What to get a girl for her birthday? Herring and floating houses!

We land in Amsterdam 2 days prior to plan, as I “kidnapped” Peta the day before her birthday, with the offer to “go have breakfast in Amsterdam”. Not a bad offer, she thought.

A few flight changes later, we arrive at 8am in Amsterdam. Any thought of jetlag is immediately squashed by the excitement of being in this awesome city. Within minutes we are eating herring and Dutch nut-bread on the side of the canals, feeding the ducks.

Amsterdam is one of a handful of cities we keep returning to, and as a result we feel “at home” here.The fact that we use home-exchange further adds to our feeling we are part of a neighborhood.
Our “Dutch tracks” are quite different.Peta’s connection to Holland traces back to her friendship with Cees, whom she met in Miami in her twenties.My connection to Holland dates back tomy first job in Japan right after college, when I interfaced with Thomson-CSF’ Dutch defense activities, leaders in the field of maritime defense systems.
Then over the years we have merged our Dutch experience through a series of visits.




















Our first “home exchange” is a charming houseboat on a canal in the trendy Jordaan area. Rather appropriate given our current CO2 Bambu initiative to develop floating low cost bamboo housing. A fitting symbol as the week will be dedicated to launching relationships with Holland’s leading floating house builders. (Second houseboat on the left in picture below..)
















Peta takes the opportunity to reconnect with Cees.








After a couple of days, we move to a different neighborhood, different home-exchange, this time a 2 story apartment overlooking a canal and minutes away from the Albert Cuyp daily market where smoked eel and fresh herring are only one of the many tempting delicacies. The apartment is very comfortable and has a very nice aesthetic, with a roof top patio off the bedroom upstairs. Perfect for long walks, market visits, and getting to know the neighborhood.




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