Thanks Mom and Dad!
Straatgrachtplein from Amsterdam!! Although you may think Straatgrachtplein means greetings in Dutch, it actually means street canal place (we think), it's just the only Dutch talk we know so far so we're using it. Anyway, Nate is very amused with the Dutch language, lots of funny sounds and multiple different words in English are written as one word in Dutch (i.e. kerkstraat = kerk street, and Rembrantplein = Rembrant place, and etc.). Since our last journal some interesting activities have occured, we hope everyone gets more enjoyment out of the stories than we got out of actually experiencing them. :) So the first night in Amsterdam we slept in a five person dorm room with two Mexican guys and an Asian Hungarian woman. This was not the most comfortable set-up, and we were releived to get the double we reserved for the next six nights, which had airconditioning and was just much nicer in all aspects. We awoke early with the sun baking us through the window, and our three roomates bustling around hogging the shower. We got fruit and pastries from our favorite little neighborhood bakery for breakfast, ate our goodies in Ledseiplein (our nearby square, which happens to be one of the most happening squares in amsterdam with clubs, bars, and restaurants), and headed to the Anne Frank house where the line was too long to wait in. So we headed to the Foam photography museum and saw some Mirayomo photos and some other interesting exhibits. This is about the time our stomaches decided it was time to go back to the Hans Brinker Hotel to check-in to our double. The first thing we found interesting about our double was that the bathroom was just a corner of the room enclosed in glass (yes, part of it was misted, but it was still kinda funny). So basically we spent the next day and a half diarrheaing in front of eachother. You guys told us traveling was going to test our relationship, now we know what you mean. So after our stomaches put us on house arrest half of our second day and all of our third day we decided to go strong our fourth day in Amsterdam and our stomaches worked themselves out. We woke up early (9:40) to get our free breakfast of hard boiled egg and toast and got to the Van Gogh Museum. Both of us were intrigued by Van Gogh's colorfully alive paintings, and sadenned by his mental illness, suicide and the fact that he never knew how great he was. Next we headed to Vondel Park (biggest park in Amsterdam) for a nice walk (in search of a sandwich place we never found). In Vondel park there were a lot of bikes, dogs, pot smokers, and a mama duck with her six ducklings. We're planning on going back. Since we couldn't find the sandwich place our guide book recommended we got chicken tenders and nachos at the Hard Rock Cafe, this was both of our first times and we were not impressed. Nate was however impressed with our next activity. The Heineken Experience is an interactive Heineken museum in the old Heineken brewery. Three beers and a free gift (a bottle opener) are included in the entry price. After this activity we pretty much called it a day. That brings us to today. We missed our free breakfast but we like our local patries better anyway. Then we went to Rembrandt's old house where it was preserved in the way he lived in it, including a number of his paintings and etchings. He seemed to be living very comfortably for the 1600's. After Rembrandt's house we shopped in a flea market outside where Nate got a "f*** Work" t-shirt and Kristina got a tapestry. Next we headed toward the redlight district where we visited the Canabis College, the Hemp and Hash Museum, and saw our first glimpse of Dutch prostitutes. That should bring everyone up to date. We'll talk to you soon. Love, Nate and Kristina