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Tag Archive: Amsterdam

996,607 down, 3,393 to go – updated May 2017

I’m on the hunt for 1 million miles on United Airlines after joining their Frequent Flyer Club when it first started in about 1981. Mark already has 1 million miles so I can be his designated Premier Gold partner but it’s the principle of the matter. I want my own Million Mile designation!

I made up a spreadsheet with Excel and with only 47,00 miles to go as of January 25, I’ve searched high and low for flights with the most miles/dollar. Since I don’t really want to spend my life on planes, I’m searching for long flights.  Last year I went to Hong Kong from Denver but routed myself through Newark to get about 1500 extra miles for the same price. So far this year, I’ve found Denver to Tokyo to Bangkok to accrue miles and I did that trip in January.  (The miles have to be “butt in seat” on a United plane so only the DEN-SFO-NRT miles count.)

The Aloft Hotel pool – Bangkok

View from the Mo Chit BTS stop for the Weekend Market in Bangkok – cabs and buses!

Memorial to the King of Thailand who died in 2016

Year of the Rooster – Bangkok

Sushi in the United Airlines Club at Tokyo Narita airport. You won’t find this in the U.S. United Clubs.


December 2016 – Berlin for Christmas by way of Atlanta, Auburn, D.C. and Amsterdam!

Christmas bear in Galeries Lafayette window, Berlin

End of dinner at Entrecote, Berlin. The wine is a giveaway!

Advent wreath hanging in the Augustiner Kellar, Berlin

Gendarmenmarkt, Berlin

Nativity Scene at Charlottenburg Palace Christmas Market, Berlin

We took the roundabout way to get to Berlin from Denver. Leg #1 – We flew to Atlanta, rented a car and – Leg#2 – drove to Auburn for 4 days for a nephew’s wedding. Driving on I86 is not much fun on a Friday afternoon and by the time we got to Auburn we thought a beer would taste pretty good, but when we asked our waitress at dinner what kind of beer they have on tap, the answer was “we don’t serve alcohol”.

While we were in Auburn, Mark and I went for a tour of the university – checked out the stadium with sculptures of their Heisman winners, the book store and the student center where we were one of the few customers of the Starbucks! We drove around a bunch of Auburn, the town, spent time with friends and family, and got the nephew and his bride married!

Leg #3 started on Sunday afternoon – another drive on I86 back to the Atlanta airport where, by the way, there is no gas station anywhere near the rental car return location!

Leg #4 – the flight to Washington Dulles was delayed several times thanks to all the ice all over the country, slow luggage loading and the air start machine to start the compressor that didn’t work – the hose kept popping off. We ended up leaving 3 hours late and arrived in IAD about midnight, took the shuttle to the Hyatt and went to bed.

Leg #5 was DC to Amsterdam and this one went remarkably well except for United moving Mark without asking to a different aisle seat.   We both ended up changing seats – Mark because United moved him to accommodate a mom and son and then I changed with her husband so I could avoid sitting next to the children. Why did we fly to Amsterdam?  Cheap tickets!  I found this one for about $470 RT each and that was too good to pass up.

We saw the news about the truck crashing into the Christmas market in Berlin so everyone was sending emails checking with where we are.

The sun was actually up by the time we got to the Amsterdam Centraal station and found the hotel – IBIS Styles at Centraal Station. The only room open at 8 AM was in the basement but has a big bathroom! Had a nap and shower and walk and a pancake with ham and cheese for lunch before Mark started on some work meetings.

Dinner at the Kantjil & de Tijger (Indonesian food) – The food was good but the service was spotty.

Leg #6 the next day – Amsterdam to Berlin by train.  We had the 2 window seats in a 6-person compartment in 1st class. While we waited for the train to leave, we could hear a cat meowing in the next compartment. It turned out to be 2 Siamese cats and, when the owner let them out of the kitty carrier, they were happy and quiet. They proceeded to lay on the seat by the guy and just check out the world. Eventually, they fell asleep curled up together.

We have a VRBO apartment on Plankstrasse near Friedrichstrasse Station (more…)