Spent the day in Amsterdam today. The train was easy and fast (35 minutes) but we have to get down to the main station first so probably door to door is about 1:15 minutes. I’d forgotten how crowded the main station area was in Amsterdam and given the construction across the square it was a bit stressful but nevertheless fun. We had a free bus tour included in our Museum passes that we purchased so decided to use that first to get acclimated. It was nice and we were actually able to get on and off in a couple of places so used this to stop at the Van Gogh museum and then back to central. We did have to stop at a diamond “tour” before this, which turned out to be more about trying to sell us jewelry, and quite heavy on the commercial push. I don’t think the tour guide was impressed with Jacob’s question to her about the use of child labor in many countries to harvest diamonds. She got a little defensive!

Anyway we jumped off at the museum area and ate a snack in the park between Van Gogh and the Rijksmuseum. There is a wading pool and playground plus big park for picnics. It’s fun and the Littles (and big kids) enjoyed the playground. It always makes me smile at the difference in playgrounds overseas as American ones have become so safety oriented that they are sterile. This one was quite dangerous in comparison but fun!

The museum was nice and not very crowded. I remember before being crammed in but it was very easy to see everything both up close and then to step back and see how the paintings change. The Littles wanted to see the sunflowers and were happy with that and then spotted a few more such as his bedroom painting that they recognized. Max’s favorite was the skull smoking. Gruesome but I used it for a quick anti-smoking lesson!

After the museum we spent an uncomfortable hour walking around looking for a place to eat. It was 4pm and so lunch had finished and dinner not started. We were in a quieter area which was neat but lacked choices of restaurants. Still we eventually found a great Italian place and tucked in. It was after 6 pm on Friday night and the crowds were changing and so I decided it was time to head out. We had a broken train and so had to change but apart from that and the incredible heat on the trains, it was an easy trip home. We were quite glad to be back in our quiet suburban area though. The hustle and bustle of Amsterdam tired us all out.

I forgot my camera so photos coming from Jake soon!