February 22, 2012

Day 5, Jan. 31st Off to Amsterdam!

Wow, oh wow, what a great adventure! I'm getting excited just looking back at all these photo's of our day trip into Amsterdam. I don't want to leave anything out so BEWARE lot's of pics ahead. Arriving at the train station in Leiden early morning light.
Look's like we are going to have some fun today.
Whoa, it's been a long time since I straddled a bike. How about a lift Stuart? And as he would say, "She has her best side forward"!
Got bike stand?
Notice the double decker bike parking in the foreground. There are more bikes in this terrace than in the state of Utah! I think there are trillions of them, don't you? Really!
We stopped at a traditional dutch cafe' and started our mid morning off with dutch apple pie and hot cocoa with slagroom! The sign above our heads translates to:
"A day without laughing, is a day not living".
So true, isn't it. And we sure did a lot of it when these gals were around.
See I told you they sure know how to smother things with cream!
Both Stuart and I are craving a piece of this again. I'll provide the slagroom if they would just ship me a piece of pie. Make that two!
All the houses lined up in a row have a huge hook hanging from the top. See it here in the photo? That is for moving things in and out of the houses because the stairways are so narrow and steep.
Also the houses here are dated with the year they were built. This one says 1688, but we did notice new ones dating in the 1900's.
Arriving at the quilt shop de Haan and Wagenmakers. The first one on the trip.
Even Stuart looks happy about going inside. Let's go.
This shop was beautiful and amazing. They specialize in antique reproduction dutch fabrics.
Here we all are trying to pick out some for me to bring home. Oh, how will I decide. The fabric in the shop is quite expensive but I did manage to squeeze two yards and a fat quarter bundle plus a book out of Stuart's wallet. I snuck that past him without him blinking! He loves me.
I don't know who like the quilts better, Stuart or I. He was doing the photography work. And he got some beautiful shots of their work.

The above quilt is a sampler done with traditional dutch fabrics depicting scenes in Amsterdam. The flying geese quilt below is all hand pieced together. I estimated that each block finishes at 1 3/4". Truly a work of art.
Both Josiphine and Elsbeth were very helpful while making my decisions. Some of you will recognize the name Petra Prins, she is the owner of this shop.
And right next door, low and behold another quilt shop. That's something you won't see in the states. That's what we call competition. This little shop is called Birdblocks and carries everything we see here in our shops. Very fun and brightly colored. Stuart was enthralled with all of her antique sewing machines and notions.
And I myself liked her bike. It was the cutest shiny red with a bit of Kaffe fabrics adorning it along with advertising printed on the frame.
The girl's called this "The Step" or wool shop. Lot's and lot's of needle work yarn. Can't wait to show you what I picked up here. I'm not the one knitting it though. Thanks Diana for doing that by the way!
These funny girl's are trying to figure out if there is anything on the menu that these crazy Americans will eat.
I think they succeeded. We will be eating Bitterballens at the Spanjer & Van Twist. Another awesome meal. Especially when it's deep fried! The balls are a meat gravy concoction with a coating of bread crumbs. Smash and spread on the baguette. It may not look like much but they were delish and filling.
Next on the schedule. The Anne Frank house. This is something that will stay etched in my mind for a very long time. You aren't allowed to take pictures inside, just seeing the images there instills just how great of a tragedy they went through.
Back home we have Molly Mormon vans, here they have bikes! Two kids in the front of the handle bars, one behind the bars, and one on the back. Plus two bags of groceries! As the window reads, if this bike dosen't get you, PMS will.
This is the monument built at the end of World War II after the liberation and is noted one of the most important in Amsterdam.
We took a boat ride through the canals.
Look no coats! Ahh, and no wind.
A highlight of our tour, really a Museum of Bags & Purses. Wow, wonder who's bags are in there? A ladies day destination, some day!
In honor of the Queen on her birthday, which was this day. They fly the flag with a orange sash. In the Netherlands it is known as the House of Orange.
To end this special day we made the go 'rounds of hot chocolate with a mound of slagroom and a cookie. Now back to the train station and home to Katwijk.
Yvonne had already prepared tonights supper of a traditional dutch meal of sauerkraut, mashed potatoes and German sausage with mustard.
I thought Stuart had died and gone to heaven. Yvonne spoiled him rotten with this one. He was still licking his lips after we got home, he's drooling now again as I tell about it. He commented this was his favorite meal the whole trip.
And for dessert, like we need it! Something we call pudding here in America. There it is called Vanille vla. Can you send me this too!
My feet are killing me, time for sleep!
And besides that, I'm tired here in America. Way past my bedtime, it's 10:15 p.m.!


Lida said...

Love the pics, what fun you had and what did you do much in one day! Lots to remember! Hugs

Wieke van Keulen said...

Hi Shannon, Thanks for your words on my blog. Nice to hear from you, because now I have your blog-adress. It was fun, the bloggersday with you. I liked your husbands hat. And you are a lovely, inpiring, funny women, and I'm glad we met. When you're coming to Holland again, tell me by mail (, because the shop in Haarlem likes to "book" you for lessons. Hope to see more of your work and adventures. Groeten, Wieke

Rennie said...

Reading your blog I experience that day again and I'll never forget it.

Yvonne said...

Wow what a lot of reading this morning. I love the way you wrote about our home town. And what a great quilt you are making! Not a very fast one this time I think but I love the blocks and fabric! And Amsterdam was truly a highlight wasn't it? I really miss you both, I think we have to become more modern and get skype as you suggested.

Judith said...

How much fun it is to read your experiences and to see Holland through your american eyes is ever so funny! Our bitterballen, how we smother everything with whipped Cream, our xxl potato chips bag who seem little to you, all our bikes in all kind of shapes ( where would we be without them?) and forms, anyhow; we all love to read about it! So continue! Say hi to stuart.

Judith said...

Yvonne and shannon, yes do Skype, you can talk and see eachother for free. Turn on the computer and you can visit on à bee! Just turn eachother 'on', hmm sure sounds funny! i skype with my friends in THE states too.

carina said...

Lovely to read again shannon mi husband also read your blog! He is curious about what you both saw here. Yes a gut idea skype only the time can be a littel bit a problem.
Im going to make some pannekoeken for us! Big kiss carina

Else said...

An other great day! hugs Else