Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

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notsofasteddie
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Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by notsofasteddie » Sun 21st Oct 2018 04:36 pm

Man plans and God Laughs!

Despite several planned attempts, it's been five (5) years since Eddie and Wifey have been to Mokum. This year's plan didn't go much better than the previous ones as I am going and Wifey isn't (broken foot)!

I'm packed and ready to go as sadness fills the house.
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Ms. Trish can sense that "daddy" is going on a trip and she isn't happy about it!

Wifey takes me to the airport and with a couple of kisses, I am on my way. Letting your husband go to Amsterdam without you, is truly an act of love!
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It's a great day for flying. Hell, with Amsterdam as my destination, how could it be anything but great?

First stop: Atlanta

The plan arrives on time, but time is tight for the next flight. I've got thirty-four (34) gates to traverse so huffing and puffing, I make it to my plane as they start to board.
Image

Next stop: Detroit?

Why are we going there? The flight is mostly North and barely East. The answer is that Delta wants to take advantage of a trans-polar route which will lessen flight time, consume less fuel, and reduce costs. Clever, they are!

We arrive on time and once again time is tight for my next connection. This time I've got thirty-six (36) gates to cross to get to my departure gate. Huffing and puffing once again, I arrive and they have already started to board. No time for a trip to the men's room or to purchase some water. I'm 6'4" so using the john on the plane will not be a fun experience, although necessary.

Finally, I am on my way to Amsterdam! In six (6) hours and thirty (30) minutes, I will be landing at Schiphol. The flight is rough. I don't mind the "up & down" bounces, but I could do without the "side-to-side" movement. With no sleep, we arrive at the Schiphol and a mystery appears. Why am I here over an hour before my ticket's arrival time? With this my plan unravels a bit. It will be well over an hour before the Connexxion ticket office will open. I think about the train to Centraal, but reject it as my hotel is nowhere close to the station. After more than a bit of people watching, the office opens right on time, the Dutch are punctual, and I'm on my way to the hotel.

Arriving at the hotel, I discover (no surprise) that my room isn't ready. The nice lady behind the desks takes my baggage for safe keeping and asks, "Are you familiar with Amsterdam?" I respond, "Yes!" and I am on my way.

The first thing of interest that I see is:
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One of my wife's dear friends is a Class A hairdresser so this picture is a must! Later I find out that, despite the scissors and the word Barbour, it's a clothing store! Oh, well.

Heading toward Spuistraat I see this:
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My interest is tattoos is suddenly larger than before.

Next goal is Coffeeshop New Times which opens a 7:00 a.m.

As advertised, they're open and I have the shop to myself. The budtender, whose name I've forgotten is very friendly and an interesting conversation ensues. We talk about the changes in Amsterdam since my last visit five (5) years and the ongoing consolidation of the Coffeeshop world which has resulted in chains and even international relationships. We talk about the "oddity" of the difference between legal and tolerated and the silliness of the "backdoor" solution. The conversation shifts to the closing of coffeeshops because of their distance to schools and the budtender shares an example of one that remained open despite being only one-hundred (100) meters from a school because the city didn't recognize a connecting bridge. Last, we talk about Clouds in the City. The budtender shakes his head and wonders why, given that extracts and concentrates are illegal, these vendors are bringing so much attention to themselves on Instagram. I start to order a space brownie and he directs to the cakes which he says are stronger. Advice taken and a bottle of still water in hand, I'm on my way.

After directing a couple of tourists to a restaurant that's close and open. I notice that Softland is open. A quick stop for a Chocolate and Amnesia Haze cupcake.

Next stop breakfast at the CoffeeCompany. A double latte and a croissant and jam for me. Tummy filled, I'm a happy man.

More early sights to see and then a visit to the hotel so see in my room is ready.

