Au revoir, the first lines and auwie

So it was an early morning. A final breakfast in bed for Megan, and for Peggy in the wheel house.

And yes I did play the Bye Bye MP3, creating chuckles. .
Side note…..As a horn I bought a 2 * 20 Watt MP3 player, so I have different sounds for different occasions.  A selection of sounds are available by request . Just as it is fun to play the sweeper MP3 in the morning in the marina…

Quickly a stop at the store, where Megan bought all the Stoop wafels, and a bunch of jars of Mustard to take home.  Yes Tom you will get a jar of Zaandam Mustard, prepared in the local original mill along the canal and a big bag of Dutch Licorice.  We made the trek to the Railway station  with all 4 suitcases, and hopped on the train to the airport to catch the Thalys to Paris.  There was the usual rush to get in, and to make things more complicated there were some travellers who did not had a pre-assigned seat so they sat on the fold out seat in the small entrance way, and yes their luggage was nearly blocking the entrance.  So I just showed it back to them so everybody could just get in, but it was packed.

 

Back to the barge, to meet Lindy, who was going to start the “hatch art”.  Last year Deb decided we needed to spruce up the big hatch on the barge with some more art.  So together with Lindy they came up with ……..Jan boot kleur vb-3.jpg

The hatch has to be cleaned and the drawing started, unfortunately the cloud cover vanished, as you can imagine the steel deck became hot enough to fry an egg on it.  We placed the white sun screen cover over it and Lindy kept on drawing.  After 4 hours of work , she had to go home, to finish on a later day.

 

In the mean time I was finishing up my switch panel with covers, but boy is it hard to properly route the wood for the hinges.   Luckily Roy will use this as a template and make a really good looking one.

This way the switches are out of sight, and divided in two groups, a general daily use group like, 24V lights, USB wall chargers,  fresh water, bilge pumps, apero alarm  etc, and the second group is cruising.  Thus the Victron Venus, navigation lights etc. Once the panels are opened there will be a form where I can slide the Ipad in for navigation etc.

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And even though I wrote the safety instructions, it does not mean I always follow them ( since “I am Invincible” as the villain in one of the James Bond movies shouts out).  I did stubbed my little toe against the front deck hatch. Did not seemed

too bad,  an hour later I put on sucks and shoes to walk Lindy back to the railway station, get back and unveil the my foot and voila…a nice  auwie.

 

Peggy Pushing the Dutch Tolerance Test

So this Monday was boating to the de Zaanse schans day.  But the shopping gods prevailed.     There had to be a day shopping in Amsterdam, and another trip to see to the redlight district, to see if the first visit was a fluke.   It was kinda dead.
But first we had to do laundry, so most clothes were clean to be worn in Paris. And yes the girls did use the Dutch cheap way and quick way of drying.

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Since the arrival was a mix up of ‘where are you’ a field trip to the airport railway station was combined with a swapping of cheese with Sara, who was coming back that afternoon from Graz< Austria, where she was aiding Deb.

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Then of to the Amsterdam Central station, and after a quick stroll, going with the flow of the hundreds and hundreds of tourists and thousands of bikes we ended up in the Kalver Straat.  The busiest ( but not most expensive) shopping streets in Amsterdam.  It was a bit of a job trying to keep an eye on both of them, since Peggy and Megan kept disappearing  to different stores and once out of the store moving on, with little regard where the other was.  We ended up on the Dam square where we again saw a person making bubbles and some other performers.
By that time Peggy’s mood changed, so food was needed.  Now before we come to that , please watch Dutch Tolerance Test about the well known Dutch Tolerance.   So you know what could have happened when Peggy kept going on about needing Ketchup.  BUT at this pizzeria she found …..ketchup…the first one….so she ordered French(ed) Fries,  While Megan and I gobbled up a margarita Pizza.

 

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And yes the Hellmans mayonaise is real mayonaise, unlike the version they sell in the USA.  Hellmans got into a legal battle a while back, about some vegan mixture using the term Mayonaise.  Hellmans got the judge to agree the vegan mixture was NOT Mayonaise,  BUT according to the judge Hellmans was neither…..according to the European quality laws there were not ENOUGH eggs in their mayonaise. So Hellmans was also forbidden to use the term Mayonaise on their ‘mayonaise’ until they changed the formula.

