A Travellerspoint blog

By this Author: greatgrandmaR

The Last Grandchild

Getting Ready May 18 to May 28


View 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

Even before we got back from the Funeral | I was planning this trip

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18 May 2018

I am leaving for my last grandchild trip on Saturday the 26th. She's the youngest of my 11 grandchildren. I've taken six of the others on trips. (The other five were unavailable mostly because they were older- when I started this, the oldest ones were 27 and 25)

Schedule is as follows:
I leave here on SouthWest airlines (I hear they have their planes all inspected now) to fly BWI to Houston May 26th - stop over in Atlanta but do not change planes. Arrive Houston (Hobby) 1710

May 29 KLM-Delta Flight to Amsterdam leaving Houston-Bush 1505. Arriving Amsterdam 7:20 May 30

Hotel in Amsterdam: Ibis Amsterdam Centre
Address: Stationsplein 49, 1012 AB
Telephone number: +31 20 721 9172

We have breakfast at the hotel included. I have a scooter to be delivered to the hotel. The lady who has arranged the Amsterdam part of the trip is Desiree van Es with Sage Traveling Tel: 1-888-645-7920 Ext 1 and she actually lives in Houston. She has arranged for us be picked up at the airport, to have a canal boat tour, a walking tour of Amsterdam (well my granddaughter will walk) and we will drive out to Volendam and some outlying villages on the last day (June 1st). Then we will go back to the airport

June 2nd, We leave Amsterdam for a flight to Kilimanjaro airport Dep: 10:25 am Arr: 1950

Visa

Visa

I have gotten Visas from Tanzania for both of us using a company called CIBT. This was a somewhat expensive process, but when I read the original directions from the tour company they said the visa could be obtained at the airport when we got there and then last night when I went over them again they said that we might be refused entry. So I thought I should go ahead and get the visas. Since I was in a hurry (as I was leaving the following Saturday) I paid to have someone hand carry them to the embassy. I had to FedEx the passports to them with the application and we had to supply photos.

We have a car and driver for the African part of the visit.
Sat 02-Jun-18 Arusha : Rivertrees
Sun 03-Jun-18 Tarangire : Mawe Ninga Camp
Mon 04-Jun-18 Ngorongoro Karatu : Bashay Rift Lodge
Tue 05-Jun-18 Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp
Wed 06-Jun-18 Central Serengeti : Ronjo Camp
Thu 07-Jun-18 Serengeti Grumeti : Grumeti Hills
Fri 08-Jun-18 Serengeti Grumeti : Grumeti Hills
Sat 09-Jun-18 Southcentral Serengeti : Olduvai Camp
Sun 10-Jun-18 Arusha : Rivertrees

Monday 11 June- we have a day room at Rivertrees because we leave to fly back to Amsterdam 20:55 and arrive Amsterdam 7:25am Tue 12 June after a stop-over (no change of plane) in DAR ES SALAAM (which is a port in Tanzania).

Leave Amsterdam 9:50am arrive HOUSTON-BUSH 1305

I'm starting to pack. I need to get insect repellent I think I have most everything else. I have cameras for both of us and also a passport holder for her

24 May 2018

In the last 6 days things have progressed. Sometimes in a straight line and sometimes in a confusing tangle.

Bob found some OFF in the medicine cabinet but it was a big heavy aerosol can and I didn't want to take that. My daughter has enough for both of us to use I think. He also wanted me to take an alarm clock and I said I would use my phone for that.

Lynde had packed me on Thursday except for my hat, my medicines, and the different plugs for the different kinds of electrical outlets, so I revised my packing list organized by where things were packed rather than by category. I was able to get the suitcase closed when things compressed a little and I also zipped the gusset shut.

Bob was looking for the little binoculars and I told him that he would find them if he cleaned off his dresser so he did that and found a better pair of binoculars that neither of us remember having. I found the little ones that he was actually looking for in my computer bag. I am only taking the better ones. I figure one of us will be taking photos so we only need one pair of binoculars

He asked me if I wanted his passport holder for our granddaughter and it was the one I had been looking for and could not find. I put her passport that was FedEx'ed to me from CIBT with the visa into it and put it into my money belt which I wear under my clothes

Bob complained that he did not have the information on the flights on Southwest to and from BWI so he did not know when I had to be there, so I sent him an email with that information and we discussed it. He thought I could print a boarding pass already, but I can't do that more than 24 hours in advance - SW was wanting me to pay for pre-boarding. Since my plane departs BWI at 1:25, and he wants to be there by 11:30, he wants to leave here at 9. He said he will also be at the baggage claim with my scooter by 2:55 when I get back.

