Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Photo Journal - The Netherlands Part II

More fun in The Netherlands (see Part I here) Continuing on...

Let's talk a little bit about our home base: Gouda. We had such a wonderful time in the little farm house complete with chickens and pigs. Our hosts were super friendly and accommodating. I love using Airbnb so, so much. I recommend it to you if you like hanging out with the locals and learning about life in a new country. From the little farm, we took lots of day trips (per my previous post). Gouda is centrally located which made it a perfect place for exploring The Netherlands.

Some snapshots from the farmhouse

Every morning, the kids got dressed and went outside outside to feed the chickens and the pigs... 

Some pictures from the town of Gouda

Look at this view at night. 
We did not want to leave Gouda without checking the cheese market (first of the year, talk about good luck). Yes it was touristy, but I loved it... Especially the part where you try all the cheeses in the market.

More Poffertjes (the kids favorites), there were all kinds of yummy foods at the Gouda market

Sleepy Marken and crazy touristy Volendam

Our home base in the Amsterdam area was Zaandam (15 min train ride to Amsterdam central station). I recommend staying outside the hustle and bustle of Amsterdam, it's a lot cheaper and you are only a train ride away. Last time we came to Amsterdam, we stayed in Haarlem. It was a great choice then too.

We walked a lot in Amsterdam. Like Paris earlier in the year, I did not have a set schedule for our time there. I wanted to rediscover the city we visited for the first time back in 2002. I loved seeing the city through our kids eyes this time around. V is totally enchanted by it. For the little guy, it was all about the food. We had really delicious food in Amsterdam. We especially loved the Indonesian food among other yummy treats.

Ok, let me take you on a stroll around Amsterdam

The only activity I had planned in Amsterdam was a visit to the Anne Frank Museum. If you are in Amsterdam, do yourself a favor and go there. Make sure you get your ticket in advance. They are not available for purchase at the museum.

More walking around in Jordaan


One drawback about not planning our time when visiting Amsterdam was that we missed out on visiting the Van Gogh Museum. Tickets were sold out. If you have your heart set on visiting the Van Gogh museum, make sure you buy your tickets in advance. Now, don't feel too bad for us, we had plenty of time with the Dutch Masters. We decided to go the Rijkmuseam instead (also a lovely museum).

But first, more horsing around

This kiddo...

Rijkmuseam is beautiful and huge! We could have spent the whole day there... But, there was more to discover.

Voldenpark. A beautiful afternoon deserves to be spent in a park, especially after a delicious lunch. This place was great for people watching.

That wine with lunch makes you want to lay down in the grass a take a nap.

More walking around Amsterdam

Beauty everywhere you go

Sunset overlooking the Amstel River

Ah... I'm totally in love with this place!

Three observations about the Netherlands:
  • We were very impressed with the highway system. Easy to find our way around and the country is so small, we were in a new city in no time at all
  • The bicycles... They were everywhere. I am so jealous... I want to be able to ride my bike everywhere just like they do it
  • We did not see police anywhere (not even in Amsterdam). One time we saw what we think was the police, and they were not carrying a gun. Needless to say, we felt safe everywhere we went
What's next for us? I thought you'd never ask, more fun is currently in the works for us here in casa de Sand. I hope you are in for the ride because I'll be back soon with more pictures from our next travels. Until next time...

See Part I of your trip to The Netherlands here
Before The Netherlands, we went to Paris. See pictures here and here
To see pictures from last year for Spring Break go here and here
More pictures of our family travels here
And for {lots} more pictures check out instagram at planandplay

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