DedBud's Trip Report: Day 9
Posted by DedBud on Saturday, 19 October 2002, at 8:32 p.m.
Ok, so I was busier after I got back home this week then I thought I would be. Here's Day 9 finally.
I slept in a bit since a lot of places don't open until later on Sunday's anyway. I did want to make the most of my last full day in Amsterdam though. The first thing I had to do was head back to the Thorbeckeplein Art Market to see if the painting I wanted was still there this week. I found the booth and bought the one I wanted for 40 Euro and they wrapped it up good for the trip home. I walked up to the Keizersgracht next and stopped in at the Foam Photography Museum in what used to be called the Museum Fodor. They had a pretty moving exhibit of combat photography there covering everything from Beirut, to Viet Nam, to Northern Ireland. Across the Keizersgracht was the Museum Van Loon, which is a patrician's mansion and gardens. You could hardly tell you were in Amsterdam in this house. The rooms were large and the stairways weren't steep at all. They have a lot of nice artwork and furniture there. The doorways are very strange there because they have hidden doors all over and some of the obvious doors aren't even doors at all but are just added for symmetry in the rooms. The garden out back looked way too orderly so I took the small packet of seeds they gave me at the Global Hemp Museum, and spread them around so they can have more weeds in the garden next year.
I went over to The Noon again to pick up another 5 grams of Blueberry and ran into NC-Dave there again. He was still waiting for his luggage but according to their website they had located it and were due to deliver it today. I headed towards the Waterlooplein next and stopped in at the Mellow Yellow coffeeshop for a soda and a smoke. They've got a couple split levels here but it was just too sterile looking for me. When I got to Waterlooplein, I tried to go into Greenhouse-Namaste there but they have turned it into a private club like their one on Tolstraat. I've heard they did that to control their local crowd and that they will let in tourists that aren't members but I would rather spend my time in a more open place so I left. I found the Gall & Gall liquorstore the bartender had told me about but they didn't have the whiskey I was looking for and they told me to check their other store behind the palace.
The last museum of the trip would have to be the Rembrandthuis. They've recreated much of what his house would have looked like before he lost it to bankruptcy. They also have a large exhibit of his drawings and etchings as well as others by related artists. I had lunch at a place called TisFris and it took forever even to get the waitress to take my order. Even after acknowledging my wave a few times she only made it over towards my table when she had to clear some dishes from the next table. So I put her in a headlock and made her take my order of a ham & brie sandwich for 4.50 Euro. The sandwich was worth the wait but it must have had a full pound of Brie on it. A couple doors down from there was a small shop selling Indonesian and other African and Asian arts. They had a few things I wanted to buy, but didn't want to lug back with me. Are we allowed to bring poison dart blowguns on planes nowadays? I settled for a nice decorative boomerang for 7.00 Euro instead.
After a quick break at the house I went out again to find my bottle of whiskey. First I had to swing by Conscious Dreams - Kokopelli to pick up a book on mushroom cultivation and also to stock up on souvenirs. I bought 5 packets of the shrooms that did me so well at the Rijksmuseum and Paradiso and he threw in an extra packet for free. I also picked up a container of fresh Philosophers Stones since the last time I had them I didn't even feel them. I ran across El Guapo on my way over there and had a coke and a bowl there. The place was too hot and the rap music sucked as bad as the view of the other side of the alley across the way. At the other Gall & Gall liquor store I finally found a bottle of Middleton but they wanted 137 Euro for it so that was even worse than the back home. The bartender must have been confused. I had a beer at De Kuill after that but was feeling really beat so I headed home for a power nap.
I went back out about 7:00 and and went to The Globe to watch some NFL football for a while. After a couple hours and a lot of beers there I went to The Blarney Stone and had some more drinks while talking to a couple from Dingle Ireland. They were hunting around for a hotel that someone had advertised outside the train station. I warned them that the people hawking rooms in front of Centraal Station usually were from some pretty shady hotels. They already had a room but were just checking the place out for later. I needed another bowl so I wobbled over to La Canna and ordered a small beer. They gave me a large instead and slopped it down on the bar. This place is pretty commercial with a hotel, coffeeshop, bar, and smartshop all combined into the same complex. It's clean and has pooltables and lots of room but it really doesn't have any personality. They're even too lazy to replace their old menu price boards with Euro prices. Instead they just pasted big signs over the prices saying "Not Valid." I was pretty blitzed when I got out of there so I just crawled home and passed out.
DedBud's Trip Report: The Way Home
Posted by DedBud on Saturday, 19 October 2002, at 8:43 p.m.
I got up about 7:00 am and started doing laundry and laid out stuff for packing. My flight wasn't until about 4:00 so I had plenty of time. I decided to put my little brainstorm plan from the other day into action and I went out to do a little shopping. I picked up a couple of good sized sandwich rolls and some spreadable cheese and sliced meats and came back to make some sandwiches for the trip back. I split up my souvenirs from The Noon into two packets of about a quarter each and sealed them up real good with tape. Then I cut the sanwiches pretty high on the bun and scooped out the bread and then added "herbs" covered by cream cheese, salami and ham and then wrapped them up for my backpack. The souvenirs from Kokopelli went into my extra shoes in my carry on and I packed the rest of my crap and I was ready to go.
I stopped in at a chinese restaurant called Nam Kee with my cousin on the way out and had a snack to tide me over. I said my good-byes and hopped a train to the airport. They searched everyone's luggage pretty thoroughly even before getting to the ticket counter but it went smoothly. The agent here was nice enough to set me up with an exit-row seat without me even having to ask here and after doing a little duty free shopping, I got to my gate and kicked back waiting for the dreaded trip home. We actually left on time for the flight back and I had plenty of room to stretch out comfortably on the plane. A little over 8 hours later we touched down in Chicago and by the time I got passed the passport check to the baggage claim area, my bag was just coming out so I grabbed it and walked past customs smiling into my yellow getaway car and headed for home. I ate the sandwiches when I got home....after taking some of those spices out of the bottom of course.
Well that's all for this trip folks.
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