Vacation report

Posted at Aug 6, 2007 12:05 pm

Well, we got back from our London/ Amsterdam trip. It was supposed to be Paris/London/ Amsterdam but there was a mishap with the train ticket. I hadn’t realized that if you wait until the day of the trip to buy your Eurostar train ticket it will end up costing about $1500. So my husband went on lastminute.com and found 300$ plane tickets from London to Amsterdam and we decided to just tour those two cities.
London was wonderful (of course.) we stayed at the Dorset Square hotel and it was the most perfect experience. I don’t really like the big impersonal establishments where evrything seems to be made of gold laminate and marble. This was built in the style of a old-fashioned english country -house complete with a sitting room with 100-year old books, victorian style furnishings and a fireplace. I was in heaven.
We visited the Tower of London, Sherlock Holmes Museum (of course), Kenwood House (earl’s country mansion filled with paintings- original Vermeer, Rembrandt etc), and best of all- saw Les Miserables at Queen’s theatre. The actor who played Valjean was so good that I held my breath through his songs. I’m embarrased to say this but that experience was even more memorable than the Covent Garden Marriage of Figaro performance that I saw last year. *ducks head and winces*  We also spent all of Saturday afternoon in the British Museum. My husband LOVED that. They had carvings of the Assyrians during the period 600-700 B.C. and several depictions of the exile of the Lost Tribes of Israel.  I think he would have stared at that all day. 
Amsterdam was beautiful.  I love old architecture and the entire city was a brilliant combination of old and new. We spent the entire day walking through the old side, the new side, the floating flower market, even the red Light district. (very briefly) I was mildly shocked.  Everything was on sale there, everything– and all in plain view.     I made my husband close his eyes.  Before we left we went on the canal tours. We did not go into the Anne Frank house because when we got there there was a line stretching down the street. Also my husband didn’t really want to. He feels that the message of that place has been distorted over time and is now just another  tourist sight. 
A couple of minor inconveniences on the trip- my phone was stolen in London and the trip back included a 12-hour delay in New York. But the entire week had been so perfect that we didn’t mind. It was the first time we were on a trip together without the kids in 11 years. Long overdue. I think he might be game for another trip in the future (whenever we’ve pulled together the money for it)
Still no word about the book. I’m getting nervous. The last email was so encouraging -but that was three weeks ago. patience, patience, I know.

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