Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Amsterdam - Finding Nemo - Touring Tuesday

Matt and I are great travel partners.  I plan out an itinerary, and he figures out how to get us there.  I have no idea how he does it, but the man can look at a map of a city and pretty much memorize the whole thing.  He also pays super close attention whilst walking for possible bathroom stops and restaurant possibilities.  Even in Amsterdam where the street names are fourteen consonants and seven letter o long, he gets us where we need to go.  His mad navigating skills were much appreciated on our journey.

Our first full day in Amsterdam started off slightly rocky.  First off the weather tried to keep us from seeing the city.  The blustery wind made Matt regret forgetting his gloves back in London.  Then it started to rain, but it was not a problem as I was prepared with three umbrellas.  That is when Youngest Kiddo had a meltdown.

"Where is my umbrella, mom?" he asked

"You are sharing an umbrella with me, big guy," I said enthusiastically to divert his pending disappointment.  

"I don't want to share mom!" he wailed as the rain poured down.  He then stomped his foot and pouted his lips in protest.  The rest of the family hunkered together in a doorway as sleet started to pelt our umbrellas and his head.

As I typically do in this situation, I picked him up and continued to walk down the street while holding an umbrella.  This ticked him off a bit more since he could not get out from under my umbrella.  We knew that he needed a chance to cool off, but we needed to get out of the rain.  

Matt spotted a chain hotel around the corner so we walked in and settled in the lobby.  Although he didn't like my rationale for only having three umbrellas, he calmed down.  Keeping in mind my rules for touring (when you see a clean toilet use it), we made a pit stop.  Sorry if this is too much information, but he decided to sit down to do his business this time.  However, when he pulled up his pants he was confused as to why they were wet.  

Poor kid did not pull his pants down far enough.  His bottom lip started to quiver when he realized what happened.  I allayed his sadness by saying we would fix the problem.  We are well past the point of needing to bring spare clothes along, so we needed Plan B.  After telling Matt of the situation, he paused to mentally remember our route to our stop at the hotel lobby.  He remembered seeing an H&M on our walk through the city center.  Youngest Kiddo was back in business in no time.  

With the rockiness over, it was time to get this vacation on the road.  

We meandered along the canals for a bit and admired the architecture.  We quickly realized that part of the charm in Amsterdam lies in the canal houses and the, let's call it, unplumbness of the homes.  Many of the houses lean into one another and even toward the canals.  Yes, toward the canals.  The weather precluded me from taking quality photos on our first day, but trust me, I have many more from the rest of the week.  

By this time we could tell the kids weren't in the mood to look at houses and canals much longer.  My super navigator husband saved the day by walking us to the NEMO science museum.

I am usually one to vote no for a science museum, but NEMO was completely worth the visit! Admission was a bit pricey at €15 ($82) for everyone over 4 years of age, but I got over it once we saw the exhibits.  It had plenty to entertain both kids and adults.  We explored exhibits with water energy, solar power, and played brain teaser games.  Near the end of our visit, the museum set off a huge Rube Goldberg that we all enjoyed watching.

The top floor of the NEMO has an outdoor terrace that provided a beautiful view of the city.  I can see this spot being highly popular in the summer.

We officially wore the kids' legs out on the first day.  They were happy that the NEMO Science Center was an easy walk from Amsterdam Centraal Station.  On our way back we got side tracked by one location that I will share with you next time.  Bibliophiles will not believe their eyes! 

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