Let my adventure continue!! :mrgreen:



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Willjay
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by Willjay » Sun 21st Oct 2018 07:56 pm

Wow that is an act of love letting you go alone. Have fun :mrgreen:
www.stopthedrugwar.org
www.mpp.org
www.drugpolicy.org

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Kermit
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by Kermit » Sun 21st Oct 2018 09:16 pm

love the dogs face, know that look, exactly the face my dogs pull :lol:

And the Barbour shop is classic :lol:

Loving it :mrgreen:

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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by macky » Mon 22nd Oct 2018 02:32 am

Nice read so far....hope you find a nice edible along the way :mrgreen:

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RoMoney
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by RoMoney » Mon 22nd Oct 2018 04:45 pm

Have fun Eddie!!

LLMReb
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by LLMReb » Mon 22nd Oct 2018 07:13 pm

My wife let me go on a solo trip once before. It was such a great trip! I'm angling for another this Spring.

Sounds like you are off to a great beginning. Keep the travelogue updates coming.

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HitTheNorth
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by HitTheNorth » Tue 23rd Oct 2018 09:27 pm

Have a great time Eddie. Solo, great stuff. Keep it coming :)

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notsofasteddie
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by notsofasteddie » Fri 26th Oct 2018 05:50 pm

Day 1 -- Continued

It's 11:00 a.m. and I'm still on the streets. I haven't slept in twenty-three (23) hours so I'm starting to drag. My hotel room is supposed to be ready by noon so I've got a hour to kill.

Looking north on Spuistraat, I decide to see if Coffeeshop Mediterrannee is open. It's one of Egor's favorites so I'm going to check it out. On the way, I pass the mystery coffeeshop -
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It's closed as usual, but there is all sorts of activity going on inside. I hear the whining of a power-saw and the thumping of a hammer. Hmmm, I wonder what is going on.

The Mediterranne doesn't open until 1:00 so its off to the hotel. I find out that the room is ready so I dump my stuff and head for a little sightseeing with my final target being the Gall & Gall on Elandsgracht.

My first sight brings memories of home:
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and a nod of affirmation!

Next up:
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It's just after noontime so throwing caution to the winds I stop in for a beer. The bartender, a very pretty lady, pulls a draft (Heineken, of course :roll: ) and asks where I'm from. When I say Florida, she asks me how Florida surf is. I have to say not that great unless there's a hurricane off the coast. I say that if you want good surf you need to be on the Pacific. I then suggest Costa Rica. She says I've been there; I respond me too! Sharing surf stories, I realize that I am badly out-classed. My experiences focus on the Baby's Tub off of Jaco and she counters with Tamarindo and the Witches Rock. Another fantasy discarded.

I make it to Gall & Gall and pick up some Scotch for the evening and head back to the hotel passing by an interesting place I'd never seen before.
Image Hmmmm, wonder what goes on in there.

Time has passed. I've now been up for thirty-two (32) hours so I'm done. I'm proceeding with caution. My plan is eat half then wait forty-five minutes, read the high, and take to the house!

My first edible:

New Times Cake:
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The cake has a little taste of cannabis. It's definitely chocolate, but not richly so. I'm not in love with the cake's texture as it is a bit cloying.

The high: Onset twenty-five (25) minutes. It's definitely UP a good daytime "Things to Do" high! Nicely cerebral opening creative channels, but it does not soar! Three (3) fingers of Scotch, neat, after all this is Amsterdam. There's not an ice cube in sight! Enjoying the ride, I'm a light-middleweight long on experience - fifty-one (51) canna-years, but not a heavy smokers. I rate the experience at 7.5 on a ten (10) point scale.

Last act of the day - I begin processing tomorrow's adventure which will feature Haarlem and its coffeeshops. I drop Birdy and Hunters to the north of Haarlem station to a lower priority, and eliminate Willie Wortel Sativa as too easy. I'm going to target High Times, Empire, The Lounge, Willie Wortel Indica.



