Hallo from Amsterdam!
We had an uneventful flight, like most these days, and Schipol is a great airport…tulips and cheese for sale around the whole main concourse. The big Mercedes van (which we love as it fit us all with extra room to spare) took us to the Renaissance Hotel. We stayed at the same location in the fall so it was a familiar site. After getting settled, out the door we walked to find an Italian cafe. It’s chiller here but still not as cold as we anticipated when we packed. Cory has to lead a four hour training tomorrow so he had some work to do before bedtime. He amazes me with his dedication and ability to adapt to his constantly changing work. We went to bed early this evening which was needed as Cory had an early flight to Madrid the next morning.
So, this past Monday was unchartered territory. Cory flew to Spain to work (only for two days) but I was in a foreign country with my two babies by myself. I was anxious about it, but am proud to say I think I ended up rocking it! We settled into our morning like any other at the hotel lounge for breakfast. We met the sweetest (grandparent) couple from the states and Bea and Teddy proceeded to talk their ears off for the next three breakfasts! We didn’t try public transit here in the fall as we rented bikes instead. So we taxied to Vondelpark to our familiar playground at Groot Melkhuis. Bea couldn’t wait to get on their zip line! Especially since Cory was out of town, it was so nice to have familiarity of this park. I also let them dig in the sand since I’ll be doing laundry again in a couple of days. Why not! Of course, when we got home their shoes were FULL of sand! We stopped at KinderKook Kafe for lunch based on a recommendation and it was adorable with toys and an outside play area too. I did manage to navigate us home on the trolley. Bea needed her own transit card which made her feel so big! We stayed close to the hotel for supper after naps and had a low key evening. We have two beds at this hotel so Bea has her own. I decided to sleep with her since Cory was out of town. When she waked up the next morning, she said “you slept with me! That’s the best surprise ever!”
It rained most of Tuesday and the wind was howling which made pushing a make-shift double stroller with 75 lbs in it quite challenging! The NEMO Science Museum was today’s agenda and Bea loves a science museum! As we walked in, a lady gave me a ticket she had already purchased which was so nice! The kids had a blast touching one of everything including playing with bubbles, building things, then Teddy dumped a bucket of water out on his legs. I saw it coming but couldn’t stop it! We grabbed lunch there before catching the bus back to the hotel. I’m getting quite confident trying out the different public transports this go around. Now Cory’s back!!! He met us for supper at Het Karbeel, an interesting fondu place then it was laundry time for me again.
It’s Hump Day! Cory trained to Rotterdam while we bused to the zoo. However, we didn’t make it as it started pouring as we walked the final bit. We got soaked! Sometimes you have to change gears; we did just that with a trip to the bakery for a cookie and jelly beans. We had a relaxing rest of the day playing in the room. Teddy and I slept while Bea watched a movie. Cory met us for supper at an Indonesian restaurant called Aneka Rasa. Hands down my favorite place we’ve eaten thus far!
Anywhere you go, there are always errands to be run. We’ve made diaper runs already this week but this day was to PostNL. We bought a couple books and we already finished a couple too, so we shipped a box home to lighten our load. It also included light fleeces that we thought we’d need but never even put on. I’m not complaining as I like summer weather! It has rained almost every day and this day was no exception. As we say though, we won’t melt! We toured the Royal Palace and they were the most kid-friendly with a scavenger hunt and a separate child audio guide! They had a blast listening to young King Louis tell about palace life and finding stickers to match his questions. Nicely done, Royal Palace! On our walk for a pancake lunch, we found the tiniest dog named Lily who was helping in a cute boutique. The kids have gotten their animal fix (aside from the zoo) in Amsterdam as we’ve also encountered two cats in restaurants as well. We enjoyed our Pancakes at a familiar restaurant from when we visited in the fall (Lucien’s). We have also decided lunch is the better time for treats so we did it up with ice cream and mini pancakes with Nutella of course. Cory had a work dinner tonight, so we ate “supper” in the lounge. Everyone is so helpful when I have the kids by myself. They even got toys from a Renaissance employee. So very kind!
Our official vacation (where Cory isn’t working) started on Friday. We couldn’t wait to have him all to ourselves for 10 days! We packed it all up, grabbed a quick breakfast and taxied to the airport. Then things slowed down; it took 40 minutes at the ticket counter to fix a mix up with our James Minton’s as they hadn’t put a middle initial on either boarding pass. So we had to kindly ask to pass people in line at customs; thank goodness for the sweet Asian ladies who allowed us. Then we proceed to run (even Bea) to our gate. I wasn’t expecting to get any exercise that morning! Luckily, we made it!
Next stop (after a layover…which was supposed to be 55 minute but became 5+ hours in Bucharest…but who’s counting) Athens!