The stroll through the redlight district was another dud …..so we made our way back to the railway station, stopping every few feet, because Peggy saw another interesting building, where she needed to make a picture of.

Sunday …Beach, Paint and Tapas

The sun was bright and early, the carillion ( church bells) kept playing it would be a great day to go cruising……..nope…it was going to be the beach ……

So I drove Peggy and Megan to Wijk aan Zee and was told I could pick them up 4 hours later.  Megan took Peggy to the seashell, so she could hear distant sounds.  I dashed back and started the 2nd layer op pain on the port side.

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Also did some more cleanup, worked on the switch control panel, and picked up the girls.

After some rest they wanted to go eat Tapa’s .  It was quickly calculated that the all you can eat is cheaper than a la carte.  With English Menu’s Megan and Peggy ordered the first round of tapa’s.  Megan absolutely wanted to make pictures of every dish…..but…she was so hungry that once most was gone she realized the dishes were empty and no photo’s

When Peggy mentioned ketchup, Megan needed to remind Peggy that the dips for the Patatas was NOT Ketchup!And that service is more relaxed, no need to rush dinner

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Megan also captured my looks when Peggy asked for Ketchup again.

 

.  For dessert Megan wanted Creme Brulee, but there were two version..so what to do ……well I took away that choice and ordered both .

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When the bill came, there was the ‘fight’ over who would be paying, and I also checked the bill…   I did waved the waitress down and did thanked her for also including my imaginary friend on the bill ( 4 persons unlimited Tapa’s) .  But since my imaginary friend had not eaten we should not have to pay for him plus she forgot to charge for some drinks.  She felt quite embarrassed, and told we should not pay for the forgotten drinks . …a nice bonus, so she earned a 5 Euro tip……….Tips in holland are very generous IF a customer rounds it of to the full Euro. !

Walking back we saw that Daniel just pulled up to deliver the circle saw I needed. Introductions were made and Daniel grabbed quickly a beer from the fridge.   In the mean time Peggy got quite relaxed…    and NO Daniel is NOT rubbing her feet

 

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Albert Cuyp and Van Gogh

Again this Friday was going to be a nice day, NO rain…so UN-dutch.  Around 7 Megan started stirring herself and took her shower.  I did turned the Kabola on, but it was not starting.  Jumped in the engine room and let the air out of the diesel fuel line and it started up.  We will see if it keeps acting up.   We had to be up early to catch the Zaan Ferry which leaves every 2 hours, and takes a 45 minute ferry ride to the Central Station in Amsterdam.

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Enjoying coffee and the view on the way to Amsterdam.

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Arrived at Central Station and bikes everywhere

 

 

 

 

 

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The fish advertizes the BIG win in the National lotto…21 million

Arrived at Central Station Amsterdam and bikes everywhere.  Then the tram to the Albert Cuyp Straat, the longest year round open market. I also bought 2 more tubes of Gin Mayonaise !!

Took the tram to the Rijks Museum and as usual there were a few street musicians playing classical music.  Walked to the Van Gogh Museum and found out that tickets are only available on line or at the vending machine.  the next available slot was a few hours away, so the girls opted for the next day.

rijks1.JPG rijks2.JPGSince they still wanted to see the Anne Frank house, we walked to buss 354. and waited and waited and the bus was showing to arrive the next minute.  Some people were asking what was going on and then we saw the flash message ..some busses and trams were rerouted because of an accident……..that reminded me of last week when  Deb and her 2 friends went to the Anne Frank and Van Gogh went and arriving at the Central Station they found out there was a fire ( which later was a truck driving into the building of a national newspaper ) and thus NO trams or Busses driving.  Peggy decided not to wait and opted to venture out on herself.  SO after a discussion with Megan we decided to take the tram towards the Central station and from one point take another line to the Anne Frank House.  The App 9292 seemed a bit delayed when these emergencies occur.   At the Leidse Plein we opted to walk the rest to the Wester kerk.  By that time we needed a drink and some food….but Megan did not opted for her favorite place..FeBo

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The Dam square beckoned us, and it was on the way to the red light district.

