D.F.A. Day 4 - Picture Perfect

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StemsnSeeds
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D.F.A. Day 4 - Picture Perfect

Postby StemsnSeeds » Tue Jan 20, 7:59 pm

Returned to De Kuil after posting the day 3 trip report, but no barmaid from Friday in sight, so I practiced a bit of pool and then sat up at the bar finishing off some of my supplies. No matter how often I go to Amsterdam, I always seem to wind up with more little baggies and ATM transactions than I had planned on. The bartended on duty was another lovely lass named Joanna, an Amsterdam native working while she attends classes. She was kind enough to keep an eye out for the other bartender for me, but no luck. All in all it was fairly slow for a Saturday night, with pockets of activity every now and then but never really jam-packed. Stayed until about 2:45 AM sipping Amstels, then off for a slice and some crash time.

Patrick and I both remarked earlier over "brunch" at Greenhouse Centrum how low-key it was this visit, I don't think I stood in line at a coffeeshop once. The pizza slice places and gift shops on Damrak and ATM's were all line-free, and when we went to Haarlem Thursday morning, it was practically deserted. I had heard from a channelite friend that Sunday was also a slow time for Utrecht, but as it was my last day I figured I'd go anyway, Saturday was out since it was raining most of the day. I woke up to beat the alarm by 15 minutes at 8:00 AM, looked out the window and practically jumped out of bed because it was so nice out. The forecast was for a clear day, and did they get it right. Beautiful blue skies without a cloud in sight. Tossing on some clothes and running a toothbrush through my mouth, I gathered my camera and wallet and was out the door and off to Central Station after a quick wake-n-bake and Chocomel at the Coin (since Baba was still closed) for my trip to Utrecht. I had intended on catching the 8:47 train, but "something happened" while I was at the Coin, because I asked the fellow what time it was and he said 8:30, then, it seems 2 minutes later, it was 8:44. Oh, well, I'll catch the 9:17, no such thing as being in a hurry on a Sunday morning in Amsterdam.

Just so you folks know who haven't been in a while, the "big board" in the main area at Central Station, with all the trains listed, is gone. Matter of fact, they are doing lotsa work to the station. You'll need to look at the printed schedules or small TV monitors near the ticket machines.

I made it to Utrecht by about 9:45 or so, and yes, it was deserted. I unfortunately walked the wrong way out of the train station/shopping plaza, and was heading towards what looked like some conference center, when I corrected myself and walked back through the station and out the other side towards old town and the famous Cathedral. The streets were empty, and I guess some folks were in service because as I took in the Cathedral and surrounding areas I could hear music from inside the church. Since it was such a brilliant day, I snapped pictures around town, not really knowing where I was but keeping an idea of my progress away from the station. Once my pups got tired and I had captured every possible angle of the Dom tower, I went back towards the station, taking more photos and thinking about my last day in Amsterdam.

The last day used to make me sad, but I realized and have come to accept that it's just an inevitable part to any vacation, and I am so fortunate to be able to visit as much as I do. Like some, or possibly most folks, I'm very tired of doing what I do for a living, been doing it for 18 years now, but it provides me with a lifestyle that affords international visits on a semi-regular basis. I just need to remember the saying, "if it was fun, they wouldn't call it work", and remember that it is my responsibility to keep myself entertained and interested in other things on my off hours. Work will, at least for the foreseeable future, always be work, fun is up to me.

Upon arriving back in town, I took my time walking over to Greenhouse Centrum for more Hawaiian Snow and Power Plant, taking pictures everywhere, as it was so nice out. I met up with a guy from Brooklyn who was interested in seeing the playoffs later on, so I gave him details of our plans near Leidesplein and my coffeeshop map and marked the place we would be, but he never showed. Noticing how nice it was out, and knowing these kinds of days were somewhat rare in January, I found it hard to stay inside. Since I had never been to Waterlooplein market and knew it was fairly close by, I set out only to find it was not open on Sunday. Bummer. At least I had a nice walk...

Back to the hotel where I dropped off my camera, then to De Kuil for the days 1st Amstel. A guy was sitting next to me at the bar and had his dog with him, and when a large group of people came in he just scooped up the dog and put him in his lap. The dog sat there, still as could be, then sat for a while with his butt in the guys lap and his little paws on the bar. I wish I had gotten a picture, but that would have been difficult having just dropped off the camera. One of the girls that was in the group was talking to the dog, and once I figured out she was speaking English, I realized she sounded just like Bubble on "Absolutely Fabulous". I was kinda laughing to myself every time she said something because she sounded so much like her. Man, what an accent. There were also 2 "weed professors" at the bar discussing lighting, growing tips, etc. I'm sure you've run into someone like this: young guy, almost fanatical dedication to weed growing, talking about profiles and fertilizer and molecular bonds and everything, geez. All that work and I just like lighting it up...

