We stayed in a second-floor apartment in the Central Canal area, well-situated to nearly everything but then again, Amsterdam's not that large and it's incredibly easy to walk, bike or figure out the public tram system (pop. 750,000).
Beautiful, tree-lined 17th and 18th century streets and alleys, many bordering the multitude of canals throughout the city.
We took a canalbus (funny, canalbus sort looks like 'cannabis', wonder if that's intentional...)tour. An excellent, albeit touristy way to see the well-appointed and historical sights. Really, really cool 17th century architecture.
There's a Wagamama in Amsterdam. http://www.wagamama.nl/index.php Dutch food is pretty gross, mostly cheese, ham and potatoes (hopefully I'm not offending any Dutch foodies right now, but let's face it, it's right up there with English cuisine) This is a chain that has this whole Asian noodle thing down to a science. We had a much needed bottle of wine and excellent food. Even the kids devoured their 'chicken noodle soup' which was basically awesome ramen noodles with chicken and veggies. Scott had a yellow curry and I had a spicy shrimp noodle dish.
Really what the doctor ordered as you can see by the fact that I'm not hitting anyone, yelling or even grimacing.
And after a good night of relaxing I had a chance to walk the streets a bit the next morning, which turned out to be Saturday morning. Things don't open so early in Amsterdam....not really until 11 or 12 noon on Saturdays.
But after some considerable research to find the non-touristy, hip, current part of town (not exactly easy to find I might add) where the artists and the boutiques and the less-obvious tend to hang, I headed directly to the "Nine Little Streets" area of Amsterdam. Super old part, very close to Anne Frank's original home. Had to walk to this sight alone as the kids are absolutely oblivious to this horrific history and my classic glossing over wouldn't be appropriate.
In this historic section of Amsterdam I found some beautifully refurbished homes, quaint and charming store fronts and a very cute shop with an incredibly friendly dog and owner...that let me take some photos....http://www.whatscooking.nl/left/plattegrond.htm
Not really sure what a sugar consultant is...imagine it's a collection of candy-eating children? paid for their services? A dream for some, although I'd be more interested in a job with the Salt Consultants.
And as our time ended with the Dutch and as we sat, waiting for our taxi to take us to the train station near the main square I find myself distracted by these open-air urinals. In the square-to use if you're a) a guy and b) really need to go the bathroom. Gratis.
(I kept catching Maia aka Nosy Parker trying to catch a peak).