Monday, June 18, 2012

A 2012 Amsterdam Outing

When we found out blogger friend Tor was going to be in Amsterdam for a week visiting his "sister" Sylvie, we knew we'd accept his invitation to join them for a day.  Which we did a week ago Friday!  Remember Tor from Norway?  Yes, that Tor.

[To add to the excitement, I'm trying out a new collage program passed on by blogger-friend Victoria.  All the images that follow today are from PicMonkey.  After one time, I really like added option to PhotoScape!]

Anyway, our rendezvous spot in Amsterdam was the Rembrandtplein.  

So we drove to the Amsterdam AJAX soccer stadium where we parked for the day with 2 roundtrip tickets to Rembrandtplein for €8 total.  Unbeatable price if you know anything about European parking!

Rendezvous time was noon but since we were early,
we walked around and took lots of pictures, of course.
We caught the sun on his back when we arrived...and on his face when we left!

There he is, my twin brother (born 2 months early).
Sylvie is originally from Chile but has lived in Amsterdam for 25 years.
Now we're all brothers and sisters!

Both before and after spending most of our time in Vondelpark,
we walked around Amsterdam spots I almost knew by heart.  So fun.
We even ate lunch over by the Leidseplein, near the apartment from my past life...

...just a hop, skip, and a jump from Vondelpark, Amsterdam's 120-acre urban park. 

 And that was the beginning of all kinds of photo ops!

(click any image to enlarge, of course)

Don't you love being a little kid?! 

I couldn't resist the "toppers," of course....

 Or the gevelstenen, as we walked from here to there.
This city holds so many memories from so many years and Astrid said,
as we headed home by ourselves, that we now need to go back to Utrecht!

Some of your know we're in the middle of the 2012 UEFA European Football Championship
 right now, hosted by Poland and the Ukraine.
That Friday, June 8, was the first game of the tournament,
decorated to the nines both in Amsterdam and back at our apartment complex.
Since then Holland has played and lost 3 games...and is finished!  Boo Hoo.
But as Astrid says, they're more EGO than TEAM and deserved to lose!
Hup Holland!  Zo was het.


  1. It was great to be back in Amsterdam and to meet Tor and Silvie. Amsterdam is a 'country' on its own. I am glad we were able to park and travel downtown, the way we did. It cost an arm and a leg. The pictures and the collages show that we had a great time. There is so much to see in Amsterdam, even on a nice walk through the Vondelpark.
    The Orange gadgets can be packed away for at least two years.

  2. Astrid: Amsterdam really IS a country unto itself, isn't it! I still pinch myself when I think of how much time I have spent there. I'm glad I don't live there, to be honest. It's not the real Holland!

    Now that Holland is out of the 2012 UEFA EURO games, maybe things will calm doen a bit and get back to normal. HA!

  3. What a fabulous compilation of what I'm going to experience come October!! Tell Astrid she must keep wearing her red jacket! From all the smiles I can tell you all had a wonderful time!

  4. Robin: You're gonna love Amsterdam, Lady, but of course that's not what you'll see with us. We'll show you the real Netherlands, of course. HA! And yes, that Astrid sure stands out in red, doesn't she. :) We all had many smiles that day. Thanks.

  5. Dear Ginnie - and Astrid - it was really a blast to meet the two of you again - this time in Amsterdam, with my trusted friend Sylvie. I'm very happy we all really got so well together. Your expectional and great Photos shows the whole world what a great momenent we had together.
    We will meet again

  6. My goodness more meet ups. Its really nice to see you have increased your tribe thru blogging. What an outing you had.

    I really really enjoy your collages. I have to go check picmonkey out.

  7. Tor: It was such a great few hours together and with meeting a new friend. Thank you for making this possible...and yes, I 'spect it will happen again, sooner than later.

    PC: It was very fun to meet a new friend through a fellow blogger, Maria, yes. Sylvie is a real sweetheart. We all had a great day together, like we were old friends.

    Thanks for your compliment about my collages. I think you will like PicMonkey. One feature it has that I like very much (that PhotoScape doesn't have!) is the ability to drag photos from one spot to another within the collage. For that reason alone I may prefer PicMonkey!

  8. There is tremendous joy in these photos, in each other, and in life!

    I'm glad to see that PicMonkey works so well for you. I used it the other day for something, and I was pleased after losing the other one, whose name I can't even remember at the moment. :-)

  9. Ruth: JOY is a good word, sister. There is so much of it to be had if you just open yourself to it. I love it. Thank you.

    And yes, I'm quite pleased with another collage option!

  10. Ginnie & Astrid, what wonderful images! The fun you all were having comes thru loud & clear! Thanks, as always, for sharing your visits & adventures.

