Monday, June 8, 2015

Adventures in Amsterdam- Part 2

Amsterdam quickly became one of our favorite European cities on our recent visit. There is just something about it- the bikes, the canals, the architecture, the flowers and the people are so friendly. 

We rented this apartment in the Jordaan district and it was the perfect part of the city to be in. A beautiful, quiet neighborhood away from the craziness that some parts of Amsterdam bring but central to everywhere we wanted to visit.

The canals are beautiful and I could not stop taking pictures of them during our 4 day visit. Virtually all of the railing space around the canals are taken up by bikes. It's amazing how many there are! You do have to be careful not to get run over- we may have had a couple of close calls.

I found it fascinating how bicycles truly do make up the culture of Amsterdam. It is so charming. I especially loved how bikes were used by Dutch families. Venturing out to the park with the children piled into one of these below. The baby car seat is placed inside with the other siblings or the youngest member of the family is worn by a peddling parent. Or babies old enough to sit up, in a bike seat at the front of the bicycle, beginning to learn the rules of the road.

One afternoon my mom and I visited the Van Gogh Museum as he has always been one of my favorites!

While photos are not allowed of Van Gogh's paintings, we did see these two famous works pictured in my audio tour device.

The Anne Frank House is a must do on a visit to Amsterdam. We did not have pre-booked tickets as they were already sold out when we were planning our trip. People wait in line for hours, so it's important to get in line before the museum opens, and as early as possible.

Our visit to the museum and the home Anne hid with the others was completely worth our wait in line. Being in the presence of her spirit was incredible. The museum is beautifully simple and very well done. It leaves you completely moved and inspired as Anne Frank was one remarkable human being. Quotes from her diary are around the museum and while reading them, it was hard not to get choked up.

Another morning my mom headed over to the Rijksmuseum while we took a canal ride with M.

We ended up at Science Center Nemo. Had to give M some time to explore what Amsterdam had for her too.

The museum is really meant for older children but M still had fun- especially with the bubbles. 

Inside a giant bubble! 

And POP!

The top of Nemo had a beautiful view over-looking the city, even on a cloudy day.

We got a good start to the day each morning with coffee, tea and pastries from Headfirst Coffee Roasters. Davis knows the way to my heart and always finds the BEST coffee in the cities we visit.

They even did a tulip design one morning but I sipped before snapping a picture.

I could have eaten 1,000 of these waffles. They were so amazing.

And a bit of Dutch beer.

Davis and I were able to sneak away for a date night while in Amsterdam. (Thanks Nana for M-sitting!) We went to an amazing restaurant housed in a glass conservatory serving food made from organic ingredients grown on-site. It was so yummy!

We also had an amazing meal at Balthazar's Keuken. We sat in the back near the kitchen and felt as if we were eating at a friend's home. It was a set 3 course menu and they were so sweet and made M her own pasta dish and dessert. But after a long day of being a tourist, M had her heart set on chocolate ice cream so when the dessert came out a little fancier than she had imagined, a meltdown occurred. The restaurant understood her 3 year old perspective and told us where the nearest ice cream shop was located and the evening was saved with her priceless mess of a face.

Amsterdam is known for having amazing Indonesian food and we had another yummy meal at Restaurant Blauw.

We never have enough time exploring a new city so we hope to make it back as it is so close to London. Oh but please be a teeny-tiny bit warmer next time you see us Amsterdam!


  1. Looks like you had a great time! What fun memories she will have to look back on! Amsterdam is definitely on my list of places to visit! Thanks for sharing!

  2. we need to plan a trip there!! loved the pictures!