Sunday, June 2, 2019

Cainan's 13th birthday

Today our house gained another teenager.  Cainan had his big birthday trip a few weeks ago to Legoland, so unfortunately today, he had to spend the day in the car traveling home.  But he was fine with it because we had a fun weekend.

We did have a few presents and a cake for him, which made up for the long car ride.

 I am so lucky to be his mom. He is kind, sweet, smart, loving, giving, patient, hard working, and just the overall best kid. We love him so much, and can’t wait to see what his future brings.

Last Day in The Netherlands

Today, before we left the Netherlands, we stopped to see the windmills. I had chosen Kinderdijk since it was on our way home. It was a great stop. We spent several hours exploring the windmills( we could go into two and see how they were set up for the families that lived there) and walking around the park. It was cool to see windmills that are several 100 years old. We were told that if they didn’t pump the water out of this part of the country, it would be underwater within 3 months. We are now back in Basel after a wonderful long weekend.

 Inside one of the windmills

Saturday, June 1, 2019

The Hague, The Netherlands

Today we spent the day in The Hague. We really loved it. It was very beautiful and so much less crowded than Amsterdam. 

We started our day at Madurodam which was an incredible miniature park of many things around the Netherlands. This place was so neat. We watched a film when we arrived. It was about a real soldier in WWII named George who was a hero for the Netherlands, but died a prisoner. His parents wanted to build a memorial for him, so they developed this park to be the happiest memorial for war. So that people would come here and just feel joy. How incredible is that?

We spent several hours at Madurodam, and we highly recommend it if you ever visit The Hague

Then we went to see the Peace Palace. We couldn’t tour it (which we knew) because they were having an event, but I still wanted to see it up close.   It houses the International Court of Justice, (which is the principal judicial body of the United Nations), The Permanent Court of Arbitration, The Hague Academy of International Law, and The Peace Palace Library.  The Peace Palace opened in 1913 as a place for the court created to end war by the Hague Convention.

We took a tour of the Prison Gate Museum.  From 1420 to 1828 the prison housed people who committed serious crimes.  The most famous prison was Cornelis de Witt who was held on the charge of plotting the murder of a prince.  He was tortured, but never confessed, so he was released.  But the town people were not happy, so on his release day, he and his brother were brutally murdered outside the prison walls.

Went to St. Jacob’s Church.  It was originally built in 1337 and it still contains the original stained glass windows from 1550.  It is no longer used as a church but concerts are still held there, and the organ is still in use.

We walked through the Binnenhof (home of the government and offices of the Prime Minister).

We did a little shopping and then after dinner decided to take in a movie (one of our favorite activities now). Great last full day!

French Fries with Mayo are a big thing here
 Cainan, Finley and I saw Secret Life of Pets and Arlingotn and Mat saw Aladdin.  We don't get to see kid's movies in Basel, so this was a treat

Friday, May 31, 2019

Amsterdam, The Netherlands - Day Two

Day two in Amsterdam. Today we went to the Van Gogh Museum ( amazing but you cannot take pictures inside).  This is another one of those museums that you need tickets ahead of time.  The tickets sell out quickly and usually you will stand in line for hours to realize you won't be getting tickets for that day anyway.  You are given a time to enter which helps keep the crowds down, but it was still very, very crowded.

The museum was great.  We have always been big fans of Van Gogh's art.  We did see his Sunflowers and many other famous paintings.  Just FYI - Starry Night hangs in the MOMA in New York City.

We had originally thought about going to the Rijkmuseum as well, and I did call to find out if I needed tickets ahead of time (in April) and was told no.  This was not good information.  We wanted to use our IAmsterdam cards to get into the museum, so we decided to chance it.  Which I never do.  And we couldn't get near it.  There was a huge Rembrandt exhibit going on, so tickets had been sold out for weeks.  Of course.

So we went to the Tropen Museum instead.  We had seen it in a magazine whlie at dinner the night before, and our daughter Finley wanted to see the Manga, anime and Kawaii exhibit.  It was a HUGE museum and besides this exhibit, it had a lot of other unique exhibits from around the world.  We enjoyed this stop very much.  We were able to use our IAmsterdam cards to enter, so that was a plus.

Our last stop was the Torture Museum - Arlington's pick.  We were going to take a ride down the canal, but the times available didn't really work for us, and the kids weren't that interested.  We had been walking along the canal quite a bit, and we have taken many a canal boat ride, so we skipped it.  However, after going to the Torture museum (which only took cash, wouldn't take the IAmsterdam cards, and took us about 10 minutes to walk through and was 30Euros), we should have opted for the canal ride.  It was not worth it.

 We spent time walking through a used book street sale, after the museum, and then walked through the booths and booths of tulip vendors.  We did buy some bulbs to plant at our house in Basel, so that was a win.  

This is Rembrandt's statue in town (and a statue version of his painting - The NightsWatch)

 I took a close up picture of the bikes close up.  They are old and rusty and no geared bikes that are just used to get from point A to B.  No fancy bikes here!
 This is from the balcony of our Airbnb - it is 10pm when I took this picture

Cainan's 13th birthday

Today our house gained another teenager.  Cainan had his big birthday trip a few weeks ago to Legoland, so unfortunately today, he had to sp...