Search the site:

Browse by category:

This article's comments feed.


May 3, 08:41 PM · from the mouth of Andy

It’s now been a month since Lisa and I left for Amsterdam. You all should have gotten your postcards by now. (Apologies to Jimmy and Sarah – I didn’t have your address!) We’ve finally sorted through all of our pictures and caught up with our lives enough that I can post. To start you off, here are a couple of pictures to set the mood:

Above you have Rembrandtplein, one of the big squares with lots of restaurants and cafes. It also includes a park with a gigantic, sculpted reproduction of Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. Notice the Hoegaarden umbrellas – they had it on draft! Below is a typical canal shot. There are views exactly like this all over the city center. There are also bikers like the lady in the shot everywhere – the Dutch, particularly in Amsterdam, are very fond of riding their bikes, and they do it in a very casual way, usually in their street/business clothes. We even saw a lady in a fur coat and high heels riding a bike!

We started out our trip in Amsterdam itself. We arrived in the afternoon on April 4, a Wednesday. We spent that day figuring out how to spend the rest of our days – it was a very short trip, and we were sure we would be pressed for time. We were pleasantly surprised to find that Amsterdam is actually small and dense enough that we could walk to most of the places we wanted to go very easily. So we ended up covering a lot of ground that first day, starting at the Bloemenmarkt, Amsterdam’s big floating flower market, working our way up to Rembrandtplein, then across town to the Pink Floyd coffee shop. Things took a slightly weird turn here – we were jetlagged and didn’t feel like lighting up, so we went with the “pastries” instead. They hit us hard, so we essentially had to call it a night after a VERY bizarre experience at an Indonesian restaurant and paranoia-fraught walk back to the hotel.

That said, though, Amsterdam is renowned for its Indonesian restaurants as well as its cannabis coffeeshops. We unfortunately only made it to one of each. I did quite enjoy, though, the potent aromas that drifted from every last coffeeshop as we walked by. Mmm, mmm, good!

Our second day started the hard-core touristing. We made the obligatory stops at the Anne Frank Huis, the Museum het Rembrandt Huis, and the Red Light District. We also did a canal walk laid out by our guidebook, and all before dinnertime! We capped the evening with a sunset canal tour by boat. Awesome.

Day 3 was Good Friday, and we were due down in ’s-Hertogenbosch for the wedding of my college friend Barbara the next day. We spent our morning hitting the big museums. Our hotel was right near the Museumplein which is a large, open park surrounded by many of Amsterdam’s large cultural institutions. We managed to get to the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum in plenty of time to enjoy some waffles with ice cream and check out the Concertgebouw, even though we couldn’t stay for a concert. Finally we boarded our train at Centraal Station bound for ’s-Hertogenbosch:

Also known as Den Bosch, it’s a lovely town with a cobblestoned urban center – right here is the view from the steps of town hall on Saturday, the wedding day, which also happened to be the city’s market day. The ceremony took place inside, but it was probably the smallest portion of the day. Dutch tradition dictates that the groom pick up the bride at her parents’ house in the morning before the ceremony. So all of the guests first came to a small breakfast at the groom’s parents’ house. Then it was off to the ceremony – which was all in Dutch! I understood a word or 2, and people laughed a few times… but it resulted in this:

That’s Barbara (formerly de Kruijf) and Leon de Barbanson. So Barbara is now Barbara de Barbanson. Hehe.

Anyhow, the entire wedding moved on to a museum in town, where we were served snacks and tea while they took more wedding photos. Next came a trip to the town of Houden, where we had high tea. Finally, we arrived at a large (I’m pretty sure the guest list quadrupled for this part) party, akin to a raucous wedding reception, where they played techno and had an open bar well into the wee hours of the morning. It was sweet.

