02 July 2015

Amsterdam like you never imagined...

Our travel group - couldn't have asked for better companions! (Kiki 26 months, Ben 15 months)

We didn't go to any museums. We didn't eat at any fancy restaurants. We didn't even make it to the Red Light District or venture into a coffee shop. Instead, we rode on a boat through canals, took a water taxi to drink beers and play in rocks and admired stunning architecture on daily strolls. We did a little shopping and ordered pastries at the oldest bakery in town. We smelled fresh flowers in the market and played in fountains. And at night, we sipped wine on our balcony as our children slept upstairs in their beds.

It wasn't all rosy but you don't want to hear the ugly stuff. Or maybe you do? Let's just say that toddler woes happen just as frequently on-the-road as they do at home, even if my pictures say otherwise.

Alas, it was a wonderful vacation and felt so good to be back in Europe!

Enjoy some photos and captions from our week!

Here is our loot: a duffle carry-on and small checked-bag for Dan, a ladybug suitcase filled with Kiki's prized possessions, a travel crib, an umbrella stroller and piece of luggage for Kiki and me. Not pictured: my old-school North Face backpack that I took as a carry-on.

Lessons: Don't entrust a 2 year-old to wheel that ladybug suitcase 100% of the time. And insist that all carry-ons can be carried on your back (the duffle was totally lame and too heavy to want to lug through the airport/metro/train station while also carrying a child).


Classic Amsterdam homes we admired on our daily walks.

Our airbnb was the best one I have found to date. Really fantastic.

Heaven for Kiki and Ben. Trucks, legos, dress-up clothes galore!

Gearing up for a day on the streets of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Centraal Station

So excited to see a park after spending too much time in her stroller.

Parks aren't just for kids! Kate enjoying a neighborhood park.

The canal tour exceeded our expectations and we all fell in love with Amsterdam from the water.

Highlight of our trip. A canal tour given to us by our airbnb host in his boat.

Classic Amsterdam boat and our host.

Afternoons looked like this:

Everyone playing on the floor with new toys.

Sipping wine on our patio in the sunshine.
Pizza down the street at outdoor tables
Loving new stuffed animals the host boy was kind enough to share.
New friends bonding over trains

Tapas that tasted so good after a day on the water.

There were so many open-air markets to choose from. We found this one and enjoyed some poffertjes (mini pancakes with butter and powdered sugar), fresh squeezed juices, lavender cheese and fresh flowers. 

Who knew Intern year that these two would find themselves here with their babes (& babes).

For Dan's birthday we took a taxi ferry north of Amsterdam to a restaurant/bar called Pllek. It involved a metro ride, a boat ride, dirty rocks and beer/wine. Couldn't have been a better pick!

We spent 5 nights in Amsterdam with the Beresfords and then parted ways. They headed to Ireland for a few days to visit friends and we stayed close by in a small (tiny) town called Bloemendaal. I thought it was closer to the sea. Turns out there is a place called Bloemendaal ann Zee. Oh well, sometimes that happens when planning trips overseas and you just have to go with it.

Turns out the weather on the coast was cold and windy so we wouldn't have been swimming at the beach anyway. We stayed an a quaint little hotel called "Hotel Bloemendaal" and rented bikes for an exhilarating 25 minute bike to see the sea.
Hotel Bloemendaal (our room was the upper left with balcony)

Countryside and dunes

This was plain old fun.

Cold enough for a puff coat
We also made it into Harlaam for a morning before a nap summoned us back to our tiny hotel.

Thanks for following along on our adventures! 

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