Friday, May 24, 2013

An autumn boat ride in May

June is just around the corner but where is our spring??
Amsterdam's canals and streets are littered with fallen flower petals and leaves now have a tinge of brown and gold. A scene perfect for autumn, if only we weren't expecting summer in a few weeks. May hasn't been very kind with overcast skies and temperatures more appropriate for scarves and mittens than flowy skirts and dresses. In fact, I've only worn a skirt in Amsterdam once this year which is undeniably breaking the heart of this sun loving, Florida girl.

In an effort to summon a proper spring, my sweet Dutchman took Kaitlin and I out for a boat ride after our Expat Blogger Brunch wrapped up. It was Kaitlin's first trip and our enthusiasm for kicking off 'boating season' has been few and far between since the weather in Holland has been generally miserable over the last few weeks. Since we're getting sick of waiting for a perfect, sunny day to arrive, the fact that it wasn't raining seemed good enough reason to take the boat out for a few hours.

Of course, every good boat ride comes with its own wild story. There's a reason we prefer to take the boat along the quiet flow of the Amstel River instead of around the chaotic, tourist infested canal belt. You can read that side story about that after the jump. 

It's a shame to have scenic photos of Amsterdam and not share them because this city is still charming despite the lack of blue least that's what I keep telling myself! 

Still looking for those idyllic sunny views? Check out this post from last year's summer boating season. Plus, have a look at a (sunny!) week along the canals in France, last summer here, here, here and here.

Have a fun weekend! Are you up to anything exciting?

Before reading this little rant story, you should know that I really don't have a problem with tourists in Amsterdam. I like it when they're snapping pictures and it's kind of cute when they're fumbling around with map (but not while standing in the middle of the bike lane!) But honestly, they shouldn't be allowed to roam free along the canals (or bike paths) if they can't keep it together.

My annoyance for tourists quickly increased during this short boat trip and it all began when a few ignorant ladies in a paddle boat were smack dab in the middle of a canal, under a bridge and making no effort to move in any direction despite our warnings. As we approached, they clearly don't understand that us screaming "MOVE!" or "WATCH OUT!" meant they should probably make an effort to move out of the way of a much bigger, oncoming boat. Duh?

In an effort to avoid crashing, my Dutchman quickly slowed down the engine, causing it to stall and set us adrift. And then, the foolish French tourists crash right into us as we float to the canal's edge. Thanks a lot, jerks. 

Now, here's where it gets even more comical.
Imagine me balancing on the tip of the bow while hanging on to the edge of the canal wall with arms outstretched, to keep the boat somewhat moored while our captain tries to get the engine up and running. Just when we have things somewhat sorted, the idiot tourists (with more than ample room to turn around or head away) decide it would be funny to crash straight into us again, laughing (!!!) as I'm practically thrown off the boat into the canal. Rude!

Honestly, I'm surprise I didn't end up in the canal myself and even more surprised my Dutchman didn't completely freak out and capsize them for being so obnoxious. Of course, throughout the whole dilemma Kaitlin decided it would be a good time to hide in the cabin and served absolutely no help at all. HA! At least I can laugh at the whole thing now.

Now, we have a new boat rule: you can't board the boat unless you can lend a hand (sorry, Kaitlin!) Although, I suppose it won't be officially enacted until we finally get a warm sunny day to take the boat out again...will that ever happen?! I'm starting to lose hope for sunshine around here...
[End rant]

UPDATE: Kaitlin defends her life long fear of boats over on her blog, check it out!


  1. Firstly, I told you before that I was terrified of boats, so the fact that I freaked out only minimally is a huge sign of personal growth. Plus, I was always in the way so the best thing since I didn't know what to do was get out of the way.

    1. Hahaha girl you crack me up! Next time you just have to reach out and keep the boat from smashing into anything. And I'm saying next time because you know there's always a crazy adventure when we take the boat out!

  2. Anonymous24.5.13

    Ouch! Look at those white skies! Those scarves and leather jackets! Guess I better go out and enjoy the sunshiney pool before I head to Paris tomorrow!