I decided to take a couple of things out of the packed bag and put different things in there. Lynde took out a shirt and my coat, and put in a camera, my hat and some of the medicine in. I put the little bag with the different plugs in it into the computer carry-on bag along with the power strip

Bob weighed the bag on the bathroom scale and said it was 55 lbs. Lynde looked over his shoulder when he did it and said it was only 52 lbs. He complained that it was packed so tightly that the pull out handle did not work. He's been pulling it out and pushing it back to make it work better. (This is a suitcase that was new when I gave it to the baggage people in Ft Lauderdale for a cruise and came to the cabin with one of the two rods completely disconnected and the other one twisted so badly that it could not go back into it. It is the one I shipped to Hawaii for the cruise last year. The safari tour company says that Africa is hard on luggage so I'm not taking a newer bag)

I got my hair cut Tuesday.
my photo for the Tanzania visa

my photo for the Tanzania visa


Passport photo - much more flattering

Passport photo - much more flattering


I got a voucher for the driving trip from Accessible Travel. So I printed it out. I also got a survey to fill out from them, which I did.

I then asked about whether I needed one for a walking tour as I had one for the canal tour. They did not know anything about a walking tour. I asked Desiree of Sage Traveling whether I needed a voucher for the walking tour and she said I didn't need one for either the walking tour or the driving tour. And I said I had one for the driving tour. She asked where that one was from and it was from Accessible Travel - Oops - I assumed that since they knew about the driving tour it was the same agency and it wasn't. She wanted to know how Accessible Travel got my email and I finally found the relevant emails and I had given it to them when I rented the scooter.

So I got an email from Desiree this morning and she was quite annoyed. Accessible Travel was the agency subcontracted by Sage Traveling for the driving tour. Accessible Travel should not have contacted you about the driving tour and I have already been in contact about that with them as no vendor ever can / should contact our clients directly as then confusion and mistakes can happen and we do not want that to happen.

So that's sorted. I called the credit cards to tell them I was traveling and the debit card place said they didn't need to be notified, but there would be a 2% foreign currency charge (that's new). The guy at the credit union had a hard time with Tanzania - he couldn't find it listed under the country list. He tried under Republic of Tanzania but it wasn't there either. It is the United Republic of Tanzania, so it was listed under U and not R or T

Bob went out and started working on the garage again yesterday. He should have the end painted today.
garage painted

garage painted


He had a dental appointment and he was disgusted to find that he had a cavity. He said 9:00 was too early for a dental appointment.

That's progress to date

26 May 2018

Yesterday, I sat on the internet to get the boarding pass at the first possible moment and got B19. And I was trying to figure out how to tell SW that I would need a wheelchair. So I called them, and the hold time was 15 minutes. I stayed on the line and while I was waiting I read about all the things I could not take. My medicines were not in the original pill bottles, but organized by day and I was afraid that would be a problem so I put all of them in the checked bag which I never do, and I also put my other Canon camera and the 100-300 mm lens (which is probably why it is heavy).

I realized that SW would not feed me so I made two sharp-cheese bagel sandwiches and put them in my pocketbook along with the water bottle.

Bob said we probably would not actually need to leave until 9:30 (v.s. 9:00) and that would give him time to feed the cats and have breakfast. So I got up fairly early and finished up on the computer, got dressed and came downstairs at 9. That gave me time to read the Sunday comics before I left. I had decided to put the water in my water bottle into the bottle in the car that was almost empty and that way I wouldn't have a problem at security.

So I did that but it was a little hard to do while Bob was driving as it was bumpy and the first time he put on the brake both bottle tops slid off the arm rest to the floor. I was able to pick one up with my toes, but I had to undo the seat belt to reach my feet and when I did the lens cap of the camera came off and went flying into the back seat.

We had a fairly peaceful drive up to BWI- except that on 381 we began to over take a lot of bicyclists. All the way up Aquasco Road (which was not so bad because there were shoulders), but then on Croom Road (which does not) there were more of them, (and signs saying the cycles could have the 'full lane') and eventually we saw them coming back the other way.
arriving at BWI

arriving at BWI


We got to BWI about 11:15, and at first we pulled into the curb for SW but there was no curb check there. So we went a little farther up and there were two guys with wheelchairs there on the median. I flagged one of them down, and got into his wheelchair (after I retrieved the lens cap I had flipped into the back seat), with my pocketbook and carry-on, and he took me and my checked bag into the airport. Bob was pleased that it was so easy.

