Sunday, May 26, 2013

Amsterdam

Derrick and I had our first trip to Europe for a conference Derrick had for work. We went to Amsterdam, The Netherlands. We left at 2pm on Sunday flying from Salt Lake to Denver to Iceland to Amsterdam. We got there around 12:30pm the next day (8 hour time change).
Driving from the airport to the hotel I was reminded of Seattle--wet and green. I loved all the trees! That first day was the only one we knew we had to do touristy things because we were unsure about Derrick's time the other days. We started off with the Rijks (rhymes with bikes) Museum. It had Rembrant paintings and objects from Amsterdam's golden age (1500's). There was an old library, muskets, furniture and paintings from other artists at that time.
We then headed to the Van Gogh museum. They had sketch books of Van Gogh and over 150 paintings. It was said that Van Gogh believed in hard work and practice. The museum showed his painting chronologically and I really felt like I could see his improvements. Here's a pic of Derrick at that museum (in the background is the Rijks Museum):
We found a place for dinner and we asked for water. The girl brought us four Heinekens and we said, "No, just water." She left and brought us two Heinekens. After trying to tell her again she brought us carbonated water. It was gross. That was the one annoying thing about Europe, no water anywhere! No drinking fountains, no glasses of water at restaurants. How do those people do that? Water is the most essential thing our bodies need. Crazy Europeans! So we always ended up paying at least 3 Euros for a bottle of water every time we ate out.
After dinner we took a canal boat tour. It was raining that whole day but luckily there was a glass roof on the boat. We learned that there are over 1700 bridges in Amsterdam and more canals than Venice. It was a beautiful way to see the city!
On our walk back to the hotel we saw this huge tree. Did I say how much I loved the trees there?
That night when we got to the hotel I laid down on the bed without getting ready for bed and fell right asleep. I didn't pray, I didn't brush my teeth, I just hit the bed and was out. I guess over a day with no sleep will do that to you.
Tuesday I went on a walk through the town while Derrick was at conference. I saw the flower markets and went to a cheese shop where they gave out samples. I ended up taking Derrick there later. We bought 60 Euro's worth of cheese, 10 Euros of chocolate and some stropwafels (chewy waffle crackers with carmel in the middle--Yum!).
That night for dinner we went to The Pancake Bakery. One of Amsterdam's common foods is a pancake, to us it is like a crepe--thin. I had a pancake with ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. No time like vacation time for dinners like that :)
Wednesday I went to a ship museum and got to tour two old boats. The boats were awesome. I walked on every deck, including the cargo section at the bottom. It was like something from a movie. Then in the museum I learned about whaling, fishing, war at sea, trading, how cabin boys could move up to captains because of rampant sickness while out at sea and I even found a present for the kids in the gift shop (plaster of paris with fish molds and paint).
That night was a party for all the people at Derrick's conference. It was on the top level of a Radison Hotel that looked over the whole city. That was the most amazing view we got of the entire city.


In the back of the picture above you can see a white building, that was the ship museum I went to.
Thursday Derrick had a little time so we toured the Royal Palace. Ornate is the best word to describe it. So much detail in every part of the walls, ceiling, floor and furniture.

That night we toured the Anne Frank house. It was crazy that the place she hid in was just another one of the houses you saw all around you. We walked through the doorway that a bookcase hid to conceal them, we saw the actual diary and notebooks she wrote in. And of course saw the rooms where they hid. It was a neat place to visit.
Derrick's conference was at an this old church. It was literally held in the room with the dome you see pictured with a big organ inside and old rickety staircases.

 The whole city was just cool. Every building was old and beautiful. I thought it was crazy that Central Station, for trains, was in use. It is such a pretty building I thought it was crazy people were just walking in and out like it was just that, a train station.


Literally everywhere were beautiful sites: canals, buildings, trees, boats, old churches...I just loved it.

We flew out on Friday at 2pm, arrived back 10:30pm. It was a lot of traveling but so worth it. It was neat flying through Iceland too. There are no trees there. Zero. It looked like an interesting island to visit. We also flew over Greenland which really is ice. It was crazy to see nothing but what looked like iceburgs.
It was so nice to see the kids again Saturday morning. Paul was holding Brynn when I came out in the morning. I said her name and she just starred at me. I really don't think she recognized me at first. I took her in my arms and she just kept staring. Eventually she warmed up to me and fully remembered me. The crazy thing was, I didn't recognize her voice when she started talking, it took me a while to remember that. Now it seems normal again. Caleb was sweet and seemed happy to see us again.
They had a fun week with Grandma and Grandpa. Caleb had pre-school graduation. They went to the park everyday, the library, McDonalds, played with neighbor kids and just had fun!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Summer Lovin'

So, in this picture it looks like Brynn is crying but she was actually loving it. Caleb was so excited to get out our pool. Last year Brynn would stay in for a minute or two then want to get out. This year both kids played for over an hour. They kept saying, "It's a warm summer day." They were so happy to be out and playing.
I asked them to pose for a picture. Caleb came to the edge of the pool and smiled. I tried to get Brynn over but she wouldn't come. I finally pulled her over and she just started leaning into Caleb. They just love each other and I thought it was so cute:

video video

Saturday, May 11, 2013

SLC, Park and Song

Last Saturday we took Derrick's co-worker that is visiting from India to Salt Lake City. We went to City Creek Mall, the capital and out to a Thai place for lunch. This picture if at the capitol building. Oh, and the picture is from my phone. The quality is better than the camera I still can't find.
I snapped a few pictures at the park too. They turned out pretty cute. Oh

Paul took this video today with his cell phone. It is a little choppy but Brynn is so animated it doesn't need too much clarity. She loves singing this song and will go in circles like she starts to do at the end of this video. She will sing it over and over. Her favorite part is definitely, "Down came the rain and washed the spider out."
video

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stories

I have no idea where my camera is, hence the lack of posts lately. I thought I'd jot down a few stories though:
  • Derrick was telling us that his work had a birthday cake for him and Alyssa. Caleb looked at Derrick and said, "Is that a girl?" We said yes. Caleb said, "Girls work?" Derrick and I both knew exactly why he thought that. To him, moms are at home and dads go to work. We explained that some girls aren't married yet and don't have kids to watch. We told him that Mommy cleaned teeth at the dentist's office before she had Caleb. Caleb said, "Then you had me. Then I watched you and you watched me." So sweet!
  • We got Derrick a football for his birthday. The night before Derrick's birthday he mentioned at dinner that a football player applied for a job at his work (off topic: Steve Young was one of that guy's references--crazy!). Caleb leaned over and whispered, "We got Daddy a football for his birthday." Luckily Derrick didn't hear. Another thing, Caleb mentioned this morning that, "Mother's Day is tomorrow." I said, "Oh, are you making me a Mother's Day gift at Pre-school?" (Pre-school is tomorrow) He said very seriously, "I can't tell you." This little boy can keep secrets!