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Our Travels Part Two.

Impossible to post all our travels in one article. So here goes part two. Traveled to Amsterdam from Bruges, and then flew home to Bordeaux after several days in Amsterdam. Really enjoyed this city, although I will say our first hotel is the only time Trip Advisor has let me down. Refused to stay there, and found a much nicer place a few blocks away. In the meantime the desk clerk had tried to bill our credit card for the whole 5 day stay. Had to threaten the manager in order to have the charges reversed. The hotel had good reviews that I feel were put in by the hotel itself. Place was filthy, rooms furnished with plastic lawn furniture, etc. Bottom, line we ended up in a great place, and enjoyed our stay. One quick hint. DO NOT Take photos in the Van Gogh museum. It is posted everywhere. WE witnessed a security guard taking a camera from a young women. She had been warned once before and he was not letting her off easy. So Amsterdam is fairly large, and while you can walk most of it, I suggest using the tram system for some areas. The various architecture of the buildings is strikingly beautiful. Mix that with the canals and boats, and it becomes a photo opportunity at every turn.

Main Train station in Amsterdam
There are several cruise tours and it is an easy way to see lots of the city.
Every canal is lined with a variety of boats, from living quarters to working vessels to pure pleasure craft.
The boats with the large sail are equipped to lower the mast.
Always a nice place to enjoy a beer
This is an old office building turned into a shopping mall. Fantastic
Interior of the building was divided into several shops. Really interesting.
The Rykes Museum is a great mixture of historic items mixed with art, etc. Really enjoyed a several hour long walk thru this place
Just one of the several displays of model ships, plus ancient arms, etc.
A huge presentation of paintings from the Dutch Masters, Rembrandt, Van Dyke, plus more

So in this area, one can find several types of museums, Diamonds, Von Gogh, plus many others. It would take days to see them all.

Our one really exciting day trip was out to the Keukenhof Flower gardens. We got there with the tour bus, about an hours drive. Once there you are on your own, just remember where the bus parked, number, etc, AND be there on time for the departure. The bus does not wait.

The Gardens are over several hundred acres of spectacular flowers. Best seen in the mid spring area.
Small streams and other water displays really make it interesting.
Hard to describe all the color
Each display was completely different than the next.
The working Windmill is at the edge of the gardens
Can you see the face in the rock?

2015 Marked the end of year two living in Bordeaux. So it was also my 50th High School reunion. Chance to see family, and to visit old ( long time ) friends. So off we went for a short visit. Really enjoyed seeing everyone. Bad news, I did not take one photo of the reunion. Just enjoyed speaking with everyone. The photos of my grandsons are obviously a bit old but we really enjoyed watching the soccer games. Plus we “cliffed it”. Our term for a picnic on the cliffs in Corona Del Mar with good friends, overlooking Newport Harbor and the sunset.

Wilson, one of my roommates from College. Like a brother.
Trish and Jan taught in the same school. Sweet lady, the two old houses on the corner have been sold, mega mansion to be built with one of the best views in the area overlooking the harbor.
Oliver our youngest grandson is quite the athlete. 10 years old now, 6 then.
Xander the oldest could score with either foot. Kicking it in from the left fooled a lot of goalies. He is now 13, Freshman in high school.
Older brother has practice so I am climbing rocks in the park.
Xander so happy after winning the game.
My best friend since 1962. Seriously, like a brother. Notice the Willie Coyote stuff.

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