welcome to amsterdam

Well, I've arrived and I'm settling into my new home in a suburb outside of Amsterdam.  My plane landed on Sunday around noon - my suitcases made it too (whew!).  After we made a quick stop at our place we headed into the city center on the tram to check it out.  We spent the afternoon walking around an area called "the nine streets" - I mentally noted lots of great shops I want to check out in the future.

On Monday I found my way to the grocery store in our neighborhood (which I considered to be a big accomplishment).  I think I'll have to do a separate post about grocery stores...I always find foreign grocery shops so interesting.  The stuff you find there, and the way you need to shop.  For example, yogurt comes in a 1L milk carton, and you need to weigh your own produce in the produce section (both lessons Trev gave me a heads-up on).

Yesterday Trev and I rode our bikes into town and went to the Anne Frankhuis then had a bite to eat.  We left our place after he got home from work, so it wasn't the ideal time for me to try out my Amsterdammer bike-riding skills (with evening rush-hour)...yes, I almost got ran over by a scooter, but we made it there in one piece and I didn't drop my bike lock in a canal as I was locking up to a railing (I thought I might).  It was good to see the Anne Frankhuis - I think it makes WWII feel really personal, as you get to know the struggle of one family and their friends; but it also made me think about the devastating consequences of WWII as a whole.  I'm sure I'll be thinking about that a lot more as we tour around Europe.

After the museum we headed to de Prins, a little cafe just across the canal that was recommended in one of my guidebooks.  It had a nice, cozy atmosphere - nothing too fancy, but perfect for a quiet weeknight dinner.

I ordered the dagschotel (daily special) which was a traditional Dutch dish: mashed potato with endive, topped with stewed beef and mustard sauce.  It was solid and filling comfort food - perfect for the cool spring weather.  While we were there I noticed that de Prins also has a breakfast and lunch menu, and they have terrace seating outside - I will definitely be back again.