Amsterdam doesn't disappoint...We accomplished more than expected...Challenging but rewarding...Food photos...


We were impressed by the stunning historic architecture on both sides of the canals in Amsterdam.
There's no doubt I'm struggling to walk.  I am hoping this pain will dissipate as I continue to wean off the awful medications but a part of me is terrified it won't go away.  It takes everything I have to walk a block, let alone navigate stairs and ramps.  
We wished we could post the identity of all of these amazing highlights but it wasn't possible as the boat moved along.
My heart doesn't struggle or so it seems.  It's just the legs which could be entirely from the statins I stopped a few weeks ago.  Here's the data on this situation from JAMA and here's the link to the report:
"Results  The mean (SD) duration of statin therapy before symptom onset was 6.3 (9.8) months. Resolution of muscle pain occurred a mean (SD) of 2.3 (3.0) months after discontinuation of statin therapy. Six patients (13%) were hospitalized for the management of rhabdomyolysis; 2 had reversible renal dysfunction, and 1 with preexisting renal insufficiency subsequently began lifelong dialysis. Hospitalized patients developed myopathy more quickly after initiating statin therapy (1.3 vs 7.1 months; P = .048) and were more likely to be taking concomitant medications known to increase the risk of statin-associated myopathy (P = .03). Thirty-seven patients received another statin after an episode of statin-associated myopathy; 21 (57%) reported recurrent muscle pain, whereas 16 (43%) tolerated other statins without recurrent symptoms.
Conclusions  Patients with statin-associated myopathy experienced full resolution of muscle pain on cessation of statin therapy. Although no deaths occurred, 13% of the patients required hospitalization for rhabdomyolysis. Recurrent muscle pain was common on statin rechallenge."
The covered canal boat.
The above-highlighted comment about full resolution in 2.3 months makes me very hopeful.  Now, as we begin this big journey in our world travels I do everything I can to stay engaged in our activities and avoid complaining to Tom.
The tour couldn't have been more enjoyable.
He's so helpful, guiding me across the uneven pavement, through crosswalks, up hills, and steps. Today was a real test of both of our resolve and determination as we walked almost 3.2 km, 2 miles, on the streets of Amsterdam, reveling in every moment which was a good distraction for me.

What did we see and do?  Firstly, all of my sandals and shoes to wear on the cruise had recently fallen apart.  Plus, the one pair of high wedge sandals I had were a thing of the past and I left them behind in Ireland.  My two pairs of long-wearing black and beige Clark sandals literally crumbled with pieces falling off in the suitcase.  I'd been wearing them for almost seven years!
There's a large hook hanging from the gables remains in place.  Since most of the buildings in Amsterdam are so narrow, which resulted from a tax base determined by the width of a building, its impossible to get furnishings up the narrow staircases.  Subsequently, these large hooks on the exterior of buildings are used to hoist the items to the appropriate floor.
Knowing we had to find a shoe store within walking distance was a daunting task but I knew to try to walk would be better than taking a taxi forcing us to be out and about seeing a bit of this exquisite city.
Each building has its own unique design.
After a very long walk, of which we stopped for breakfast along the way, we found a few shoe stores and I was able to purchase two pairs of comfortable flat shoes, one a dressy flat black sandal and another, a very comfy pair of Sketchers slip-on shoes.  I was thrilled.  

Surprisingly, the shoes weren't more expensive than they'd have been in the US.  Everyone talks about how expensive it is here.  Yes, the hotel was twice as much as we usually spend but we had accumulated points to use which softened the blow.
Many elaborate former homes from the 17th and 18th centuries have been converted to governmental and diplomatic structures.  Not this building's construction year of 1843.
Dining out is comparable to the US from what we've seen so far.  Last night we dined in the upscale hotel restaurant, Brasserie Flo which turned out to be rated #720 our of 3736 restaurants in Amsterdam. I loved the food...Tom did not.  He's not the gourmet kind of guy.  Here are a few photos of our meals.

Tom's veal and mashed potato dinner.
This morning we had breakfast in a pub we encountered on our walk.  They didn't make eggs with butter or healthy oils so I ordered a chicken Caesar salad which was excellent.  Tom had a ham and cheese omelet which he said was "just OK."  
My rack of lamb on a bed of assorted mushrooms was delicious.
Please understand, I am traveling the world with a picky eater but then again, he has to live with all of my peculiar dining options.  We figure it out as we go.  It's not perfect but we've learned to live with these limitations, and now...others.
This seafood platter for two looked appealing but Tom's not a big fan of most seafood.  It didn't pay for us to spend Euro $125, US $141 for this for me alone.
After we had breakfast and walked the distance to the shoe stores, on the way back, as we walked along one of the 100 canals in Amsterdam, we spotted a canal boat tour starting in 15 minutes. This was ideal for us.  
As we walked down the narrow street exploring and looking for a shoe store.
We'd hoped to tour the canals today anyway and this avoided us going back to the hotel for more walking, only to find our way back to another tour boat.  It had been raining off and on all morning.  It was sunny when we left the hotel.
The clock tower building.
This particular boat was fully enclosed with big glass windows we could open when the rain stopped.  We were grateful that a few minutes into our tour, the sun came out once again and we were able to take many photos, more than we can ever share here today.  
Ornamental pillars at one of the 1000 bridges in Amsterdam.
More photos will follow in tomorrow's post which we hope to finish before we head to the ship at noon.  This is all happening so fast!  This time tomorrow afternoon, we'll be situated in our cabin and hopefully unpacked, ready for the cruise fun to begin.

Have a fantastic Saturday night wherever you may be!
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Photo from one year ago today, August 10, 2018:
Tom's excellent new haircut.  She cut his hair this time as opposed to using the electric clippers.  Cost with a tip?  ZAR 130, US $9.35 (includes tip).  Wow!  I love the beard!  For more photos, please click here.
 

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