All posts dated between November 2004 and June 2005 were imported to Keith’s Amusing Musings on January 21, 2006 from my previous travel blog. I decided to delete that blog and move all its content here which some readers may find disruptive considering Keith’s Amusing Musings did not come online until October 2005. The good news there will be only one blog, Keith’s Amusing Musings, going forward. Enjoy these older stories.
We arrived in Amsterdam around 10 am on Friday. Schiphol was something else. The airport is fairly large and quite overwhelming with all the people. Going through customs was quick. I’ve seen stricter screening going across the border from Canada back to the States. After exiting customs you enter the Arrivals section of the airport. Again, there were people everywhere. Trying to be self sufficient, we looked for info on getting to our hotel. We found a sign that listed the prices to the city via the 3 alternatives: train, airport shuttle, or taxi. The train was the least the expensive so we attempted to purchase tickets using the kiosk. We couldn’t figure it out, so we nixed that plan and decided to take the shuttle, 2nd least expensive alternative. We left the airport for the first time to find the shuttle. I was struck by the smell of fried dough and the dreary sky. The shuttle was just wrapping up boarding when we arrived. We were told there were a couple seats left and quoted the price. We discovered they didn’t take credit cards, and we hadn’t exchanged money yet. Oops! Of course they said they’d take our dollars with an idiot tax added in. We paid the shuttle fee (and the idiot tax) and were on our way.
The trip to the hotel was cramped, but it allowed us to see different parts of Amsterdam as the shuttle dropped off passengers at their hotels in various neighborhoods. The shuttle driver stopped on a narrow, unassuming street and said we were at the Pulitzer. (Pulitzer Hotel is part of the Starwood family’s Luxury Collection. It was a recommendation from the travel agent who booked our honeymoon.) We proceeded to check-in. Given that it was only 11:30 am or so, I was expecting the receptionist to tell us there were no rooms available until after 2 or 3. To my surprise, she said there were roms available, but they were courtyard view. She could upgrade us to a better room, but we would have to wait to check-in. We decided to take the room they had available because we were ready to be settled. Our room was quaint and nice.
We rested for a minute before we left back out for lunch. Keith talked with the concierge for a recommendation, and she made a reservation for us. As we left out of the hotel, I asked Keith where we were going for lunch. He mentioned the Blakes Hotel. I said, “Umm, that’s an expensive hotel.” (It was one of the hotels that the travel agent recommended. But, it was about twice the price of the Pulitzer. So, I passed on that one.) Once I explained the hotel to Keith, he said since it was too expensive to stay there at least we could enjoy the hotel by having lunch there. I guess that’s a good point. The walk to the hotel was a good opportunity for us to venture out and soak up the scene. The hotel was very nice, and lunch was good. After lunch we strolled back to our hotel. We chilled out for a bit, and I took a nap.
Around 5 pm we decided to go back out to do some sightseeing and grab some dinner while we were out. Unfortunately when we walked out the front door we realized it was pouring down raining. So, we decided to nix that plan and ended up going to the concierge to plan out our day on Saturday.
We ordered room service and ended up calling it an early night.