Crossing canals never gets old, the peaceful quiet of Amsterdam is interrupted only by the occasional ringing of a tram bell. A curious city, the man-made waterways which encircle the downtown act as subtle transitions between neighborhoods. Water is everywhere, including the soft patter of rain on cool mornings. Escaping it, we take shelter in any of the plentiful cafés to enjoy great drink and lovely company. Something about the city feels different. People are polite, society is ordered and structured so everything always seems to happen efficiently and quickly. The language amuses us, recognizable yet different from what we know. Regardless, we still find ways to order tremendous meals. I had not imagined I would love Amsterdam so very much; leaving was that much more heartbreaking.