Monday, September 6, 2010

Onboard the Avalon Felicity

We spent the morning making an effort to finish the washing and drying a few “essential” clothes; i.e., DH’s stuff! Mine remains in the dirty clothes bag. Hmmm...

I finished up the leftovers in the frig and made a sandwich for lunch, finished packing, and left our little apartment for a short walk to the NH Amsterdam Centre to check in for our cruise. Vondelpark, the city’s largest park (comparable to New York’s Central Park), is a short distance from the hotel. We try to have at least one picnic lunch during our trips, and the weather today was perfect for such an outing.

Amsterdammers must love this park especially on a sunny day. It was crowded with families, young lovers, groups of men playing soccer, sunbathers, a few musicians, dogs, and even some just dozing in the afternoon sun. We enjoyed our picnic lunch by a small waterfall while listening to a guitarist play and sing Neil Diamond songs in Dutch!

Avalon took us by bus from the hotel to the dock where we boarded the Avalon Felicity. The river boats dock side by side so that you have to walk through another boat in order to board. We were greeted with the friendly smiles of the crew and shown to our cabin. No security at all unlike the ocean cruise lines. More trust? Less threat? Who knows?

The room is quite small, but well designed. We managed to find a place for everything, then struggled with the room safe until I finally figured out that the “B” looked strikingly like an “8!” I finally got my cocktail - a small bottle of Gilbey’s from the room mini-bar over ice. Oh, well - it will make me appreciate my martini nights at home all the more.

We shared a table at the welcome dinner with Frank and Joyce, an interesting couple from Ontario, Canada. His wife has been in a care facility for over ten years, so Frank and Joyce consider themselves “traveling companions.” They were actually introduced to one another by one of their children. I hope our children would do the same for us if one of us goes into that long dark hole called dementia.

The room was dark, the boat was quiet -- blessed sleep!

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