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Day Five: Naked Dutch Babe Day

Yawn! The day enfolded like déjà vu or an old sitcom rerun that your TiVo is under strict orders never to miss. For a snapshot of our morning, see the morning of Day Two! (pastry/fruit stand/stix/weed) Ah, but little did I know that today would shape up to be Naked Dutch Babe Day.

After the morning rituals, we took the train to Zandvoort. I packed a bathing suit and worried about not having a beach towel. In hindsight, my naiveté is slightly hilarious and is exceeded only by my excitement at the prospect of spending a few hours on the beach, toking and soaking. (The nearest ocean is 8 hours away from where I live now; I rarely pass up a chance to walk a beach and wiggle my toes in the damp sand.) The plan was a few hours on the beach, check out Yanks and then head into Harleem in late afternoon.

After we emerged from the station in Zandvoort we headed straight for the beach. (I stopped and bought a little bamboo mat?.obviously I couldn?t conquer the uneasiness about no beach towel?.) It was a little windy, but nothing out of the ordinary considering the proximity to the ocean. The closer we got to the beach (only 4 or so blocks from the train station) the windier it got. Right at the beginning of the beach are fairly large areas that are screened off with high (9 foot?) wooden panels. The areas have lounge chairs in them, all of them empty.

We walked on by and step onto the beach, headed toward the edge of the water. At this point, the wind REALLY begins to blow and it starts to pick up intensity and?ouch?.hey!....the sand starts blowing. Ha, you say. So what, the wind always kicks up sand at a beach. But, really, ow!....whoa!...fer chrissakes?..the wind starts to blow even harder and the sand starts to sting. No, really, it started hurting really bad! So bad, in fact, I was all about ?f**k it, let?s just go to Yanks!? So, we turned tail and headed back toward the street. We were just about to turn right on the Zandvoort version of the PCH when Steve?s head snapped right and WHAM! There she was in all her Dutch glory, the new sole occupant of that screened off area, Naked Dutch Babe. Stereotypically breath taking, she was absolutely nude and looked impossibly even-tanned! After I picked Steve?s jaw off the ground, he just couldn?t resist getting one last shot of the North Sea?..and testing the camcorder?s zoom capabilities. No, he didn?t take a picture, don?t bother asking! But he is able to confirm that she was a natural blonde. ;-)

(Right, like there aren't enough 5'9" blonde, blue eyed, tanned and toned Dutch women in Amsterdam! I swear, Steve's almost given himself whiplash on several occasions.)

At that point, the rest of day was gravy for Steve so he didn?t mind that we couldn?t find Yanks. (grrr) and ended up just getting the train for Harleem (I actually put the bamboo mat back in the display. I was disgusted and didn?t even ask for money back!) Once in Harleem we stopped at WW Sativa for nourishment (smoked some White Dolphin and didn?t buy any product here). We walked around a bit, marked where Blueberry?s favorite restaurant was, but then decided to have pancakes for dinner. I have a note that we stopped at High Times and bought 2 grams of Polm (exceedingly smooth, crumbly and very light brown), but I honestly can't conjure up a single memory of this place!

The Pancake place was closed (Monday). Double?grrrr. So, after a little more sightseeing we trained it back to Amsterdam. What an irritating day! The best laid plans of mice and men!

Truffle Tuesday (6/24)

We broke morning ritual (pastry-fruit-stix-and cappuccino) and instead chewed truffles with morning coffee. Yum. Not! The rest of the morning, in fact the morning plus afternoon, is lost to truffledom. They were very speedy, very unsettling. Not very visual. We had lunch somewhere?on Rokin maybe?...outdoor table and it took four and a half years before we got a menu, drinks, food, check?service. I sat the entire time in the sun and baked whilst I was baked. I guess lunch was good. Couldn?t tell you for sure though.

Late afternoon finds us at Abraxas. I think it wins best overall décor in my book. The work that went into the natural woods of the seating and tables is really nice. The multi level (the usual crazy stairs) concept worked for us. And the inset geodes were very conducive to zoning out.

We made our way to the top (third) floor and scored the little table and stool by the indoor garden (five plants, all budding). The skylight was open, a little breeze snaked its way in every once and a while and we thoroughly enjoyed the Silver Haze (8.50 eu/gram). I really enjoyed reading about hash manufacturing processes (there are two posters on the wall) and could have happily not left that little nook for a very long time. But, tomorrow is Paris and we haven?t even packed yet! We shake off the last of the truffles and finish another joint of the Silver Haze before walking back home and trying to get organized for the early morning get up and go to come.

Paris? Mais Oui!

We had first class reservations on the early morning Thalys to Paris. Very cool train. $88/pp bought plush, reclining seats, carpeted car, multiple beverage and food service throughout the four hour trip. We pass beautiful countryside, very flat, very green, achingly lush, impossibly organized. The other occupants of first class represent relevant nationalities, considering our location. The train car is very well insulated and the Dutch, French, English, German syllables intermingle and entwine over the soft snick of the train on the tracks. Steve?s GPS clocks the Thalys? top speed at 198 miles per hour. Neat stuff.

On a train to Paris. Give me a f**kin? break! How cool is that?

The Bad Paris

I am going into business. My new business will be built on one product, a t-shirt (black) that reads simply: "Paris? ? Hated it!" What size would you like? :-)

I have decided that the Thalys took a wrong turn somewhere and we ended up in a parallel universe Paris. A Paris that was hot, noisy, crowded, confusing and cramped. There must be another, good, Paris. The one that every one else falls in love in and can?t wait to get back to. Maybe we?ll hit that Paris next time.