Easter Sunday was our last day, but we really packed it in. We went back through Amsterdam and walked everywhere we could. We took this shot just before settling down on a bench to drink in the feeling of being there:

And now we’re back. My favorite souvenir came from a random stop in a beer store there. I asked the clerk to recommend some good Dutch beer that I wouldn’t be able to get in the states, so I came home with this colorful assortment:

I just finished drinking the last of these last night. So I guess, really, my Amsterdam vacation has only just ended. I have also, of course, used my new beer journal which Lisa gave me for my birthday to record my impressions of all of these.

Congrats if you’ve read this far. Now say something!


Comment [16]

  1. Andy responds with:

    One more thing that I didn’t want to get lost in the post: you may have seen I made a random header from one of my other pictures. I have a couple more that I’d like to combine or mess with somehow to look good on the header, but I don’t have any decent picture software. So I propose an Amsterdam Banner Challenge to all you designers out there. I’ll post the pictures if you’re interested in trying to make one.

    · May 3, 08:52 PM
  2. Jimmy's Girlie responds with:

    Oh, come on, guys. I even gave you a day, and a GIRL is still the first to post on Goofy GUYS? Sheesh.

    Anyways, sounds like it was a lot of fun, Andy! Too bad it was so brief. Do you want to go back?

    I don’t know a whole lot about Amsterdam or what there is to do there… so if I ever go… I’ll look this up again, haha.

    What are the pictures that you want to make into a banner?

    Thanks for telling us about your trip! (I think you’re better at this than we are, haha)...


    · May 4, 07:35 PM
  3. Jim responds with:

    Oh dude—much jealousy. It sounds like a sweet trip even if it was brief.

    By the way, you had me at Hoegaarden on draft. :)

    So ummm… the ummm… sweet odors of the coffee shops… ummm… mmmmmmmm….... ;)


    So I guess Sarah and I are just going to have to make it a point to book a wedding to photograph there ehh? Hehehehe… it looks rather pretty. I guess I never really knew how to picture Amsterdam, but I’d sure love to visit, especially now. Hmmm… maybe I could convince my new company to open a branch office there—they keep talking aboot wanting to expand.

    Glad you had a good time. Say hi to the lady for me…


    · May 5, 01:03 AM
  4. Tyler responds with:

    A wedding!!! THAT’s why you went. I know you told me last winter, but I forgot.

    I’d really love to go someday. I’ve wanted to go (obviously) since I was a college kid, but mostly for the uh, coffee shops. Now that I’m gonna be a daddy, I still want to go, but more for the cultural and scenic reasons.

    I love to travel. Too bad I haven’t done much of it. I’ve been out of the country a total of 4 times…
    • Twice to Ireland (which of course was AWESOME both times)
    • Once to Canada (just barely… my family vacationed in Lubec, Maine one year, and we made a day trip across the border. There wasn’t much to see.)
    • And once to Cozumel, Mexico (as part of a cruise… time spent in Mexico totaled about 4 hours, the memories of which are seriously confounded by a myriad of margaritas and Coronas.)

    Other places on top of my foreign travel priority list:
    • The Netherlands
    • England and Scotland
    • Italy
    • France
    • Japan
    • Mexico (for a longer and more comprehensive visit).
    • Ireland (Yes, again. I’ll never get tired of it. I vowed to move there one day, and hopefully I can make good on my promise).

    Of course, I’ve seen precious little of my own country, I’m sad to say. Here are some domestic destinations I’d like to hit:
    • Texas (I don’t know why, but I really want to go someday. Probably to Austin)
    • New Orleans (maybe in a few more years, after they’ve gotten over Katrina a little more)
    • Northern and Southern California
    • Seattle
    • Various Western areas (Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, Yellowstone, Yosemite…)
    • Alaska
    • Hawaii
    • Michigan (again, don’t know why, just do)
    • And OF COURSE Colorado again.

    I want my kids to be well traveled. Jess and I have been seriously considering home-schooling, and it seems like traveling would fit nicely into a home school lesson plan. (No offense to the teachers in the group… just something we’re thinking about).

