Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring in the Netherlands

This Spring Break, we headed north to explore the Netherlands.  We drove up and stopped in Cologne for a night.  The next morning, we headed for Kinderdijk, a village in South Holland.  This village is famous for it's 19 windmills built around 1740.  We walked around and went inside one of the working windmills.  We climbed all the way to the top.  I wore Elsie and she enjoyed the view!  Our next stop was Rotterdam for lunch...Elsie and I had apple pancakes.  YUM!  Pancakes are done amazingly in the Netherlands and I knew I would be a huge fan..I didn't realize how much of a fan Elsie would be as well!  She has her mommy's sweet tooth, for sure!

After lunch, we continued our drive to Amsterdam.  I found a house we could rent for the week.  It had a separate bedroom for Elsie, a big bed for Brian and I, and a loft space for Olivia.  We got groceries from the local store each night and cooked dinner at home once Elsie had gone to bed.  It was perfect for us!  Right on a canal with a beautiful view, peaceful, quiet, and free parking!  We drove to the nearby Park and Ride (5 min away) and parked and took the tram into the city..parking and tram ride for all of us..8 Euro.  That is amazing!!  I was super happy with my find on

Once downtown, we enjoyed strolling the city.  Admiring the buildings  the canals, the people, and the food..of course!!  We had lunch at the Pancake Bakery (thank you Ashley for the recommendation!)  We all shared a bacon and apple pancake and it was out of this world good!!  We toured the Anne Frank House, and if you do this with a baby, strollers and backpacks are not permitted.  So I wore Elsie and enjoyed having her so close for constant kisses  :)  We walked through the Red Light District and enjoyed a hamburger that was super yummy too!  I would be 200 pounds if I lived anywhere in Holland.  

The next day, we went to the Keukenhof to see the flowers.  Although the tulips hadn't bloomed, there were plenty of other flowers to see as we strolled through the park.  The greenhouses were full of tulips though, my favorite flower!  That afternoon, we drove up to Zaanse Schans, which is a small village on the banks of the Zaan river, complete with tidy green houses, real working windmills, and small topical museums such as the Cheese Museum and the Dutch Shoe Museum.  We saw how they made the traditional clogs and Brian bought a pair for yard work.  I got a small pair to hang on our Christmas tree as we have collected ornaments from our travels around Europe.  We bought a bunch of cheese (luckily we had brought a cooler for this!) and Elsie enjoyed all the free samples.

We loved our trip and loved the peacefulness and simple beauty of the Netherlands.  And the pancakes, of course!  :)

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