Wednesday, September 02, 2009

I love Amsterdam - part two!

After leaving the van Gogh museum we knew the kids needed food to get some energy in them and give them a little pep in their step. There was a large park area with street vendors connecting the next art museum we were going to so it was perfect. (they had no idea they were going to another art museum but we are tricky that way) Annie Kate was starving for real food and we all were craving some kind of meat - 2 nights of Ramen noodles was not cutting it anymore. We had some yummy sandwiches and sat under yellow umbrellas at tables at the park. Annie Kate got her IV of hot chocolate in and seemed to be doing better, but boy was she and the other girls stinkers hanging out with Vincent.
We gave the girls a pep talk and explained ways to make yourself happy even when you are doing something you don't really want to do. Sally Jane said, "you mean do this?" So we all practiced our smiley faces and how sometimes smiling can make you feel better! (and hopefully act better)
Sally Jane so has Jeff wrapped around his little finger as she convinced him to take her to the cafe because they had shakes.
and of note it is great to have Jeff giving us big smiles after two years of braces. He got them off the week before our trip!
Caroline opted for the super creamy ice cream for her lunch and was surprisingly starving an hour later in the art museum. Oh but that ice cream was out of this world.
right by where we were eating was the most awesome sign. It actually has an I in red in front of the Amsterdam so it reads I amsterdam. I was lucky to snatch this fast shot of no one in front of it as it was really crowded.

we hogged two of the letters for a second to get a shot with the girls. I would have loved one with our family for a Christmas Card photo, but that was not going to happen.
Our next stop was the Rijksmuseum. We knew we had another hour wait for tickets so the girls and I played at the park while Jeff stood in line.
Europe has the best play equipment at parks - much better than the states.
This is a photo of the girls playing these underground bells. You jump on them and they ring. It was fun to watch adults coming over as well waiting their turn to have a chance to try to play a song. It kind of reminded me of that scene in Big with Tom Hanks when he was playing the piano with his feet. They had this awesome swing that the girls were so excited to play on. Except Sally Jane ended up being the only one with a stomach to spend much time on it.

It finally stopped raining and the kids took off their coats and were just in heaven running around. Little did they know they were headed back to a room full of paintings. (enter sinister laugh here.... ah-ha-ha ha!)
I just sat on the bench for a long time watching the kids. This may always be my favorite part of taking the kids to so many countries each summer. Is when they get a chance to interact with kids who don't speak the same language. Every year the outcome is the same. It just does not matter. The kids always figure out a way to communicate, share and take turns and having fun.
which gives me a total flashback when we were in Switzerland 2 summers ago and met these 3 darling girls on the playground in Wengen. The girls all played for a long time and then figured out they all spoke English. Before we left the Mom asked if she could take a photo of all of them together. I remember thinking these darling Swiss girls with their beautiful blond long hair. Turns out they were from about 3 miles from Jeff's family in California. -Funny huh?

Once Sally Jane grew tired of the large swing the wooden horse became her best friend.

We then broke the news that we were on to another art museum. They came with little to no fight.We were off the the Rijksmuseum.
Jeff and I were both excited because it has the largest collection of Vermeer paintings.
The gardens out front were beautiful (despite the large patch of dead grass in this photo)

Sally Jane walking into the museum, deciding she didn't want to go and made her statue stop, which means she will just stop walking until you come and pick her up and carry her. We lost her a few times on the trip because we thought she was walking with us and then to turn around and see here in statue mode 25 yards away. She is a stubborn one! But hey it made for a great photo under the arch that I probably would not have taken.

Just a little info about the museum, in case you were like me and didn't know anything about it.

  • Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum is the largest museum of art and history in the Netherlands. With nearly 1 million objects in its permanent collection
  • The museum is home to 20 magnificent Rembrandt works in addition to pieces by Vermeer, Hals, and Steen.
  • the give you free "trolleys" (strollers) for your cranky kids if they don't want to walk
  • It houses the famous "Night Watch" by Rembrandt, which was slashed by a visitor in the 70's with a bread knife. view print here. The Nightwatch. The print is enormous and amazing that someone could finish that in a lifetime as well as paint so many others.
  • The Rijksmuseum has one of the best websites hands down about their museum, in my opinion.
We left the museum in a cab since walking the 6 blocks to the town square was not an option. That cab driver must have thought, "you lazy Americans"

The cab driver was nice enough to drop us off here. 1. because it was a beautiful place to take a photo and 2. because he said we would have sat another 15 min in traffic and would have cost a lot of money. Seriously this town is so awesome!
We found the town square and I am embarrassed to say I have no idea what this building was but there were crowds around it singing and taking turns kicking a soccer ball in the air and drinking a lot of...this!
The girls were doing a good job of making the most of the day once we were out of any museum.

    • Jeff encouraged me to take a photo of anything I wanted to buy and not buy it and just enjoy the photo - so I resisted buying this "I love Holland" underwear and just took the photo.
We found a McDonald's to feed the two little ones and even though we ate there we still had to pay to use the bathroom. Argh!

We walked back to the apartment to regroup. Our time was running out as we were leaving in the morning and we still had not been to the Anne Frank House. We needed a plan.

Intermission before our great journey for the night!


Elizabeth said...

The building is the city hall. I love your long well documented posts. So fun to read.

Lauralee said...

statue mode? is that what you call it.. luke does that all the time!

love the Amsterdam sign.. love it! you got some great shots of it!

never heard of the museum, so thanks for the info on that.. looks like a huge painting.. that is awful someone slashed it!

your kids are troopers!

michelle said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I was afraid you were too busy and were one writing about your wonderful trip.

Eva goes into statue mode, too, most notably every time we walk into the primary room...

Elizabeth said...

Kai's my statue.

A Happy Heart Blog said...

Kristi - What a fun trip! The photos are a lot of fun to see especially the one with you and your three girls sitting on the ledge - very sweet! You must tell me where your girls got those cute cute dresses- very cute.

Michelle :)

Jill said...

I love Amsterdam! Your posts have been so wonderful, now I want to go there.

I love the big letters you got to stand in.

I am jealous you got to go to Rijksmuseum!

Sally Jane's statue mode technique is hilarious!