The whole houseboat is IKEA! We're in a neighborhood a bit outside of Central Amsterdam. Although it's only a 30 min walk or an easy tram or bus ride into the center of it all, we are far enough away to feel more local. Buying a cup of coffee yesterday down the road, a man asked, "Did you guys just move in?"

"Nope, here for three weeks though, we'll see you soon." I say

"Cope back," He answers, "We have great food."

This windmill is down the road.



Day one - Philly to Amsterdam. Departed at 6pm - landed 830am.

Our trip started in Philly thumbing our way onto an East bound flight to Amsterdam... Although there were still a few seats in the back open, we dropped a hundred bucks on the upgrades to sit up front. Awkward though as passengers walked by to they’re seats in steerage making comments about the first class 'accommodations.' 

"Could you imagine spending a thousand dollars more to sit up here?" They didn't know about the desert choices.

I kept reading my complimentary copy "Forbes" and laughing that we were riding for free - suckers.

While the commoners in the back were complaining about having to pay for the extra bag, I ate my duck and made to order salad. I chose the fresh cheese and croutons with the lemongrass soy dressing. The meal was surprisingly flavorful although I had already sucked down a bottle of wine. The flight attendant liked the fact we were commoners in disguise and topped us off each time.

Funny thing upon landing was that we were to check in at 4pm but got off the train at 9am. Neither of us could figure how to dial the payphone so we decided to wander around for abit until show time. (We bought a five Euro card and dialed what we though was the owners number. Each time Susan got an angry Dutch man telling us never to call again! "THIS IS A PRIVATE NUMBER" he spoke in flawless English.) Stashing our bags in a locker, we ran off to see the city and acquaint ourselves with the places we like to see more of over the next 21 days.

After several hours or roaming, the wall of fatigue hit and suddenly we were hot, tired and ready for a shower. "Lets find the houseboat... maybe it's open." We agreed.

And then the rain started. Hard rain!

We gave in and dialed out on our cell phone for the boat owner.

It's 3pm.

"I thought you'd be here earlier? The boats been open. Key under the plant."

And then it was shower, a walk to the grocery store for supplies for a few meals, dinner and bed.