Saturday, April 22, 2017

The Netherlands: Amsterdam.

Gregg and I have talked about taking a trip to the Netherlands since before we were married.  Gregg served his mission there and had never been back.  A few years ago we started talking about the trip with some friends who were both missionaries there with Gregg.  Two years ago when we originally though we would go Ryan, the husband, was deployed.  We wanted to wait and go when we could all go together and we finally made it happen!
Ryan actually made it out on a flight before us so this is us saying goodbye to him.  He was able to get checked into our house and get our car rental so when we got there everything was set up for us.
Typical European weather.
On our way.
We took off around noon from Salt Lake City and had a direct flight to Amsterdam ... heavenly!! 
We slept as much as we could on the flight because it was 8AM in Amsterdam local time when we landed but midnight back home to our bodies.
The infamous "I Amsterdam" sign.
We're tired and look like we have been flying all day/night .. but we made it and we couldn't be happier.
{Heather and Ryan Romano - us}
Tulips already!
I came for the tulips!!
Gregg told me to stop taking pictures of tulips at the airport because I would see much better tulips later.
We headed straight for the streets of Amsterdam.
It really is as beautiful and picturesque as I imagined.
The building skyline is beautiful and there are tulips everywhere.
It really does feel amazing to be here with Gregg ... finally!  He served 21 years ago and we have talked about this trip for a long time.
Heather and Ryan.
Gregg and Ryan were mission companion and Gregg and Heather served in the same district.  After the mission Ryan started writing Heather and the rest is history.  They have been great friends of ours over the years.
We went straight to the streets to find some "frites" or fries.
They put different sauces 'findasaus' on their fries like Dutch mayo, peanut sauce and red sauce.  Surprisingly Gregg's favorite is peanut sauce.  12 years of marriage and you learn something new all the time!
Of course there are amazing pastry shops everywhere!
This is waffle dough which has little chunks of sugar in it - yummy!
Suiker Waffles.
Here comes the afternoon rain - luckily we were on a little canal boat cruse when the rain started.
Vaart Boat Ride.
SO tired but we have to keep on pushing threw to get over jet-lag.

 There is a good picture of the boat we were on.
 Some people live in floating houses on the water.
 Real estate on the canal is taxed based on the width of the front of your house that is why all the hoses on the canals are so narrow but very tall and long.

Thanks Ryan for the picture ... we were SO tired after flying all night and touring all day.  I think at this point we had gone 36 hours without sleep. 
We stopped by a local grocery store so these three could reminisce about all the things they love and remember from their time here.
On the streets of Amsterdam.
The first of many pastry stops :)
The streets of Amsterdam.
Is this our second or third pastry stop of the day :) :)
Look at those chocolate covered waffles.
We stopped by this beautiful blue deft shop.
This is a floating flower market.
This is the ceiling of the flower market.
These flowers are hanging down.
Every kind of tulip you can think of ... including black.
Look at all those bulbs!
We quickly checked to see if we could bring any back to the USA - we can't :(
Oops!  Found ourselves at another pastry shop!
I loved the big industrial waffle iron.
The smell as you walk by these shops is amazing.
Now this is how to eat waffles.
Suiker Waffle with vanilla ice cream
(sugar waffle)
Finally we stopped by this cheese factory.
Their stair cases are really this steep!

Supposedly there are more bikes than cars in Amsterdam.
We lasted until early afternoon and then we needed a SERIOUS nap so we headed off to our house to sleep ... but only for ONE HOUR!