As the day was getting on and my cheeks were getting sore from hugging the De Kuil barstools, I took the tram (Patrick had given me his spare strippenkaart to use, my feet thanked him) to Leidesplein to check out the playoff situation. Found that the Bulldog directly across from Boom Chicago (not the Bulldog next to the Satellite Sports Bar) would have the playoffs on starting at 9:00 PM and yes, we could smoke there. With that happy news and a grumbling belly, I tried some night photos of the area then off down the street Rookies is on for some chow. I saw an empty glassed-in outside eating area (it was getting brrr outside) in front of an Italian place and had their mushroom ravioli and a glass of house red, a perfect dinner, only 12 euro. The sun was nice enough to turn the sky in front of my view a pleasant purple as it set, what a treat.

The plan was to meet at 8:00 at Rookies, then go to Bulldog at 9:00 for at least some of the game. I had planned on meeting Brooklyn dude at De Kuil at 7:00, since he was not sure of where Rookies was. Unfortunately, once I got back from Leidesplein, Betty Boop's internet connection was down, no online fix, so I went to De Kuil early, smoked a doober of Hawaiin Snow, and proceeded to just about fall asleep watching these folks play pool. All I could think about was the sensation you used to get in class right when you know you've dozed and your head is starting to fall forward onto your desk. After about the 4th time I almost nodded out, I checked the time and it was about 7:15, dude was late and I was obviously tired. I went to the hotel and set the alarm for a quick cat-nap, which was very refreshing. Amazing what a half-hour will do when you just want to close your eyes for a minute. Patrick and Linda were waiting at Rookies for me/us, but I was the only one who showed so we went the Bulldog to grab a table early. It was fairly empty, sat near the big screen and had some snacks, burgers for them and a nice cheese toasty for me. There were some loud sports-types in there, stating the obvious at every play ("he shoulda caught that ball"..."they need to score some points"..."look at that, he was supposta tackle that guy" and so on), and they got louder as the game went on. Looked like New England had things under control, and since we didn't know how late the trams ran, we left at halftime. I walked over to Dolphins and bought some White Dolphin weed, 9 euro/g, and Royal Dolphin hash, 12.50 euro/g. Both were tasty, but nothing outstanding.

After tramming (is that a word?) back to De Kuil, I watched some more pool and saw another style of play, must be sure to get on the same page before starting a game, because some of these rules are really different. To win, you had to either hit the 8 ball and bank it in and call it, or bank the cue ball into the eight ball. Someone else played that you had to sink the 8 ball in the opposite pocket from where your last ball fell. Patrick and I played that way a few times and it sure puts a twist in end of the game. Once pool was done, Patrick and Linda headed out and I was left to the task of getting rid of my extras. There were some youngish-looking girls at a table and one of them got the giggles and was laughing so hard I thought she was going to need medical attention. She...couldn't...quite...spit...out...what...she...wanted...to...say...in betweens fits of laughter. The bar was cleared at 1:00, time to go pack.

Monday morning, woke up before the alarm again. I had bought 2 cans of Amstel 2 nights before in the hotel lobby (sweet), and set one on my windowsill. It was still there and nice and cold. Broke out one of my last doobers and lied there, snug under the covers, sipping my brew and puffin away, watching the drizzle make patterns on the canal. A metal can of some sort floated by a duck, who gave it a quick tap with it's beak. This sounded really funny, like "tink", as if the can were being hit with a small hammer. The duck, being wise, decided this was not something he wanted to eat, and moved on. It was such a relaxing little scene, I really didn't want it to end, to get out from under the covers, but the clock soon told me to get my ass up and get my act together. A quick survey of the room to make sure I left nothing behind and off to Baba for a Chocomel and my final smokes. I gave some fellow my pipe, which he thanked me for and loaded up and offered me a bowl. After I grabbed a lungfull I realized the err of my ways and managed to get "tobacco?" out between coughs. "Just a little" he said. A while later, while recovering, I was amazed by a guy driving a big truck down the street and around the corner that Baba sits on. These streets make a Chevy Camaro look huge, and this guy just wheeled around the corner, looking to me like he barely missed the front of the shop, no worries. I'd have been doing the 29 point turn, myself.

