By our third day in Amsterdam we were Googling how to become ex-pats and looking at real estate listings. We’d fallen head over heels for the laid-back efficiency of the city, from its bike culture and public transportation, to its happy families and love of leisurely dinners where more beer, wine, and conversation were consumed than food. We wanted in. We still want in. Anyone hiring? (Jk, but not really.)
Day 3 Highlights:
Happy Pig for legit Dutch pancakes. So good we ordered seconds.
Flew over the Netherlands on This is Holland. We were worried this would be a tourist trap but it was awesome. They even made it smell like tulips when we flew over the tulip fields. Totally made up for the “storm” we got caught in when they jostled us around and misted us with water.
Took the train to Weesp, then a bus to Muiden to check out Muiderslot castle. It had a moat, drawbridge, a scavenger hunt for the kids, and a birds of prey show. Fun fact, if your activity guide has the words “birds of prey show”, the Shellaways will be there.
Dragged our tired tooshes to Moeders for an authentic and delicious Dutch dinner. Many spare ribs were consumed. The family seated behind us were visiting from Portland and lived in our old neighborhood.
Day 4 Highlights:
Walked a couple blocks over to Moak for American-style pancakes, which were just as delicious as the pancakes at Happy Pig, proving that the Dutch are the masters of pancaking, regardless of how they’re made.
Perused the shops along De 9 Straatjes, which was probably the least favorite part of the trip for the kids until we discovered the heaven that is aged gouda and (separately) freshly made stroopwafels.
Made our way over to De Pijp neighborhood for lunch. The main tram roads through De Pijp were pretty lackluster, a stark contrast to its adorable side streets sprinkled with shops and cafes.
The heatwave was in full force by late afternoon, so we took the kids to a fountain we’d discovered in our neighborhood. It was the cleanest public fountain I’ve ever seen in my life, filled with kids having a ridiculously good time, and surrounded by seemingly carefree parents sipping wine and Heinekens. (See part about wanting to ex-patriate.)
Check back tomorrow for Days 5 & 6…