At some point during the late summer of 2007, Lis decided that we should go someplace overseas over New Year's Eve. After some pondering, inspiration struck and we chose Amsterdam as the place to go. So we dug out our passports, found somebody to watch the kitties, packed our clothes, waited a few months, and then went.
- Day 1 - Day one actually started the day before with an overnight flight across the Atlantic toward a layover in London. Due to some craziness at Heathrow we almost didn't make the connection, but a nice person pushed us forward in line and got us there in time. Upon reaching Amsterdam we were all tired out and spent the entire rest of the day sleeping, stumbling about the city in a stupor, and sleeping some more.
- Day 2 - By the next day we were adjusted enough that we could actually go out and do stuff. We started out with an intense wandering of the city, going up and down canals, alleyways, roads, and sidewalks. Eventually we popped in to the Hortus Botanicus and wandered past the Artis Zoo. By then it was too late to actually go in to the zoo, so we headed back to find some dinner and some bedtime.
- Day 3 - The next day started out with an attempt to visit a street market, but it turned out that Lis had misread the information and it was closed that day. So instead we did some more wandering, eventually finding a bulb market that was full of tulips, daffodils, amarylli, and most any other kind of bulb you could imagine. We also found oodles of little shops nearby that we kept ducking into, so by the time we were done it was dinner time followed by bedtime again.
- Day 4 - The first thing we did the next day was hop on a tram toward the western side of the city, getting off near Oosterpark. From there we followed canals, roads, and greenspaces back toward the city, stopping in places that looked interesting. One such place was Our Lord In The Attic, an old church built on the top floors of a canal house. That night was New Year's Eve, so that evening we joined the crowd at the Dam for a while before retreating to less crowded, firework-filled locales. Midnight was an amazing sight, with fireworks going off everywhere.
- Day 5 - After staying up all night the previous night (and since everything in Amsterdam is closed on New Year's Day), Day 5 was mostly spent sleeping in, people watching from park benches, and admiring the architecture. That night we went out in the dark to take pictures of Amsterdam by Night.
- Day 6 - The next day we hopped on an earlyish train to Den Haag, where we ended up spending much of the day at the Escher in the Palace museum. When we finally tore ourselves away from there, we swung past the Peace Palace to see where the International Court of Justice is located. On the way back to the train station we also visited the Knight's Tower, but it was getting too dark then for any good pictures.
- Day 7 - We woke up very early the next morning to beat the lines at the Anne Frank House, where we saw that the chestnut tree was still around. Afterwards we wandered through more shops and the like, including a second trip to the bulb market. That night we went out for another batch of night time pictures before heading to bed.
- Day 8 - Our last full day in Amsterdam was spent primarily at two places: the Van Loon House museum (which demonstrated crazy Amsterdam architecture) and the Hollandsche Shouwberg (which had been closed when we wandered past it the previous day). We then spent the rest of the afternoon packing up our stuff so we could leave early the next day. Our trip was done!