Feed on

Groeten uit Amsterdam! It’s been a busy the last couple weeks. I never made it to STP. Two weeks ago I went to Seattle to visit Alex & Victoria and for STP. I met Lux the dog, spent much time playing with her. At some point Victoria and I went to lunch at Alki Beach. We used walking Lux as an excuse to sit around watching two hot blondes in bikinis (day glow green, white/blue stripes) lay out on the sand. I also finally realized Lake Washington really was a huge lake.

We went over Aaron’s for dinner, met him, his wife, Sam the dog, and the Unimog. Standing up through the Mog’s gun turret while riding down the road then going through the drive-in at Jack in the Box was lulz.

My bike arrived in one piece on Thursday. I put it together and took a short ride up to Kirkland. Lots of people soaking up the sun on the grassy banks.

Friday we went back to Canada, this time I made it through. The line at the border was quite long, we waited for a couple of hours to cross. Carloads of people were getting out to use the toilet or play hackysack in the grassy median. Alex took us up to Deep Cove, Mt. Seymour, North Vancouver, and finally we took a ferry over to Vancouver proper. We met up with one of his old friends and walked around downtown. I’m now hooked on iced tea lemonade drinks from Starbucks. It was getting late in the evening, so I wanted to come back to rest up for STP the next morning.

Coming back from Vancouver, the Jeep died. We had to get towed back. By the time we got home, it was 12:30 AM and I needed to be up and out around 3:00-3:30 AM for the 4:45 AM start. I tried sleeping on the ride home from Canada, but it wasn’t enough. I decided to not ride STP. There’s always next year I guess. We went out for late night food instead.

Saturday, we wound up going to the Museum of Flight. It was an interesting place, I spent most of the time browsing their space exhibits. They also had a Concorde jet, and a 707 used for Air Force One back in the Kennedy/Johnson/Regan era. The weather on Saturday was perfect for riding, warm and partly cloudy; it was killing me to be outside and not on the bike.

I flew back on a 12:55 AM redeye to Houston. I took monday morning off to re-pack and take care of last minute errands. Tuesday and Wednesday morning was a flurry of catchup work before the big trip.

We left for Amsterdam on Wednesday afternoon. It was pouring down raining, some flights were already being delayed. I was completely soaked as I transfered my luggage to another vehicle. The flight was long, around 10 hours. Lots of ass time and trying to keep myself entertained. I slept for a 2 hour stint on the plane. As soon as I got off, there was a hot 6′ Dutch blonde standing on the jetway. I suddenly remembered why I like this country.

We went right to work after getting off the plane. Finished up, checked in at our hotel and headed to the Leidsplein for dinner. Burton thinks the hotel was testing us; when we first arrived they stuck us in tiny, tiny rooms that clearly saw their share of traffic and either wreaked of pot smoke or stuffy from no ventilation. The next day they moved us to a quieter wing in much nicer rooms. There’s quite a few Brits staying here, the hotel bar is hopping right after work.

We’ve been going to different places for meals; we prefer a place on Middenveg for breakfast that makes awesome ham/egg/cheese sandwiches. I finally had a uitsmijter, a standard breakfast of fried egg and ham. On Sunday we figured out nothing is open, wound up having to come back to the hotel for breakfast. Burton introduced me to indonesian food, great stuff. I’m in love with chicken and coconut currry. Roast beef here is real roasted beef and quite chewy. More than one I’ve had to pop out my knife to cut it since I couldn’t bite it off. It is very, very nice to sit outside of a cafe and have a relaxing meal.

We’ve had problems with some of our parts from the states arriving here. It changed up our plans, and right now we’re at a standstill until more stuff arrives this afternoon or tomorrow. I took advantage of my Sunday afternoon and took a much needed five hour nap. The sun sets around 11 PM, it makes it hard to call it a day when it’s still light out.

I’ve decided Amsterdam is like Burning Man. Lots of people partying, you’ll see flashy lights, weird things and some nudity. Austin’s 6th street only wishes it was as interesting as any given street in the Leidsplein. Studying the language over the past couple months has been very useful, much more stuff is easily recognizable now. I’m annoyed, though, that I don’t have a travel-sized English-Nederland dictionary so I can lookup words while I’m riding somewhere.

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