Monday, October 31, 2016

Amsterday, Day 4, October 31

So. The 31st. We've gone to the book fair, TCR's bar and one restaurant, the Vondelpark ... and not yet Anne Frank house.  So we went to the Rijks Museum. It was an amazing museum. In honor of Halloween, I stepped on these mosaics. I mean I saw them. And stepped on them. And photographed them. They were in a square so I stood in the middle of them:

Actually, the whole museum was amazing. C11 was crazy pre-teenish during this museum, but still I enjoyed it. We just let her mope around. And then Q10 got a little tired. And me, too.

I really liked the Isaac & Rebecca (The Jewish Bride) painting by Rembrandt. It looks less impressive when you take a photo of it with your phone, but in person it was something.

 C11 really liked a lapis map. Q10 really liked a room with tapestries. TCR really like seeing the original Vemeers. They were pretty amazing.

After the Rijks museum, we hit the Anne Frank House again. It was 1:30, so I got in line, and TCR, C11, and Q10 hit the road to find me some fries. They came back and Q10 and I spilled them. Whoops.

No pictures inside the Anne Frank House, but it was a powerful place. And the video afterward was moving, as well. I'm glad we waited, even though it was a long, coldish wait. But, we had fries, so I am not complaining.

 C11 ... This is the same corner where we went to the cafe the day before when TCR went to the bar, but we were waiting for the restaurant to open, so I got a couple of photos.  C11 liked the houses. Me, too.

After this we walked over to one of TCR's favorite restaurants, next to his favorite bar. This was us waiting to be seated. Called ... Lieve. Lieve means "dear" in English.

The restaurant gave you three choices ... Mamma's Kitchen (homestyle), Belgian Baroque, or Mrs. Bubbles, which all had different levels of choice, place settings, and price. The food was good. It was a fun place!!

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Amsterdam, Day 3 - Muiderslot Castle (Sunday)

Day three, Sunday October 30.

The goal for this day was to go to Muiderslot Castle. It was a train ride and then boat ride away. We got there early enough to have a little walk-along-the-seashore-and-then-have-a-coffee-or-hot-chocolate time, which was lovely.

You take the ferry over, a maybe 60 minute ride? on a long, flat boat, through a lock that brought us up or down about 6 cm, and out to the water. I do not have an adequate photo of the boat or water. 

This was our first view of the castle:

We took the guided tour, then did the self-service tour. Best part? The toilets and the battlements, of course


And then we walked the grounds, and they were lovely, as well. Really nice.



This was the view from the levy inside the castle:

Then on the boat again on the way out we saw a lot of tall ships. There was virtually no wind, so this regatta that was going on resulted in ships basically standing still. Dead in the water. They were moving at blistering speeds of about 10 meters per hour until they crossed the finish line and could turn on their engines.

This first one must have been in last place. It looked like a ghost ship from so far away.

These were all coming into the harbor as we were cruising out.

And this was us on the ship out!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Amsterdam, Day 2 (Saturday)

We all decided on ONE thing we couldn't do without seeing in Amsterdam. All things above and beyond that would be considered gravy.

For Q, it was the Anne Frank House
For C12 it was the book market
For C47 it was his two favorite restaurants and favorite bar.
For me it was the Vondelpark.

We had other things to see, like the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijks Museum, the Muiderslot Castle. But my thinking was, we MUST do the things we MUST do, and if we get to the other stuff, awesome, but not going to stress about it.

So, when we finally woke on Saturday morning (I woke early, I mean earlier than everybody else but still not early, it was 8 am in Amsterdam. I went upstairs to the lobby and read, returned to our hotel room at 9 am for a nap, woke TCR up by accident, he had a little moment about the time, thought we should wake everybody up post haste, I said how about noon, he countered with NOW, I countered with 10 am, and so that is what happened, the girls and I all got up at 10 am).

Anyway, we got up, hit a bakery, then headed to the Vondelpark.  I LOVED it. Actually, I think we all loved it. It was full of people exercising, dogs, bikers, greenery. This is us on a little bridge, photo taken by a gentleman who asked us who we were going to vote for. We told him, and he sighed a bit of relief.

OK, I have no idea what that last photo was. Oh, maybe on the boat ride. The second to last is how I got C12 to agree to take photos. You may try to photobomb every picture I want to take of your sister .... !

SO after the Vondelpark we took a tram ride and headed into town again to get to the Anne Frank House, and along the way stopped and had some stroopwaffle (C12's requirement that we have cheese and stroopwaffle every day). They were big and warm.

The Anne Frank house was packed, and we'd miscalculated on dates, thinking we COULDN'T get pre-reserved tickets WRONG. The only availability was for sometime after 3:30 if we stood in line. Nope, not for Saturday. We decided to try another day. So instead we went to a cheese shop and "museum" to visit some cheese. More photobombing ensued.

And then we took a canal ride. Q10 did a hyperlapse, and I'll see if I can get it on here.

On the canal boat:
 The hyperlapse, really fun to watch:
 Q10 and I on the boat.

So, once we'd done that we needed a break. Well, *I* needed a break. So we were very near one of TCR's spots, a bar he liked to go to. So he went there, and the girls and I went to a cafe.

I can't provide a picture or tell you anything about the bat TCR went to, as we did not go there.  We also got some nice scenery photos.

And then we headed back to the hotel. Through, accidentally, the red light district. This caused some angst, especially with Q10 who had just gone through "red ribbon week" at school where they push drug abstinence HARD. Which we agree with, for our youngster's growing brains and bodies. But the idea that ONE WHIFF OF SMOKE can KILL YOU! is really a bit much, I think, because it just isn't true. And then if/when they actually do try drugs, they are going to get a surprise that they don't die immediately and it might not be as horrible as the people in power said. I'm just saying.

Oh, and the sex wasn't their fav thing, either, but it wasn't on display nearly as much. And you couldn't smell it. Thankfully.

 And finally we got out the other side. Past a giant nutella stool, many items which had the XXX symbol of Amsterdam on them, some canals, and water fowl ...

... And more cheese? Or pastries? Whatever, probably delicious, I think C12 took this photo.

And then we walked home. Home being the hotel. Home base. Home-ish. Whatever, we had some discussions on what to call it, because I called it home, C12 was offended that I would call it home when it was so very clearly NOT HOME.

Along the way we stopped at another of TCR's must see places, a restaurant and we had VERY GOOD, maybe even EXCELLENT, pizza.

Then we saw this cool chandelier on the way home.

I think at this point I was seriously beat, and when we got to home-base I fell asleep right away, and everybody else stayed up bickering. I might be remembering this wrong, because I was OUT.