Thursday, May 25, 2006

Amsterdam Trip - Short Version

(Longer version to follow)

Fri - May 12
Worked until 3:00 PM PDT, drove home, went for a 30 min swim, got ready, cab to YVR, met up with Esthi, boarded business class to AMS

Sat - May 13
Arrived in AMS in the early PM, cab to Hotel de Filosoof, started to explore city, ended up with some drinks outside at Leidseplein, back to the hotel for a night cup.

Sun - May 14 -- Happy Birthday To Me!!
Woke up and after the shower found tons of cards and letters and gifts spread out all over the bed! Went to the city for some breakfast, then the Heineken museum followed by more Amsterdam walking. Back to the hotel, freshen up, taxi to the restaurant for dinner. BIG SURPRISE! The restaurant was "Fifteen"! Great dinner, walked back to town, more drinks at Leidsplein again before calling it a day.

Mon - May 15
Run in Vondelpark before breakfast in the hotel, Van Gogh museum, rented fietzen to explore Amsterdam. In the evening met Ben Rooney, many drinks and back to the hotel.

Tue - May 16
Rented fietzen again later in the day and did some more biking through AMS. Kept them overnight so we'd have 'em again in the moring.

Wed - May 17
Another run in Vondelpark and breakfast at the hotel. More AMS on bike and foot. Checked our the red light district in the ealrly evening. Not really sure what else we did.

Thu - May 18 -- Happy Birthday Esther!!
Left early for the train to Hamburg. Christian picked us up at the main station we went for a walk in the neighbourhood and later my uncle Jens arrived in Bargteheide as well. Good family evening.

Fri - May 19
Today at 11:00 was Inge's funeral - very emotial time of course. In the afternoon we drove to visit my mum's grave in Bosau. In the evening dinner at restaurant "Utspan".

Sat - May 20
Early morning run near Christian's house. More good family time and in the afternoon with the train to Hamburg and on to Amsterdam. In Amsterdam on to Schipol and further to the Ibis hotel near the airport. Drinks and sleep.

Sun - May 21
After breakfast to the airport. Baggage check-in and uh-oh... the flight is overbooked by some 11 pax. Hoped for the best and we almost made it on. But in the end no luck. Back to Amsterdam, check in at the Canal House Hotel, shopping for some cloths (ran out of clean cloths) at C&A, dinner, dinks, sleep.

Mon - May 22
Breakfast at the hotel, more time in Amsterdam, feet getting tired. Tram to train, train to Schiphol. Waiting for boarding time and again it does not look promsing. Shit! We are left behind again. Strategizing more options to get home, listed ourselves for the Northwest flight to Seattle tomorrow in addition to the KLM flight to Vancouver. Back to the Hotel Ibis Airport, dinner, drinks, sleep.

Tue - May 23
Breakfast at the hotel and off to Schiphol. First thing: check with MartinAir what the load for tomorrow's flight to YVR is. Only 2 seats left! FUCK! Baggage checked in to Vancouver with KLM -- KLM is delayed until 1900. Off to the Northwest boarding. Uh-oh! Small plan going to Seattle. The dude telling us that chances don't look too good -- any day to Seattle it is full. Starting to panic... Discussing our options over a cup of coffee. Result: Back to the MartinAir counter and buy those two remaining seats. Euro 1,350 - urgh! Still we try to get on the KLM flight to be home a day earlier. KLM is so overbooked we don't even have to wait around. Off to the baggage area to get our bags back and then back to the Hotel. This time even cheaper than Ibis: Etap Hotel right next to Ibis. Same company: Accor Hotels. Dinner, drinks, sleep.

Wed - May 24
Straight off to the airport to check in early with MartinAir to get good seats. Almost the first to check in and we got great seats. Breakfast and waiting at Schiphol. 1400 and we finally board a plane that is Vancouver bound! 1600 PDT we are back in our home. Whew!

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