  11. WS: Thank you, Susan. It's so easy to have fun when you're with people like Tor and Sylvie. :)

  12. I'm feeling a bit jealous of all these meetups. You all look like you are having so much fun! I may have to look into PicMonkey. I want to do photo collages but Photoshop does not make it easy so it would be nice to find something that doesn't force me to know so much.

  13. Maery: Thank you. It's wonderful to be able to meet up with fellow bloggers, isn't it. We feel so lucky!

    And I would be the first to say do NOT use PS to make your collages. Why recreate the wheel! PicMonkey and PhotoScape are both good programs, doing most of the work for you.

  14. You have inspired me to try out PicMonkey... but it probably won't be until I stop traveling long enough to take a deep breath or two! (or MAYBE I will use it for my next iPhone tutorial since it would save me coding tables to display images the way I want to display them)

    LOVE all the images of Amsterdam... one of my all-time favorite cities. I simply MUST go back before too long. I absolutely adore the collage of the giant letters... especially the images of Astrid posing in them. What fun! And Astrid in her red coat with Silvie in her animal prints make for interesting images too. Of course I feasted my eyes on all the collages and especially enjoyed the bird scenes... I'm betting the dog entering the water startled quite a few of them!

  15. Victoria: I think you'll really like PicMonkey. THANK YOU for passing it on to me!

    Amsterdam is definitely one-of-a-kind city, no doubt about it. Those giant letters were special to see again after 4 years ago when I took pictures of Astrid in them the first time. Little did we know then we would be re-visiting them again as a married couple! :)

    That dog, BTW, was chasing a tennis ball his owner kept tossing to him. Poor thing. After the first time in the cold water, he really hestitated to go in again...but did! The birds were nowhere near him, truth be known.

  16. Ginnie,

    What wonderful photos - I love those oversized wooden shoes, and all the smiles. Oh, and the toppers on the buildings, and the great blue heron - so much diversity, and so many beautiful sights (and sites!)

    PicMonkey is wonderful. You can do so many things with it, and the collage function is great. It doesn't have batch editing, but it's so fast that really doesn't matter to me. Glad you're finding it useful!

  17. SA: Thank you, Linda. We are so lucky to see so many sights and sites! Indeed.

    I always love when someone else finds the same tool useful. Glad you have also found it!

  18. Tor always has a smile on his face doesn't he? How wonderful to meet up with him and Sylvie in Amsterdam.
    So let me into the secret.... what actually was inside that huge red shoe? I hope it wasn't a huge red foot!!!

  19. Sham: HAHAHA! I wondered if anyone would ask what was in that shoe! It was full of nothing...except for one very small clothing tag. It surprised me. I expected a bunch of trash. :)

    And yes, Tor sure enjoys Life, doesn't he!

  20. Lovely pics! And your old stomping grounds.. It's always fun to go back for a visit... I might have to pop back in for a second look later..

    I'm really do for a photo hunt with blog friends, it's been too long! (and a blog post for that matter!)

  21. ET: It really WAS fun to be back in that great city where I spent so much time, Jen. And Astrid really did say we now need to go back to Utrecht, where we have so many of our early memories together.

    Your photo hunt with blog friends may come sooner than you that seems to happen with us. In the meantime, keep those pictures of your precious Cammie coming!

  22. Dear Ginnie, my twin sister in thoughts. I really felt some tears when reading and seeing this fabulous report from our time together in Amsterdam.
    why some tears?
    Because I felt and is so lucky to meet you and Astrid again.
    And openly you accepted my very good friendship with Sylvie.
    That's is what real friends are for.

    We had a wonder time together.
    Your Photos is as allways of high quality and I love the details you observe - Sylvie told me she learned a lot.

    I do not know when I will be in Holland next time - I hope during the Fall or at least in June next year.

  23. Tor: This was a special time for us all, wasn't it. We always knew we would meet again...and probably yet again! So we will let it happen as it happens, trusting the Universe to make it all right.

    Thank you, dear brother, for your dear comment. You know how to make my day! I love you, Man!

  24. It sure looks like you all have such a fun fun fun time together! I bet a lot of giggles and even full on belly laughs were shared.
    Thanks for the picmonkey link, I'll try it out! I've loved your collages for so long but get lazy with processing. This might be a quick and easy place for me to do collages.

  25. Mad: We did indeed have fun together...lots of it. It's such a great way to have a photo hunt, sharing it with blogger friends who also love to capture what they see.

    I'm glad if PicMonkey is something you can use. I'm really liking it!

  26. The streets are colorful ... but I think your smiles and hilarity are what "pop" from these photos :)

  27. Margaret: That's so sweet. THANK YOU.