I told him that the bag might be 5 or so lbs overweight, so he first tried to get me to take stuff out of the bag and then got a baggage tag at a kiosk and took it over and put it on the conveyor. I don't think it was weighed. And then he took me through security. In addition to having to take out the computer, he also wanted all the food separate. Then he found what the gate was and took me there and parked me right in front of the desk. I gave him $5.00.

I sat and read my Kindle until near time to board the plane, and then my cane, my pocket book and my computer bag got on. I picked a window seat, and the flight attendant put the cane and the computer bag in the overhead. A lady named Debbie from Harford County who was going to meet her husband someplace near Lake Charles Louisiana sat in the aisle seat. Then one of the flight attendants came and put a reserved sign on the middle seat. She said no one was to sit there. She gave me a note that said they wanted my flight to be comfortable.
Taking off from BWI - Arundel Mills Casino

Taking off from BWI - Arundel Mills Casino

When we got to Atlanta, the flight crew changed to a different flight crew. All of us that were going to Houston used the lav, and when I came out they were asking who had a metal seat in the overhead. When I looked up, it was my cane. I did not recognize the description of a metal seat.
taking off from Atlanta

taking off from Atlanta


I changed the camera time and my watch time, but I was unsure of the watch time, so I looked at my cell phone and made it an hour earlier than that. (So it was 3:30 instead of 4:30 like it had been before). I checked the camera and it said 6:30. I guess I went the wrong way. Fixed that.
coming in to Houston

coming in to Houston


I read some more of the Kindle. When we got to Houston, they got the wheelchair people off the plane and put us in the middle of the concourse to wait for people to push us to our destinations. I waited some time and then a lady took me down the elevator to the baggage claim - my daughter and two granddaughters were there. I forgot to tip the wheelchair lady.

Eventually my bag came along and my daughter went back up the elevator and (after some confusion about what level was 'arrivals') my son-in-law brought the car around.

I gave my granddaughter her passport and carry case in the airport, and I called Bob on the way to my daughter's house. He said he got 56.7 mpg for the trip. He mowed the lawn and then fell asleep and was awakened by the cats who wanted their din-din.

My granddaughter practiced with the various cameras, and we had dinner. I'm in her brother's room as he is doing a summer internship

practicing with the cameras

practicing with the cameras

May 27 Memorial Day Sunday

Had a nice Memorial Day. Clear and sunny. Son-inlaw's parents came over and he BBQ'ed and we had hamburgers and deviled eggs and broccoli salad. Phyllis brought some delicious cupcakes - a lot of frosting like Berger cookies. My granddaughter took some photos with the cameras (I didn't take any) and we looked at the U-tube video of the Netherlands in 1950 of my dad's movies. I reorganized my packing somewhat.
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May 28 - One Foot Up

My daughter says we need to leave about 11 tomorrow to get to the airport timely since Bush (airport) is very crowded and the TSA is always backed up. She also says they will not allow you to have anything in your pockets and she does not think they will allow the money belts under your clothes. She got some more OFF wipes and some snacks.

I went on line to check to see if I had a wheelchair for the airport, and had to call and talk to a customer service guy. He said that I had the wheelchair for all the flights, but that our granddaughter's peanut allergy was only on the return flight from Amsterdam to Houston. So he had to go over to the KLM partner area to get it put on the other flights, since KLM is actually doing the flying. He did give me the KLM flight identifier for this flight.

When I went to check in I was on the KLM site, and fortunately I wrote down the KLM reservation number so I could check in. We copied our passports - the passport copy I had was for the passport that expired in 2012. So I did need a new one.

My son-in-law and the two girls are going to see the new Star Wars movie.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 14:16 Archived in USA Comments (1)

Flying In and Frustrating First Day

Arriving Amsterdam


View 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

View from the hotel room window

View from the hotel room window

We had the choice of connecting to the flight for Tanzania by going through London or Amsterdam. I decided to go through Amsterdam and to spend a couple of days there to get over jet lag. On the 30th after the flight I posted...

We are HERE in spite of everything

First the plane had no idea of my granddaughter's peanut allergy. They handed me a little container of nuts and I told them about it and that was the first they had heard.

Second - the canal cruise man said to tell on the day that we wanted the cruise and not the day before like Desiree said. To call the day before, we would have had to call from Houston.