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While on the ferry another passenger told us that today they were celebrating the birthday of the Dali Lama on the Dam we saw some of the set up.  Naturally there was some kind of protest going on, some street performers . like this one making a bubble show.

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Megan opted fora shrimp croquette, while watching the National Monument.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strolled the red light district, and Megan saw all the variety which was presented during lunch hour.  Then the Kalverstraat, the busiest shopping street in Amsterdam, and a few McDonalds, but the menu is quite different.  Maddie and Kathlyn Ly would be in . heaven…NO not because of the burgers, BUT because McDonalds is selling French Macaroons !!!

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A busy street like the Kalverstraat does have its hidden treasures, like the Begijn hof.  An oasis of peace and quite space.  Hee the old nuns and widowed affluent ladies spend their last years.

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Delft also has a few of these hofjes.  After that the train, and again uploading the transport card with more Euro’s and a Nap

 

 

 

 

 

I better have warm water, or………….and Delft

So it is a bright and sunny morning, just around 8:45 I saw Ron’s van drive over the pedestrian walkway bridge, so I quickly pressed the Senseo to make coffee for him.  Walked out, past the sleeping beauties, with a small serving tray and stood on the front deck!   He made a big smile, and admitted that this had never happened to him.  We chatted a but, and I found out he used to barge in France on his own Spits, which he later converted to his floating home just in front of the marina.

IMG_3169.JPGAfter his coffee Ron went into the barge, walked passed the sleeping beauties and……………..went into the back roef and fitted the small brass ring in the coupling which was missing according to him yesterday.  Hopped in the main engine room and turned thekabola on, it started sucking air, and voila…………..fire….in the heating chamber….Perfect.  So when the sleeping beauties wake up, I was told that 8 am would be their wake up time since there would be a 9 am departure and “There BETTER BE hot water”.  There is piping hot water, and mr sandman is stil very much present, or just jetlag denial.

 

Once up we will go to the railway station, re-up their public transport cards, take the train to Den Haag, use the tram to the beach and boardwalk, and the Kurhaus, which is has new owners.  The new ownership is showing unfortunately.  The Kurhaus used to be one of the pinnacles in service, now the average restaurant is their equal…sad.  From there we take Tram 1 to Delft, along the Vliet, to the stop aan de schiekade where I hired Delft Canal Hopper to take us around like I did with Deb, Sara and Cathy.    A view from the canals.  and we will eat at spijshuis de Dis.

So finally around 9:45 I was able to wake up Megan by serving her coffee in bed and after 30 minutes she took her shower.  Peg did not took the shower !!!!

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Off to the railway station when Megan remarked to Peg, you DO have your public transport card with you don’t you ?   uhhhh . noooo..so back to the barge, to pick up her card and her hat. Added 40 Euro’s to the cards and off we went to Den Haag.   Sat on top of an intercity with a great view.

In Den Haag we stepped onto tram 19, where we were packed like sardines, luckily some left at Madurodam, Holland on a scale 1:25 and the boy with his finger in the dike .  Which never happened but ah well. Got of at the Kurhaus, and we had some patat Oorlog as typical Boardwalk food.  Peg was still hungry, so we sat down of lunch.   Beers for me, Goat cheese salad for Megan and Apple pancake for Peg.

IMG_3171.JPGAnd off to Tram 1 to Delft.  In the tram I called Matthijs from the canal hopper, stating we were on our way and needed a picknick basket ( which was suppose to be lunch  !!!) so I had to call Huszar for food, while discussing food, the word brownie was mentioned and Megan shaked her head, YES legal weed brownies, which was overheard by 3 girls sitting in front of us. That made them giggle a lot, turn around and say they usually taste like shit!

At the stop in Delft it was a short walk to the boat, where Matthijs was waiting already . Huszar had a nice little crate filled with a light white wine, glasses, cheese, brownies ….without the weed which Americans stuff in it..veggie chips, fruit, and water. Matthijs again did a great job showing Delft from below.  And I let him stop at the Fish Market to let us off, for a quick stroll on the Thursday market. Yes they saw the BIG wooden shoe, so here it is….

