Saturday, September 11, 2004

Sunday, Belgium and Amsterdam 

We headed out Saturday morning for Tongeren, Belgium. (This is the same antique market we visited back in March). It was about a 6 hour drive including a stop for lunch, we sited some castles, fortresses and ruins along the way. Once we arrived we headed to the hotel to get checked in and drop off our luggage. The girl at the reception desk was the same from our last trip and remembered us. She has a son about the same age as Jacob so we had spent some time talking last time. She is a couple months from having another boy so we had something new to talk about. It's a really nice little hotel directly in the center of the antique market on Sunday morning. We strolled around Tongeren for a little while and checked out some of their Roman ruins they have excavated. There must be lots of ruins under the city, just waiting to be discovered. The hotel used to have a large parking lot that the city took over and is now excavating. Just looks like a big mess but I'm sure they are coming up with lots of neat stuff. We headed to Maastricht (just over the border into Holland) for dinner and a quick look around, we ate a yummy italian place. Then back to the hotel for bed, since the market starts up about 5 am.

Kenny and his Mom headed out to the market a little after 6 am, while Jacob and I slept in for a while longer. Once they had made a full circuit of everything, they came back to the hotel and we all had breakfast. Then back around the market one more time with Jacob and myself this time. We were in antique overload at that point, there is just so much to see there, that it all blends together. So we hopped in the truck and headed for Amsterdam, only about a 2 1/2 hour drive away.

We made it to our canal boat rather painlessly, we were concerned about navigating the streets around the canals. But it was easier to find than we could have hoped, so I dropped off Kenny, Toni and all the luggage right at the boat. Then Jacob and I went to a long term parking lot to leave the car for the duration of our vist, and hopped on the metro back to the boat. The owner of the boat was waiting for us when I dropped everyone off, so Kenny and Toni took care of getting the keys and any info about the boat. (We found it through a great website, CityMundo) They found out the boat was over one hundred years old, and at one point had been an ocean going vessel. Of course now it just sits in it's spot on the canal, hooked up to electric and water service. It was bigger than I had thought, once I get the photos up on the photo site there will be plenty of the boat. There was a "box bed" in the front which was like a cabinet with a double bed inside it, Jacob thought that was great. It had a little round porthole in it that he could watch the boats go by. We got settled in, and went for a walk around the city later that afternoon. Had some dinner, then came back and went to bed, resting up for the next day.

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