Leaving Baba somewhat earlier than expected, I had plenty of time to get to the airport. Had a nice relaxed journey and breezed through security, etc. to the gate. Since I just about fell asleep in the waiting area, I knew I'd be OK on the plane. That's part of what makes these trips so much fun, each one is a "little adventure" in itself, from who you'll be sitting next to on the plane to will your plane be on time to who will you get to meet/chat with at the coffeeshops. Imagine my complete joy when they announced "Welcome to our flight on this Boeing say-fen say-fen say-fen to Washington DC" and there were three, count 'em, three empty sets next to me. I was on the end of the middle 5 seat section, a lady was at the other end, and all seats in between us were empty. Not that I needed the room, but it sure was welcome. I think I was asleep before we took off, never even put on my headphones (very rare) and basically slept, woke for lunch an hour or so in to the flight, slept, woke up a couple of times briefly then I was out for most of the remaining 6 hours until an hour from DC. Took longer waiting for the extended parking shuttle than it did to get through customs, parking has gone from $5.00/day to $9.00/day since I started doing my treks in Sept. 1999. Paid my parking, got on the highway and fired up the joint I had stashed in the car for the way home, luckily no rush hour to contend with. A dozen or so Chocomels, probably twice as many Amstels, a whole bunch of little baggies and plenty of smiles later, another great memory to savor. Some folks like sitting on the beach reading a book sippin' tropical drinks, some like Vegas for gambling and thrills, I'll take strolling Amsterdam with my camera any day.

On the topic of photos, I have posted the "good ones" from this trip and other journeys, as well as some from around where I live: www.bripix.com.

Suggestions:

Pavarti creme black hash from De Kuil, 12.50 euro/g - very uplifting, very happy buzz, don't smoke it before bedtime. That's what the weedtender told me when I got some at 2:00 AM, of course I couldn't wait, tried some in the hotel when I got back, could not sleep for an hour, so I spun up the contents of my other my little packages for a while.

Hawaiian Snow weed from Greenhouse Centrum, 10 euro/g - very strong, interesting flavor, a must try.

Power Plant weed from Greenhouse Centrum, 6.50 euro/g - strong stoner weed, 1st weed I ever bought 2 grams of (twice), good for when you want to faze for a while.

Shiva weed from De Kuil, 8.00 euro/g - always a favorite.

Greyberry weed from Grey Area, 7.50 euro/g - Patrick had a big old bud, best taste of the weekend, I got some later, was not as tasty though.

Stella Blue weed from Barneys, 8(?) euro/g - really nice, much better than the Stella we got at Anyday, IMHO.

Marroc Super Polm hash from Baba, 7.50 euro/g - best blond I had, even up against the expensive stuff.

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Postby Bohannon » Tue Jan 20, 8:52 pm

nice report, nice photos!
Pax

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Postby DrTak » Tue Jan 20, 8:52 pm

Wonderful trip report and observations.

Yes, work is work -- but without it you are Elvis trying to mooch a free trip.

I'd love to attempt a trip report after even my brief (2 day) upcoming trip -- and certainly in April.

I have written and published (for money even!) my writing, but have never managed to retain the details from Mokum that you seem great at retaining.

Any tips for an aspiring trip reporter?

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Postby Bohannon » Tue Jan 20, 8:58 pm

a small pocket voice recorder did the trick for me. I may get too stoned to write or remember, but I can usually talk, well mumble at least.
pax

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Postby Boner » Tue Jan 20, 8:59 pm

Glad to hear you had a blast!!! and may I thank you for the prices and info etc on all your purchases gotta try a few myself in 6 YES 6 days... Boner...

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suggestions

Postby StemsnSeeds » Tue Jan 20, 10:15 pm

Hey, DrTak!

Have a blast on your quick visit. I found that a little half-size pen and pad that I can keep in my shirt pocket works best for me. I keep my wallet in the upper left-hand pocket and my pad/pen in my upper right-hand pocket at all times (or at least try to), that way I can do a simple "check...check...OK, wallet and pad are there" before I move on to another place. I also write down observations as they happen, and write down prices for gear as soon as you get it and return to your seat or, believe me, you will be returning to the menu for another look.

Hope that helps.

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Postby Chiqui » Tue Jan 20, 10:57 pm

Really enjoyed reading your trip report Stems.

Enjoyed the pictures even more. You certainly have a talent and passion for photography.

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Postby DrTak » Tue Jan 20, 11:14 pm

I second that about your photos - very very very nice!

I will try a few things to get a trip report going next time.

