Saturday, June 17, 2006

Lobster and Biking on Cape Cod

Gandalf and Crys both called for directions within 15 minutes of each other. I rode my bike up the street and met them in the parking lot of my favorite package store. In my excitement I forgot the camera. Forgetting items would become the theme of the weekend.

They followed me back to the house where everyone got settled and we reacquainted ourselves over some cold Heineken and guacamole dip.

We agreed on a restaurant, Freestones, located on the National Whaling Historic Park in New Bedford, Ma. Soon after being seated, the manager approached us and asked if we would be willing to change tables. No problem for us, and for our courtesy, the drinks were on the house.

Sue and Margie each had a fancy martini. Gandalf and I shared a nice bottle of Pinot Noir. Both the ladies chose a huge lobster roll, Dave decided on a sirloin steak, the size of which made him bug eyed, and I opted for my favorite, chicken Quesadilla. The theme….no camera.

Sunday was a light breakfast before beginning the biking part of the QSJ Lobster bike fest.

We somehow managed to load four bikes in, on and around my car.

The East Bay Bike Path (EBBP) is a 13.5 mile paved trail that runs along the Providence River beginning in East Providence, continuing through the towns of Riverside, Warren, and Barrington, RI. The path ends/begins in the quaint seaside town of Bristol RI. A town that boasts one of the largest 4th of July parades in the country.

I wanted to ride a bit and make adjustments to the bikes for fit, but in keeping the the weekend theme, I forgot my tools at home. It must have been painfull for Dave and Margie to ride 25 plus miles on ill fitting bikes, OUCH!

In Bristol, we took a lunch break at a local waterfront pub. Typical New England fare included, chowda, clam cakes, and fish sandwich. All washed down with some very good Czech pilsner beer. In honor of the world cup going on.

We made good time on the return 13 mile ride with the wind at our backs. Dave had to catch a flight back to Houston, and Margie was scheduled to meet business associates in Providence. Me? I had to rush home to watch the US/Italy match, and what a match it was. We coulda beat em. But a 1-1 draw keeps us in the running to advance. Beating Ghana on Thursday would do it. GO US.

Monday, June 12, 2006

World Cup Gelsenkirchin Germany, US/Czech

Keith and I drove from Amsterdam to Gelsenkirchen, Germany to watch to US vs. Czech World Cup match. The stadium was mostly Americans and was unbelievably loud. Here are some phosto in and around the stadium, without comment.


Sunday, June 11, 2006

Riding Bikes in Amsterdam

Amsterdam could be called the "City of Bikes". All roads have bike lanes. All business have bike racks. And all Dutch have bikes. Finding a bike rental shop was no problem. Keith and I picked our up early and embarked on a Sunday Morning Dutch tour.

We had quite a bit of time before meeting our friends, Elanor and Everett, in a Australian pub to watch the Holland match.

Our ride took us along the canal through the Rembrant district.

There are plenty of activities along and on the canals. People strolling, biking, and sunbathing on the shore. Houseboats are abundant on the canals and rowing is prevalent.

Beautiful homes along the canal. Quaint villiage settings, and streets void of motor traffic. What more could a bike rider ask.

After the bike we returned to Rebmrandsqare to secure our spot at the pub to watch the World Cup Match. All in orange of course.

It is important in a foreign country not to look stupid.

Inside the pub at match time.

Every time I want a picture, someone gets in the way.

See, it happened again.

After the match we returned with our hosts to their flat for a quiet evening of cold Dutch beer and tapas. The view from the terrace and a 10PM sunset capped a wonderfull day in Amsterdam.

Tomorrow, US/Czech game in Gelsenkirchen Germany. The reason we are here.


Saturday, June 10, 2006


Keith and I arrived an hour apart. We made some half assed arrangement on meeting and what to do if we did not find each other at the airport. Naturally I messed everything up. When I looked for his arrival, I saw he would be disembarking at gate three. I waited for an hour at baggage claim three at gate 8. We did manage to bump into each other just as we were about to give up and go to the hotel separately.

It didn't take long to figure the train schedules, and by asking a couple of questions at the information booth the ride from the airport to Central Station went smoothly.

A tram from Central Station to Rembrant Square took us to the hotel.

Train to Rembrantsquare

The Imperial Hotel was a great central location in a nice area that was very lively.

Small room and beds brought to mind the story of Gulliver

We had intended to sleep a few hours before meeting our friends and doing the sights. Very seldom do things go as planned. A late arrival at the hotel gave us just enough time to shower and unpack before the phone call came announcing the arrival of our hosts, Everett and Elenor.

Vlinder and Clayton meet in the Imperial Hotel.

Elanor, John and Everett

Elanor, Keith, Everett

We walked around the old town, flee market, Rembrandt house, former Jewish quarters, weigh house and of course The Red Light District. Keith found a store that sold Dutch shoes made in his hometown in Colorado.

The four of us spent the afternoon taking in the sights of the city.

Our gracious host invited Keith and I for dinner. A BBQ catered by their son Floris. Some good Dutch wine and beer with our chicken and burgers filled us to the point it was difficult to get out of the chair. That we did though, when it was clean up time. After all we were in Holland where the "Dutch treat" was probably invented.

Keith and Everett talking business

I've eaten too much and I can't get up

Tomorrow is Biking in Amsterdam followed by the Dutch game on TV. All the bars and cafes are decorating and bringing in many extra TVs to show the game.