Jan. 29 - Feb. 3, 2015
We bought coffee and stroopwaffles and hunkered down to make a game plan. First up was finding internet, which is almost always tougher than expected. The AMS airport boasts free wi-fi but finding a signal is hard. We both browsed pages and pages of listings on a million different sites, taking breaks to cuss at the internet (or lack thereof) and finally ended up winning a bid on Priceline at Hotel Room Mate Aitana. The price was right, the location and pictures looked good, and we were tired of searching. You can see my review here.
We took a bus there and were dropped off at a totally different spot than we thought we would, so we had quite a long walk but it was welcome (at least the first few miles) after our 6 hour flight. When we got back, we crashed and both napped for while. The beds were great! In an attempt to sort of get on a local time schedule, we took a walk from the hotel towards Centraal Station and along the harbor. We turn around when we started to feel sprinkles and by the time we got back to the hotel we were being pelted by hail and rain and howling wind. We ducked into the little cafe next to the hotel (Bagels and Beans) and had the restaurant to ourselves - they were getting ready to shut down for the night but let us linger and stuff our faces with sandwiches and free chocolate "beans." We ended up stopping here almost every day because...I love bagels!
Along the way, we made a few pit stops and had to duck in out of the not-so-great weather a few times. The first was for classic Frites at a little shop called Manneken Pis (which we visited in Brussels). People from Amsterdam are known for dipping theirs in mayonnaise, but most of the people we saw had classic fry sauce with theirs. We got fancy and went with the truffle dip, which came in a precious little bucket.