Third good old Desiree gave us a photo of the place we were to meet the driver and it was totally the wrong place.
Meeting Place a la Desiree

Meeting Place a la Desiree

Fourth - the driver could not figure out how to get to the hotel. We finally got here after a series of illegal U-turns

Fifth-the hotel reservation was under Ann (my middle name). So when the scooter was delivered, they didn't have a reservation for Beasley and they sent it back

Sixth we could not get into our rooms until 2:00 - so we've been hanging around here since 10:30. [The hotel later said that at the time I made the reservation I could have asked for the room to be ready early and they would do that.]

They did deliver the scooter today and the hotel lent me a wheelchair until then. The scooter is HUGE and the hall is too narrow for me to get into the room easily. It is also very rabbity. The hotel people are pretty nice.

May 29 - Boarding

Bush airport (IAH) is totally disorganized for someone wanting a wheelchair. It took us half an hour to get one - well my daughter did it - I don't know how she persuaded the lady to take me as apparently she was after passenger #11 and I was passenger #19. I think the reason for the problem is that at Bush (and Heathrow), the airlines manage the wheelchair people and at Hobby (and BWI), it is the airPORT.
Waving goodbye

Waving goodbye


I took a photo of my daughter and granddaughter waving goodbye from the other side of the glass, and then the wheelchair lady took us up to the Lounge. We went all the way to the other end of the lounge because she wanted me to be near the food. Would have done better to be near the entrance as that is where the bathroom was. My granddaughter got me a sandwich, and I ate a banana that was in a bowl there and wrote the other email. Then I hobbled the length of the Lounge (which was Air France and KLM) and used the bathroom and asked for a wheelchair.
Sign in the lounge in George Bush Intercontinental Airport

Sign in the lounge in George Bush Intercontinental Airport


The lady called for one. But AGAIN it took half an hour for one to arrive. First we had to go down an elevator. There were four wheelchairs and they weren't letting us use the elevator. Then we went two at a time - we were in the second group. We got to the plane when they were halfway through boarding. So much for being FT (Fast Transit).

My granddaughter got on first as the wheelchair was stopped at the end of the ramp and I had to wait to go down.

The seats were nicer than the ones on BA except that you really could not see out of the windows even with a window seat. There was a space for a small backpack or pocket book under the footrest. The windows had internal shades so that you raised and lowered them by pushing a button, and there was a little cubby with a mirror which was big enough for my camera, so I put my camera vest, cane and computer bag in the overhead and they took my coat for the coat closet. There was a plug for a computer and also a USB port.
Cranberry juice, plugging in phone and button to auto darken windows

Cranberry juice, plugging in phone and button to auto darken windows


The only problem I had was seeing out the window. When we sat down they were dark and could not be changed. I couldn't change them until after we had taxied a ways.
Raising the shades on the porthole

Raising the shades on the porthole

George Bush Intercontinental Airport

George Bush Intercontinental Airport


The other thing was when I reclined, I could not wear the seat belt.
Parking lots taking off from Bush

Parking lots taking off from Bush


We had hot towels and drinks while the plane was loading - water for us - In glasses
First the plane had no idea of my granddaughter's peanut allergy. They handed me a little container of nuts and I told them about it and that was the first they had heard.

They checked and there was nothing on the manifest. My granddaughter did not get the nuts as they gave them to me first.
Granddaughter in her seat across the aisle

Granddaughter in her seat across the aisle

Screen on the plane showing time remaining after the first half hour

Screen on the plane showing time remaining after the first half hour


They were very salty. They served us dinner pretty much right away.
Dinner menu

Dinner menu


I had the lobster on hearts of palm salad with mango miso dressing. I liked the lobster part (3-4 lobster rounds). The rest not so much. My granddaughter didn't get any salad.
lobster on hearts of palm

lobster on hearts of palm


For dinner we both got the chicken - Parmesan stuffed chicken with toasted faro grains, sauteed garlic spinach and sun dried tomato. I ate most of the chicken.
Chicken dinner

Chicken dinner


For dessert they had lemon meringue tart which the flight attendant kept calling Marin-gay. I didn't know what she meant at first.

My granddaughter occupied herself - we couldn't really talk very well across the aisle. The plane was noisy and it was a bumpy flight. I settled down to go to sleep and at one point I thought I was sleeping on a train because it was that kind of bumpy. I slept some. My granddaughter said she just 'rested'. I was afraid that the bumpy flight would scare her, but she didn't seem to be fazed.

