Amsterdam. Interesting, to say the least. Especailly with 4 kids, a niece, and 2 grandparents in tow. During Grandma's last trip to Europe, she asked to visit to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, but at that time, it was too late to get tickets and fit a trip into an already busy schedule. So we promised on her return, that we'd take her there.
She got to see Amsterdam in its entirely- from the pot smoking dudes hanging out in the "cafes" to a quaint canal cruise; from the vast assortment of bicycles to the erotic window displays and sex museums. She had a good overall taste of the city. To each, his own I suppose. The kids were fairly oblivious, perhaps due to their age, and that was probably a good thing as I can't imagine all that we'd have had to explain. It would take days, not to mention possible psychotherapy.
We did skip the red light district, so grandma may feel the need to someday return, who knows. Personally, I think ignorance is bliss on that one, as I was already suffering from what seemed an oncoming asthma attack from all the marijuana waffing in the air. When it wasn't pot, it was cigarettes. By the end of the day I felt truly nauseated. Half heartedly, I declare now that if I die of lung cancer, it will be because I visited Amsterdam.
But would I got back? In a heartbeat. -Just to spend time in the Van Gough and Rijksmuseums alone.
The Anne Frank House was fascinating and saddening, as it ultimately places a physical location to a family of Holocaust victims. Her father, Otto, wished for the house to remain unfurnished, as it was after the Nazis discovered their hiding. So, inside there was little to see, except some of Anne's posters from her bedroom still hanging on the walls, models of house the way the house was, the bath, and moving bookshelf which hid the access to their living area. The museum was well done for the boundaries placed upon it and they have a fantastic online website with an interactive 3d page where you can walk though as well....
Grandma got a great deal at the market on this 2 sided wooden speculous cookie mold. An incredible deal!
I have to greatly thank Matt and grandpa for schelpping around my fab find as well- 3 brass candelabras, which we hauled all over Amsterdam and back to the hotel. I wish I'd have take a photo of that, but our arms were so darn tired, and mentally I felt like I'd stepped right off the the "Clue" gameboard. It just didn't seem timely. But thanks guys- someday we'll burn those babies over a nice meal and, hopefully chuckle about the Amsterdam trip.
OK- one more thing. The kids were great on the buses. the trains. The metros. The ferries. The canal cruise. They really were...but um, Arleigh? Do you have to lick everything? Really kid? Is that necessary?