Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chilling in Rotterdam

So, I got to Rotterdam finally and was able to hook up with Chad. It was really early in the morning, but he was nice enough to come down and pick me up. The weather was just a bit chilly with a wonderful drizzle in the air. It was fantastic and a welcome relief. We settled in and started our tour around town. We just started walking and they showed me thing like the Cube Houses, Some Local Parks, and just nice sights and sounds of Rotterdam. We hit a few rainstorms throughout the day, but otherwise it was awesome. We stopped at little deli for a awesome HAM sandwich…I am not in the middle east anymore! We continued walking and looking around when I passed a cheese shop. Carol told me that since I was in Holland I was required to import cheese that you can only get in Holland. So I went into the cheese store and was able to procure a few wheels. I got one for Mom and Dad as well.

We continued on to a local watering hole that Chad loves. Since the Tasty beverages are so great in this city we had to start trying them. So we were on a little bit of a tasting mission throughout this weekend. After walking for a while longer we stopped at another place to get a tasty beverage. Since I did not get any sleep on the plane…I was crashing hard. They even said something about me falling asleep while talking to them. So we decided to walk back to the house to allow me to take a short nap. I slept about an 1:00-1:15 and it was fantastic. I woke up feeling great…a much needed renewal.

After the nap we walked to another park. I know…but it is so nice to see green. We walked to the tower in Rotterdam which when we got closer we saw that people were repelling off of. How cool is that? We took the elevator ride to the top and got a great view of the city. After the tower we met one of Chad’s co-workers Slowka at a bar. She is from Slovakia and her English is broken enough to make it funny. She was hilarious and I had a great time making fun of and not understanding my WV accent. It was getting late, even thought the sun was still up so we headed home. Chad and I decided to watch the Sugar Bowl…how great is that? The girls joined us later. Soon after Slowka left, Suzie headed to bed and Chad and I finally crashed. It was so nice to sleep with window open and hear the sounds of the city. It was also so nice to sleep where it was naturally cool outside and you didn’t need air conditioning.

The next morning I woke up to Suzanne and Chad cooking Pancake/Crepe style breakfast. No syrup, just dip it in a strawberry or peanut butter mix for flavor. We walked down to the docks which was a great journey and not too far from the house. We saw that a cruise ship had pulled in and was a wild sight to see. It was huge. It took a while to get there because we had to walk down to the bridge and then back to the boat. We decided to keep walking to another historical attraction, the Hotel New York. This is a hotel that has been around a long time. This is where people stayed while they were preparing to make the transatlantic journey in the early 1900’s. Very historical and very cool. They were in the process of a renovation, so that was a little hectic. However, the tasty beverage counter was open so we enjoyed our first tasty beverage of the day…and we helped Suzy eat a piece of wonderful apple pie. It was getting close to a late lunch for us so we went to Smaak for appetizers. It was a really great meal and it was not that far from their place. We headed back to the house as they were the ones that needed a nap…so I played online and updated my blog.

After the nap we headed to another restaurant near their place to enjoy a nice dinner. It was a fantastic steak place and was not that expensive. Afterwards, we headed down to a very popular area to watch the European cup final game between Germany and Spain. The Dutch are not too favorable of the Germans…so when a German fan went by…they treated them like a Tech fan. It was really hilarious. We watched the entire game and realized it was late…but still dusk. When we got home we realized that the reason for such a late sunset was our latitude. I thought we were in the range of New York…or something…however Rotterdam is more like Nova Scotia or Calgary. They have like 18 hours of sunlight a day. Wow. Plus I was there during the longest days of the year…

It was a really early morning the next day and I really appreciate Chad helping me back to the train. I got on and when I got to the airport, I found that flight had been delayed about 5 hours. FUN! Luckily I was flying business class, which allowed me access to the lounge. When I got there it was awesome. Not as nice as I have had before…but nice none the less. The best part was they had a self serve buffet and a full self serve bar. It had all of the necessities, mixers, and a Heineken tap. So, my feelings about being stuck were slowly abating. Soon I was on a plane for the final leg of my trip.

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