Thursday, July 12, 2007

This update is late.

This should have been posted maybe two or three days ago. Right after my incredible trip to Amsterdam, London and Brussels. Here's what happened...

Day 0: D and D's wedding. This was on the Monona lake front and was beautiful. Excellent food, an open bar and great company. (Ms. Non Sequitur and her super cool sisters and their ultra cool friends.) The happy couple exchanged vows at sunset. Pics on Ms. Non Sequitur's blog.

Day 1: Amsterdam. I was picked up at Schiphol airport by Cali A, Jersey R and Mumbai S. We headed straight to the Flying Pig Uptown and settled in. If you ever go to Amsterdam, I would recommend living at the Uptown Flying Pig hostel. Clean rooms and incredibly fun people to hang out with and a bar that stayed open all night! Of course, I had to catch a 4am bus to London so couldn't party as much.

Day 2: London. Cute T picked my sorry, sleep-deprived ass up from the airport. (Travel tip: If you wanna fly from Amsterdam to London use VLM airlines.) I had had two hours of sleep the previous night and spent the whole day wandering around in London like a zombie with T who was extremely eager to show me everything. Tower Bridge, London Tower, St. Pauls, Millenium Bridge, Covent Gardens etc. Then I took the London underground and traveled to my aunt's place at the edge of town. How I stayed awake in the train I have no idea. But it was worth it because my aunt had made delicious Indian food. And to finish off the night we went to an authentic English pub called the Old Cherry Tree which was really old (built sometime in 1700s) and served some great beer. Sleep.

Day 3: Woke at 11! Wow! Hadn't slept in like this since, well, since a couple weeks ago. Anyway, my aunt made some authentic English breakfast for me: sausages, bacon, grilled mushrooms and tomatoes and eggs over easy. Delicious! Then a quick train ride back got me back to downtown and it was more site seeing with T. T's mom had stayed over the previous night due to the crazy bomb scare and in the evening her sister A came down from Oxford. Delicious Indian food for me two nights in a row! The night ended with a late excursion to Westminster to see The Big Ben.

Day 4: An early morning flight got me back to Amsterdam. But not before I forgot my jacket at T's place. Ah, well, I get another excuse to go visit her! Within half an hour of reaching Amsterdam my friends decide that we're going to Brussels that day. This was not such a good idea: the train ride was a whopping 4 hours long! Damn! We got to spend only 4 hours in Brussels. We took a bus tour and learned all about Brussels' past. Over and over again. After that we sampled some authentic Belgian beer and tarts. Another 4 hours on the train. Spent mostly sleeping.

Day 5: We went to Zaanse Schans. Windmills, cheese-making, Albert Heijn coffee museum, bakery museum, Toy museum, etc. etc. So many museums, so little time. At the cheese shop we sampled some excellent cheese such as aged gouda, aged goat cheese etc. etc. In the evening, we decided to relent and finally visit on of the 500 or so Argentinian steak houses in Amsterdam. (Why so many? I have no idea!) Great food and free shots of jenever and grappa in the end. Then we went for a pub crawl. 5 or 6 pubs, free drinks at each one, and shots along the way. Yours truly reached the hotel at 6 or so!

Day 6: This was supposed to be when we went to Dusseldorf. But when S called at 9:30am my roommates were in a sorry state from Day 5. So like the brave little soldier that I am, I got ready and joined S. We didn't go to Germany but instead roamed around in Amsterdam. Dam Square, Madame Tussauds, etc. etc. (Who knew there was a Madame Tussauds in Amsterdam? I didn't.) At around 2pm or so my friends finally woke up. So I decided to have a nap instead. Later at 4 we went back to Leidseplein, and danced in strange sounding discs like Sugar Water etc. We decided to have a quiet night and came back at a relatively early hour. 3am.

Day 7: Airport. Flight. Finished reading The Selfish Gene. Watched Garden State. (Natalie Portman is muy cute.) Spent almost 6 hours hanging out at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. Finally got back to Madison and was driven home by Kitkat.

Day 8: Work as usual.

I miss you Amsterdam. And London. And even you Brussels.

(The next trip will be to a beach though. No matter what!)

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