The Tourist

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August 20th 2019
Published: August 23rd 2019
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August 20, 2019


Oh – we just LOVE this hotel! So clever how they managed to unite these “homes” into one grand and glorious hotel. The many different ways to navigate this place are truly intriguing. A hallway here a staircase there. A step up and voila, a new floor. We spent a good amount of time just “exploring”! So much fun. They have thought of everything.

After our hearty breakfast (included with the room) we plan our day. First up….The Rijksmuseum.

We chose to walk to the museum. Great Choice – so much more fun, and an easy way to explore Amsterdam. So many different ways to approach this city – why not see as many as possible?

The museum is PACKEDwith people. One of the hazards of Summer Tourism. NEVER. AGAIN! We can barely maneuver through the museum. SO. MANY. PEOPLE. Each of the galleries was filled to capacity with art lovers and tourists…or a combination thereof!!

We decided to start at the top and work our way down. We finally determine where we are and where we wish to go…AND…how to get there. GEESH! Could they make it any harder? Wasn’t this built AS a Museum? Clearly, they wanted to find dead bodies all over this place, because I’m SURE people have been lost over the years.

We see from the brochure, that there is a YSL dress upstairs which looks interesting – you know, in keeping with our “fashion” exhibits. GONE. The dress is GONE. No longer on display. COULD YA PLEASE UPDATE YOUR BROCHURE! Never mind. Keep moving, or get swallowed up in the morass of people.

We finally get to see The Night Watchman – well…sort of. Evidently, it’s being scanned via an Xray scanner – and there’s this HUGE device in front of the painting. RATS. The copy is nice. We find a few more famous paintings and attempt to get in to see them. UGH. So many people. We have to push or be pushed! PUSH it is.

After what seems like an eternity (2 or 3 hours) we decide to get something to eat. It is, after all – late! We choose our course and off we go. Passing a few places along the way – nah, too expensive, nah, doesn’t look appetizing, nah – only outdoor seating (no WAY….SMOKERS). FINALLY, a nice place, we can sit inside and it has a “healthy” menu. We split a pulled chicken sandwich – it was HUGE. Way too much food for one person – and not expensive. We managed to devour the chicken deliciousness and went on our way again.

OH…a Halva shop. I have never had Halva. This place looks GOURMET! In we go. Hmmm. SO. MANY. CHOICES. Free samples! I. AM. HOOKED. We buy a fair amount of Halva. Pistachio & Coffee Cardamom come out the winners. LOVE. Christopher has created a monster. Christopher and the woman helping us (from Greece) have bonded, so have I actually. She’s adorable and knows she has hooked another one (me). As we leave, her co-worker, a youngish Italian guy says “bye you two cuties?” WAIT. WHAT? HUH. What just happened. Christopher asked me what he said – I began to tell him and Christopher says…”that’s what I thought.” Those Italians. So fresh! Hehe.

By this time it is after 3pm. We have 5:00 reservation for a boat tour. Time to head back to the hotel and rest. Of course, we take the long way “home” … I hear a song…. We arrive at the hotel around 4:30ish. Gotta wash up, change and be downstairs by 5:00. We have a little time.

The Tourist, is a boat owned by the Pulitzer Hotel. If, when, you stay at the Pulitzer…TAKE. THE. BOAT. TOUR! You won’t be disappointed, and there’s booze. We chose NOT to drink – we have a plan later!

EVERYONE else on board (well a solo female passenger chose not to drink either) orders Champagne. Two ladies from Dallas order the LARGE bottle of Veuve, “their favorite” (peasants) nothing beats Billecart-Salmon. Another couple order a split, and a threesome (not sure how this one works…they are from Georgia…brother-sister-husband, perhaps…we hope?!) order a bottle. The ladies finish the bottle rather fast. This is a 90-minute tour…SLOW IT DOWN ladies!!

The boat will accommodate a max of 10 people. We have 10, but the 2 women from Texas (celebrating a birthday) take the cake – and NOT the birthday kind! BOY OH BOY…if ever a stereotype were confirmed! These two are it. Big hair. Big Voices (loud, perhaps). A southern drawl dripping with honey that stings. Bless Their Hearts. These two are a hoot, and a tad bit annoying. I almost said something when one of them mad a comment (she THOUGHT under her breath about our Captain’s English). He mixed up the word order – not a big deal. Able to get his idea across. I almost came back with “well, in all honesty, darling, his English is easier to understand than yours” – I chose to be the bigger human being and remain SILENT! Mamma did not raise a fool. Must add….they OFTEN asked questions of the captain…fine….but IF they had been listening…they MIGHT have heard the answer 2 minutes ago! They never stopped chatting amongst themselves. Mostly about Dallas friends and parties and stuff. Why did they take this tour? Oh yeah…to get drunk and PARTAY!

The captain provided excellent historic commentary. We maneuvered through canals both tiny and grand (not to be confused with the Grand Canal in Venice). We went all the way out to the River (Amstel) to the locks which lead out to the ocean. We did NOT go through any of the locks. 90 plus minutes VERY well spent.

The Tourist has a grand history, hosting the likes of Queen Beatrice and Winston Churchill; as well as Barbara C. and her husband Rich, and both Christopher and I. Each of us GRAND in our own way!! The two ladies from Dallas can bask in our shade! HAH!

The boat was converted from a diesel engine to electric about six years ago. The tour happens daily and is just delightful. I highly recommend it for anyone going to Amsterdam.

Dinner is at 7:15. We get back at 6:30. We have time.

Dinner tonight is at Jansz. We’re bringing our last bottle of wine from home, a 2014 Crane Creek Cuvee from Lambert Bridge, Healdsburg. This is going to be a GREAT meal.

The menu at Jansz is wonderful. We want almost everything. We each settle on something which should pair nicely with the wine. Christopher orders a Veal, I had a Lamb. Both were cooked to perfection. The wine. THE. WINE. Yes – it was, indeed, a perfect match. My dish came with a beautiful ratatouille served over a grilled strip of eggplant; I ordered a side of mixed vegetables; Christopher ordered a side of grilled potatoes and we shared. Gastronomic bliss. We each ordered the chocolate lava cake. Mine came with a berry compote of blue and black berries; Christopher’s compote was strawberry. SO. GOOD. We each managed to save a little wine to sip with dessert.

Dinner over, we decided to go for a brief walk. Another glorious evening in Amsterdam.


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