Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Monday, May 14th, 2018              Amsterdam   Day 2            Sunshine    Rijksmuseum

Jim was out the door by 8:30 am for his walk to the Rijksmuseum so that he would be there for the opening at 9:15 am.    He actually arrived early and hardly had a line.  He so enjoyed several hours of his favorite old master paintings; especially one with the same name as his maternal grandmother.  Our son has researched the records and says that “yes” he is a relative!    Johannes Jelgerhuis (1770 – 1836).  He was an actor and also a painter.  

I stayed home most of the day and worked on my issues with Facebook; I had to change my password and fix several other protocol issues.  All is working well now.

Then I washed my hair and did my blog for the first time in nearly a year.  It always takes me a while to get warmed up and remembering all of the various things that I have to do to post on the BlogSpot.  I’ve decided to post two days at a time since I’ve already written in a journal each day and just need to flesh out the stories.  I’m planning to insert a few photos each day; but I no longer understand how to link the blog to my thousands of photos.  Technology has changed on that and I have not figured it out!  
I plowed through the hundreds of emails and cleaned most of them out!    I easily kept busy the whole time Jim was at the museum without any problems. 

Jim arrived home about one o’clock; exhausted from his five hours of walking in the museum plus the trip there and back.  He slept for a few hours and then we walked to the grocery store that we’ve found only a few blocks away for supplies for our meals.  We’re going to try to conserve both money wise and calorie wise while we are here.  We ate far too much rich (but delicious) food on the cruise ship!

I made Jim’s reservation for his visit on Wednesday at the Van Gogh Museum; one has to have a timed visit arranged prior to arriving.  He had his ticket on his cell phone when we completed the purchase.

I spent time today also checking on my twin sister, Mary, and her physical condition.  She’d taken two falls on the cruise ship; the last one was rather serious.  When she arrived at her daughter’s home in Michigan they took her to a medical clinic for x-rays, then she was sent to the hospital for a cat-scan and ultra sound tests.   They were concerned about possible blood clots because of the long airplane trip.   She has 6 or 7 broken ribs and 2 fractures in her pelvic bone, but no blood clots.  The doctor said she is already beginning to heal and just needs bedrest.  Also, she’s to use a walker and not the cane to equalize the weight on her pelvic bone as it heals.  The doctor didn’t see why she would not be ready to travel by the end of the month.

I took another walk and checked on the trams to see if I can figure out which one goes to the train station.  Also did long telephone calls with both Bonnie and Mary.  And, we played a full card game of Hand & Foot….Jim won all four hands!    We enjoyed our dinner with fresh strawberries for dessert.

Today’s steps:  4206   less than two miles

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018            Amsterdam Day 3        sunshine & shorts        riding the Tram

 We were awake by 7 am; it’s a beautiful day full of sunshine and the people are out in their summer clothes enjoying the sun after a very long winter!   We are reading Facebook for morning news!  Our table in the corner looks great this morning.  Everything in here seems to be natural, unfinished, wood and soaks up any liquid rapidly.  Last night I knocked over a small glass of red wine!   I grabbed paper towels and liquid soap and cleaned it as fast as I could….we were in the middle of a card game….and this morning one would never know it happened!  Thank goodness!

Today I plan to walk the neighborhood to find several things:  1)  where do I take the trash and 2) the location of the tram stations and which direction they go.  I could ask Sven but that would be too easy.

The trash was easy.     At the entrance to the park there is a large mechanical trash deposit.  This is for regular trash, open the drawer, put the bag inside and close it.  That drops into a huge container under the sidewalk that is emptied on a regular basis by a huge truck that lifts the whole big container out of the ground and dumps it into a truck for disposal.   The bottles go in a similar machine a block away.  Also nearby is another container that takes only paper and/or cardboard.  At the opposite end of the street there is a honey cone shaped container that has a window in it.  It is for compositing left over food.   The Dutch are very ecological minded.
To learn the trams I walked and found out where the stops are located.  They look like bus stops but are located in the center of the street on a narrow island.  Each tram line goes in one direction and then returns on a second set of tracks.  We now have a map that shows all of the lines in addition to the Metro Lines.  Most go to the Central Station at some point, but not all of them.  Today we did our first tram ride taking #4 at the station located about two blocks away from the apartment.  This one goes all the way to the Central Station and the other end of this tram ends next to the Convention Center.   We only purchased a one hour ticket for 3 Euros each …had to use a credit card, no cash purchases; and rode to the Central Station, then back to the Convention Center and then back to the Central Station.  I’m sure the conductor got a kick out of the old Americans!   But they were good to us and when our ticket indicated it was out of time at our final departure when we arrived back at the Central Station; they didn’t ask for any additional fees.
We walked around the train station and visited the tourist office across the street.  From there we walked a block to St. Nicolas’ Basilica and visited the inside for Jim to see.  We are both going to attend mass here next Sunday.   We then began walking back towards our apartment by way of Damrak Street.  We walked past the Palace and Old Church, the WW II Memorial, and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.  But, did not find Rembrandt’s Square that has the bronze life size statues of the “Night Watch”.  We’d seen it three times on the tram rides this morning.  We must have missed a street.  But decided to stop looking and find it another day.

Stopped at the grocery store that Jim had found yesterday on the way to the Museum.  Dirks has just about everything and the prices are reasonable.  Picked up some food to fix for dinner and some breakfast items.  We were home by 2 pm and had walked four miles. 

This afternoon we enjoyed playing our card game of Hand & Foot and each won two rounds.  Fun and not keeping score…just who has the most books! 

I talked with my twin on WhatsApp today and she sounds good.    Bored with sitting but not hurting so much as when she was moving around!  After dinner I then got busy on the laptop and posted a new blog of the journals from April 16th and 17th.   Our Day in Key West and a Day at Sea.   Posted today’s activities and photos on Facebook and checked emails.  

It was nearly 10 pm when I finished and it was still daylight outside.  The days in the summer are long here in the upper reaches of the globe.  My steps today were 8,137 making for 3.53 miles


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