    Anyway, back to Amsterdam. Do they all speak English there? Is communication easy, or were there some language barriers? How was the weather? Judging by the photos, the climate looks similar to New England. True? Did you see any of their famous tulips?

    I’d love to see more pictures. Do you have a flickr account? They’re free and easy, so why not? I’ve got one here, but I haven’t updated it recently. I’ve been focusing my attention on my blog, but even that has been slow going.

    So yeah. Happy May!! Love, Ty.

    · May 7, 12:02 PM
  5. Andy responds with:

    Thanks for all the posts guys! I don’t have a flickr account – I’ve been thinking about it though. I’ll let you know if that changes. Now would be the time, since I have a relatively large amount of free time this month (no wind ensemble!)

    To answer Tyty’s questions – we had absolutely gorgeous weather the whole time, as you can mostly see in the photos. It is rather New England-like that way. English is pretty much the lingua franca of Europe, so everyone there spoke it. Many of them are actually TRI-lingual: Dutch-English-German. Crazy. And the tulips were strangely scarce. Lisa was very disappointed in that!

    As for traveling, I too (obviously) have that bug. I’ve been lucky enough to go to the Netherlands, London (and a couple other places in England), Prague, Italy, Russia, and Canada. Technically I’ve been to Ireland, but it was only an airport layover, and I didn’t get to go outside at all! I also have done a cross-country road trip, which was amazing. Lisa’s been to even more places, including China, the Philippines, France, and Germany. We’re looking to catch up to each other soon (mostly me catching her!) and to go to other places, including Japan and Iceland.

    Of course, Sarah has us all beat… =)

    Actually next on my agenda is a roadtrip down south this August. Lisa may not be able to go, but I would hit DC, Richmond, North Carolina, Atlanta, and possibly Gulfport, Mississippi. I have friends in all these places that I need to see (Hi Nevins!) and I have the time to do it in August. Are on of you non-pregnant types up for joining me? =) =)

    · May 7, 02:57 PM
  6. Jimmy's Girlie responds with:

    It seems that Japan is on all of our lists. We missed it on SAS (pout) so I definitely want to make up for lost port.

    Hmm… Goofy Guys and Girls trip to Japan??

    Anyone? It can be in a few years…

    · May 7, 04:52 PM
  7. Jimmy's Girlie responds with:

    I should think all the way through to make sure I don’t have anything else to say before I hit “submit”.

    Anyway, Jim and I were talking and we’d like to try to see the Nevinses this summer , but we’d have to go mid-late July. My training starts July 30th and it’s all busy busy busy until then getting the school up and running.

    School in CO starts a lot earlier than other places, I think. Our parent nights are Aug 13/14 and first day is Aug 16. We get out the last day of May though, so I think it’s a give and take.

    Ty, is mid to late July too soon for Baby K?

    So Andy, if you were up to moving your vacation time a little earlier, we might be able to join you for part of the adventure :)

    · May 7, 05:04 PM
  8. Andy responds with:


    The thing is, July is my conducting month. I’m taking a class and I’m conducting possibly as many as 5 concerts throughout the month! Plus Lisa’s birthday is on the 28th. So all my real, uninterrupted free time for the summer comes in August. Sorry guys! I don’t suppose you could make it the first week in August?

    · May 7, 05:22 PM
  9. Jimmy's Girlie responds with:

    Le. Sad. Day.

    No… I am afraid that once we fly home from training on August 2nd, it’s all PD and classroom set-up and team meetings. I’m not sure if it will be like this every year (prolly not), but at least for this year, come July 30th I’m booked :(

    And what, no “Heck yes we should go to Japan!”?


    · May 7, 05:33 PM
  10. Tyler responds with:

    Heck yes we should go to Japan!! But probably in a few years. Or decades. But yeah, let’s do it!

    Sorry you guys can’t make your summer plans fit together better so you can see each other. But yay for me!! I get the see Annie AND Jimmy & Sarahmonster!

