Friday, June 26, 2015

Hello Summer

School is out... no time to waste in getting started on summer traveling! Although this technically is our summer to stay put in Italy we have made the exception for a brief stateside visit to participate in the wedding of Jonathan's brother. We are grateful to Ben and Bridgett for selecting their wedding date for a time that would be feasible for us to make the journey from Italy to attend.

We left Italy two days after school got out and arranged for an overnight layover in Amsterdam on our way back to the USA. It worked out perfectly, getting our luggage checked all the way through to Chicago and just having a change of clothes in our carryons. The airport was great, having a train station directly below the terminal for one to easily get to downtown Amsterdam. We didn't have a ton of time to tour the city, nor would it have been advisable to just wander the city with kids in tow (if you know what I mean). Therefore, we strategically chose to take a canal tour hoping to catch a glimpse of sights that way and then tour the Anne Frank House. As it turned out, that was all we had time to do anyway. No picturesque windmills nor fields of tulips to take in on this visit, but the kids enjoyed the fact that they were able to see the country that claims 1/4 of their ethnic heritage.

Train Station 
Singel Canal Boat Cruise
Around 2,000 houseboats reside along the city canals

One of the many drawbridges
The afternoon was cool and windy and of course started to sprinkle while I waited 1 hour and 15 minutes outside in line to get into the Frank House. Jonathan and the kids passed the time by looking in shops and hunting down some snacks. They found a waffle shop where they bought fresh Stroopwaffles and a cup of hot chocolate to warm up. I on the other hand kept eyeing with envy the souvenir shop from my spot in line that sold sweatshirts. My fingers were numb from the wind and cold, but I held out strong with my scarf turned shawl/wrap and then Jonathan kept me warm when he finally returned with the kids. The kids all had sweatshirts but I did not pack one for myself or Jonathan. 

Freezing in line
Stroopwaffles (thin crispy waffle 'sandwhiches' filled with caramel)

Regardless of the long line and cold, the museum was well worth the wait. The kids were completely engaged with every aspect of the house and the stories that spoke from within its walls. Having gotten a glimpse of the concentration camps earlier this spring, this time period of a story told from a young girl's perspective was really moving for them. I remember reading the Diary of Anne Frank when I was in middle school and how her story was particularly impactful to me. Our kids really want to read the book now.

The city was beautiful with picturesque spots everywhere you looked.
Multatuli meaning "I have suffered much". Pen name for famous Dutch writer.

Bike parking garage 4-stories high at the train station. 

And we're off to Michigan...

1 comment:


Grace just finished reading The Diary of Ann Frank. Looking forward to telling her about your trip in the morning.