April 6, 2015
I am writing this by candlelight, on a boat, in a canal and I’m eating butterscotch chocolate while I do.
Sounds romantic, doesn’t it?
Well, even though everything I described is true, our circumstances aren’t quite romantic. We are on a houseboat in Amsterdam and all was going well until Daddy pulled a chain in the bathroom which turned off most of our electricity. (I believe he was looking for a light!) It also set off a very loud, high-pitched alarm. That was about an hour ago and we have yet to remedy the situation.
Therefore, we have no heat, very little light and permanently ringing ears. After several phone calls, we got a hold of Alexander, bicycle repairman who offered his assistance. Most sadly of all–Alexander is neither handsome or jolly. He just arrived on his “moto,” cigarette in hand. I don’t think he’ll be much help with the (missing) key to the breaker box…
Which brings us back to me, sitting in the captain’s quarters, eating butterscotch chocolate and writing by candlelight. It’s a good thing we bought this Amsterdam cigarette lighter at the gift shop today! Since I do not plan on going to bed until we are rid of both Alexander and this awful noise, I might as well this this opportunity to give an account of our day.
We woke up in our cozy, modern apartment around nine o’clock again and packed up, cleaned up and checked out. We picked up our backpacks and walked out, across the canal and to the tram stop. We then took a long series of trams to Pancake Corner, where we got coffee and pancakes (all mediocre.) From there we hopped on the tram again and found our way to the rent-a-bike and rent-a-boat office and got our houseboat key.
A short walk from there, we found our new home (The Agada) and hopped aboard, happy to finally unload our backs. We got settled in (it’s quite quirk and quaint and OLD,) and then headed back into town on foot (no luggage!!!) and in the direction of the Rijks Museum. On our way, however, we decided we really didn’t have time to explore all the great Dutch masters this afternoon, so instead we popped into some souvenir shops (score!) and then a nice little pizzeria where we had pasta, gnocchi and grilled chicken. After that, we caught a short tram to Rembrandt Plein to resist the huge, wonderful Starbucks we found yesterday and enjoy some coffee and wifi.
We actually stayed there quite a while, (the girls enjoyed their frappucinnos at their own table, then played around the statues with Daddy.) We checked social media, email and texted a bit with stateside family before bundling back up and heading “home”.
“The rest is history”–as they say! We were settling in (I was actually painting a little sketch of the canal) when Daddy to tried to turn a bathroom light on and turned off our electricity instead. I’ve moved to the kitchen table now (bringing the candles) and Mommy is here writing in her own journal and drinking wine. We stopped for a while to do laundry, which meant scrubbing our panties with dish soap in the bathroom sink and hanging them in our stall-sized bathroom. Of course, our lovely bike repairman (who is still here and is slowly winning me over with his determination to be of help) soon had to start walking in and out of our bathroom, past our lingerie display, and pulling the Famous Chain of Doom repeatedly, for reasons beyond the female mind.
In other news–my little watercolor set and aqua brush I bought for this occasion work quite well. I had a lovely few minutes on the “roof” sketching the canal by the heat of the fresh air exhaust pipe…
WE HAVE POWER! The boat is starting to warm up. We are under strict instructions from Dear Alexander to “don’t touch again.” Roger that.