This morning was my last morning in Kew. To be honest, as ready as I was to leave, it was surprisingly sad to go. I'm not entirely sure it's hit me yet that I won't be seeing all the people I've met along the way anymore. Claire, Ilana, Mark x 2, Simon, Tony, John, James, Jony, Caroline, and so many more: they've become something of family to me. I only hope I'll get to see them again! And very soon at that!
The trip to the Netherlands was riddled with small moments of panic. It turned out that my carry-on bag was "too big" and would have to be checked along with my other bag. Then it turned out that my main bag was overweight by 4kg! They were going to have to charge me £80 (or roughly $120)! I nearly died. But luckily the woman was really kind and waived the overweight fee. She just told me to readjust my bags before I come back so I only have to pay for the one bag. I was forever grateful for her help. I had a nice half hour wait to find out which gate I was flying out of and from that point on, the trip was relatively fast. I waited at the gate for all of 10 minutes before boarding and shortly after we were taking off. The flight only lasted about 50 minutes (I had just gotten my complimentary wine and some sweet double chocolate chip cookies) and I was finally in Rotterdam. Unfortunately, the airport is misleading because it's the Rotterdam/Hague airport, but is really like 23km away from Den Haag. Luckily, after some Google searching (because the address was on my phone which doesn't work without wifi), the cab driver figured out where we were going. I had a bit of a mini panic attack when he was struggling to find it. €55 later, I finally made it. I know, I know, I stress out WAY too much about everything.
If you haven't been here before, you definitely need to check out the Court Garden Hotel. It is BEAUTIFUL! Normally the pictures on a website are misleading since they're usually taken when a hotel first opens. But Court Garden is exactly as it's pictured: clean and modern. I've only been here a few hours and so far I'm in love. I walked around to try to find some food and most places I came across were closed. But I took a chance down one of the side streets and came across a nice little corner shop and got a delicious dürüm döner. A great start to my trip here in the Netherlands. Tomorrow I'm going to grab an OV-Chipkaart to use the public transit (which I assume will be much cheaper than a taxi) and find my way around since the archives are closed. Hopefully they take U.S. cards since the cab ride here from (and back to) airport has stripped me of what little cash I had! Otherwise, this could be a very interesting week. I'm looking forward to checking out the archives here, trying to visit a few major landmarks, and taking it all in. Sadly I know that this week is going to go by all too fast, even though I'm terribly homesick. I'd definitely like to come back out here when I'm just a tourist so that I can really enjoy it. But I'll still have plenty of pictures by the end of the week :)