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We did stop at Wapen van Oranje, for some more refreshments, and strolled over to the Beesten Markt, to Spijshuis de Dis.   Because it was such great weather we sat outside, which Megan soooooooo adored ..it is soooooo lovely.  The specials were Halibut and Duck Breast,  so Megan went for the halibut and I went for the breast, Peggy went for the beer braised beef.

 

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Since the Duck Breast was not perfect, and Jan the chef was not there, I was not in the mood to discuss it to much and together with the waiter we decided that giving Megan a Genever tasting would make up for it.  After Hushing Peggy a few times and reading her the riot act, about patience with food and plates NOT being cleared the moment you put the last bite in your mouth dessert came.   Gosh I should have worn a raincoat or protective gear, these girls were going to war over it.

 

Walking back to the Railway station Megan decided to play a Big slot machine standing in front of the Railway Station and she hit a Jack Pot…a tourist map of Delft.

 

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We took the train to Amsterdam Sloterdijk where we needed to change trains to Zaandam.  Pretty much all 2nd class seats were taken so when we entered the silent 1st class part I just sat down and to quickly meet Mr Sandman.  In Sloterdijk we exited the train, but forgot to check the balance on the public transport cards.  Mine gets up-charged automatic, the ones the girls have not. And you need a balance of 20 Euro’s to enter a train platform.  Because Sloterdijk has two different tracks crossing each other  we had to change track, which means check out and check in .  Well checking out always works, I checked in …and while halfway through the security gate, looked back and saw Megan with big sad eyes looking …..her card would not let in..balance TOOOOOO low.  Another person checked in, and I nudges Megan and Peggy to quickly run through the gate.  I walked to the kiosk to top up their cards, and decide we needed to cheat the NS rail out of about 1 or 2 Euro’s because of the stress they brought the girls.  The next stop was Zaandam and I upped the cards with another 40 Euro’s.  so we came back around 21:30

Drill baby Drill, or is it jetlag

Another sunny dry day.  so 5 am coffee, grab the paint, a few old towels to dry of the top deck and the day starts.   Rolling Yellow paint with a smallish roller, kneeling on a soft pad, so it is semi comfy.  yes the back is hurting.   Today Amsterdam…well….JETLAG reared its head again.

The second coat of paint applied, time for more coffee.  MY dentist appointment was at 12:30 so also some varnishing, Peggy and Megan got up around 9:30 – 10 and made it clear they wanted to shower!.  So I cleared the shower area, turned on the Kabola and started to do the dishes, but the water was not getting hot…..I opened the hatch, and saw the Kabola display indicating warm water requested and the current temp is 27C. BUT no warm water.   Gosh it had worked correctly after Jochem connected it to the new large tank.  IMG_3162.JPGSO I called Ron, the installer, local service man.  After explaining what was going on, he indicated that the burner was not getting any diesel, so I had to turn the pump on and bleed the system.  Meaning I had to use an allen key on the P screw and open it up till there was some diesel coming out.

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Well I did so quite a few times BUT no success.  Megan announced loudly she would be happy to take a cold shower today in this heat, since she knew Peggy would be a tad upset about NO hot shower

. (it is called JetLag).  Hey as an old fart I know it all too well.  I suggested they could take a hot shower at the marina station, unfortunately Peter the marina Boss was out grocery shopping so he would not  be back till 30 minutes. At the same time I kept trying, and then realized it was nearly Drill Baby Drill time.

