Friday, July 09, 2010
No, we did not take Sophie with us to Amsterdam, but I did want to mention before I share more of our trip that Sophie just celebrated her 2nd birthday on Wednesday. Happy Birthday Miss Sophie!!!!
One other exciting piece of news is that R & M had an ultrasound while we were in Africa and discovered that they are having a BOY!!!!! A grandson. Wow. I have now cast on my first knitting project for him - a pinwheel baby blanket in Cotton Supreme. It is a fun, easy pattern and this yarn is so soft and yummy!!! Not sure what I will knit after this.... Any one have a 'favorite' baby item that they have knit?? I am so excited to meet this little one.
Ok, now on to Amsterdam. We decided to take a few days after Africa to unwind and process all that we had experienced before jumping back into everyday life. We had a wonderful couple of days.
Amsterdam is a city that is actually below sea level and is kept dry by a series of dams and canals or something like that. We toured much of the city by boat. This was the canal that was right out front of the bed and breakfast that we stayed in.
The cobbled streets lined with quaint shops were one of my favorite places to explore.
We happened to be there during one of the World Cup games that Holland was playing in. The town was CRAZY.... filled with orange people!!!! And rightfully so..... Holland plays Sunday for the Championship. Cheering with you, Rolf!!!! Hup Hup Holland!!
One thing that is so cool is the number of people who used bicycles as their primary form of transportation. Bikes are every where!! And what is nice is that they have bike lanes along every street, complete with their own traffic lights and road signs. I think that this really contributes to the fact that obesity doesn't seem to be an issue. Very few people own cars. They either bike or walk. I don't think I've ever walked as much in recent months as I did during our days there.
As is true of most of our travels, we experience a new place through the food!!! (What can I say, I like to eat!!) This was one of maybe several gelatto cones that we consumed during our visit...
Poffertjes are tiny pancakes that they COVER with whipped cream; powdered sugar and fresh strawberries. Oh yeah. They were yummy!!!
I was determined to experience their french fries that they cover with mayonaise of some sort instead of the typical ketchup. I went with a curried mayonaise which was pretty good. But I honestly think I would have preferred ketchup. But when in Rome... (or Amsterdam in this case)
Finding quaint cafes to have an early dinner at is always fun as well. The pace is unhurried. You practically have to beg for your check and they look at you quizzically wondering why you want to leave. Relax. Slow down. Enjoy.
The Dutch are very in to their cheese and there are some amazing cheese shops to go into and sample. We brought home a few small rounds which we have been enjoying.
We did take a short day trip to Harleem, Holland, which turned out to be a wonderful, quaint city. I think next time I would opt to stay in Harleem and take day trips to Amsterdam!!! One of the places we visited was the Corrie ten Boom house. It was here that Corrie and her family hid Jews and members of the Underground during the war. We also visited the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. The horror of war becomes more real when you go to the actual sites of events you have read about for years.
The weather was perfect while we were there. We enjoyed long walks along the canals and in the parks. We stopped and rested and enjoyed reading in the sun; talking through our Africa trip and just being together.
Now we are home and pressing on. We have a quiet rest of the summer and hope to get some things done around the house.
And dreaming of Africa.....
Until Next Time....