Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'll Be Damned!

So we ended up going to Amsterdam last weekend, and we had a GREAT time.

On Saturday, we took advantage of the spectacular weather by going to see the tulips at Keukenhof. We looked in our hotel's excursion guide and decided we just did NOT want to go the tour bus route with a bunch of people and be on somebody else's schedule for the 5-hour Keukenhof trip (only about 45 minutes away from our hotel). So, we splurged and hired a driver named Ferrie who took us to the garden via the scenic route (which included a stop for some smoked eel sandwiches - sluuurrrrrrp!), dropped us off at the front entrance, and was waiting there when we came out about an hour later (blame my short attention span). All in all, we were gone for four hours, but we ended up seeing WAY more than we would have had we been cruising down the highway in some tour bus for hour on end.

Shortly after getting back to our hotel, we met up with Canadian-Swiss and Orange-X who had driven up from Basel earlier that day. Together, we went to a bar and met up with Michael from Chicago who was in Amsterdam celebrating his 40th birthday.

Bloggers of the world UNITE!!!

After seeing Michael and the gang, we stopped for a late-afternoon snack of bitterballen (GREAT!) and drinks at Dam Square with C-S and O-X, followed by an Indonesian dinner. After dinner, we went back to our hotel for a drink, and then we pretty much just crashed.

On Sunday, we checked out of our hotel, had a coffee at a café, ate a quick lunch, and then met up with C-S and O-X for the 6-hour ride back to Basel. All-in-all, a pretty relaxed, laid-back weekend.

And you know what I realized in Amsterdam? I could live there. And you know why? It's because EVERYBODY SPEAKS ENGLISH. It sure makes things easier for us. In fact, I even told Mrs. TBF that although North America (minus Mexico) would be my top choice for where we live next, I would even consider the following countries: U.K., Ireland, Nordic, or Holland. I just don't have the desire to learn another language. Nope!

English, Finnish, and broken-German is where I'm calling it quits with languages.


Anonymous said...

TBF - You and Mrs. TBF always look so great in pics!!! The pic of CS and OX is also a great picture!!2 great looking couples. Mr. ESP agrees with you 100% he has had enough of learning lanuages, he is getting to old for that stuff, so Polish is it for him. His next move will not be to a country unless they speak english -Australia here we come, finally, maybe....NOT!!! Thats english kind of,right... ESP

Unknown said...

Those are all great HAPPY photos. I love the ones of you "guys" in the flowers and CS and OX at the pub... Seems a few bloggers are turning the big 40 this week also...

CanadianSwiss said...

It was really a fun weekend. BTW, what we had was a Bittergarnituur, a mix of deep fried goodies, where Bitterballen only are part of it (the round ones). And you did learn a bit of Dutch after all: 88 beautiful canals, remember?

Gretchen said...

Kirk and I have always said the same thing, that Amsterdam is one of the other European cities we could live in. What a great place. I hadn't realized it only took 6 hours to get there from Basel! Amazing! I now have a new reason to get back there... I need to try the Bitterballen!

Anonymous said...

Australia is nice :)

(I am an aussie expat living in spain - they speak no english here in the north...none at all. I have hardly spoken a word since moving here last august)

The Big Finn said...

AGR - Although I think it would be nice to live in Australia, it's just too far away from the family in the U.S. and Canada.

Michael Lehet said...

TBF - It was so wonderful to see you and Mrs. TBF again and to finally meet CS and O-X...I'm so happy that you treked to Amsterdam!

We had an amazing time and I'm ready to move there as well. 10 days was NOT ENOUGH, I want more!