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April Visit - a lovely weekend




I left Betty Boop after finishing my 1st days trip report, and made my way back towards Leidesplein and Rookies for a nightcap. Even though it was late, it was nice enough to sit outside, so I took advantage of the cloudless evening and nice breeze, grabbed a seat and enjoyed the groovin' music, laughter and conversation coming from inside the bar. Might have been a tear in my eye, it was such a nice finish to an awesome 1st day.

Friday started out early. As it has become a ritual, I usually check the weather 1st thing when I get up in the morning and try to get some early photos if possible. I saw blue skies and sunshine on the building across the way and was out heading towards the park by 7:30. A lovely day to walk and take pictures, indeed. After walking around a bit, clicking here and there, I jumped on a tram to Centrum and had some breakfast, an Edam/egg/cuke/carrot/tomato baguette sandwich that was fantastic. Checked email at Baba, then walked back across town to Vondelpark, switching back and forth down side streets and canals wherever the sun seemed to be in an agreeable position. With a nice spring breeze in my face, photo opportunities everywhere, it could not have been a more pleasant morning. About mid-way, I stopped off at Rookies for the morning beer and smoke, had a game of pool with myself (stripes won), then continued towards the park. It must have been nice out since I walked right past the outlet to the apartment from the park, about 2 blocks too far. Oh, well, back to the apartment for a shower and to get ready for a Channelite meeting at lunchtime.

A bit of great luck allowed us to meet our companions, as they were a little delayed and we had moved to a shop for a beer and smoke, but PC saw them (or Martijn saw him, I believe) when he was heading back to the tram stop and the apartment to wait for KLM to deliver his luggage. Unfortunately PC had to go wait, but the rest of us (Martijn, Michelle, soon and myself), as my notes say for the entire afternoon, "drank, drank, talked, drank" at a table on Leidesplein. An absolutely fabulous afternoon, with great weather, company and conversation. It was nice to be able to light up out on the terrace, conservatively, as Martijn was kind enough to ask the waiter if it was OK. There were no other tables occupied around us for quite some time, but when people started filling in, I stopped puffing, as I'm sure these folks didn't really want to smell my weed while enjoying their afternoon. Dinnertime rolled around, but as I was not hungry we went our separate ways and I went to town for some supplies and was greeted by a lovely purple sunset walking towards Dampkring. Bought some Shiva Haze, 8.50e/g, which burned my nose when I smelled it in the baggie. Really tasty, my notes seem to say "best of the weekend so far, writing this is really hard". I stayed for some time as the music was excellent and it wasn't too crowded at all. A friendly Italian fellow name Francesco saw me struggling with my buds and offered his grinder, so we chatted a bit, nice guy. Off to De Kuil for some Blueberry, 7 e/g, nice but no big deal. Remember, of course, ?nice? in Amsterdam usually means ?outstanding? compared to what I usually get. Met back with my Channelite friends at Leidesplein, I?m sure more beverages followed but I have no notes to help me remember any details except for 2 quotes by Martijn: ?Don?t be so sober, PC? and ?Beer on the table, joints on the floor?.

Saturday I visited Haarlem and explored the side of town in the opposite direction of the Grote Markt just to get a feel for the place. Very pretty and residential, folks out and about with children in strollers enjoying yet another beautiful day. After my pics were all taken I was heading back towards the station and saw a young boy and girl playing hockey, but the practice ball had rolled out into the street, where they were evidently told not to go, and did not. Very smart children. I walked over, picked it up and gave it to the young boy, maybe 6 years old, with the face of an angel. He looks up at the big hairy American and says ?Dank ye well?, so cute I could have died. I don?t know ?you?re welcome? in Dutch so I smiled and was on my way. If you haven?t been to Haarlem, I would highly suggest it, a really nice place and a convenient day trip.

I stopped into De Kuil once back in town for some White Widow , 6e/g and Pavarti Cream hash, 12.50e/g. Both were as I remembered, WW tasty as can be, Pavarti a real uplifting, happy buzz. Lo and behold, a person next to me asks if I use the Channels site, and winds up it was who I was supposed to meet several hours later, but we happened to be there at the same time. Some conversation, then we both went our seperate ways, me back to the apartment, he was off to find his hotel.
Had lunch with another Channelite friend, some yummy pizzas and vino, just right. Walked about some more enjoying the nice day, but I don?t have many notes for the evening. I do remember seeing a girl having a great time dancing in her chair to Aretha Franklin?s ?Think?, some bizarre chicken-like dance, made me chuckle. A quick visit to Greenhouse Effect for some Special, always a favorite. Consistently tasty with a nice buzz as well.

Sunday brought a stiffer breeze but still plenty of sunshine, although the wind was the kind that started out mild, then said ?hello!? making people hunker down, fold up collars and lean forwards. I saw 2 guys I remembered seeing on the train from Schiphol on the way in, it is indeed a compact city. I must note here that I can fully recommend Olympus cameras (at least the one I have) as I had been carrying it in my top shirt pocket and during the course of Saturday through Sunday, it fell out as I bent over to pick up something else and hit the ground/cobblestones/street oh, 4 or 5 times, no damage whatsoever. The first time it fell out I caught it on the first bounce, the other times it just crashed to the ground. Good quality stuff!

Took it easy most of the day, got some Buddahs Sister from Dampkring, 8 e/g, wonderfully tasty, then off for a long ?grin and walk? in the cool spring afternoon. Had a lovely Indian dinner with Michelle and Martijn, then back to the flat to pack, saw Night of the Living Dead (old one) on TV and laughed, no subtitles, though, that would have been interesting.

Monday was without incident, spent the morning smoking the rest of my supplies and trying to get rid of some of the red wine we had purchased?breakfast of champions for sure. Saw my new friends at the airport (so nice of them to see me off), got frisked two times in between security and the gate, and also got a ?Steven Spielberg? comment from the security guy. I said I wished I had his money as I dumped my euro coins into the little tray, and we both laughed. Slept on the plane for about 6 of the 8 hours home, another visit to my favorite place done and done. What a great city.

Pictures can be found for this visit at

www.bripix.com

click on April 2004, or go here:

http://www.bripix.com/April/April.html

Enjoy!
GREAT report buddy!

Loved the pictures as well, they really turned out beautiful!

Hope to meet you again soon!
Lovely reports, Stems. Thank you :-)

A bigger screen sure does those pics more justice :-) Still love the duckling photo, but even better is the memory of you showing us how you followed those little fellas around with your lens for ages, desperately waiting for one of them to sit still long enough for you to get the pic :-)

Was a great pleasure to meet you, buddy :-))

Michelle
Great trip report Stems! Wished I was there to hang out with you guys. Next time.

The pictures were AWESOME! Another of your many talents. And I always thought computer guys were just glued to their computers hehe.
Man! Those pics are amazing! I really enjoyed your report as well. Some of your pics near your "home" look very much like the area in states I am from.
Another wonderful report, Thanks a lot StemsnSeeds. Obviously even dropping the camera nearly half a dozen times did not affect the quality of your pictures, must be a real good camera indeed.
You know I have never gotten to sample that Buddahs Sister, every time I am there, they are sold out, or will get some in 4 more hours,,,, but one of these days...
Sounds like you have a great day, even with the wind at times. Good company can make the time so enchanting.
Thanks Again StemsnSeeds.
Great report Stems. My daughter insists that I make the "duckies" photo my background, lol.
Pax
Thumbs Up Stems; Great Reports!

I don't know how anyone could ask for much more. Cheers to a successful trip and the planning that will surely take place for the next round.

Thanks a ton for sharing!
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