It was a first visit to this petite country for both of us. Our intention for the trip was to look for new sales horses for our small stable. I'd put many hours into arranging visits to our various contacts, working out the logistics of geography, booking hotels, rental cars, etc. It was nerve wracking because I was so unfamiliar with the lay of the land, and I spent quite a bit of time studying a map of Holland to familiarize myself with the peculiarly named towns and cities. Dutch is a language unto itself and by that statement I mean it's unintelligible unless you know it. I am now determined to learn it. It's on the bucket list.
I won't go into all of the details of our trip, but I can assure you it was some business and a lot of pleasure. Amsterdam is amazing. The streets are chock full of bicycle riders, zigging and zagging between cars and pedestrians, ringing the bells on their handlebars to announce their presence behind you. Canals snake throughout the city, lending it a peaceful quality despite the hubbub occurring on the streets above the gentle waterways. Wafts of pot smoke greet your nostrils wherever you may be walking, whether it's 8 a.m. or 8 p.m. However, during our 6 day stay no one was visibly impaired, no one was drunk and disorderly, it was all very civilized. Take a lesson from that U.S.
I came home feeling so privileged to have packed windmills, canals, Rembrandt's, tulips, horses, old friends and new friends into a magical 6 day extravaganza. One thing is for sure, we'll be going back. Until then I'm going to revel in my memories and enjoy the advent of spring which is tentatively beginning to emerge one blade of bright green grass at a time.