A weekend brunch invitation turned dinner for two, which in short time became a dinner for three, until finally a dinner for four instantly became a reunion for me and Teko, along with a Portuguese expat couple I’ve gotten to know much better over the past several years here in little Amsterdam town. Two of the few people I can safely call friends, it’s been ages since we’d last seen each other and it was nice to finally get together over a nice, civilized meal at a place I was pleasantly surprised to find had great interiors and good food to match. Like fans waiting in the cold for celebrities to come out the back door after a show, we got to Joya minutes before they were meant to open and expectedly were the first ones in the door having our rockstar choice of where to sit. Our large window side table was perfect for our party of four, lots of space to stretch and relax after a hectic week, and revel in the parade of dishes that ended up being shared around. The resulting three-hour dinner was too short for the most part, and too long in some, but it was a great way to celebrate the many things I’m thankful for, not least of which were the feeling of accomplishment from the past few days and the promise of a quiet, relaxed, well-deserved 48 hours ahead.