It's been five (5) years, but I am "Back in the Saddle again!" :D :mrgreen:

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notsofasteddie
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by notsofasteddie » Wed 31st Oct 2018 11:04 pm

Day 2

Man plans and God Laughs - episode 2

Based on last night's cerebral conversation today's plan is a trip to Haarlem to check out the coffeeshops south of Haarlem station, skipping Willie Wortel Sativa as being too easy. However,

Montezuma took revenge on me early this morning so plans have changed. First stop, the drugstore on Elandsgracht across from Coffeeshop Johnny. As I'm looking around, I become distracted. I see,
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I wonder if any of the ACD members have tried these.

Medicine taken, Plan B is to stick close to home. I'm going to check out Azarius and then visit some coffeeshops to "Feed-the-Fly" with menus.

I had tried to purchase a portable vape off of their website and have it delivered to the shop for pickup. The response, "No Can Do!"
Azarius
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Having been there, I have a greater appreciation for their response. Anyway, I packed a "virgin" vape and brought it with me on the plane!

Interesting neighborhood on Kerkstraat.

We have:
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Between Dutch Maidens and great windows, maybe it's time to surprise wifey with a tattoo. Hmmm, better not as sleeping in the garage is lonely!

Next there's Powders' Laundromat
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I always pack light so one "buy & fly" trip to a laundry is a necessity. I drop and I pick my clothes up the next day.

Better yet, the proprietor is a blues fan. I walk and I'm hearing Jimmy Reed followed by Otis Rush. I know that when I return there'll be Good Blues Tonight or at least tomorrow when I pick up my clothes.

Then right up the street, I see
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The Church

It's a Fetish Lounge. "What's a Fetish Lounge?", I say. We don't have any of those at home, nothing close, maybe topless bar or two (2), but that's it.

I investigate further:
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Oh, they have custom parties, I wonder where they get their customs. I turn around and my question is answered. I see
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Realizing that I am in "way-over-my-head," I decide to start taking photos of coffeeshop menus after lunch. Here I am in Amsterdam and I'm looking for chicken noodle soup :oops:

Day 2 to Continue

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RoMoney
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by RoMoney » Thu 1st Nov 2018 05:51 pm

Loving the updates Eddie!

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notsofasteddie
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by notsofasteddie » Sun 4th Nov 2018 03:43 pm

Day 2 (cont.)

It's time to spend some time "Feeding the Fly" Let's get some menus.

First stop as I'm right there is Coffeeshop Happy Feelings.
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I tried to get a menu shot here five (5) years ago on my last trip, but was turned down. Still that was a long time ago, and so far every coffeeshop I've visited has been photo-friendly!

I enter step up to the counter, prepared to take a picture and make a purchase. Following FBN's directions, I ask if I can take a menu picture. The "not-so-friendly" budtender says "No!" so I turn to leave. He asks, "You're not going to buy anything?" I respond, "No picture; no purchase!" After which, the conversation drifts a bit south of polite! Something about customer rights vs. budtender rights! I leave and rename the coffeeshop, un-Happy Feelings! :roll:

I pass by The Dolphins, but surprisingly they are closed. I head north on Leidsestraat and make right on Reguliersdwarsstraat. I'm heading for Free I.
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The two (2) budtenders are friendly reminding me of the last time I was there. We talk about "this-n-that" and the fact that the weather couldn't be better. I purchase a pure haze joint as a gift for Egor and Faynita who will be joining me shortly. As the budtender turns to give it to me, his partner hits his elbow and the joint, plastic container and all, goes flying. I was a soccer goalie about sixty (60) years ago so I should be able to snatch the missile right out of the air. However, true to my name "NotsoFast" Eddie, the only thing that moves is my eyes. It sails over my head, on to the floor, opens and the joint hits the ground. We all have a good laugh and the budtender replaces the joint. I take my picture, and I'm on my way!

Next stop the Otherside
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I still laugh when I think of my visit back in 2012. As I was walking in, a RuPaul "wanna-be" was running out in an evening gown with tears streaming from his/her face. No excitement this time, just a short conversation with the budtender, a menu shot, and a purchase.

