Leanne and I met up with her parents Carol and Doug at YVR airport where we had lunch together before boarding our flight to Europe. It was an overnight flight, none of us slept, and in the morning we arrived at Schipol airport. It always amazes me how simple entry is. Customs was nothing more than a hello and a quick stamp of the passport. We caught a train from there to Amsterdam Central where we walked with bags in tow to the B&B that would be our home for the next couple of nights. It was welcoming place built in the 1600’s with traditional character and a rich history as it once had a secret Church in its basement, the same room where Doug and Carol slept.
We wandered around the Joordan neighborhood and found a place for lunch. When we returned we were all fighting the urge to sleep when Leanne’s sister Adrienne and her husband David arrived at our door. Adrienne had been doing studies in London and David had flown over the previous week. It was surreal to have them all together there in Amsterdam. It was a sunny day and we went out to explore and to fight-off our lack of sleep and jet-lag. We wandered from one side of town to the other visiting the extremes of the picturesque Beignhof area and the seedy red light district. We had a family dinner that evening at a Mexican restaurant of all places. It had plenty of space for us and was near where we were staying. We enjoyed our dinner and catching up with everyone.
The following morning Adrienne arrived without David. He had been fighting a nasty cold and despite making a valiant effort to be out the day before he simply needed rest and was concerned with getting us sick at the start of our adventure. We rumored that he wanted time away from the family to indulge in the guilty pleasures of the Red Light district on his first visit to Europe. The five of us took advantage of the weather to make our way out to the countryside to see Zaanse Schans. We wandered through the touristy old town and visited the windmills. That afternoon we returned to Amsterdam where we had lunch overlooking the city from the top floor of the modern library before renting bicycles. Adrienne went to check on David and the four of us rode through town and around Vondel park before heading to the museum district to rendezvous with Adrienne. It was a short visit and David managed to be there to wish us well on our trip. That evening we had dinner at a recommended French restaurant called Prego and in the evening Doug, Adrienne and I went to a marvelous local bar that only serves Dutch beer called ‘t Arendsnest Nederlands biercafe. It was a good finish to our short stay and a fine farewell to Adrienne until we see her again back home.