Monday, February 3, 2014

Our son James visits from California

James and I flew in simultaneously to Amsterdam. He had been visiting his step-brother in Munich, Germany and I had been in Galway and Dublin, Ireland with my friend Pat. I arrived at AMS around 1230, and he arrive around 1330hrs. Andrew met me around 1300 at the airport and we waited together for James!  Somehow we didn't see him come through the arrival gate. Luckily he was able to text me and we found him over by the entrance to the airport around 1430hrs.

 Andrew drove us all back home where James and I relaxed for a bit and Andrew finished up his work for the day. We then walked downtown where we showed James around a bit and then went to Woodstone for dinner.

The following day, Friday, 24 January, Andrew had to work. So, James and I headed for Amsterdam. We took the bus to the train station, where we purchased tickets for the train. We decided to make a day of it. Our first stop was the Rijksmuseum, where we spent a couple of hours looking at the beautiful building and the art.

 Afterwards we walked through a cheese shop...
 The flower market...

 and then to a bar James's stepbrother had told him about called the Arendsnest, where they had many choices of beers on tap!


Saturday, January 25th the three of us went to the markets in Haarlem, then headed over to De Haar Castle, which is about a 40 minute drive from Haarlem.

 We were able to go inside St. Bavo's church (the Grote Kerk)...This organ was played by Mozart when he was 10 years old!

 We stopped by the Havana House where Andrew bought a couple of cigars.

 Went into a little hofje by our house....built in 1591.

 Then headed over to De Haar Castle:


Sunday, January 26

We decided to spend the day in Amsterdam. We took the bus to Haarlem Centraal...

 and made our way to Amsterdam via the train!
 We went on a canal cruise. What a nice way to view the city!

 Stopped for pun at Smits Koffiehuis...
 had some bitterballen!
Then we decided to walk over to the Ship Museum (Scheepvaart Museum)...

 Then we walked through the Dam...

and headed home!

Monday, Andrew had to return to work, so James and I were on our own!  We decided to take a trip over to the town of Zaanse Schans, which is a cute little town with some working windmills, a clog shop, cheese shop, etc.

We took the bus to Haarlem Centraal, then took the train to Zaanse Schans via Amsterdam Sloterdijk.

 We went into the working saw mill!

 where there are chickens running around in the yard!

 the Clog Shop:

 As we headed out, we stopped for some lunch before leaving town:

 annnnd stopped at a bakery for some cookies!

 When we got back to Haarlem we went to the Jopen Kerk. At one time it was a monastery, it's now a beer brewery!
 tried a few beers!
Tuesday was a bit chilly and windy....but we braved the weather and decided to go to the beach in the afternoon. In the morning we walked over to the last standing gate to Haarlem from Amsterdam called Amsterdamse Poort.

 There was a guy feeding the birds there, so we didn't walk through the gate to the other side.

On the way back from the gate we walked by one of my favorite spots in's so pretty!

We decided to walk to the train station. On the way we stopped for kibbeling!
When we got to the train station we got some 'diner' kebab (a turkish dish James was familiar with) at the station. It was delicious! I will definitely be going back for more of that!

 We went to De Haven (#9) for a cup of coffee to warm up!

Our view!

Wednesday we decided to take it easy a bit. James and I went to Nurks, which is a little restaurant in the woods close to the house. We had a nice lunch where James decided to order a fresh mint tea!

 We went home and relaxed a bit......Andrew came home early and we took Sammy to the kennel. Since they are only open from 1100-1600hrs. we had to bring him there midday.

That evening the three of us went to Napoli Restaurant for dinner!  We all had the pasta parmesanno! Delicious!


Thursday, January 30th

We got up very early and drove to the airport. Parked the car in long term parking and took a British Airways flight over to London!  We had told James we would take him somewhere in Europe-his choice-and he chose London. Since his trip was short, and Andrew wasn't able to take more than two days off from work, we just spent a couple of days in London. It was a whirlwind trip, but we saw and did a lot!

 Took the Heathrow Express to Paddington Station....

 where we bought two Oyster cards (I still had mine from the last trip), then got on the underground.
 Checked into the hotel....Bailey's Millennium:
 Then we went out to see the town!
 Westminster Abbey was closed when we arrived....there must have been a service or something going on. So we just walked by it and planned to return the following day.


 we went on the London Eye:

 The Shard:

 The London Tower:

 The Tower Bridge:

 We started making our way back to the hotel....James wasn't feeling all that well, so we got off and walked a bit to get some fresh air...

 Got back to the hotel...
 Later we went out for dinner and beer at Fuller's Brewery, which was right around the corner from the hotel.


Friday we were able to get into Westminster Abbey (my favorite place in London).

 We headed back to Paddington Station via the Underground to go to Windsor Castle for the day:
 always carry change around.......quite often you need it to use the WC (water closet/toilet/restroom!)!
 Windsor Castle:
 We stopped for lunch before entering the castle, since there is no place to eat once you're inside...

 We stopped at the Edinburgh Woolen Mill and Andrew bought me a new Harris Tweed jacket! Cozy and warm!
 Windsor Castle:

 We stayed in Windsor a few hours...then headed out on the train back to London...

 Had dinner at Tutton's in London....
 then went to the show, "The Jersey Boys":

 We had seen the show once before in Las Vegas. This production was really good too, except for the female singers...they couldn't carry a tune!

 After the show we walked around London a bit....

 and stopped for a beer:

 The following morning we walked around the shopping areas of London...

then we were all headed in our separate directions.....

We all got on the Heathrow Express towards the airport and headed home...James to California, and Andrew and I back to Haarlem.

 What a nice visit we had with James. We really enjoyed our time together! What wonderful memories we made!

We had parked our car in long term parking.....we took the shuttle from the airport back to the car...