Monday, May 19, 2014

I Amsterdam - Day 3

Stop 8 - Anne Frank House: We tried our best to prep Maeli before our visit to the museum. I think Ryan would agree that this was one of the highlights of our trip to Amsterdam. It was kind of surreal to think that we were standing in the same room that she and her family hid in during those dark years. It was a totally humbling experience to get to hear about the family's experiences in that house. As a parent, it was cool getting to teach Maeli about such an important time in history.

Stop 9 - Floating Flower Market: The floating flower market is one of Amsterdam’s most colourful attractions. The small shops throughout the market are located inside a row of floating barges. The colors and fragrances of the market were unreal. Ryan found a Venus Flytrap and convinced Maeli that it would be cool to grow her own. Consequently, we left the market with a grow-your-own Venus Flytrap kit. The day after getting home, we heard Maeli crying in her room. When we asked her what was wrong, she told us that she wanted us to take back the "scary plant." I've gotta agree with her - they really are scary-looking plants.

Stop 10 - Canal Biking: Since we had a bit of time to kill before heading to the airport, we took the opportunity to rent a canal bike and go for a quick ride on Amsterdam's canals. Surprisingly, the kids did really well and stayed in their seats most of the time. They especially loved screaming "helllooo" every time we'd go beneath a bridge.


Sunday, May 18, 2014

I Amsterdam - Day 2

Stop 4 - Keukenhof Gardens: The gardens were the most anticipated of all the things on our to-do list in Amsterdam. Although they were beautiful and completely heavenly, they were a bit of a disappointment. If you have ever seen a picture of the gardens when the flowers are in full bloom, the fields look like rainbows. Unfortunately, the flowers had been cut in the weeks before we got there so the fields and parks were mostly stems. Luckily, the weather was perfect and the kids still had fun getting to explore. Hopefully one day we'll get to see the fields in full bloom...

Stop 5 - Museumplein: After getting back into the city, we stopped at the grassy area at Museumplein and had a quick picnic lunch. The kids had fun blowing bubbles and chasing birds through the park.

Stop 6 - Vondelpark: When walking through Vondelpark the day before, we noticed a big splash pool in the middle of the park that was packed with kids. With the weather being so nice, we decided that if we had some time to spare we would have to go back and let the kids splash around. Since we didn't pack swimsuits for the kids, we simply stripped them down to their skivvies and let them run free. The kids had so much fun! Ryan and I agreed that watching them play in the water was the highlight of the trip.

Stop 7 - Pannenkoekenboot: The Pannenhoekenboot is more commonly known as the "Pancake Boat" and is an all-you-can-eat pancake (crepe) boat cruise. The cruise was every kids dream - unlimited pancakes with tons of fun toppings (including sprinkles) and a huge ball pit complete with a slide. Maeli and Milo loved every second of it!


Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Amsterdam - Day 1

Stop 1 -KinderKookKafe: KinderKookKafe is a cafe run entirely by children. Upon entering the restaurant, kids can choose what they want to make from a row of pictures. After grabbing all of their utensils and ingredients, the kids can sit down and get to work preparing their food. Maeli made a pizza and a corndog and both kids frosted and decorated a cupcake. While their food was cooking, they were able to go outside and play on the playground in the courtyard of the cafe. Maeli took the whole thing very seriously and loved that she was the head honcho and was able to do things "her" way.

Stop 2 - Albert Cuyp Market: The market was full of vendors selling a variety of goods including clothing, toys, and food. Our main purpose in visiting the market was to try some of the traditional foods from the Netherlands. Specifically on our list was to try the red herring. Ryan, Ethan, and Maeli quickly choked down their pieces but the task was a bit more difficult for me. Anyone who knows me knows that I don't go near any type of seafood so it was a big deal that I was willing to eat a raw, pickled piece of fish. As expected, it was completely disgusting. Milo also tried a piece and quickly spit it back out. We obviously have the same "good" taste. ;-)

Stop 3 -  Red Light District: After the market we took a quick walk over to the Red Light District. As disgusting as it was, we figured it was something that had to be seen when visiting Amsterdam. (For the record, we did not take the kids through the alleys of the Red Light District.) It was eye opening to see that a place like that really exists. 


Little Traveler


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