So quickly washed up and cycled to the Dentist office.  I arrived 3 minutes early and was told to “take a seat” . I used the wait time to get my noise canceling ear blasters ready to play Queen “Live at Wembly”  5 minutes past, 10 minutes past and the receptionist came in apologizing for delaying my appointment and offered something to drink.  To which I flipped out..Any alcohol.  Her eyes became wide, and said No we cant serve that,  my replay was Cola?  The receptionist declared it was bad for the teeth…..I shaked my head and said “Do you think I care ???? I am going to be tortured….”  She offered coffee, which was also bad for the teeth and the dentist would notice.  Off she went…and 2 minutes later the door opens . and the dentists greets me.   She is ready for me…But I had not had my coffee !!!  PURE torture.  ok head phones on, Vapor Rub slathered under my nose I laid down on the chair,  and while Queen was showing of in Wembly the torture started.  The suction was hooked in me like a fish, and I reminded her it was NOT Christmas and I am NOT a carp , as they serve traditionally in Poland.  It did produce a chuckle, again she was very easy, proceeding at what seemed a good pace, and each time I jerked or move making sure I was ok.  There were even a few moment where I felt my feet moving with the tune and twice it seemed I dozed of for a second or so, since I kept my eyes closed.  The routine was the same, and at the end it was all fun.

On my way out I saw Ron called me twice, so I called back and found out that he could come on his way home, around 4 or 5.

Back at the boat I suggested to change plans and go to the Kringloop winkel (thrift store), and after Ron fixed it, we would go to the beach.   Took Peggy and Megan to the two nice Kringloop winkels Deb likes and entered parked the van on the big parking lot, where we were told to park by the residents.   I was not out of the van or ANOTHER I  have NO life resident started moaning about why can’t you park your car anywhere else.  So I replied, because I don’t want to.

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Back at the barge, the girls went into town for some drink and shopping.  I started back in the belly working on the battery fuse, when Ron and Jochem showed up in their cycling clothes.  They cycle about 15 miles each day to work on their mountain bikes.  Ron went in, kept muttering that the tank was not full enough, but in the end decided to come back the next morning with his tools and a different filter.  Hey he does give good service !!

 

 

 

 

Peggy was exhausted (JETLAG), and needed a rest, boy was I happy I did not took them into Amsterdam !!!  So I took Megan in the van to the beach….wijk aan zee, she was not sure why we would go to the beach at 19:00 (7 pm for the 12 hour users).  But she trusted Gruncle Jan.  Arriving at the parking lot I first walked her to the big seashell, which acts as amplifier for the sea sounds.  Getting closer to the beach she was a tad surprised to see many restaurants and bars.  So we had to try some beers on the beach.   I opted to have her try a Straffe Hendrik. IMG_3166.JPG

Back at the barge we did chit chatted a bit until the sun was down around 22:40

 

Tomorrow Delft !

How many females can he keep up with ….

Yes the other boaters in the marina are starting to ask..Last week your wife and 2 other females, This week a mother and her daughter.  Poor guy ..will this be the 583th time to the Rijks Museum, 293th time to the Anne Frank House, and 1,001st time you explaining Panne Koeken ( Pan cakes)

Yes it is fun to have a deluge of guests.  The sofa on the pilot house has been a great bed for me. ( it wil be a total of 24 days this trip ) .  We stil have the Murchland’s to come after this group.  And yes I am starting to feel a bit like the head steward on the “below decks series”.  I even adapted the “my pleasure” when a guests ask for something.

Today July 3rd, Peggy and Megan were still dead asleep at my normal waking up time of 5 am.  Hey, it is LIGHT outside so why be sleeping.  The sun starts pouring energy in the solar panels, so coffee is great.  Did work for Vetport, and ignored the usual verbal explosions of some of the people there.

The yellow part of the deck was covered with light pearls of condensation.  The part with was covered in primer was dry.  Yes the energy absorption is really noticeable.  During the day you can touch the Yellow without fear of being burned, but the part covered in grey primer, is hot enough to fry an egg.   So I grabbed the paint and roller as quiet as a mouse and snuck out, and started putting a first coat of yellow over the primer.    Now the top deck is nearly all repainted.  We still have to apply the 2nd and 3rd coat on some parts and some parts only need a 3rd.  Then when the sides are done I can apply a 4th and probably 5th coat.  When we bought Jan-Kees, the previous owner had not done much paint upkeep for a few years, so it was really needed.