May 30 - Frustrating First Day

I tried to take photos of the sunrise - I could only see it out of the window past where my feet were and sort of sideways.
Sunrise from the plane

Sunrise from the plane

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu


They gave us breakfast - I had the cinnamon bread pudding
Breakfast on the plane

Breakfast on the plane


and my granddaughter had the Egg Strada with mushroom, turkey bacon and Swiss cheese. Just before we landed they brought around the ceramic houses for us to each pick one and my granddaughter also got one that someone else had left behind. I thought it was foggy when we came in, but it was just mist on the windows which the internal blinds did not wipe away.
landing - mist on the window

landing - mist on the window

Schiphol airport

Schiphol airport


They came and got me in a wheelchair and we went up into the terminal where they put us on a cart. But the cart lady said children could not ride on the cart!!!. But she let my granddaughter ride on it anyway. First we took another lady to her next flight to Glasgow

Then we went through immigration and our passports got stamped. We got our bags - they came through almost first. The wheelchair lady got a luggage cart - one of those where you have to push down on the handle to make it move. The my grandsons could do this easily as they were tall and just had to lean on the handle a little. My granddaughter had to use some muscle.

Good old Desiree gave us a photo of the place we were to meet the driver and it was totally the wrong place. The wheelchair lady called and found the right place
The instructions said to go to #2 Arrivals. There was a photo with an arrow. So we went there. But there was, of course, no one there as you can't WAIT there. So the wheelchair lady talked a long time in Dutch on one of our phones, and we had to go all the way back through the airport and down the elevator to the Departures area where we found our driver at the Red Cube meeting area where Bob and I met the guy in April 2016 for the Tulip Cruise.

The driver could not figure out how to get to the hotel. We finally got here after a series of illegal U-turns
ibis hotel from across the canal

ibis hotel from across the canal

tower next to hotel

tower next to hotel


We would see the hotel in the distance but could not get there in a car. We finally got there and unloaded about 10:30. But when I gave them my name, they did not have a reservation for me because...

The hotel reservation was under Ann (my middle name). So when the scooter was delivered, they didn't have a reservation for Beasley and they sent it back

They gave us a wheelchair and we went up to the breakfast room where I had two rolls and some juice. My granddaughter said she was not hungry and I wasn't really either. Then I used the bathroom. The bathroom is in Room 101 opposite the restaurant. They took our luggage and called to ask for the scooter to be re-delivered. My granddaughter wouldn't sit down - she persisted in dancing around in front of the automatic doors which made them open and close.

we could not get into our rooms until 2:00. I was feeling a bit nauseated by then.

After I got the scooter but before we could go to our room, I called the canal boat people and made a reservation for the 4:00 boat. We also went next door to the Central Station and I changed $40 to euros so we would have some if needed.

Next problem the scooter is a big ass scooter and it barely fits in the elevator.
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For the doors to close I have to bump the rear wall. And when we get to our room, there is a door to the hall before we get to the door for the room and the doors are offset. The hall is too narrow to turn the scooter in. It takes inching back and forth until we get the scooter into the room. With the bell man's help I got it turned around and parked by the desk pointing out And we plugged it in. But I can't tell when it is charged. There are no directions with it.
Granddaughter on her bed

Granddaughter on her bed


So pretty much as soon as my granddaughter sent a text, she lay down and went right to sleep. I waked her up about 3:10 because the directions said it was a 34 minute walk to the canal cruise terminal.
Canal Cruise

Canal Cruise


It was a little more than that at people walking speed. Plus I had to keep asking directions. We got down to within about 3 blocks of the place on Prinzengracht. It was supposed to be opposite the Hard Rock. And we could NOT find it or even the street it was on. The map did not have enough detail at the end. We spent a good hour and 40 minutes looking for it. At one point I got ahead of my granddaughter and she lost me, so she called me on my phone and I backtracked to where she was.

I saw a Burger King and thought we might eat there (My granddaughter said she was hungry now), but there were 10 or 11 steps up,
Burger King from Pancake House

Burger King from Pancake House


so we stopped at the Pancake House across the way.
Pancake house menu

Pancake house menu


She had an English breakfast (two fried eggs, sausage, bacon,toast and beans). She ate the sausage and the yolk of the eggs.
English breakfast

English breakfast


I had a pizza of which I ate one slice.
My pizza

My pizza


I put the other 3 slices in a takeout box along with her toast and the bacon. I figured when we woke up at 4 am and were hungry, we would have something to eat.

