Sunday, May 20, 2007

Woke up around 9 to watch the rest of the race. My boy Kevin Harvick took the checkers and the million-dollar payday.

I should have gone out for a walk or something, but I chilled instead. Walking around Amsterdam tonight sounds like a better idea, anyway.

Lobby call 1:30. A few folks were draggin' ass, we didn’t' make it to the Stockholm airport until 2:30 or so. Still plenty of time to make a 3:55 flight.

View on the way to the airport:
Click to enlarge.

The security lines here are a lot easier than in the states. You don't have to take off your shoes, and the metal detector isn't as sensitive – you can leave your belt on even with a metal buckle. Still gotta pull out your laptops, though.

And did I mention that most of the female workers at the airport are gorgeous Swedish girls? Not a damn thing wrong with that.

Got to the hotel in Amsterdam around 7. Got caught up on email and met Blaine down in the lobby around 8. We headed over to a nearby Italian restaurant to join Dennis, Ivan, Wally, and Tariqh for dinner. The only beer they served was pony bottles (8 ounces) of Heineken. Normally, not having Budweiser is grounds for me leaving, but over here in Europe, I have to suspend the golden rule.

This is the only place I tolerate Heineken beer is here in Amsterdam. It tastes completely different from the Heinie in the US because it's made here and is very fresh. It's actually pretty good.

Amsterdam canal at night:

Click to enlarge.

After dinner, Dennis suggested that we hit the "rock" bar over at Dam Square, so off we went. It was a cool rock & roll dive bar called Rock Planet. They had lots of autographed guitars, gold records, and other memorabilia hanging on their walls. They also had a helluva collection of live DVD's, which they played over their 5 TV's. And they had Bud. Score. We immediately requested some Thin Lizzy. The bartender asked "Why Thin Lizzy?" to which 3 of us replied "Why NOT Thin Lizzy?"

We were there until about 12:30. I had really wanted to be in bed at 11pm, but Dennis was having none of it. I finally got in bed a little after 1…

The Swedish did better than the previous countries – their paper had tiny punches in it, but not all the way through. So it was kind of smooth on one side, "grippy" on the other. Would have been a 3, but the grippy/smooth got it an extra point, so there's the first "4" of the tour.

The Dutch paper here in Amsterdam is even closer to good old 'Merican paper. It rates a 5. Pretty foofy hotel, expensive. Might have something to do with it.

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