Flashback to SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4, 2005
It's hard to know when the day really changed from Sept 3 to Sept 4. We were cruising at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean, cramped but sleepy in Coach Class from Houston to Amsterdam, our first ever trip to Europe. I just have to sleep some. When we land, it will be noon on the 4th in Amsterdam. We left Houston at 7pm on the 3rd. Must. Sleep.
Geez, that soccer movie Continental Air played starring Will Farrell is really horrible. One of those "fingernails on the blackboard" movies, except for the Italian kids. Still, I'd trade places with Will in a heartbeat. To quote Kinky Friedman in his quixotic quest for Texas Guv, "how hard can it be?"
We landed at Schiphol Airport 14 km SW of Amsterdam and had no problem getting some cash Euros at an ABN in the airport (didn't realize that ABN was a Dutch firm). I'd been in touch with the Amsterdam American Hotel concierge, so I knew where to go to get a shuttle bus to the hotel. Effortless. Hey, beautiful weather. What's with this sunshine and warmth? This is supposed to be the Netherlands: always cold, dark and rainy.
But on the other side of the coin, since it's usually so cool in these parts, not that many buildings, or cars, have air conditioning. I should have realized that the shuttle trip from Schiphol to the hotel was going to be representative of the week, too. Rather warm. On the last row of seats in the van, with no A/C, and only the front windows down, it got hot. Fast.
Checked into the Amsterdam American Hotel with no problem and settled into the room on the second floor. Cool old hotel. Big room. Large tub and shower - allllright. It was about 2:30pm so we wandered down to the outdoor cafe attached to the hotel. Under the large shade trees we had a couple of simple salads and a couple of beers. Ahhhh. This is going to be verrry nice.
We were feeling pretty sleepy and jet-lagged so decided to order some room service at the hotel for dinner and crashed early. All-in-all, a great start to our European Vacation.