Thursday, January 6, 2011
36 Hours in the Netherlands
My sister and her boyfriend flew into Amsterdam for a week of vacation. We were able to get away for two days to drive out and visit them. We got up early on Thurs with the intention to be in Haarlem by 12:30.
Unfortunately Jay came down with a 24hr flu, so we had Alexis to ourselves the first day. She met us at our hotel in Haarlem. Our innkeepers were quite hospitable, serving us coffee, tea, and oliebollen (Dutch doughnuts) upon our arrival.
We headed out to grab lunch and hit the Corrie Ten Boom house/museum. It was pretty cool to hear Corrie's story while standing in the house where she saved so many. Now I want to go read "The Hiding Place" again...it's been years.
We spent the rest of the day getting settled and Alexis and I got some sister time. When we ventured out for dinner, many restaurants were already packed. We found a snug Italian restaurant that seemed kid-friendly, though busy. Alethia had fallen asleep in the stroller on the way over...exhaustion from a long day with no nap. So, upon waking, she wasn't the most pleasant child on earth. Even so, both kids did pretty good waiting for their meal the first hour or so. Then, Alethia started asking every few minutes where her food was. And Masami was trying to climb out of the highchair. When we finally tracked down our server, we found out that he hadn't put our order in yet. Anthony walked the kids around a bit, we let them play games on our phones...trying to keep them happy a while longer. The entire dinner experience took nearly 4 hours. My sister was worried that she would miss the last train, it had gotten so late! We walked Alexis to her train and Masami was asleep by the time we got back to the hotel. The rest of us rapidly followed.
The next morning, we got up and drove into Amsterdam and met Jay and Alexis to celebrate Alethia's birthday. They were really great playing with the kids and giving-up a whole day of their vacation to do the kid thing. Our kids felt very loved-on by them!
After dinner, we said our goodbyes and parted ways. It was a great way to spend the last two days of the year. We are so grateful to have gotten that special time with Alexis and Jay!