Monday, July 25, 2011

European Vacation...Our Fifth Stop, On to Amsterdam!

Amsterdam is still one of my favorite places but the weather sure didn't cooperate! When we arrived on Wednesday, it was cold and rainy! So cold that I put Zander in his pajamas, sweat shirt and wrapped him in two blankets before we headed out to find our apartment. We were suppose to call when we arrived to set up a time to meet someone at the apartment, this was easier said than done as pay phones seem to be non-existent these days! We took the subway (which we didn't know they had in Amsterdam!) to our apartment and found a great restaurant with very friendly people! They found us a place to come in out of the rain and let us use their phone. We had a great lunch and then went to our apartment on the top floor. The elevator even went right to our living room! After settling in, we decided the Hieniken Tour was a good place to start and luckily bought green ponchos for the kids because the rain wasn't letting up! After the tour, we had dinner at Leidplatz...a restaurant that was a steakhouse and italian...a little something for everyone.

The next day, Thursday, the rain never let up! I was so dissapointed because I love Amsterdam and I didn't think everyone else was getting a good feel of this beautiful town! We battled the rain all day, the Allens started with the Ann Frank House, we met them there and headed to lunch at a Coffee House, the Van Gogh Museum, the Amsterdam History Museum, a cute little bar, and we ended with cheese tasting. Bryan and I went out while Zander stayed with Aunt Kristi, Uncle Rick, Jordyn and Skylar...we had a great time but I think I have my sister to thank for the fact that Zander can sure spit peas all over me these days! It seems I taught Jordyn this trick and she still remembers! Bryan and I had a great dinner at the same restaurant we went to the first day and then headed to some Irish pubs...there were plenty to choose from that we remembered from our first trip four years ago.

On Friday, the rain finally went away and we had a beautiful day! We did a bike tour that Bryan and I had done with our Mom's on our last trip to Amsterdam and loved! It was as great as we remembered...we rode out of town to a historical windmill and then on to a cheese farm where they also made wooden shoes. We were gone most of the day and when we returned, we stopped for a snack then decided to take advantage of the nice weather and end the evening with a boat tour of the canals. This is definitely the best way to see Amsterdam! After the boat trip we left Kristi and Rick for thier night out while we took the girls back to the apartment. I think Zander definitely had a better night with Aunt Kristi and Uncle Rick as we took the girls to the laudry mat! They were VERY helpful in getting our laundry done before it closed and they got McDonalds as they had been asking and mom had not caved maybe that made up for a night doing laundry??? Kristi and Rick had dinner and headed to check out the Red Light District.

Saturday started out nice but then the rains returned! We were going to head to the Rijks Museum but decided to enjoy the sunny weather instead and started the morning at park for the I AMSTERDAM sign pictures. Our big plans for the day were to shop and the boys wanted to do the evening bike tour in the city. It started to sprinkle as we left the park and headed to the Dom Platz for lunch. It was a light sprinkle through lunch and shopping and we parted ways at the flower market where the rain was back in full force. Kristi, Jordyn, Skylar, Zander and I went to find the Hieniken Shop for our free gift while the boys went on the evening bike tour learning about night life in Amsterdam! The rain just kept coming and we headed back to the apartment to try to master packing! With every new purchase, this was becoming more and more challenging! Bryan and Rick went through the Red Light District and visited one of the oldest bars in Amsterdam, Wynand Fockink. Here they tried a traditional cider drink! That night we enjoyed some of the cheese we had found and worked to finish off our beer and wine before we traveled the next day.

Sunday started early and we were on our way to Brussles!

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