Hebben gevonden nieuwe liefde in Amsterdam . Dec 9th, 2012

Posted: August 7, 2013 in Past Trips
In love with Amsterdam, it's canals, Indonesian food and charm

In love with Amsterdam, it’s canals, Indonesian food and charm

 

Just when I thought I was secure with my future intention of defecting the US for France, I am deeply enchanted by Amsterdam.  And no, not because the other night walking through the ‘red light’ district with a local, a friendly stranger on a Zijstraat shared a quick puff with me, unsolicited.  But despite the snow and 25 degree weather, this charming Dutch city full of style, handsome tall men in scarves, mad bikers, coffee shops and canals has stolen my heart.  Holland’s unique kiss-kiss-kiss, three times rather than the European standard two, well… that sealed the deal.

 

Yesterday I slept late, went for lunch and my nail appointment, had drinks and Dutch Voorgerechten with a hotelier, then bundled up, as it was then 20 degrees out and decided to experience my first coffee shop.  It was so cold but people were still out, on their bikes and just generally good-spirited.  I did it!  And it was very cool.  Something you just have to experience to understand.  I kind of wanted to buy a cake and try to smuggle it into London today, but decided against.  Walking home, through the quiet cobblestoned streets and canals that I imagine are exactly as they must have been in the 17th century… I felt a little bit like Lara from Dr. Zhivago.  Wrong country, I know.  But so enchanting and historic, I heard some distant clock striking ten o’clock.  I bet those clock bells have rung every night for a few hundred years.

 

I went a bit hard my first night here, after an interesting day departing Cannes.  Most flights to Amsterdam were cancelled due to snow, and my flight was delayed by four hours.  I spotted an Amsterdam new hotel’s General Manager after check-in, we’d met briefly here and there throughout the week, like on the Hyatt Yacht outside the Palais des Festivals.  Anyway, I invited him up to the Air France lounge with me since there is next to nothing after security in the Cote d’Azur Airport.  He knew I was staying at the renowned Hotel de L’Europe, and an hour or two in, a few wines later, he called his people and I hear him saying something about transport for Ms Costello and Hotel de L’Europe.  I had no idea the hotel existed as it only opened four weeks ago.  The day went on, and the German born world-traveling GM and I discussed how to become an ex-pat, US politics, other parts of the world, families, etc.  Just before boarding we were looking at pictures of his award winning design hotel and I began to wonder why I wasn’t staying there!  He suggested I cancel my current hotel but I was outside cancellation policy.  As we boarded our flight, we called (from his phone!) the De L’Europe and told a white lie of a flight cancellation and poof, I was staying at the best hotel in Amsterdam.  The GM had a canal view room all arranged, a bottle of champagne waiting and even made the nail appointment for me.  My arrival to Holland couldn’t be more special.  After a tough week of taking care of others, quite intensely, I’ll admit it was nice to feel a bit babied.  That luxury continued into the wee hours of the night, having a rice table at an Indonesian restaurant with a local client of a client, and his British buddy.  It was hilarious, though my voice is now shot.  Thankfully, Andaz has supplied me with verviene tea and honey to sooth the chords.

 

I was a bit sad to leave Cannes.  After being reminded of its beauty and near perfect culture, then having an unexpectedly successful and enjoyable week, albeit intense beyond imagination.  I am comforted by the fact this conference will now be my early December ritual.  I met the most amazing people, the personal contacts are priceless.  Even though Ashlee and I are now required to wear OPI’s ‘Langham Love’ pink nail polish next week in London, it’s a fun trade off to make with the hotel’s boss’ boss for having haggled the use of his posh bar for my group, free of charge.

 

The last night in Cannes was the only night I went to one of the several lavish parties I was invited to.  At the famed Carlton Hotel, an InterContinental. Wow.  Dark rooms, purple neon and smoke all over the floors, followed by Cirque du Soleil dancers and sexy amazing french women just rocking the latest pop music, it was truly an experience in itself.  A luxury Madrid hotel owner and I ganged up on our new Roma best friend and pushed him into the spotlights, amongst many other funny hilarious antics throughout the night.  It was spectacular.  Only bummer was I was in flat boots and couldn’t really dance with all these amazing European men, as I ordinarily would have.  Even though the magical French with their creams and Compeed cured my foot, I still erred on the side of caution.  The friends I’ve made truly are good friends to have.

 

Thus far, my trip has been chalk full of pleasant surprises, unbelievable business and one exciting thing after another!  Though I’m now sad to be leaving Amsterdam, I have the Thalys to Brussels connecting to the Eurostar to London, which I’ve never done before.  I can only be excited about that!  What is it about me that gets off so much on logistics?  Who needs South America?  Seriously.

 

Looking forward to meeting Ms Siegel this afternoon in London and am hopeful her jet lag won’t be so severe and we can goof off a bit in the UK!  Was really cute last night on the phone, going over all the steps and what to do or expect when she lands.  Part of Ash’s first call to order was to pick up the duty free in LAX.  I woke up today to two texts saying “They don’t have Vueve, only Moët.  But they have the Goose!”.  So cute.

 

I really will miss Amsterdam, and could spend so much more time here.  I am happy to be here in the winter and snow.  I look forward to coming back (hint, hint AJ) very soon.

 

But, off to London I go!  A week full of managing a client’s events, keeping up the regular business and drinks out with three unrelated friends who live there.

 

Been an amazing time so far, despite it’s panicked beginning.

 

Liefde voor alle!

 

Good as new at the Virtuoso closing party at the infamous Carlton Hotel

Good as new at the Virtuoso closing party at the infamous Carlton Hotel

 

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