piazzainamsterdam

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It has been awhile since I submitted a post,  the main reason being that my days are filled with housework (boring, tedious, unfulfilling) and constant, shifting  “What am I going to do with my life?” internal dialogues. Nothing blog-worthy.

Well, Anthony has to travel A LOT in these next few months and he suggested that I tag along on a trip to Amsterdam. My first concern with the idea was, “Who’s going to water my plants?”  My second concern, we’d have a few days together, but for the most part, I’d be exploring the city alone, eating alone, etc. He wasn’t going to let me decline the offer, he bought the ticket- making the decision for me- and I am grateful now, but it didn’t start out that way…

Ten hours to Frankfurt (middle seat, passenger in front of me fully reclined the whole trip), three hour layover, Frankfurt to Amsterdam, train from airport to Central Station, tram to hotel with no place really to  place our luggage but our laps, cold rain and wind, walk from the tram stop to the hotel, dragging my overstuffed carry-on every step of the way. We looked like soaking wet street cats by the time we arrived at the front desk. I couldn’t help thinking the entire time, “Is Europe really worth all of this? Do I really need to see another quaint, tourist-driven European town?”

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Hotel Lloyd. Beautiful, historic structure. On the water. Just outside the city center.

It was also a prison as recent as 1985.

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The attendant at the desk explained our two options. “One of the rooms, has a king-sized bed, but the shower is in the living space. The other room has two twin beds and it is smaller.” We decided to take the shower in the living space. We had been hotels rooms with bathtubs that opened up into the living space- very romantic. I guess we were both picturing this luxurious glass enclosed shower in the room. In the days leading up to the trip, I imagined myself finding refuge in a plush hotel when I had tired of sightseeing alone. Warm bath at the end of the day. Wrapped in a cozy terrycloth robe- with clicker in hand- trying my best to decipher Dutch T.V. Instead, we entered a room that was basically  an oversized shower stall with a bed in it. Remember, this building was previously used as a prison. They hadn’t done much at all to the structure when they converted it into a hotel. It’s amazing how little they’d done. After about fifteen minutes of trying my hardest to picture ourselves (myself specifically) in this room for the next SEVEN DAYS, I left it without saying a word to Anthony and went to ask the guy at the front desk to show me the other room. He took me down to the basement. I assumed when he said “twin beds” he actually meant queen beds because those are our only two options in the States. Not here. He showed me this very small, depressing room with two twin beds pushed up against opposite sides of the room. I returned to our shower stall with a sudden fondness for it.

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They were able to give us another room by the next night. It is small, but warm. Wood floors, instead of a water resistant red floor, equipped with its own squeegee. Shower where it should be. This place is so intriguing. There are 117 rooms, all of them completely different and quirky. One room has a bed that is large enough to sleep eight (use your imagination).

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Our new room

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These halls scream, “Haunted!”

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Windows in the stairwell

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So you would think these double doors lead to a sauna…

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Nope! It is a shallow closet in the hallway of the second floor where you can make a cup of tea:)

So here we are in Amsterdam! What a great city. Beautiful, but not cutesy, touristy. A bike and public transportation utopia.   And the home of Van Gogh, my artist hero. I’ll be posting about my adventures in the next few days.

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One thought on “piazzainamsterdam

  1. Sharon says:

    We love hearing about your adventures….keep them coming. When we were in France last year, our favorite mantra came from Brigit one day when she said, “France is different.” Just keep telling yourself, “Amsterdam is different.” 🙂

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