A bridge too far ……….. ( plane trains and automobiles and a station too far )

So it started as a leisurely morning, peaceful breakfast, long hot shower for Sara.  At 9:30 it was time to say bye bye, hear the click click click click of the luggage wheels on the dock towards the car.   I picked up the upgraded car and met the girls at the end of the pedestrian bridge.  A smooth ride to Schiphol, even though Deb STILL had to remind me to take the Schiphol exit.  I seem to block that one out, because of the reconstruction or because ” I don’t wanna go home “.  Arriving at the car renall return place, we were greeted by the Hertz employees with the familiair “ws anything wrong” this solicited the …”YES the darn whiskey dispenser did not worked” . The one employee looked a bit “Whaatttt”, the second one smiled and replied . “well atleast the ice cube dispenser was working I Assume Sir?”   We all had a chuckle while a few other renters looked like “wait you can get a whiskey dispenser in the car?”   At the elevator there was a big line and Deb threw out ” Can we get a wine dispenser next rental?’   Finally we were able to get in and at the last moment another traveller jumped in and pressed a button..so the door close and opens, on the same level.  The last traveller peeks his head out and looks to the buttons and remarks “is this 0?” .  Then mentions “I need to go to departures” . Since I was on a roll with the whiskey comment I flip out ” then why did you pressed rental cars?” .    And everybody got a chuckle.  Now it is 10 AM…we take the walk way and see we have to go to location 1A.   We reprint the boarding passes and I have to “take command” since sara sees a sign, passengers only, so she worries we should have dropped of the luggage somewhere else.  Finally we arrive at 1A, and we see a line, longer than the waiting line at the Anne Frank house on a sunny day.   ( btw if you do NOT reserve for the Anne Frank house be prepared to wait 3 – 4 hours in line then ) . I kiss Deb a safe trip and leave.     Well later I get a text ….\

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In the mean time I was doing laundry and putting up some more primer on the barge.  The sheets dried in a few minutes with the sun shining down and the wind quite fiercely blowing.   Once the dry sheets were on the bed I could put up the last primer on the top, but it was so warm and sunny and windy , that the primer dried nearly as fast as I could put it on.

Then off to the railway station to pick up Megan and Peggy.  I had texted both of them a few times after they landed, but got no replies.   Caught the train and had to switch trains in Sloterdijk.  While waiting there I found out the train would have a 5 minute delay, making me arrive at the same time as Peggy & Megan ( but on another platform), so I called Peggy’s cell and get it answered by a somewhat sleepy voice and after asking Peggy?  Megan ? I hear it is Patty, who tells me to call Megan’s phone.  Ok………so I call…I get voice mail…   well we wil have to see then.  I arrive at Schiphol airpots train station, asked one of the NS ( Nationaal Spoor . = National Railway) what platform the Thalys arrives and she informs me of the platform and mentions it is 3 minutes late.  So I am perfect on time.  Rush down to that platform, stand there with my grocery bag with 2 bunches of flowers ( for the Hertz checkin gal who upgraded us) and look . and look and look and look…….then I walk the whole platform…no contact.  OK I Think, lets go to the meeting point, which I had texted Peggy and Megan earlier this week, JUST in case we would miss each other on the platform.

PICTURE MEETING POINT

No luck there either, I walked the perimeter twice,   Back to the platform, again walked both sides, NO sign.   So I tried Megan’s phone and again voice mail.  I call Peggy’s phone..answered by Patty and leave instructions to have Megan call me when they call ‘home’.  I walk the whole arrival hall a few times, then go to the Hertz counter and drop of the flowers, to great smiles   ( yes ‘bribing’ works, we each time have gotten a upgrade.  PERHAPS we would have gotten these upgrades anyhow, but this is juist nicer).I walk the hal again a few times, NO sign of them two.  So I go to ‘le bistro’ grab a Radler since I am dried out’ and yes my phone starts ‘pinging’ .  yep you guessed it Vetport with an ’emergency’ . Since support does not immediately responds to Tom I get the familair “Are you there?” to which I reply …looking for the girls, but none of their phones are working and NO I can not help you with your vetport question.   Then I get thrown at my feet that ” you should have prepared them and JUST telling them what to do is not helping them” .
Finally I get a call from Megan, asking where I am…..and they could not find the meeting point, and that they are at the official taxi stand.  So I tell her to walk BACK inside and go to the meeting point ..you can not miss it.  I also see the official taxi stand and don’t see anybody from there waking towards the terminal building.   Waited a few minutes,  walked around the meeting point again…..NOBODY..so I call Megan back, and find out they are in Amsterdam Central, even though their tickets say Schiphol Airport..  Instruct them NOT to walk around , stay at the front of the building . ( NOT on the IJ side  ..this is the water side) and rush to the train platform to jump on a train.   The door closes, the conductor bumps into me and apologizes .   I fired of …” no problem just give me a pint, this IS a Belgian train right ?”   He replies “yes but we can only serve Pintjes in Belgium, sorry” .  The doors close and …nothing…nothing ..nothing …until we hear the Belgian voice….”we can not leave on sign is on alert, we have no idea how long this will take” . Finally a few minutes later the train leave anyhow.    Just before entering the Central station I was able to get Megan again and made sure she would be in the front in the center of the building.  I rush out get outside …and NOBODY…so I call and Megan is trying to tell where they are…they are at a Starbucks ….to which I asked …which ONE ? there ar 3 at the railway station.  I am miffed, can’t these girl follow ANY instructions, so I check in , walk through check out’ and walk from Starbuck’s to Starbuck’s as if I am a homeless man looking for change.  There I see them…..but…well you will see later…..what gave me a heart attack……

I give them their OV cards, and we are off to the trains again to go to Zaandam.   And since they have to do as I say all goes smooth

THIS nearly gave me a heart attack…they had enough space for 2 years of travel !!IMG_3139.JPG

After feeding them I took them for bitterballen since Megan had bitterballen at the “House of Orange’ in NKY, and she thought they were horrible.  ( Hans .  I did not wanted to say anything at Kings day, but the bitterballen you serve are NOT the ones you get at every cafe, restaurant and bar in Holland…)

Deb always cracks open the bitterballen to let them cool down….now we have an imitator…Peggy

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