Sunday, May 26, 2013
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):
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!
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 :)
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!
at 2:06 PM