Tuesday, October 28, 2014

VRBO Amsterdam 390053 Lipstick on a pig- 78 Prinsengracht, Amsterdam


When you look up this listing you will see what Stella and I thought we were getting. VRBO is like the cake in the game PORTAL...it is a lie!
I have stayed in dives before in my many years of travel and usually the dive-ness is reflected in the price. not so with this one! Expensive and utterly disgusting.
Every utensil was put away in crumb filled drawers, used and caked with old food and gunk, every pot, pan, colander had dried food in it, every glass covered in  lipstick and grease , every smeared, crusty plate put away without being washed! Wet towels still in the washer.


The advertised outdoor space "patio" , overgrown, mossy and stacked with broken stuff, dangling line and mysterious garbage.


The windows , grey and streaked, the curtains ill fitting and filthy.


but, by far, the worst was the black mold everywhere.
It made us quite ill.


Old , dirty, broken furniture.


The advertised second bedroom down in a hole, totally unusable due to black mold, 


lighting was dodgy and dirty, 




oven unusable, caked with years of whatever...
silverfish slithered freely all over the kitchen.


no light in the loft type bedroom upstairs, Dangling exposed wiring in it's place and a broken floor lamp without bulb as a hopeful, sorry remedy...
Diapers left behind on top of the wardrobe, dirty crusty blankets wadded up along the side.


Stella and I immediately set to cleaning it up. Made a modest complaint to the caretaker but were told that the owner did not care and that Americans were just too fussy...we stopped cleaning after that and camped out in the upstairs bedroom where the mold and mildew and filth had not reached. We stayed out all day. 
I wrote a review on VRBO which did not get published so I hope that this reaches Google, to warn others .
I do not believe that this apartment has ever been cleaned since the lipstick was applied,  the mold has increased!!!
The toilet is in the kitchen and the shower is in the living room,  awkward...
I will say that the location was superb and the water pressure was great- a lot of money for this place on our Amsterdam holiday- a lot of money to stay in a dump, insulted by the owner and pretty much told that we were a bother. 
We made the best of it however - went out everyday, all day, enjoyed Amsterdam tremendously.
Now, you are wondering why we did not leave this hole ...everywhere else was booked, we paid cash in advance...our bad...lesson learned. SO...beware of VRBO, do not believe , do not pay cash in advance, do not EVER stay here!!!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Goodbye summer, goodbye HAM


Finding comfortable shoes for this trip of Walking- everywhere- all- of- the- time, has been a challenge for both Stella and me. Just in the nick of time she purchased the perfect pair (we hope) and had to send a zillion pairs back. Shoe shopping online is iffy at best. I am wearing my old standby, Halflingers.

So we are nearly ready, obtained Euro across the border yesterday and got our pirate proof  passport wallets to wear next to our "don't touch this" zone. Although if the pirates and thieves were this cute I would gladly give everything I have got. 



One last walk through the summer sun in the HAM,
The bluest skies, It has been the best summer on record, weather wise.


the softest beach 


Goodbye dead stuff, Goodbye pebbles...


Goodbye ironic sign in the dirt on the way home from the beach- 


and foreboding  driftwood monster scull ,


The summer is over the edge, when we return in late October, everything will have gone dormant, tucked in, Already , just now, the skies have changed to be dark, rain filled, The scent is Autumnal, Goodbye summer. Goodbye HAM.
And a kiss goodbye to you all, Not sure if I can work out blogging over yonder with my new device. I will try , Facebook may be easier.


MMMMwahh! 

Sending a Dutch rub and a French kiss!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

woven paper, a boutonniere, beach glass pendants


Hanging on the wall in the paper store, a large woven paper,burlap, beach bark piece -The paper store displays works by folks who buy their supplies there- to give you ideas and make you think that all you need do is buy the stuff and -VOILA_ you are an artist!  I have loads of paper from this shop...it is in rolls behind the chair...I swear I will use it one day...I will be artistic and clever...one day.

below is the boutonniere made by the bride for her wedding, which I will miss because...Amsterdammit.


When the kids came for their other friend's wedding two weeks ago, too soon after our dear Gypsy child died, still raw with emotion, one of the girls gave me these things she had made from beach glass and wire found in a barn.  Tearful and sincere, "I want you to have these" she said.
Gypsy child and girl were going to sell these as well as other things fashioned from found bits at an art show in Portland next month. Life goes on within you and without you, so it has been sung. Arting is such a great way to while away the short time we have on this planet, I reckon...I am off to the paper store again,..and will stash my intentions behind the chair until I return. If our plane falls out of the sky, you will know where to find my stash.


Monday, September 15, 2014

Asian pears and tea



Tea


lanterns in the garden,
pine nuts on the deck.















And a gentle dog in the yard.
Tea at Janet's house is always satisfying and sweet.
Her garden abundant with pears, veggies, and spent bird nests. Lovely afternoon. Now I have to get packed for an adventure! Leaving at the end of the week- Amsterdammit!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The Departed grave stories


We go to the Rez and drive around the point, take in the Lummi cemetery on a peaceful sunny morning, One of my favorite places to go, be quiet, and gather my wits. There is so much reverence for  life here, so much thoughtfulness for those departed and who they had been while walking around in their skin.Every grave tells a story of who the person has been.



First time I have seen some one's blanket wrapped up for them, first time to see a robot with bunny and elf.
Frequently seen are the tips of paddles, or floats or fishing poles.


and that which brought some measure of enjoyment to the person in this life.


Before time is up and then who knows...perhaps there is a great spirit who will care...
perhaps there is just stardust and swirling energy. We will never know for sure, will we?


This visit There were many cedar roses, cedar wreaths, Objects fashioned from nature.


On the hillside is the very old cemetery from the 1800's,  too old to be remembered. Their graves lack the luster of personality, just the facts, when born when died.


Stuff from the sea, driftwood grave markers, and the usual dollar store objects. The current cemetery is so lively ,the line between life and death , less defined. 



Saturday, September 13, 2014

Market on a Saturday morning


Market style, guy with his walker and his  chic wife with a cane-

The usual youngin,tatted, dreadhead, hippie/hipster...


Guy playing homemade instrument that sounded a bit like a Celtic thing and a gypsy thing got married, and had a bagpipe organ  baby.



A little mop haired child playing the washboard with thimble gloves.


a whole pile of instruments to choose from to play along with the accordion players.



The market today looked very harvesty. 
Stunning produce, intense color.
great homespun music and a tamale!


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