It seems I've started and saved this post several times, but when I come back, it's gone, and I'm usually too wiped out to hassle with writing coherent thoughts. I am exhausted daily, but loving every minute of it. As we rode the train to Amsterdam Tuesday morning, it occurred to me that many of the experiences I find remarkable, the folks here think of as commonplace. That's a good thing, so long as they remember to appreciate them; for instance, the train ride itself, on a functional and efficient public transit system. The development of the auto and US highway system over the years has brought many improvements to our quality of life, but at the expense of reliable public transportation options in all but the largest cities. Rural America is left in the lurch, needing expensive cars and expensive fuel, when perhaps our resources could be better invested elsewhere.
We got to Amsterdam and wandered around at a leisurely pace. We checked out some public squares with street performers and buskers, and went to the Rijksmuseum. Neither the iPastor nor I are well-schooled in the fine arts, but even we could appreciate the talent of Rembrandt and the other Dutch masters on display. The Rijksmuseum wins for being highly accessible to noobs. :)
Afterwards, we headed for Vondelpark, both for historic/sightseeing significance, and to check out some sights from John Green's latest book, _The Fault in Our Stars_. He's a family favorite, so I needed some pictures for the Things at home. The man singing to the ducks made the trip worthwhile all on his own. We walked back and visited the Anne Frank House. The line to get in was daunting, but it actually moved along quickly, yet didn't feel too rushed once we were inside. Visiting a place that one reads about is an interesting experience anyway, but the gravity of the story of the Hidden Annex made it all the more surreal. We walked back up near the train station, and took a canal tour. We'd been walking past and over them all day, so it was quite interesting to see the city from the opposite view.
Afterwards, we headed back to 't Goy and settled in for the evening.