This isn?t a Paris forum so I?ll spare you. We spend Weds and Thurs in Paris, spending Thursday exploring The Louvre. It is a mind boggling place; beyond expectations. I stood in front of Charlemagne?s sword and saw an exhibit of DaVinci?s sketches and manuscripts. Amazing, humbling stuff that made The Bad Paris much better.(Along with the j or two that I truly didn?t realize was still in my pack. (That?s my story and I?m sticking to it.)

(Okay, I can?t get off this subject without mentioning that I paid 7,50 euro for a juice glass (I kid you not) of lukewarm ice tea. That sums up Paris for me.)

We got home about 10 Thursday evening and called it an early night. Tomorrow I have to meet the legends of channels and I?m concerned that my training program hasn?t been enough. Eek and gadzooks, was there a d?mac in my future?
SuZe...you are a treasure!
Thanks, you've reinforced my desire to never visit Paris. As I got to the part about Zandvoort I had to call my girlfriend in and reread it to her. We had the same wind when we were there. As you walk down that path to the beach it gets really bad. The sand scoots across the beach like a snow drift on the freeway. At least we found the La Paz coffeeshop and chilled to some good blond hash there for a bit before heading back to Haarlem...ahhh the memories are flooding back. Thanks.

I must have visited the "other Paris" three times! Look at the photos on my site, How can one not love such a monumental city. Tip (for others considering): Stay in the Latin Quarter. Visit a cafe on Rue Saint Germain, cross to Il di la Citié, walk around Notre Dame, Have lunch on the rooftop cafe at La Samarataine, walk through the grounds of the Louvre, through Les Tulleries then stroll up the Champs Eliseé, visit the Grand Palais, cross the Alexander III bridge, spend a couple of hours (min) in the Museé d' Orsay (be sure to step out on the upstairs balcony for an awesome view of Notre Dame, the Seine and San Chappel in the distance) walk to Les Invalides, end up at Napolean's tomb.
Sorry about all of the misspelled french words (you should hear me say them, LOL). If at the end of this day, if you don't appreciate Paris... well IMHO you are blind! Please note that this day involves almost no interaction with the French!
Thanks for the report,
After a day of truffles and a long train ride, enjoying any new city would be a chore. Although Paris is not my favorite french city, I can't denounce the charms of Lechaise cementary, LeLouvre and of course the Latin Quarter. Paris is indeed a crowded and expensive city, I paid $20 for a cup of coffee and a croissant once.....once, never again.
Paris was a let down for me too the first time, I thought the Eiffel tower was small and after being crammed in the bullet train with the french going to work , I wondered if there was such a thing as Ledeodorant in the city.
The first time I tried to see the whole city in a day, because I was doing the eurorail thing and I was anxious to get to Rome.
But, the second time I enjoyed it, and that was because I had a week...I know what your thinking SuZe.."GOD NO not a week in Paris!"...but it truly is a city built for exploring.
That being said I can totally understand why Paris left a sour taste in your mouth.

Since you like the beach, next time your in France, try Nice, you'll definitely need a mat because of all the pebbles, and of course there will be the occasional naked french women and..*shiver*..frenchmen.

Thanks again for sharing

Ik denk dat ik te veel
spacecake heb opgegeten
The highlight of my visit to Paris was the tour of the sewer system.
I had to read this report from the title alone. WOW...... Natural Blonde.
Dam nice reports you have been writing Suze. I love the way you word things. Care to write the rest of mine, as I feel you would do a better job.
BTW, that 'Crawl' CD was sweet. Truly a must have. Thank You so much... I'll cherish it always...
I really like the begining, the fellow with the slinkys. That was a beautiful way to begin an adventure.
5-Stars Suze...
I had to read this report from the title alone. WOW...... Natural Blonde.
Dam nice reports you have been writing Suze. I love the way you word things. Care to write the rest of mine, as I feel you would do a better job.
BTW, that 'Crawl' CD was sweet. Truly a must have. Thank You so much... I'll cherish it always...
I really like the begining, the fellow with the slinkys. That was a beautiful way to begin an adventure.
5-Stars Suze...

Thank you LH. I've been putting off writing the rest....next comes the meeting, the crawl, the recovery and home...*sigh*. If I can't write the rest of mine, I surely can't write yours!
Is it all ways windy at that beach? What time of year is the best time to go? Can you get good weather info in advance? Sorry so many questions but will be there in a few weeks and was really looking foward to a little r&r beachside.
A tremendous trip report. Thank you. Roland

Hey LH.....nice to connect once again after the (420) shop in April.
Regards. Roland

Zaandvoort is windy much of the time. Weekends are best and it is recommend that if indeed it is windy that you go "up" to one of the beach places. Out of the wind, usually music from a good sounding stereo, plus bar and restaurant service in a hot and sunny and quiet beach environment. Depends on the day who (which place) is hot and which is not even if the beach itself is quiet. I have had great times in places with 20 people at least 3 of whom would be terrific looking women. The further down the beach the nuder/more open the folk. Hence the absolute last beach area is gay male. Before then is gay persons (mixed) before then nudist (Adam and Eva) before then ...you get the idea. Going the other way (if arriving by train), the first few places from the station are mainly immigrant families (conservative). After about 8 places they start to get a little looser/rockier with Dutch families, then younger with house music and young (mainly Dutch people). I can't remember which number down Adam and Eva is but maybe place 30 but surely at least 20. Hope this helps. Roland
Thank you Roland. Just the information I needed.
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