Onward and Upward, next it's Bette Boop across the street.
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Another friendly budtender, another interesting conversation during which he confirms that the coffeeshop has returned to the original owner. They're out of Chocolat and Double Chocolat so I settle for a Green Vanilla.

Feeing better, I decide to head for Paradox. It's a must stop even if their cakes aren't as strong as back in the day when they packed
1.26grams. I've hit Paradox every trip starting in 2011. Relying on memory, I'm off. I head towards Dam Square and take a left.

Oh Oh, my memory says that it should be right here. Something is wrong as this is what I see:
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Up and down the street I go, but no Paradox. I'm really wishing that I had brought Lemming's Amsterdam Coffeeshop map as my memory has obviously failed me. So tail tucked, I head back toward the hotel with dinner on my mind. Along the way, I help a tourist with directions to Elandsgracht.

I stop for an early dinner at Broodge Bert
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I really want one of Bert's BLTs, but I settle for an Omelet. "Bert" is there and I ask him where his motor scooter is. His response, "Too many cars around here!"

Back at the hotel, It's time for The Softland Spacecake
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The cake has no taste of cannabis. It's definitely chocolate and richly so. The cake's texture is more to my liking than the one from New Times.

The high: Onset around twenty-five (25) minutes. Like the cake from New Times, it's definitely an UP, a good daytime "Things to Do" high! Nicely cerebral opening creative channels, but again it does not soar! Enjoying the ride, I'm a light-middleweight long on experience - fifty-one (51) canna-years, but not a heavy smoker. I rate the experience at 8.0 on a ten (10) point scale.

Tomorrow's plan -- Paradox or bust!

Day 3 to follow:

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Kermit
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by Kermit » Mon 5th Nov 2018 09:51 am

Well you answered my Betty boop question from April and have to say the "no menu pic no purchase" is pure brilliance, will be using that everywhere I go next trip. :lol:

Good stuff, 8)

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WLow
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by WLow » Mon 5th Nov 2018 09:41 pm

This is a great report,
love the pictures and the writing thank you.

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RoMoney
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by RoMoney » Mon 5th Nov 2018 09:49 pm

Kermit wrote:
Mon 5th Nov 2018 09:51 am
Well you answered my Betty boop question from April and have to say the "no menu pic no purchase" is pure brilliance, will be using that everywhere I go next trip. :lol:

Good stuff, 8)

I enjoyed that line too. I think less and less places care about the pics, though I know my old favourite the Bluebird are still holding out, though they've the warning printed on the menu so you can never say you didn't know :lol:

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notsofasteddie
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Re: Eddie's Return to Mokum w/o Wifey

Post by notsofasteddie » Mon 12th Nov 2018 04:04 pm

Day 3:

It's another beautiful day in Amsterdam - blue skies and the temperature's about 19C as I head for the street. I'm going to the Keizersgracht Greenwoods for breakfast. I've been debating back-and-forth about whether to have the Full English Breakfast or the Eggs Royale.

As I head for the restaurant I see
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They're beyond cute and remind me of Ms. Trish and home.

I'm at the restaurant and in I go for my first surprise of the day. The kitchen is on the ground floor and the service area is in the basement. One (1) of the cooks laughs and says, "First time here, eh!" I smile and respond, "Yes, how did you know?" Down I go and the waitress shows me a seat and provides a menu. Looking around, I see
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I order the Eggs Royale (poached eggs, salmon, hollandaise & chives on a muffin) and a latte. After I sit down the restaurant fills quickly. After a bit of a wait, my meal arrives and much to my unhappiness it's cold. I call the waitress over, explain the situation, she whisks my meal away, and returns with the warm version. I thank her, but somehow the magic of the moment is gone. I finish my meal, turn to leave, and face this challenge.
Image

Next stop - Paradox

I head toward Dam Square and decide to take a brief trip down memory lane. First, I check out the Die Port van Cleve. It's where Egor and I shared a room on our first visit to Amsterdam some twenty (20) years ago. It's most memorable feature the bar.
Image It doesn't open until 4:00 p.m. so I don't get to see the Delft tiles. Perhaps, it's for the best as Egor and Faynita arrive tomorrow and it's a memory we all can share.

