Amsterdam Yesterday, Today

| June 4, 2015




Total catastrophe. Paul wanted to leave a day early for Amsterdam, Wednesday afternoon instead of Thursday. I went ahead and added a day to the hotel reservation without considering: Flash’s dogsitter reservation, my car going in for maintenance, my hair appointment; in addition, Paul later informed me, his colleague’s going away party in the afternoon.

I had to prepay the room in order to not pay (seriously) over 700€ for the night, with the city being 96% booked.

A friend saved me with flash, visiting him yesterday and taking him to the sitter today. We left. We sat in holiday weekend-rush hour-construction traffic, turning our 4.5 hour drive into 7+ hours.

My last half hour was total tension–Amsterdam is a NIGHTmare for driving with–even after 10:00pm–bikes out the ying-yang and pedestrians wandering the narrow streets in gaggles. I arrived at the hotel frazzled, only to find out that due to a reservation agent error, the hotel was unaware of Sequoia. This translated into Sequoia curling up on a chair in our room, waiting for a rollaway bed to arrive. I was: livid.

I called reservations and bitched, only to learn that the hotel would have to deal with it since I was already checked in. Fortunately I had retained my original reservation confirmation email, showing the rollaway bed request. I resolved to deal with it in the morning, lay in bed seething, and eventually fell asleep.



First thing in the morning, I headed down to guest services. Fortunately, the gentleman was able to turn my sour puss into a smile. His compensation for my troubles had me returning to Paul in a very good mood. He was from Philly. That’s how we do.

We headed out to the city. I must say, Amsterdam is a big city. It’s not a cozy little city. It’s a crowded, fast city in which bike riders are hell-bent on killing me. But it’s a cool city worth seeing, and we have a few days here, so there’s no rush. So far we’ve checked out, among other things, Madame Tousseaud’s. I had no idea it was so interactive! We went to give Sequoia something interesting to do, but I think I was the most entertained!

It is worth noting that Amsterdam kicks ass in the free wifi department. Best in Europe, I think.

P.S. Will I try pot before I turn 40? Stay tuned!




Category: Europe, In Germany A Broad blog

About the Author ()

Kari Martindale is a writer and ESL instructor. She’s visited all 50 states and 37 countries, including many of the big cities of Europe and a ton of Christmas Markets. She spends her days straddling the fence between a sense of adventure and a sense of dread. She is married to what is clearly a patient man and has a daughter who, frustratingly, is just like her. Her academic and professional backgrounds are in linguistics and foreign languages. When she's not teaching ESL, she's writing. When she's not writing, she's thinking about her next trip.

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