Monday, October 15, 2007

Out of This World

Of course, I HAVE to tell you about Saturday's boat ride(s) here in Amsterdam, since that was what we all looked forward to the most. And of all the days, it was the sunniest and warmest! The Universe was smiling!

We started with the most famous cheese shop in Amsterdam, De Kaaskamer, which happens to be just a 10-minute walk from our apartment. So many choices! HOW do you choose? Thankfully, all I did was take the photos and left everything else up to them. Donica, of course, was the one who knew.

At 2 p.m., the boys came in the rental boat to pick us up at the dock a couple blocks away from our apartment on the Lijnbaansgracht.

That's Matt at the helm, who was our chief navigator for the 3-1/2 hours we were on the canals. Oh yes, James, to my left (out of the photo) was often the pilot, of course.

This is an electric boat, BTW, that gets charged up at night and lasts for 12 hours. The engine is underneath the table and is so quiet you can't hear it. What a way to go!

The lucky part of the day, besides the sun, was a rowing competition that we bumped into several times throughout the day. What a fun event to see up close and personal!

You can see how it was a sight to see for those NOT in boats as well. How they squeezed through those tight spots is beyond me.

You really see a different perspective of the canals when you're at ground level, so to speak!

Potty break time! Yup. So you just find a place to stop, climb out, and find your nearest cafe. Which we did. :)

What a lovely time to just BE. Family and friends together.

Amy and Jack (aka Jackie) strike up a pose.

And then it was time to say Good Bye.
A humongous THANK YOU to James and Matt for joining us and facilitating this incredible adventure. What a memory!

As if that wasn't enough, later in the evening, after it got dark and we had eaten dinner, we went down to the Centraal Station area for a night cruise on a tourist boat. Here we're waiting in line with Centraal Station in the background.

With all those windows, it's a great way to see over 100 Amsterdam sights in the course of an hour...many of the same sights we had already seen during the day. That's the Sint Nicolaaskerk (St. Nicholas Church) in the background.

Speaking of Nicholas! While we were on the little boat, Donica's phone rang and Nick (Nicholas' dad) was on the line. He started off by saying what a soccer game (in Atlanta) we had just missed! Nicholas not only kicked his first goal ever ("and it was a hard kick, not just a wimpy dribble!"), which tied up the game 1-1, but at the very end he saved a kick from being scored by the other team! When Amy asked Nicholas how that felt, he said, "It felt like I kicked it out of the world!"

The girls are now safely back in Atlanta after a safe trip home yesterday. But that's exactly what we felt at the end of the day on Saturday after a long weekend. It was a day out of this world, which we will never forget.


  1. It looks like such a fabulous trip, and I'm sure the memories will stay with the girls forever as well. Amy's face is all lit up!

    I can't wait for us to finally meet in person (either in A'dam or Basel)!

  2. Matt and I had a great time, too! Thank you! Let us know when you're back in town. We should try to go out once more before the season ends. Tell Amy and Angie hello from us and that we're glad they made it home safely. ;)

  3. You had a fabulous time, the pictures are great, Amy and Angie were real lucky to have such a good tour guide as you are! And than the weather I keep on saying, lucky you, the rowing competition through the canals was something else I bet. BTW we were in Amsterdam on sunday, it was great!!
    Take care,

  4. That's wunderbar! Amsterdam is incredible looking.

  5. You made this as entertaining as a travel article in the Conde Nast mag, just great photos and commentary. It's pretty fun knowing you all! Well, not Matt and James, but I feel like I know them too.

  6. Oh wow - what a fun time! We went on a small boat ride when we arrived in Switzerland in Aug 2005. After that, it was only ferry rides...

    I'm glad you guys had so much fun!

  7. Ginnie - I can't say "THANK YOU" enough for letting me share this wonderful time with you and the girls - all four of you - glad to finally see Donica in there too. How very nice of Matt and James to get the "special" boat to tour you all around in. What great memories for this special trip!

  8. CS: It was indeed a memory to last a long time! And your/our day is coming. We just don't know when.

    James: The next time will be in mid or late November, or early December. Will that be too late for the rental boats? It was a great day, James, and we couldn't have asked for better weather in October!

    Astrid: Maybe we saw each other going by and didn't even know it! Oh, how fun. So you saw the rowboats as well!

    RK: It's a fabulous city. You'd love it.

    Ruth: Awww. So sweet. Yes, it does mean something when you know the people, doesn't it. :)

    ET: It was just wonderful in every way!

    Judy: It was almost like you were there! I think we could have easily added a couple more people and still not have been too crowded.

    L&N: You're so welcome, Lilli.

  9. Mmmm...cheese! One of my many weaknesses. :-)

    So glad you had such a good time and that the weather was kind to you. Those canals in Amsterdam are really something else, so full of life and colour.

  10. This must have been a one of a life time experience for the girls and how nice of you to take us with in every details. A great post for the girls to go back to and memorize too!

    I have been to Amsterdam of course, but never had a boat trip - it sounds like a great idea to explore the city - thanks for sharing :-)

  11. ps. - I hope that will be us next year at that time!

  12. Such an amazing trip and what a perfect way to end it. Thank you both for your wonderful hospitality and for all the great memories. And another big "thanks" to James and Matthias (and little Jack) for sharing our last day with us!

  13. Christina: You'd go crazy in that KaasKamer store! Unbelievable. So, when are YOU coming? :)

    Renny: This was Amy's first time outside of North America, so I know it was a once in a lifetime event for her. I'll make a deal with you, Renny. If you come to A'dam. we'll make sure to take you on a boat ride. :)

    ET: Yup, a year from now! :)

    Amy: We'll never forget it!

  14. ohmygoodness, what a perfect day. to be able to see so much of the city on the canals, wow! and that cheese shop...heaven - too bad photos can't capture smell, too. I love the star bursts of light from the water and window shield in the potty break photo.

  15. Mad: You're a sweetheart. One day I'd love to do the same tour with you! :)

  16. Hi Ginnie,
    A great post with even more great people in it!!!! Fantasitc to see the canals o Amsterdam trough your camera-eyes, thank you!!!

  17. That sounds really unforgettable! What a great time. You had me at the cheese shop, though. Yum!

  18. JoAnn: It's so fun to know that you've seen it yourself and can collaborate with me. :)

    RRD: HA! I love that cheese shop, so I truly understand. Thanks, Stacey.