Posted by: patriciamar | July 13, 2009

25 and counting…

So overall, my 25th birthday went off without a hitch.   The biggest problem was that the first train back to Leiden (that would have left two minutes after we got to the station) was not my favorite style of Dutch train.  Lucky for me- I am a bit spoiled- and we went to the Albert Heijn ToGo to get ice cream and took the next train (an excellent one) 12 minutes later.  Ahhh… the Dutch life.

My day started slowly at 10:45, and I started smoothly with a cup of coffee and leftover raspberry-Holland bessen pie (I think these may be Lingonberries, but I can’t be sure) metslagroom, of course.  [slagroom = whipped cream]

We met A & K in Amsterdam and although the day started rainy, soon it was sunny and fresh and we were wandeling around Jordaan admiring local artwork and calm canals and the peaceful stir of locals going about their lives.

We had lunch at a small eetcafe that was basically run by one friendly young waitress.  After tomato soup with pesto and a cappuccino, it was easy to slip in to the Jordaan feeling, when you feel as if you could stay all day, rotating between espresso and La Chouffe, trying to memorize the white window panes and the way the sun reflected off of the canal into them.  Jordaan really should be on everyone’s list of Amsterdam’s activities.  It’s easy to think that you have reached the neighborhood when you get past the AnneFrank Huis into the western side of the canal rings, but you have not quite reached it yet.  If you are there for dinner, make sure to stop at Dona Sofia’s for some amazing gnocchi and great italian appetizers as well.

After the bill, but before we stepped out the door, the waitress [somehow…] discovered that it was my birthday and within two minutes we were all sipping Jagermeister and another similar Dutch liquor.

Our lazy day continued to the Leidseplein for a beer and ‘typical Dutch fried snacks,’ the very best kind of bar snack (at least when Maxwell’s wings aren’t available).

For dinner, yes, I know, it does seem that the only thing we do is eat and drink, but we did wander a bit in between at least…

We headed to Bird Thai for some AMAZING thai food.  You may have to wait a few minutes to get in, and you may have the one arrogant bastard as your waiter, but just let it go- he only takes your order and then you are helped by the nicest staff ever.

I finished off the celebration of year 25 with a walk through the Red Light District back to the station.  What a wonder- drunken Brits there for Stag Parties, prostitutes, beer, weed, and giant pub crawls of ridiculous 19 year-old Americans… Really makes me wonder what I will be doing on my next birthday.

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