Woke to a cool rainy Sunday morning. Onah made us a light breakfast of ham, baguette, boiled egg and prosciutto with cappuccino. We then took a nice long walk around the city. We parked on the south side and then roamed. Weather was overcast but perfect temperature and the rain held off. I’ve been coming here so long and so many times a year, that I think I know Amsterdam better than any other city in the world. I think this was my 4th visit just this year.
We went to the cigar store but it only opened at 12:00 we did not have enough time to wait. Instead we went to one of Sjoerd’s clothing stores and I ordered a shirt. Sjoerd recently ordered a bespoke all-year, all-weather jacket that is beautiful, but at €848, I declined. Years ago, maybe around 1999 or so, I ordered my first and only bespoke suit from a tailor that Sjoerd uses here–I still have that suit and still wear it from time to time.
A lovely visit, as always. The Whiskey tasting was great fun. Jim McEwan and Richard Paterson were hilarious and had a wealth of stories and jokes about their many years of selling Scotland’s finest around the world. They spoke lovingly about the islands of Jura and Islay and how the industry is so important to the people there for their livelihood. Clearly they love what they do and who wouldn’t? The event was held in an ancient church (circa ~1500) which was very beautiful. And the town of Leiden is also very beautiful. It will be worth a trip to come back one day.
Two of Sjoerd’s friends were there and they turned out to be rugby players, so we had lots of good stories about rugby in America and Holland. Their team even won the Dutch championships one year–no small achievement. We made tentative plans to meet to watch a 6-Nations match at Murrayfield in February and then fly to Islay for whisky tasting. But of course all depends on the ever-volatile work schedule. I have seen international rugby matches at Twickenham, Ellis Field, Sydney’s Allianz stadium, Chicago’s solider field, Hong Kong, Dublin’s Aviva, Singapore and Las Vegas. But never Murrayfield. I was lucky enough to catch USA and Ireland on this trip at Aviva.
After the tasting officially ended, we stood around and chatted and drank beer. I bought a couple of bottles to take home and after about an hour the line had gone down so I got them both signed. Good gifts for family and friends.
My current schedule has me laying over at JFK for 6 hours but I am hoping to see if I can get an earlier flight from LaGuardia and get home earlier. It may not be possible because of my luggage. But will try. Would love to get home in time for a late dinner rather than my currently scheduled time of 11:35pm.
Now at the airport waiting for the flight to Dublin and then, tomorrow morning, home via JFK.
Homeward bound and ready for it. I miss that little dog.