Travel day is never fun, we had to make sure that everything is in order for the four legged kids. Dinner with the two legged variety was the night before, to make sure they have our itinerary.

An hour and a half before we were to leave I had a mini panic attack. Inspite of the fact I bought a brand new iPad for back up, the 250GB of camera cards all of a sudden just didn’t feel like enough! Off to Henry’s I went and bought another 64GB of fast cards.

This panic attack occurred because of my first digital trip in 2004 when I took only 256 MB of cards and ended up going into internet cafes in Italy to back up on CDs at the time. Then I remembered running out of capacity and having to stop in some sort of camera/hardware/grocery store in rural Colorado to buy one more card! Oh, I also just remembered deleting pictures from my last card with space to take more pictures of Venice at night.

I think I have the math right when I say that with the collective capacity of our phones, iPad’s and cards we have TWO THOUSAND TIMES the storage data for this trip versus the first one to Italy. After all I’m adding video and shooting raw images that are thirty megs each! I’m NOT going shopping for rates cards in the Serengeti!

Our vehicle of choice for leg one

I got home feeling more at ease with the last minute purchase and wanted a last minute snack. I opened the fridge, to discover that the inside temperature was warmer than outside temperature, the fridge just died!

We spent the last hour feverishly throwing out defrosted freezer food, and took what was salvageable to the downstairs fridge. We used up the last hour and fifteen minutes really quickly!

Our neighbor graciously drove us to the airport where we meet our travel companions. Overnight flights are no fun! Especially if you don’t sleep on the plane. Even with a sleeping pill and maybe a glass or two of wine to speed up the sleep, I didn’t sleep. Adrenaline is such a tough cookie!

This isn’t a good or bad thing, I’m looking like my brother more and more!

We got to our hotel at 8:00 AM, but check in is at three! This is where the Kerba schmoozing paid off! I somehow managed to talk to the young lady into finding us two rooms that were ready… God, I needed that nap!

Near our hotel, “Monet Gardens”

Our first to do item after a truly refreshing sleep was the Rembrandt house. Donna and I absolutely love his work and there was no way we would miss seeing that. It was marvellous! If that wasn’t enough, the city kindly arranged to have a Rembrandt festival to welcome us.

In and around Rembrandt house

Then back tour hotel room we went, to prepare for the evening at the Red Light District. I was looking forward to that photo challenge. No pictures allowed of the Windows, they haven’t met Naguib and his surreptitious camera yet!

With all the security and fines involved, did you really think I would post any? 😉

We had a nice dinner and a leisurely stroll back to the hotel for the night. I’m writing this blog at four AM Amsterdam time. Here are some more pictures of day one.

Part of the recreation of the “Night watch”

Goodnight after a great first day!

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