    No, I’m sure mid-late July will be just fine for us. As will August. Yay visitors!!

    · May 7, 07:35 PM
  11. jake responds with:

    That sure does look like plenty of fun Mr. Pease.

    Japan is totally in the cards. If Kate ever goes, or I tag along you can all come visit then. That wouldn’t be for a while, possibly next year or the year after. But even if not I’d love to visit. That’d the biggest GoofyGuys trip ever. We’d have to bring any girlies with us.

    Of course I’d like to go finish Australia. And I might go with my mom for another visit to Ireland.

    The big issue now, and you guys/gals are the second ones hearing this, is that while I’ve been exploring new job opportunities I’m now being “politely let go,” as I like to put it. I get an open ended amount of time to find a new job, but basically when they find a replacement, I’m out and they’re in. Since I’ve been looking already it’s not a huge deal and I’ll get a great reference but now I have to pick up the pace. And there’s the possibility I’ll have to grab something that sucks if I run out of time and don’t find anything. That’s something I’ve been trying to avoid like an alien probe since I don’t to jump into the same situation I’m in now.

    I’m burnt out, and not in the good way. ;) Zing, an Amsterdam joke.

    Maybe I’ll become a comedian…

    · May 7, 08:51 PM
  12. Andy responds with:

    Dude! I’m so sorry about your job Jake. Not that you really liked it to begin with… but I hope you find something palatable, and soon. After all, you have to start saving for our mega-goofy Japan trip. =)

    There must be a million companies looking for web designers out there. Have you considered freelancing?

    Also, you should consider coming on my southern excursion in August. I don’t suppose you’ll be able to get any time off… but you should try, because I need company!

    · May 8, 12:44 AM
  13. Tyler responds with:

    Yeah, boy that sucks Jake. But I have confidence in you. You’ve got highly marketable skills. I don’t know exactly what you did at Amphenol (which I SWEAR sounds more like a pharmaceutical company than a computer parts manufacturer), but I’m SURE there are plenty of cool and sexy web developer jobs along the Gold Coast of Connecticut.

    And on the Japan thing, maybe if it happens in a decade or so, I can bring Baby K with me (who will be Big Boy K by then! ...Then again, many of you might have kids by then too!)

    · May 8, 11:14 AM
  14. Tyler responds with:

    While I’m thinking of it, you might want to check out Aquent. That’s the company I contracted at Capital One with. They mainly work with creatives and IT people. They’ve got an office in Norwalk, check it out.

    · May 8, 11:18 AM
  15. Jimmy's Girlie responds with:

    Well Ty, from what I hear, Japan is one of the safest places for bringing a big-boy Baby K. So that’s some good news!

    I’ve heard stories of people standing on street corners with confused looks on their faces in Japan, and someone coming to help them very quickly, even if they don’t speak English. From what I’ve heard, you’ll find some really friendly folks in Japan. I’ve even heard stories of people running up to tourists to bring them their wallet and passport that they dropped, etc.

    H’okay, so I’d think that the age of 3-4 would be the earliest I’d bring a child abroad. Potty trained, can clearly communicate, doesn’t necessarily need naps, can carry own (small) backpack.

    Unless there is a baby L by this point…

    I propose 2011? OR, we go sooner, and Baby K (and Baby L) can stay with grammy and grampy for a week of sheer joy! Hehe…


    · May 10, 02:07 AM
  16. Tyler responds with:

    Yeah, I recall seeing a story on CBS Sunday Morning about how Tokyo has this massive public lost and found center. They have a huge space allotted for umbrellas. People leave their umbrella on the train or in a restaurant or something, and they end up in the lost and found. When people loose their umbrella, they go there to look for it, and they’ll spend hours sorting through all the lost umbrellas looking for theirs. If they don’t find it, they leave empty handed.

    A quick web search found a Tokyo Lost & Found section on Craigslist.

    · May 10, 01:30 PM
  Textile Help

More Goofiness.