The trip is off to a very positive start. We were 90% packed ahead of time, woke up to wonderful weather, had great traffic to the airport, got checked in luckity split thanks to our 1K status with United, and enjoyed light snacks in the lounge before boarding our 5:30 nonstop flight. Seven hours, six time zones, and one multi-course meal later we landed. Immigration was a snap; luggage was a breeze; and Dan located a hotel shuttle on the fly. 18.5 Euro each.
We checked into the Movenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Center and …believe it or not… were told our room was ready. Not only that, it is on the executive level, overlooks the water, and comes with breakfast, all-day access to the Executive Lounge, and free amenities from our minibar. We are paying with points, so we can only assume this special service is part of the agreement with American Express. Anyway, we took advantage of the lounge immediately by going up for breakfast. I love Dutch butter and cheese, so I focused on those two treats plus some amazing cooked mushrooms, ho-hum potatoes, coffee, and juice. The one surprise on the breakfast buffet was tiny boxes of chocolate sprinkles, milk and dark, to put on toast. We are bringing a few home to try.
Our day was wide open, so after taking a short nap we got our bearings and headed out. Come to find out it’s only a 10-minute walk to the main rail terminal which is across the street from the old city center. We strolled the streets enjoying the architecture, canals, and vast variety of fellow pedestrians. Dan was in the mood to shop, so we ambled in and out of stores seeing what was on offer. We opted to walk on side streets for the most part in order to avoid the souvenir shops. Dan bought a much-needed pair of tennis shoes and four sweater vests—his fashion signature piece. We stopped for hot fries at a popular takeaway stand, saw a mini- (seven-step) escalator, countless bicycles, and meticulously maintained, dedicated bicycle lanes with their own tiny stop lights.
It was time for our free happy hour (in the Executive Lounge) at the hotel before we knew it. Knowing snacks would be served, we decided to offset the price of the vests by making happy hour our evening meal. Just kidding. I would have sprung for the vests no matter, since this is Dan’s 70th celebration. We did make it our evening meal though and then headed to the room to get organized for bed after a super first day!
Dutch people are the tallest people in the world.
Almost 25% of the Netherlands is below sea level!
Holland’s famous tulips were originally imported from Turkey! Who knew?
The Netherlands is the largest beer exporter in the world. Again…who knew?
Approximately 30% of all Dutch babies are born at home. Say what?
2 thoughts on “Amsterdam Here We Come (August 10-11, 2019)”
I love tbat you are using those points
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