Home is the sailor

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The end of the Great Crossroads Transatlantic Experience was blessedly peaceful. After the hectic pace of ASTA in Strasbourg followed by some heavy-duty Amsterdam tourism (I saw an all-Dutch production of "Company," drop me a line if you want to hear about it), I was ready to relax before my flight home.

I restored my sanity (sort of) at the Seven-one-Seven, a tiny, private guesthouse located on a canal at 717 Princegracht. This was, hands down, the most all-around perfect place I've ever been in.

Housed in a glossy, black-brick row house with a discreet bronze nameplate, this could have been a 5th Avenue embassy building. Behind the oversized wooden door were three salons, each more elegant than the next.

The china was Spode, the paintings genuine, the staff impeccable. I stayed in the Franz Liszt rooms, whose only paean to theme-decor was a music stand. The rest was so beautifully appointed and comfortable I really didn't ever want to leave.

But I did, and I'm back, and tomorrow it's back to the business at hand. What have I missed?

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