I left yesterday and flew through Amsterdam. With a 5 hour layover, I decided to at least go out and enjoy the city a little. I went down to the main circle area and ended up taking an hour canal cruise and then walked around the city and found a cafe. I didn't find the infamous herring stands, but I did get some amazing fresh smoked salmon at lunch. Delicious!!!!!
So the quick interesting things...... We went out into what they call the "eye" where the sea meets the fresh water of the canals. The eye is the busiest port area in Europe... here's the weird thing. The top like 500 feet of the eye is fresh water and there are fresh water fish there, but then beneath that is the undercurrent of sea water where sea water fish are. Isn't that totally weird!
The canal house - these were all owned by wealthy merchants and until the mid 1900s I believe, the didn't have house numbers. They were known by their gables which would have something on them that represented the family. Also, if you look at the gables, there are these things that stick out - they're called hoisting beams. Because the houses were so tall and narrow, they weren't able to move large things up and down (pianos, furniture, etc) so the hoisting beams were used to raise stuff outside the house up to the window. They still move things that way today. Cool, huh?
There was some other interesting stuff, but - the rest of my story is. I then got back to Amsterdam airport and flew to Frankfurt where I had an hour to catch another plane to Budapest. Needless to say, its been a long day and its getting later.
I was the last one to get in around 6 and so I got checked into the hotel and they told me to just drop my bags off and come down for dinner. I dropped my bags off and switch shoes - and then took like 15 minutes looking for my room key..... DUH! In other countries (this is a learning moment for some of you :)).... you have to put your room key in this thing by the door in order to turn the lights on. Once you take your key out, all the lights go out. Actually pretty smart - but dumb me completely forgot and so I foraged all around the room until it hit me where the key was. On the plus side, I found about 20 key cards for various Marriott locations :)
Tomorrow morning I'm meeting Jodi (YAY) and Michelle (YAY) to go to church with them at Calvary Chapel. We'll do lunch and then come back to the hotel by about 4 in order to start training for the week.
I'm off to bed now. Have the window open to a cool fall night, have my sleep mask and some earplugs and took a Tylenol PM.... We'll see what happens!