Monday, May 29, 2006

Amsterdam, May 14

Happy Birthday To Me! Finally I am 40... I couldn't wait.

Esthi had this really cool idea... She wrote to many of my friends and told them where we would be on my birthday so they could send me a card to the Hotel de Filosoof where we stayed.

I got up and wanted to take a shower in the seriously tiny bathroom -- not more than a wet-cell really. Esthi already told me that the water is not that hot. Urgh! Turns out the water is fucking freezing cold - DAMN! So the shower was rather quick and I was rather annoyed. But it was my birthday and I was determined to not let this bother me too much.

Then I got out of the bathroom and saw that the bed was covered with all kinds of cards. That was soo totallywickedawesomecool! What a great surprise. Now I am busy reading the mail for a while and of course by the time I am done breakfast in the hotel is over. Not to worry, there is plenty of food to be had in the city I am sure.

The receptionist said something about a place in the Vondelpark right next to the hotel. We went to the park, but did not really find that place she mentioned or another cosy looking breakfast/lunch type spot. So we went to the downtown core to hunt for food.

Eventually we did find food and after breakfast went to the Heineken museum. That was a demand I made for my birthday :-)

I think we may have done a canal tour today as well. Actually, I am sure we did that today. Then we decided to go back to the hotel to rest and freshen up for dinner.

We had the hotel call us a cab as this super secret restaurant was seemingly far away. When the cab arrived Esthi gave the driver the address of the restaurant - not the name, just the address, as to not tip me off. The driver went to the next corner, pulled over, got out his map and started studying it in all peace and quiet - all the while the meter ticking away...

Well, never mind that. Eventually we are off and kept going, and going, and going... Once we got to some seriously industrial area, I started doubting that Esther did the proper research on the restaurant. But eventually we arrived, I got out, looked and the logo and thought "damn, where do I know that logo from...?" Then it hit me! FIFTEEN - the Jamie Oliver restaurant - in Amsterdam! Now that is fantastic!!

The service was great and the food even better. We had a super-great time. Of course we ate and drunk too much... so we decided to walk back into town. That was a really nice walk and not even as far as it seemed with the cab. Eventually we ended up in Leidseplein again for a few more drinks before turning in.

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