A simply tab-ulous start

Trip Start Mar 08, 2012
Trip End Mar 18, 2012

Flag of Netherlands  , Noord-Holland,
Friday, March 9, 2012

I promise I won't make this blog a running fanboy site for my new toy. But it sure has made this trip a lot easier...and fun...than the last.

At every turn so far things have gone amazingly smooth, even more so than we had hoped for. Of course, one shouldn't speak too soon! The first potential glitch was at the airport in Seattle, where we were surprised to find that since we were booked through to Prague with less than a 24 hour layover we would not be able to pick up or bags in Amsterdam. After a short amount of consideration we actually determined this would be a good thing and pulled out what we needed for the overnight.

Debbie slept a portion of the way but as usual, I didn't get a wink of sleep on the flight. Well not exactly...more as usual I finally hit deep sleep just as we came in on final approach for landing. No matter...we got off the plane, handled our check in for or flight tomorrow into Prague, and caught the shuttle into our hotel.

Our flight left Seattle at 1:40 PM and arrived in Amsterdam at 8:00 AM local. Don't try to do the math, just know that the changes are not easy on your body and don't get easier as you get older! Fortunately the folks at the hotel let us check in early...WAY early...and we were able to be on or way by 10 after a quick stretch out in our room.

Since we had an abbreviated stay here we decided to pick out a few high points, so we took the bus into town to venture around the neighborhoods and canals of this old city. We worked our way to Jordaan, an old but trendy section of town with lots of small cute shops. We walked to the house where Anne Frank wrote her infamous diary but didn't feel much like braving the long lines (and the chill March winds) so moved on to the Kaiser canal and the trendy shops of the 9 Streets district. It was getting toward noon and though we were totally out of whack time wise a coffee and a sandwich sounded good. We found a nice little coffee house (and no, not one of the cannabis friendly ones for which the city is famous...more on that later!) and stopped for a lovely sandwich and coffee. It was here my love for my new toy come to full fruition.

If you followed my last blog you know that I ran into power issues with my laptop and struggled to beg or borrow whatever Internet connection I could. This time I got myself a Samsung Galaxy Tab 10 inch hand held tablet with full internet capability. What a difference! While we waited on our coffee I was able to log on into their wifi and look up recommended destinations in town, view email, and even use the translate app to thank our server Dutch! I also used the camera feature to take pictures and videos, which made everything a wonderful all inclusive breeze. The charger works on European voltage, everything just works. I'm using it right now to compose my post. Okay, enough honking.

From the coffee shop Debbie and I decide to visit the Amsterdam Historical Museum, which had a fascinating new display with a series of videos on how the city was formed and grew. About 2/3 of the way through we both decided we were done for...the city was lovely, the sites amazing, but we were too tired to venture further. We stopped for one more coffee and caught the bus back to our room.

This is one of my blander posts, I know. But to report that no huge hurdles sprung up on day one is a welcome start. The technology works, my Italian debit card works, and the weather is cooperating. We saw lots of sights, took a few pictures to share, and were fortunate not to experience a contact high from all of the second hand marijuana smoke wafting out of the many legal cannabis coffee shops in town.

Tomorrow starts early...7 AM flight to Prague. Czech in with you from there! (sorry, couldn't resist...)
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