Meantime, I posted a few Keukenhof photos on Yahoo -- the link is:

http://f2.pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/doc_ta ... of&.src=ph

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Postby Bohannon » Wed Jan 21, 1:38 am

Sweet Doctor! See my gardens photos @ http://www.europebyphoto.com/keukenhofgardens-tour.html
plan a return next Apr.
Pax

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Postby Michelle » Wed Jan 21, 1:52 am

Very very nice one, Stems :-)) Thanks!

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Postby DrTak » Wed Jan 21, 2:15 am

BO -- I bet your photos are from a bit later -- (mine are from the last week in March) -- I see lusher blooms and more green than I have seen.

I am hoping that the 3rd week in April gets me there near peak this year.

BTW, my daffodils have broken through the ground here at home!

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Postby running wild » Wed Jan 21, 2:54 am

Thanks Stems for the awesome trip report. I agree: each trip is another adventure that has something new. It's like a continuim. When ever you return to the dam it's like the adventure starts to roll, even though many of the places are familiar. Keep cool and hope to meet up with you one of these days in a'dam. Running Wild

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photos

Postby hebe » Wed Jan 21, 2:11 pm

not only a good read but those photos are really great.i've stood on many of the same areas and it brings the memories flooding back. i want to come back now!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Postby Dogbreath » Wed Jan 21, 3:56 pm

Reading of your adventures sure makes me daydream of those wonderful aimless Amsterdam days.... waking up with nothing at all on the agenda, the only important issue being,...

"What coffee shop should we visit next?"

Nice pics.... and some rare collector photos also, with blue sky in the background.

:-) Dogbreath

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Postby nogbin » Wed Jan 21, 5:06 pm

Good trip reports, Stem.

I remember watching some American sports event with Wolf Dangler at the Globe a number of years ago. Funny how a game that would have been quite interesting back home didn't seem very important in Amsterdam. Seemed kinda pointless, when DeKuil and Greenhouse and Dampkring were just a few minutes away.

Also, a great idea to stash a little something for that ride back from Dulles. I'm sure it helped.

Thanks for posting the reports

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Postby Bohannon » Wed Jan 21, 5:14 pm

DrTak wrote:BO -- I bet your photos are from a bit later -- (mine are from the last week in March) -- I see lusher blooms and more green than I have seen.

I am hoping that the 3rd week in April gets me there near peak this year.

BTW, my daffodils have broken through the ground here at home!


Yes, I was there for Koiningendag so it was at the end of April. I hope to do a mid April trip next year.
Pax

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Wonderful, Just Wondeful.

Postby LastHamlet » Wed Jan 21, 7:47 pm

I hate your trip had to end StemsnSeeds, it was really kicking. I enjoyed reading it so much, and then had to look at the photos, and they were really nice also. What a nice venture you had indeed. The only thing you ever regret with a trip to AMS is that you have to come home.
Nice Reports, and very enjoyable to read.
Thanks StemsnSeeds.

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Postby moe. » Wed Jan 21, 9:34 pm

I read all 4 of your reports and they were great, with a bit of luck, I'll get to check out the photos this afternoon. You accomplished quite a bit and with a HUGE party at De Kuil that one night you got your moneys worth in my opinion. I get to wait until March '05 myself, and the big Channelites Anniversary so I will be living off of these trip reports for a looong time! Maybe I'll see ya in chat sometime soon.

moe.

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Postby hank » Wed Jan 21, 9:50 pm

Thanks for the really good report, makes me homesick. I spent a lot of time in DeKuil myself, and the pastry shop across the steet afterwards. I won't be back till november to celebrate my birthday I hope. All your reports were cool, good job.

patrick

Postby patrick » Thu Jan 22, 4:14 pm

great reports Stems and it was great ot be a small part of it, thanks for all the wonderful words. i am still in the process of reading thru everything and getting my pics done. good luck on you next trip this spring.

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Thanks

Postby StemsnSeeds » Fri Jan 23, 1:59 pm

Thanks for all the kind words regarding the trip reports and photos, people. I had a great time writing and taking them.

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Postby Lazy stones » Fri Jan 23, 3:10 pm

Enjoyed u'r report and loved the photo's. The snowy ones reminded me of my trip last year.
cheers
ls

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Postby DrTak » Fri Jan 23, 5:25 pm

Cool avatar, Lazystones

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Postby Lazy stones » Tue Jan 27, 10:30 am

Cheers its actually a videoscan of my brain!!
but dont ask me where I found it cos I cant remember.


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