Old Friends

Today we hope to meet up with our neighbours from England. It has been 10 years since we left and it will be good to see them. Surprisingly this is a fairly overcast day. Only the second on the trip. Mostly we have had excellent weather in the high 20s and low 30s. I guess its a way for us to get used to the weather back home.

Our friends arrived shortly after I started typing this.  They had gone to the other IBIS by the Train Station as opposed to this one across from the train station.  Easy error, since this one was called the Bellevue until a month or so ago.  Well, almost 10 years to the day from last seeing our friends in person.  Great to see them – they really have not changed.  This was the couple who became our best friends in England, mentors they guided us through the “ways” of English Culture so that we could fit in, albeit in our unique Canadian way.  They also had two daughters the same age ish as our two boys and their girls really had a good time playing with our daughter.  It was a fun time.

So we met and walked through Central Amsterdam, past some red lighted presentations, a couple of open air markets into some interesting architectural areas.  IMG-20130719-00009 IMG-20130719-00013 IMG-20130720-00019 IMG-20130720-00021 IMG-20130720-00023Then we stopped for a coffee , walked some more and then stopped for beer and a snack.  We stopped at one of those uniquely quaint “Brown Cafes” we ordered beer and had “bitterballen” (breaded and deep fried balls with a ragout filing).  They were good.  So walking around for another few hours we ended up back at their hotel pledging to meet about 1 hour and a quarter later to go for some indonesian food.

We met again, went to the restaurant and continued talking for a long time.  We talked about life, kids, careers, houses pets, projects, hobbies.  Canadian and UK armed forces where they have been and are going – in our experience and opinions.  Personalities were discussed, sometimes dissected and generally talked about.  It really was like we had not been apart.  When we finished we went back to their hotel to have another final pint before calling it a night and pledging to see each other before the next 10 years is over.  When Margot and I returned to our hotel room we checked her IPOD pedometer – over 15,000 steps in around 6 hours.

Good friends are those who you can see again after that much time and just take up where you left off – we are blessed with many “good friends”.

Off to sleep tonight – we have to face the Dutch and Belgian rail systems tomorrow – wish us luck!

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