The flight over was only about half full, a perk of flying in the off season in early December. Mrs. Thai and I each had a row to ourselves, so fully reclined we were able to sleep for a few hours of the 7+ hour trip across the pond.
Arrived at our apartment, climbed the 2 flights of steps, opened the door and at long last we had arrived at our home away from home! We love this particular apartment. All the amenities you could possibly need, especially since we were staying this time for 15 nights, our longest stay yet. Bedroom, bathroom, living room, kitchen, washer and dryer, all on 2 levels with windows facing the canal. The bellhop brought our bags upstairs which was an added plus since we were a little fatigued from the overnight flight even with a few hours of shut-eye.
But we were definitely ready to explore so did the quick unpacking routine, washed up a bit and off we went. A beautiful day, high 40's and sunny which luckily would be the norm during our entire stay. In fact, we never had to use an umbrella even once
More thirsty than hungry still trying to digest the food from the plane, so our first stop was one of our favorite bars, In de Wildeman. Love this place with its welcoming décor and great beer selection. They were just opening for the day and we were greeted by Simon whom we have known for many years. Its a nice feeling to walk into a place in a foreign country where you are treated like a regular even though you really are only there for a relatively brief time each year. We started with a Jever Pils as we wanted to ease ourselves in since it was early both in the day and our trip. It was a perfect first stop as we both experienced that lovely rush of both relaxation and exhilaration for where we were and for what lay ahead.
Now time for another tickle of the senses so off we go across the Singel to the Harengracht and over to Amnesia. Always loved their Amnesia Haze and managed to buy a gorgeous 3g bud of this tasty sativa from the friendly budtender. Also nice that they have volcanos as it is still my favorite vaporizer which is the only way for me now. In fact, I haven't burned since 2004 and only really miss a nice fatty which sadly is probably the most unhealthy way there is to imbibe. After a couple of bags and feeling just fine and dandy we head out to begin shopping for some supplies for the apartment.
So we stroll down to Puccini and buy a chunk of the dark chocolate along with some chocolate covered orange peels for Mrs. Thai and some chocolate covered almonds for me. We leave knowing that we will be back at least a couple more times during our stay so no need to get crazy!
Next stop was the Albert Heijn next to Magna Plaza and of course de Bierkoning to stock up on round one of the Belgian and Dutch beers that we love. Time to unload our bags so off to the apartment for a much needed nap.
This seems to work best for us and I'm sure for many folks arriving from an overnight flight. Just a few hours nap in the mid afternoon and that does the trick until the end of the evening. Then a good nights sleep and we seem to be on Amsterdam time without a problem the next morning.
So dinner tonight was at our favorite restaurant La Paella. The grilled calamares, mussels in red sauce and the seafood Paella are all just amazing. The sangria is also quite good there. Another place where we are irregular regulars, one might say!
Now off for a nice canal walk after this wonderful meal and over to the Arendsnest for a sampling of the fine Dutch beers that we have grown so fond of. Had to have a Jopen Stout which is like having a chocolate float for dessert. Takes about 5 minutes to pour one from the tap but totally worth the wait as its just about the perfect stout in my opinion. Never cease to marvel at the beauty of this bar and of its location. The Mrs. and I were now in full Amsterdam mode but also ready to wind down our first night so time to leave and go for a nightcap on the way back to the apartment.
There really were so many places for us to choose from so we kinda eeny meeny miny mowed it and wound up choosing Café Belgique. We arrived to luckily find one of their two tables in the bar with a couple of empty seats so we planted ourselves there for a few beers ending with a celebratory Kwak on tap served of course in the proper glassware and stand. Perfect end to the perfect first day for us we called it a night.
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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
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