Now to get back to the hotel. I asked a policeman in a van how to get to Central Station which is right next to the hotel and he said "Follow the trolley tracks" Duh Of course. So we did that. Well it wasn't that easy. I didn't want to be on the bike path because my granddaughter was walking, but there were not always cut-outs on the sidewalks. It involved considerable back and forth trying to find a place I could cross streets. It started to rain a little bit before we got back.

If I am not absolutely straight to go into the elevator, the scooter hits a back wheel on the door. My granddaughter managed to get me through the room door but I was too tired to try to turn the scooter around. She wrote in her diary and then went to sleep. It is 1:30 am Amsterdam time here right now. I slept until about 11 and then I got up and had a shower
Hotel bathroom

Hotel bathroom


and ate another slice of pizza. And I'm going to go back to sleep now.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 11:42 Archived in Netherlands Comments (0)

Ambling Around Amsterdam

City Walking Tour


View 2018 Tanzania on greatgrandmaR's travel map.

The people at the hotel are very helpful. We got a wake-up call at 7 and got dressed to go down to breakfast. The scooter charger was green before we unplugged it. But we could NOT get it out of the room. So I called reception and asked for help. Two bellmen came up and one of them said his wife had a scooter like it. Between them they managed to get it out of the room. One of them also looked at the phone's blinking light (which indicated that we had a message even when we did not) and tried to get it to turn off. But at the end he couldn't fix it so he said - that's the way that phone is.

So we went down to breakfast. It was a buffet and my granddaughter got me two rolls with chocolate inside, scrambled eggs, and sausage links (more links than I needed but she didn't hear me say that was enough) I got water. Then she got herself more or less the same except she got juice. She didn't like the links - she said they weren't cooked enough. I wore my hat and had the plastic rain poncho in the scooter basket as it said it was going to rain And we went to meet the guide for the walking tour - this was only a couple blocks away. We were a little early.
Granddaughter waiting for tour guide

Granddaughter waiting for tour guide

Market Wizards B.V. where we were to meet the guide

Market Wizards B.V. where we were to meet the guide

Beursplain construction

Beursplain construction

Beurs van Berlage clock tower

Beurs van Berlage clock tower


The first place we went was Beurspassage. The mosaic art adorning the barrel-vaulted ceiling, the chandeliers, the mirrored walls and the granite floor tell a visual story about Amsterdam and its canals, and about the relationship between humans and water.
Ceiling Beurspassage

Ceiling Beurspassage

Trilobite on floor of Beurspassage

Trilobite on floor of Beurspassage

IMG_0849.JPGBeurspassage fish fountain

Beurspassage fish fountain

IMG_0848.JPGWall of Beurspassage

Wall of Beurspassage

Amsterdam symbol

Amsterdam symbol


The guide was an American with a visa to work in the Netherlands because he had a Dutch girl friend who was an anesthesiologist. He said my granddaughter looked like his girlfriend when she was little. He gave us a nice 3 hour walking tour -
042f7d00-723e-11e8-b273-c1826350c585.JPGStatues on Town Hall

Statues on Town Hall

Neptune Frieze Royal Palace Town Hall Amsterdam with gold unicorn horns

Neptune Frieze Royal Palace Town Hall Amsterdam with gold unicorn horns

Town Hall

Town Hall


De Nieuwe Kerk

De Nieuwe Kerk

34050470-731d-11e8-b7ac-6fb835384aa7.JPGCorner of the New Church

Corner of the New Church

Cookie bar- free standing-not part of the church

Cookie bar- free standing-not part of the church

The National Monument on Dam Square (Dutch: Nationaal Monument or Nationaal Monument op de Dam), Amsterdam, is a 1956 World War II monument in the Netherlands

The National Monument on Dam Square (Dutch: Nationaal Monument or Nationaal Monument op de Dam), Amsterdam, is a 1956 World War II monument in the Netherlands

Madame Tussaud

Madame Tussaud

Munt Tower

Munt Tower


orphans depicted in a fake window on the wall

orphans depicted in a fake window on the wall

Former orphanage door

Former orphanage door

Nun statue

Nun statue

Bust of Kardinaal van Rossun

Bust of Kardinaal van Rossun

343f7560-731d-11e8-b7ac-6fb835384aa7.JPGBegijnhof (courtyard in nun's community)

Begijnhof (courtyard in nun's community)

English Reformed Church

English Reformed Church


Rembrandt Square

Rembrandt Square

Rembrandt statue

Rembrandt statue

Night Watch statues

Night Watch statues

Granddaughter with the Night Watch statue

Granddaughter with the Night Watch statue


it did rain some but we went into a covered area in a mall for the 15 minutes that took.
VW sculpture in the mall

