Monday, July 11, 2016

Trip to the Netherlands - Part 2: Amsterdam

Day 3 and we are in Amsterdam!  We are staying at a hotel by the airport so the easiest way into the city is by taking the bus to the airport:
And from there, the train.  We are back to using every mode of public transportation here in Europe!
And how is it that the Europeans have such beautiful train stations.  Just magnificent!

With music included on the inside.  Once the boys learn to play "chopsticks", I'll have to make them play it ;-)
Ok, off to see the city.  So many people!!!  And it's only Tuesday!
Some interesting stores... Sex Museum anyone???
And lots of crooked houses by the canals.  Look how crooked those windows are!
And lots of cheese stores.  Graham kept going by them and saying "Cheeeeeeeeeese....!!!"
And macaroons!  I can't believe Charlie didn't get any. Instead, he opted for a pink sugar-dipped waffle with marshmallows:
The store didn't have any seating inside so we parked ourselves right outside the store:
And I had a chocolate dipped waffle with strawberries and custard.  Sadly to say, it looked better than it tasted.  Maybe I had higher hopes???
We are making our way to the boat-ride and here is a glimpse of the flower market along the canal:
Seems like tulips are a big deal here.  I just read a statistic saying that "Dutch tulip growers produce 4.32 BILLION tulip bulbs each year."  YIKES!!!
Ok, back on track.  Graham and Charlie really enjoyed looking and waving to all the boats going under the bridges:
Oh boy, Charlie broke a little part of his windmill souvenir when someone bumped into him. Poor fella!  Nothing "kragle" (a.k.a. superglue) can't take care of though!
Here's our pick up area! Charlie is pointing the wrong way and we are obviously on the wrong side of the canal:
We make it just in time.  Phew!
Daddy is sitting all alone outside:
The boys are too busy being pirates inside the boat:
And of course, it starts to rain... again...
No more rain! Back outside!  Thumbs up from Graham:
Charlie is still too busy coloring inside the boat.  Thank goodness for his bright yellow raincoat - can't miss him!
Family photo op!
More crooked windows - middle brown brick unit.  How does this work??!
The boat has taken us out of the canals and into the open waters.  It may seem choppy but thankfully the boat ride still remains quite calm.
Tiny ship!  No, not really :-)
I can't remember the name of this building/museum now but it obviously has an interesting architecture:
Next time we'll have to try and explore the top-side of it!
And the boys will probably love getting on a real ship too - the East Indiaman Amsterdam:
Graham with his "engineering mind" - going through how these bridges work:
Next time we want to stay in this hotel. WOW!
I loved this stretch of the canal.  Just loved how these trees lined up along the boat houses:
Bobby was probably wishing he was on his boat instead - the Heineken boat, just next to the brewery of course :-)
Once we get off our boat, we head off to find something to eat.  We walk through a tunnel (which I find out later is the Rijksmuseum, which is The State Museum and has been open since 1800!) and it starts to rain again!
Somehow in this little area, they are hosting the European Athletics Championship.  Perhaps it's larger on the other side of that sculpture. We didn't get that far:
Instead, we opted for some hotdogs while taking cover from the rain:
Or in Charlie's case, just the bread.  No wonder this kid is always hungry!
I love these tiny trucks!
A little playtime after lunch:
This seems to be quite a popular area - the "I amsterdam" logo.  The boys were obviously trying to figure out how to get on top of an alphabet!
Here's the back view of the Rijksmuseum.  Spectacular!
I'm glad this tree got it's second chance as an art form!
A quick peek on the inside of the museum:
There were a trio of musicians in the tunnel which Graham and Charlie really enjoyed listening to.  So much so that we bought their music CD and the boys listen to it when they go to bed :-)
Alright, I just can't get enough of these crooked homes.  I'm guessing the flooring would be slanted as well????
Art so real you could almost touch and eat it!
Charlie getting tired and wanting to be carried around:
Time for some ice-cream!  So it seems that the boys are distinguishing the difference between yogurt, gelato, ice-pops, and regular ice-cream.  And that they are able to have one of each every day!
And while the boys are busy eating their yogurt, Mommy sneaks away and gets another charm for her bracelet :-)   It's a little Delft blue Dutch boy and girl kissing.  Graham and Charlie says it's Mommy and Daddy kissing.  Awww....
Here are just some other random sights along the city of Amsterdam:
Pigeon  man?
Bronze-painted mime?
Looks like more rain coming!
Hmmm.... thankfully Graham didn't question this one too much.  We were actually very close to the Red Light district. Ha!
We found a nice little cafe hidden behind THE Old Church.  Yummy!!!  Charlie loves chocolate truffles!
And Graham loves apple pies!
And Mommy loves anything with ginger in it.  Okay, except for that fizzy ginger drink back in Florence, Italy last year. Can you see me making a squirmy face??!
Our new favorite place in Amsterdam!
A great way to end the day :-)

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