Monday, May 7, 2012

Pancakes in Amsterdam

Sorry I've been gone friends... I've missed you.  I've been, what they call "off-line" for over a week.  Not really on purpose, but because we were traveling and are too stingy awesome to pay for internet and/or too lazy to try to read things off my ipod.  To be honest, I really loved being off-line - more than I would have ever thought.  But I also realized that life goes on, and if you're not online then you miss things - big things.  In the week I was disconnected I had a good friend buy a house, another have a baby, another move into a new house, and yet another go back to work - all things I care about and want to know about.  So the moral of the story is......(dun dun dun) I need the internet machine in my life - with mandated breaks of course.

But that isn't what this post is about. 

This post is about the adventure we'll call European Travel with Toddlers. Actually, it could be called European Eating with Toddlers, because here is an overview of our first two days in Amsterdam...

To say I travel to eat would be correct my friends.  I love food.  I love good food, and this doesn't even touch the surface, because it got even better after Amsterdam, but I'll leave that for another day.  My favorite food in Amsterdam (because I tried just about everything) were the pancakes - giant pancakes (called pannekoeken) and tiny pancakes (called poffertjes).  I didn't meet a pancake I didn't fall in love with.  They're also famous for their pickled herring, which I was all about trying, but something about eating raw fish (which I am usually a fan of) out of a food truck on the street didn't seem to meet my dietary restrictions set up by the baby doctor.  Don't worry, I more than made up for it by shoving a coveted American-style hotdog down my throat and indulging in multiple Coca-Colas.

Of course we did the typical tourist-in-Amsterdam things - like a boat ride on the canal.

We also learned from our last big trip to Scotland that we needed to allow much more down-time than we (meaning D and me) as see-it-all travelers were used to, so we spent quite a bit of time in the apartment we were renting - which was also full of toys.  If you asked the boys what they remember most about Amsterdam it would be the "big jet", and I'm not talking about the one we flew in on. 
By sheer coincidence we ended up in Amsterdam on the biggest street party day of the year.  Queen's Day - which commemorates the Queen's birthday on April 30th.  All of the big stores close and all that is open are the cafes and small shops.  Every sidewalk space is filled with people drinking, eating, or selling merchandise I can only assume they've been collecting in their apartments over the past year.  The canals are overflowing with party boats and everyone is wearing orange.  It was such a site to see.  These pictures do not do it justice.  We have this knack for booking trips on the biggest party day of the year in these countries (it was Hogmanay at Edinburgh), and although it isn't necessarily ideal to participate with two toddlers, it is an awesome way to see the culture of the city.  

So we didn't go into a single art museum in Amsterdam (don't tell my art professors), and we practically ran through the Anne Frank Huis (they suggested 45 minutes to get through - we showed them), but I know we'll be back someday and will get our chance again.  Maybe next time we won't bring two children under 4 - although they were free for almost there's that.