VW sculpture in the mall


Leaning buildings

Leaning buildings


a 15th-century building on Nieuwmarkt square in Amsterdam. It was originally a city gate and part of the walls of Amsterdam. The building has also served as a guildhall, museum, fire station and anatomical theatre, among other things

a 15th-century building on Nieuwmarkt square in Amsterdam. It was originally a city gate and part of the walls of Amsterdam. The building has also served as a guildhall, museum, fire station and anatomical theatre, among other things

31f49b00-731d-11e8-b00b-13204147d2d0.JPG'In de Ionghe Hoede Kramer' (Young Hat Seller) Old shop with 17th century gablestone

'In de Ionghe Hoede Kramer' (Young Hat Seller) Old shop with 17th century gablestone

large_IMG_0913.JPGRed light district down that alley

Red light district down that alley


Jug in the window of the Monkey Bar

Jug in the window of the Monkey Bar


Older buildings have smaller bricks

Older buildings have smaller bricks

Delft store

Delft store

IMG_0887.JPGIMG_0888.JPGLogo on the Blue Delft store

Logo on the Blue Delft store

large_IMG_0891.JPGDoelen Hotel-the oldest hotel in Amsterdam. Rembrandt lived here for a period of time and painted the Nightwatch in a room on the third floor.

Doelen Hotel-the oldest hotel in Amsterdam. Rembrandt lived here for a period of time and painted the Nightwatch in a room on the third floor.


IMG_0928.JPGSwan in a canal

Swan in a canal


He asked my granddaughter what was her favorite subject in school and she said "Art". If I had known that I would have gone to one of the museums. The scooter quickly went from all charged down to two bars and I was worried about it so he ended the tour at our hotel. I did not know whether to tip him as most people I've tried to tip have said no. So in the end, I didn't. But I think now I should have done.

We went back to the room but could not get the scooter into the room. A lady who was in the hall with a clipboard helped us- she actually lifted the back end of the scooter to get it straight at the door and we put it to charge again. We tried to get lunch at the hotel restaurant but it was closed. I forgot that there were sandwiches down in the lobby, but we ate my leftover pizza from last night's dinner.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 05:39 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

Cruising the Canals of Amsterdam

In the afternoon


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I was really sleepy, so I took a nap. When I woke up I was determined to get my granddaughter a canal cruise as that is the most iconic way to see Amsterdam. There is a canal cruise company that we can see out of our window. But it is too far for me to walk. So we took the scooter down (my granddaughter got it out of the room by herself), and I borrowed a wheelchair from the hotel. I paid the hotel 26 euros (all but one euro of the money I had changed yesterday) and they printed tickets for me
Ticket

Ticket


and we set off with me in the wheelchair. It wasn't a very good wheelchair. One of the foot rests was wonky.

When we left the hotel, the sidewalk slanted to the street and I almost ended up there, but we pushed around to the canal boat place and then I went down the stairs and someone carried the wheelchair down for my granddaughter. I knew there was a ramp but did not feel we were up to doing that. Just as well as the wheelchair has no brakes

The first boat place they said, well that the tickets were for a one hour tour and this was the 90 minute tour place. We should be on the other side of the bridge (?) but I should go to the man in the orange shirt and he could fit us in. So we went through crowds of East Indian tourists and found the man in the orange shirt. He said I could go on the next boat. The boat that came in there was a wheelchair man and he sort of crawled off the boat and they brought his wheelchair to him so that answered the question of what to do with the wheelchair.

They took the wheelchair and helped me on the boat and the captain said if I wanted I could sit in the open air in the back so I did. We sat on the left and plugged in our earphones which and left the language to English.

Then a whole boatload of the East Indians got on. The WC was in the back where we were so a lot of them came to use it, and a lot of the men were standing back there so that those of us who were sitting on the left could not see what was on the right. But on the whole it was a good canal boat tour.
Starting off

Starting off


Welcome to Lovers Canal Cruise

Welcome to Lovers Canal Cruise


go under the bridge

go under the bridge

1 Hour Canal cruise

1 Hour Canal cruise

Canal Museum Tours

Canal Museum Tours

boat under the bridge

boat under the bridge

Chinese restaurant

Chinese restaurant

Nemo

Nemo


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no anchoring

no anchoring


Bridge traffic light

Bridge traffic light


Montelbaanstoren tower

Montelbaanstoren tower


restaurant

restaurant


market stalls from the back

market stalls from the back

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Looking down the canal

Looking down the canal


fancy lights

fancy lights


IMG_0964.JPGbridge and boat

bridge and boat


Bridge stop light

Bridge stop light

Girl in the window

Girl in the window

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No alcohol zone

No alcohol zone


bikes by the canal

bikes by the canal


Swan escort

Swan escort


We got the wheelchair back. Now to get back to the hotel. I searched for the ramp which proved to be a bike path. My granddaughter pushed and I pulled on the railing and pushed with my feet (I had decided the foot rests were useless) and we got up the less steep part, but at the top it was too steep. Two ladies asked if we needed help and they helped my granddaughter push me to the top.