Megan woke up, and I had to show her how you really slice Old Gouda. By the time Peggy woke up, it was time for me to go to the dentist, 2nd and final root canal this trip.  While cycling halfway I realized I forgot my big Iphone with music.  I NEED my noise canceling head phones and music to drown out any noise the dentist made.  Luckily I could download some music while cycling.  Yes I rather to to Iraq, Iran orLebanon, in high heels, lingerie and NO weapons, than to the dentist, and I would still feel more comfortable there than at the dentist.  But the dentist who is from Poland is good, and I am slowly loosing some of my apprehension.
IMG_3149.JPGComing back the girls were ready to go to town, explore, and say “wow that is cute’ at nearly every house.   At the shoe store, which had a sale, they just vanished, to come out 30 minutes later with a lot of new shoes.
Megan had to try the FeBo.  it is like one of these 1950’s automatic.   You put your 2 Euro’s in, look to the window and open it to get your snack out.  Great for midnight hangover snacks.  Megan grabbed a Sateh Croquette  ( spicy grilled chicken with peanut sauce in a croquette form), and I got her a Bami Ball ( deep fried Indonesian Noodles, so a VERY Dutch dish ).  She preferred the Bami Ball.

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After that I had to dash to the town hall to pickup some papers,  Peggy found a coffee machine and grabbed some free coffee, and was surprised she did not had to pay 50 Euro cents to go to the bathroom.  At the same time Megan was making sounds like delighted squirell who found its nuts in the middle of the snow, because there was free WiFi

 

 

Since Monet lived and painted in Zaandam Peggy had to make a picture from the same spot Monet was sitting when painting his Blue House, which si 1 minute walking from the barge.

We did stopped at Albert Heyn, a nice grocery store ( Just in case you did not know they also own Red Lion, Piggly Wiggle and a bunch more US based grocery chains) . In AH ( Albert Heyn)  Megan was like a 4 yr old in a candy store, grabbing anything and anything in my shopping basket, until she grabbed some French cheese and I had to threaten her with arrest by the dutch police since we are very tolerant, BUT some things are NOT allowed.  Peggy was told a few time “MOM we are NOT at home so DON’T buy the same stuff you are used to at home” .  In the housekeeping department I did had to show them GLASSEX.

Back at the boat, after unpacking the groceries, we were met with the quack quack of the duck with her 5 ducklings.   Deb, Sarah and Cathy were well trained by mother duck to feed her and her offspring, so Megan took up that task,  she even climbed down on the construction floater, next to the barge.

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After some rest and RUDE interruptions by the constant ‘ping ping ping ping’ of Vetport, we walked to the lock for pancakes.  We decided on 2 large ones, a Mexican one and a Boeren Pannekoek ( Farmers  pancake)   Nicely filled with smoked bacon, ham, caramelized onions etc.  They were split amongst us 3 and vanished like snow for the sun. Too quickly gone to make a picture.
Megan chatted a bit with the waitress about differences in work.  We also put in an order for poffertjes with fresh strawberries and chocolate syrup.  It took  a while, Peggy did asked me a few times if I had put the order in, to which Megan corrected her with “Chill we are not at home eating quickly, enjoy it”.  the waitress must have overheard that because she came out feeling embarrassed …., because the owner just took a walk to his sons restaurant on the other side of the lock.

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They were NEARLY devoured when Megan realized she had to take a picture.

Fuel 86 %

Wow a nearly full fuel tank….well NO.  When Lars installed the fuel sensor he mounted the float on the wrong end.  It was kinda puzzling, since the Venus showed 100% full when first connected. So after discussing it with Daniel I fired off an email to Matthijs, who responded with the note that he nearly got a heart attack after his security officers told him they needed to reset servers for an update.  But when Matthijs googled that update he found out it was already out for the last 2 months.   So we exchanged some other incidents typical of working with Indians.  Most fun was Matthijs telling me that even after the one Indian company has worked with them for over 20 + years they still do not follow up on what they promised to do.  So an European setting  is 1-180 ohm. I switched the reading to a US sensor (240 – 30 Ohm) and yes is showed a 135 liter value . (28%).  So Lars had mounted the sensor in reverse.
Yesterday Ron and Jochem connected the Kabola to the main tank, so I have been busy with hoses to try to empty the antique fuel tank and dump all in the big one

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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