Got up early to a rainy Sunday morning. Not much happening on the streets below but it was still pretty early. Checked the news. Now 6 reported cases. Apparently a woman brought it back with her from the Lombardy region in Italy. Had my morning coffee sprinkled with some more King Hassan and ready for the day. Just lounged around waiting for the rest of the crew to arise and we were all ready to go at around 11.
Skies had cleared but still pretty windy and chilly and off we went. As both D and S are vegans, we headed towards Terra Zen Centre on Saint Jacobstraat just off the Nieuwedijk. Had a little time to kill so the ladies shopped a bit mostly at the endless array of shoe stores. The streets were now quite crowded, more that I expected for this time of year. But it does seem that every year it has gotten so. That is why we are reluctant to travel here during their high season. Arrived at the restaurant and found a table. The kids were impressed with the menu and Lady Thai and I even found a few things that sounded appetizing although they were all deep fried which we had to deal with later, if you know what I mean.
Bellies full it was time for a beer so off we went to the Arendsnest, another one of our favorites since we do love the Dutch craft beers. Along the way stopped at 420 Café de Kuil to pick up a couple of slices of their hash pound cake which I believe is among the best I've tried. Walked through the haze filled smoky bar that actually use to be a bar to the weed counter and very friendly budtender. I asked him about the dose in each slice and he told me .3g. He cautioned me not to eat both at once and I said no worries about that. Told him I remember when I used to be able to get a nice Amstel with my smokes here and could count on hearing a Zappa tune on their sound system. He said no more Amstel but stick around and we'd be sure to hear some Zappa! Too smoky for me though as I try to avoid that so off we went.
Can't remember exactly what we drank, but I know it was an Imperial Stout by De Molen and around 9% and delicious. The Arendsnest is so incredible, knowledgeable staff and beautiful location on the Herengracht very close to Amnesia. They also have great bathroom facilities here on the main level. This became even more important this trip as repeated hand washing was vital to us. I could probably write a book about water closets of Amsterdam especially after this trip! So which ones have hot water (barely any), which ones have soap (most), which ones have paper towels instead of the dreaded cloth towels or air dryers (about 1/3), and which ones are located at the main level versus having to traverse windy steep staircases (barely any). Also a trick in not touching door handles or stair railings after washing. Sometimes unavoidable so that's where the hand sanitizer came in handy. Definitely a drag to have to worry about all of this but we really didn't want to catch this dang thing so like they say...ounce of protection....
Our next stop was de Bierkoning on Paleistraat to stock up on some Dutch and Belgian beers for the apartment. Great selection as always, loaded up for the week and off we went back to the apartment for a rest.
D and S were exhausted and jet lagged so they went for a nap. Lady Thai and I were full of energy so we took off for the Sunday jazz jam at Café de Engelbewaarder on the Kloveniersburgwal. The 4 piece band was getting ready to start and the place was filling up. Noticed that the table right in front at the stage had 2 seats closest to the stage open so asked if the 2 gentlemen seated in the rear seats would mind if we joined them and they most graciously accepted. Perfect! Again, these guys were amazing. Sax, piano, bass and drums, all incredible musicians playing the standards. Also great beer menu so life was very, very, good indeed.
Went back to the apartment to see if the kids were ready for dinner but they were still exhausted so we decided to carry out from the Thaise Bird Snackbar. Lady Thai and I walked over and placed our order and strolled down the Zeeldijk to Elfe Gebod for a drink at the bar while we waited. Very lovely and friendly bartender at this very lovely bar.
Picked up the chow and back to the apartment. The food as usual was superb and we all just hung out for the rest of the night enjoying the company, food and newly purchased beers.
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adventures of the visitors to Amsterdam.
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