Thursday Day 10
The first handful of days is closing in..
Damn time goes fast when you are somewhere you love.
I can’t believe it! Another totally blue skied day in Amsterdam!
The boat is getting a bit warm during the day – we need to go out and get a fan in this place! The dog is stronger and even walking longer distances, so of course we start the day at 137. As soon as we arrive, the budtender brings out a bowl of water for the dog. This place has been so caring and curiously protective of us
It is a perfect day. After satisfying the dog’s vacation needs, we take the bikes out and just tool around. Find out Winnie, is finished work early and we meet up at the boat and the mate departs to bring back a fan. I am usually the builder, fixer in our relationship, but for some reason the fan with its handful of pieces and no instructions is more than I can deal with today. Miraculously the mate picks it up and with Winnie’s coaching, there is a working fan (lol with a lot of screws still in the bag)
We decide that it is a perfect day to rent a boat. We call boats 4 rent. No answer. We leave a message and a request for a 3:30 boat. They never responded, after sharing various buds we head out on our bikes to westerpark and show up at about 4:15.
Immediately the boat rental people meet us and greet us with smiles saying “ahh, you are the people from the hotel!?” We all look at each other, with silent communication, knowing if we say yes, we have a boat! But in a flash – we sadly say no, we are not the people from the hotel. (it felt good to not be caught in a lie) The girl explained that they did not have any other boats available, BUT, she said, “Hang around, who knows, this may be your lucky day! If the people do not show up by 4:30 the boat is yours, because they will be 30 minutes late.” Okay, it’s a beautiful day, no big deal, sitting by the canal, enjoying the sun and the people watching. We keep our eyes on the boat rental desk – every time someone comes up to the desk, our hearts sink a little, then they are turned away and we relax. At 4:30 on the dot, I go up to the desk and it is announced that, indeed, this is our lucky day! I start filling out the paperwork for the boat, we are literally in the middle of the transaction and in saunters the people from the hotel!!!
I wonder what will happen and figure that we have lost the boat
Then I hear the girl explaining to them that they are 30 minutes late and they have lost their reservation, the tourists make all sorts of excuses, including saying they will take a shorter boat trip, but the boat girl is adamant, “these are our rules, if you are 30 minutes late, you forfeit your reservation.” She turns to me, smiles and completes our transaction!
We have a boat!!
Don’t know if any of you have rented from them, but if you have then you know about that first thrill--- THE LOW BRIDGE!
Yeah, a really LOW bridge! These are small metal boats.
To get under the bridge the 3 of us had to lie down on the floor of the boat!
The boat was touching the bridge – we were totally boxed in between the bridge and the boat. Geez, get thru this and we can do anything!
We had a perfect couple of hours, the mate was our captain and he did a stellar job, we took Keizergracht to the Amstel and even ventured down a bit on a very busy Amstel, crossed it and missed getting hit by any large and fast boats! On our return trip on the Herengracht, the mate has an idea – let’s stop at Amnesia! There is a bit of a chill in the air, so he says, they have great hot chocolates here. Let’s get some! Winnie and I look at each other trying to not get our hopes up. We find a place to pull up in front of Amnesia and the mate jumps out of the boat, on a mission. Winnie and I chat and watch the boats go by as we wait. After about 10 minutes, here comes the mate balancing three containers of hot chocolate!!! We are in disbelief, but there it is! We sip and enjoy the most perfect hot chocolates, in our little metal boat, hanging on the side of the canal. Cool!
Winnie states this is the first time anyone has gotten her hot chocolate while on a boat!
As we sat there, we all agreed that we were enjoying a bit of good boat karma, because we did not lie about being “the people from the hotel”
We are having just another most perfect Amsterdam afternoon.
Hot chocolates devoured, it was time to head over to Brouwersgracht and back to westerpark.
½ way down Brouwersgracht our boat’s engine just conks out. Stopped. Dead. Unresponsive.
Just floating dead in the water...at least we are not in an intersection of canals!
We do everything we were told to do including checking that the motor blades are not tied up in garbage or plastic.
As we were trying to figure out what to do another rental boat from our company comes by. They see our dilemma and decide that they could tow us even though these boat motors really have no power. It took them seemingly forever to just maneuver their boat even close enough to throw a rope. We finally get everything in order, they have our rope, they begin to pull us…and the mate tries the motor again and it starts!!
All of a sudden we pass the boat that is towing us, knocking them off course and heading in the wrong direction on Brouwersgracht.
As the sun is beginning to set we head back to return our boat
The low bridge seemed even lower than before – seriously, it was like the sides of the boat were touching the bridge!
We are hungry – so we decided to go to Rainarihttp://rainarai.nl/westergasfabriek/restaurant/
the chef came over to personally take care of as service was inconsistent (they were missing 2 servers that night). He danced, he laughed and was in total control.
We enjoyed the evening and meal.
From there Winnie wished us a good night and we stumbled upon the TonTon Club a pinball bar in westerpark..but you can not smoke, so we only played a couple of games and left to find our bikes. There is a light drizzly rain
The sunken boat is looking tipsy again and the insides are a total mess.
Time to call it a night.