We got back to the hotel and retrieved the scooter. In backing out of where I had put it, it was faster than I wanted it to be and I almost destroyed one of the box things they had in the lobby. (There was no real reception desk - just a bunch of kind of small standing desks.) The guys at reception explained that the restaurant is not open from 12 to 4 and then it opens for dinner. It isn't open for lunch.

My granddaughter got a pizza
pizza

pizza


and I got chicken salad, iced tea and Dutch apple pie. My granddaughter ate 3 pieces of pizza. The iced tea was carbonated.
Sparkling tea (carbonated)

Sparkling tea (carbonated)

Dutch apple pie

Dutch apple pie


She went and refilled the water bottles from where we had breakfast. I ordered grilled cheese to go, and they gave my granddaughter the 3 pieces of pizza that she didn't eat.

Again I had trouble getting into the elevator. If I am not absolutely straight, the back wheels hit the door and when I am in there, there, having hit the back wall each time as the scooter does not stop quickly, I have about 4" clearance behind me and it takes someone little to be able to get in beside me.

When we got up to the room, I decided not to put the scooter in the room but to leave it in the hall. I was still showing fully charged and we hadn't really been anywhere.

I edited photos and then took a nap. My granddaughter was sneezing quite a bit but she says she's OK. She asked if my son (her uncle) saw a kill when he was in Kenya with my mother, and I did not remember.

We are being picked up tomorrow by the scooter people at 10 for the tour of the outside villages.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:05 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

Volendam, Wooden Shoes, Cheese and Windmills

Out to Outlying Villages


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Since we were to be picked up at 10, I didn't leave a wake-up call. I waked up at about 7 and got dressed and organized before I waked up my granddaughter. She had fallen asleep with her ear buds in and I had to touch her before she waked up. She does sort of spring awake immediately. We went down to breakfast
Breakfast

Breakfast


and I decided to get down to the lobby 15 minutes early and the guide was already there. There was a lift for the scooter in the back of the van.
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First we went to a little village called Monnickendam (founded by monks) and we got out and sat by on of the locks.
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Then we went to Volendam but the lady I wanted to see was on vacation.
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So I left the thumb drive anyway, and also got my granddaughter to dress up in costume and have her photo taken. (People keep talking to her in Dutch and since she doesn't understand and maybe isn't paying much attention, she doesn't answer) They have people who dress you, down to the wooden shoes, but my granddaughter initially got two non-matching ones from two different pairs.
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We had 15 minutes to kill before the photos would be ready, so we went and got fries with mayo. There was too much mayo for me but it was OK. Some ducks came to beg and we fed them some fries. One of them had mayo on his beak.
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Then we picked up the photos.
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Then we went to a wooden shoe factory
Granddaughter and Guide outside the shoe factory

Granddaughter and Guide outside the shoe factory


and they gave us a talk on making the cheese and showed us how they made the shoes.
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We got to taste some of the cheeses - or I did. (All this was what we missed on the Tulip canal cruise Bob and I took in 2016.) I sent Bob a year old and a 2 year old cheese - one Gouda and one Edam, plus a jar of horseradish mustard.

The guide gave us some of the waffle cookies,
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and then we went to akind of windmill museum, sort of like Kinderdjik but these windmills were in use making chocolate, sawing wood etc. We didn't go in any of them.
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We got back here about 3 and I tipped the guide and the driver. I went up to the room to pack, but fell asleep and didn't wake up until about 6. They are very late about getting to this room to clean and did not clean today. I have now packed.

I went to check in and get a boarding pass, but since I could not print it out I wanted it on my phone. However my phone has a problem getting aol mail so I forwarded the boarding passes to my granddaughter's phone. I asked the driver for tomorrow to come at 6:30 instead of 7:15 and set a
wake-up call for 5:30.

Posted by greatgrandmaR 10:07 Archived in Netherlands Comments (1)

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