Before we had left Amanda and I had found a place to live on the charming and economically named street: Tweede Jan Steenstraat. The guy who owns the apartment–a medical student about to start his job–is renting it out while he spends 5 months in the Amazon jungle hanging out with snakes and bugs. Apparently the Dutch LOVE vacations, or as they call it: holidays. So we got this sweet place all rented out except for one problem. We move in October 1st. We arrive in Amsterdam on Sept 22nd. Durp.
So we had to find a place where we could stay for 9 days that wouldn’t a) break the bank. b) be so far out of the city that we are left sitting in the Mississauga (or worse, the Hamilton) of Europe while all the fun stuff is happening downtown, far away from our happy jetlagged faces.
The first one ruled out hotels. The second one ruled out cheap little country b n’ b’s. What to do!?
Luckily we found this website: http://www.airbnb.com/ Airbnb is a website that sets up people who are willing to rent out their spare room for a short stay and people who are looking for an affordable place to be. So after a few hours looking at profiles, we found one.
Marnie Neve. She had a spare room, was right in the center of Amsterdam and her price was akin to us moving into our apartment 9 days early. Perfect!
Oh, and she’s Neve Campbell’s mom. Neve didn’t come to the house tho. But we did watch The Company that was laying around. Good movie.
Once we spent an entire day sleeping like zombies to combat jetlag we decided that we needed to buy bikes. 3 days later and having gone to every bike store in the downtown area (I was told by my increasingly dutch wife that we went to so many so that we didn’t get ripped off at the first  stores we went to. gotta see em all!) we finally bought our wedding presents to each other. And they are pretty sweet. And, thankfully, weather resistant because no one in their right mind can haul these tanks up a flight of stairs.
So once we had bike we had the opportunity to explore Amsterdam! And there are photos!
One of the first places we rode, (and now one of our most frequently visited places) is Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s version of central park. There are many happy dogs, traumatized ducks and not one giant black rat-squirrel in sight.
So each of the 9 days at Marnie’s was started by a good, brisk walk in Vondelpark. Every morning we woke up an hour earlier and by the time the 9 days were over, our bodies had fully acclimatized. By day 3 or 4 we were mentally ready to tackle our new life!
Up next: Our new home and church visits