Vanity, Rijksmuseum Garden, Amsterdam
Originally uploaded by panopticon.
1. Most obnoxious tourists (in a large group): Americans. (But the Japanese are gaining.)
2. Most obnoxious tourists (in a small group): Japanese. (But the British are gaining.)
3. Best food I'd never tried before: Croquets at Van Dobbe in Amsterdam.
4. Biggest disappointment: Bruges. (Crowded, commercial, largely fake.)
5. Biggest pleasant surprise: Dutch windmills. (Really quite startlingly pretty.)
6. Biggest unpleasant surprise: Dutch wind. (Now understand popularity of windmills.)
7. Worst-behaved tourist children: French.
8. Worst-behaved tourist teenagers: German.
9. Hottest cops: Belgian. (Yowza.)
10. Favorite city: Amsterdam. (Would like to live there. Seriously.)
11. Least favorite city: Rotterdam.
12. Sublime moment: In the Mauritshuis in The Hague, face-to-face with Vermeer's "View of Delft" at last.
13. Scary moment: Our ship hitting a bridge on the way to Kampen.
14. Miracle moment: Arriving at entrance to Anne Frank House, notorious for long lines, at noon, and finding no line at all - then looking back over shoulder to see a line of 100 people had materialized behind me.
15. Weepy moment: First time a Dutch guy introduced me to his 'husband' and I realized it was true in every sense - including the legal one.
16. The Dutch and Belgians do it so much better than we do: fried potatoes. (And they don't talk about fat grams or carbs or any nonsense like that.)
17. Didn't buy any: Belgian lace.
18. Bought in quantity: Belgian chocolate.
19. Salivated over but did not buy: Delft porcelain flower holder.
20. Yarn shops visited: one (review forthcoming).