I pass by the former Coffeeshop Utopia.
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It's surprisingly busy. I don't catch the Ingi/Nel vibe so I keep on walking. Looking across the street, I see the former location of Homegrown Fantasy, my favorite coffeeshop from "back-in-the day" and the location of my first experience with the Volcano. It's now a hamburger joint. A little further North on the same side of the street, I see what used to be the Grasshopper 2, my first coffeeshop! It's now a pizza parlor.

So having thrown some ice water on my nostalgia trip, it's time to get back to the mission - Paradox or Bust!

Heading west, I check out the Anne Frank house. As always, there's a line
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The small caravan of bikes reminds me of the conversation I had with the budtender at New Times on the first morning. He was complaining about tourists who clog up the streets and can't handle a bike. I think of the woman I saw yesterday. She and her bike were wobbling down the street. The look on her face was one of total terror. I wish I had taken a picture and I hoped she had medical insurance. She was an accident waiting to happen and I didn't think she had long to wait.

Having checked Lemming's map last night, Paradox is quite easy to find.
Image

Much to my embarrassment, when standing in front of Subculture Tattoo, I see that I was within thirty (30) meters of the coffeeshop yesterday, but facing in the wrong direction.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Parad ... d4.8812221

My false memory of it being on an east/west street had misled me. All I had to have done was turn north and there it would have been. So a day later, in I go. The budtender is friendly. I get a bottle of water, take a seat, and enjoy the scene. Across from me are five (5) "little old ladies" in their fifty's and sixty's enjoying a smoke and each other's company. Cake in hand, I head out - mission accomplished.

Next I head for Traiterie Chef on Ramsteeg around the corner from Broodje Bert. It's been five (5) years since I last visited, but I still remember some of their dessert offerings.
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My favorite, the apple pie. It's different from it's U.S. cousin much less cinnamon, but still quite good. I walk in the door and the man behind the counter remembers me as the guy who was regularly getting takeout soup for his wife at night. That's me! It's nice to be remembered, I guess.

Finishing my pie with crème, I'm heading for Dutch Flowers, a.k.a. 420 Café. It used to have a bad reputation, but I never could figure out why. I never had a problem.
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The budtender is Jane. She's Norwegian, quite friendly, and becomes a favorite. She's also quite adept at serving coffee as I see her handle the three (3) cup delivery without missing a beat. Customers taken care of, we strike up a conversation. Come to find out, she's got a Masters degree and used to teach. "Me too!" I say. I ask her why she's in Amsterdam and she tells me that Norway is too homogeneous and she's here for diversity and adventure. Hmmm, interesting, diversity and adventure, I think. Evil thoughts begin to swirl in my reptilian brain! However, those thoughts are replaced by this thought- It's better to remain a mystery than become a disappointment.

I conversation moves on to the growing acceptance of cannabis in the United States and other countries around the world. She indicates that even in Norway cannabis is gaining acceptance. We then start to talk about the changes in the coffeeshop scene in Amsterdam. I ask her about Boerejongens. I say that I pronounce it "Beaujangles." She laughs, rattles off some Dutch, and says that she likes my pronunciation better.

It's starting to get dark so I head back toward the hotel, but stop at the Thai Fusion for a early dinner.
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I sit outside and do some serious people watching while I eat my vegetarian Pad thai and drink a draft beer, Heineken, what else! The meal is very good and really hits the spot.

Back in the room, it's time for the Bette Boop green vanilla cake.
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The high: What high? It's been forty-five (45) minutes and nothing! This may explain why the chocolate cakes were sold out and these were not. The Bette Boop cake is a major disappointment. I supplement it with a piece of one of the other cakes and things get better. Time for a short walk along the Prinsengracht, some MP3 music


and to bed!

Tomorrow - Egor and Faynita arrive and we cross the IJ
Last edited by notsofasteddie on Tue 27th Nov 2018 01:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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