I went to Amsterdam

Travel and Other Adventures

I am so disappointed in myself! I have neglected this blog. I was so good about posting my travelogue when we went to Paris. I wanted to do the same when I went to Amsterdam but I didn’t. And now time is getting away from me. There is getting to be too much distance between my trip and my writing. This has got to stop!

I think I will just start moving my fingers across the keyboard and we’ll see what comes out. Let’s start at the beginning.

The idea started as a joke on Twitter.  Inge ran into some trouble  when she was pinholng the Rotterdam train station. Alex, in response, thought he needed to visit The Netherlands for WPPD 2014.  I chimed in with a tweet about joining them (of course as a joke). Then something happened, and I am not sure what. Somehow this joke turned into  reality. A couple of weeks after this conversation Raf and I were buying our plane tickets to Amsterdam with a plan to meet up with Alex, Inge, and Brendan on Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Soon Jeff bought tickets. And then it became an event on the WPPD website. And others signed up. And whoa. It became a THING. An actual thing. I was going to Amsterdam! And I was going to meet up with my internet friends! In real life!

I still can’t believe that we made this happen.

So that’s the back story. Now let’s get on with the trip. I’ll start with Day One.

Our flight was a short 9 hours – a straight shot from PDX to AMS. It was pretty awesome and I am glad we paid extra for that luxury. I watched two movies on the plane, The Book Thief and Frozen (both pretty good). And I even tried to learn a little Dutch (it didn’t stick). As we flew over Greenland and Iceland the sunset blended into the sunrise and my afternoon blended into early morning. We arrived in Amsterdam at 8:30 am already exhausted.

1622398_10202841264607013_3865833047102314807_o

The sunset blended into the sunrise.

We got off the plane and our adventure began. When you are in a foreign country everything is different. Things are unfamiliar and there is a little bit of culture shock. This is what I experienced on our adventure from the plane to the hotel. Finding an ATM, getting Euros out of the ATM, figuring out how to buy train tickets, figuring out what train to catch, realizing you are not sitting the right place on the train, figuring out how to take the tram to the hotel. It was all an adventure. And being exhausted made it that much more interesting.

The rest of the morning was spent wandering (stumbling) around Vondelpark, zombie-like until our hotel room was ready.

1511394_10202793173044754_2310207572594477982_n

A Raf and Moni Amsterdam Selfie.

10014485_10202841263846994_8284858040768442692_o

A very relaxing walk at the Park.

When it was ready for us we took a short nap, but were awakened by fire alarm! We thought maybe it was just our room but we went out into the hallway and realized it was the whole hotel! I grabbed my camera bag and my purse and we headed down to the lobby. We found out that they were doing a drill. It was quite the experience having been awake for more than 24 hours.

After this wake-up call we wandered the streets for a bit.

Here I am posing in front of one of the I Am Amsterdam signs.

10255298_10202841262446959_4335121205942312396_o

I am I

And here is one of MANY canals I would see and photograph on the trip.
10005889_10202841260806918_4972533030451723242_o

We stayed up as late as we could but in the end we fell asleep at 8:00. I woke up at one point that first night and it was light outside. My first thought was that we had slept all night and it was morning. I was excited because I had an exciting day planned. Then I looked at the clock and saw that it was only 9:00. I’d only slept for an hour.

To be continued…