it a night and grab a tram back to the Kap.

And thus ends this years visit to Mokum. As always, the wife and I had a great time. As for 'R&S', although they don't partake of the herb, they also said they had a great time and that they don't remember laughing as much as they did over the past week. Although I do believe that much of their laughter can be attributed to the idiosyncrasies and verbal banter coming from two old farts who've been married for 22 years (that'd be the mrs. and myself).

BTW, now that I've got this trip report all wrapped up - I'll be back to posting elsewhere.

I'M B-A-A-A-A-C-K!

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Postby Banks » Mon Jun 26, 10:33 pm

Nice job, Dmac... I enjoyed your story. Knowing you as I do, it was very easy to picture your trip in my mind! Hope to see you in August!

PS: The final chapters of the Sherri Saga are winding down... to be posted soon.

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Postby Dogbreath » Tue Jun 27, 12:53 am

Nice reports Dannymac.... I enjoyed reading them.


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Postby mark1 » Tue Jun 27, 2:20 pm

Enjoyed this years reports DM, thanks!
Glad to see you finally made it to T'Nes.....and enjoyed it too!

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Postby LastHamlet » Tue Jun 27, 4:32 pm

Hummm??? I may tend to agree on this particular case, that genevere thing sounds a little fishy to me as well???
Dam nice reporting D'Mac, and it sound like you all had a wonderful trip. You really know your way around, and have awonderful time doing so.
High Kudos on saving your friends the cabbage on the trip, I know that helped a great deal on the currency exchange, to have more to exchange that is.
Hopefully, we can hook-up next year, and maybe this time I won't be restricted to a high chair...:-)
All The Best,

WAIT !!! Did I Read This Correctly????

Banks Wrote:
PS: The final chapters of the Sherri Saga are winding down... to be posted soon.

For long the conclusion of "The Saga" has been held a mystery, and likely the rightful owner of the "Green IJ"


Postby Birdman » Wed Jun 28, 10:02 pm

Cool beans! Looking forward to picks in August!

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Postby a bollocks » Thu Jun 29, 1:44 am

Excellent reports. no-fun-he-fell-right-over-guy.

and to Banksie.. lordy.... Sheri is a pigment of my imagination.

pink and luscious.


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Postby TAK » Thu Jun 29, 6:12 am

A very good report dm.
Though I've missed your slant in the political forum. Don't let one precede the other.

My best to mrs. dm and her pursuit of the ultimate green buzz.


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