Friday, September 10, 2010

Summer Travels

When i was a kid, no family function was complete without my dad pulling out the screen and slide projector. Being an only child, i was naturally the star attraction next to his slides of Hawaii, the Grand Canyon, and various other landmarks we had visited. My relatives had to be bored to tears!

This summer my family and i, along with our neighbors and there three children traveled to Northern Europe. We covered Amsterdam, Germany, Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia and Denmark. We flew into Amsterdam and spent four days there before hopping on a cruise to our other destinations. So, grab a cup of something yummy and get yourself comfy, cuz were goin' on vacation! (and i'll try not to bore you!)

Our first stop is Amsterdam, Netherlands. After eight hours and very little sleep, we landed in Amsterdam and hit the ground running. Not wanting to miss a thing we grabbed a quick bite at this sweet bakery. Muffins the size of a baby's head. Oh, they were good!

Most everyone gets around on bike here. Young and old, they all ride bikes. This can be a little dangerous to pedestrians, especially jet-lagged-confused-American tourists and their five children. Yup, we almost died twenty times or more. Men in suits on bikes, little kids on bikes, women in skirts and heels- you got it, on bikes.

Amsterdam is built around canals and is filled with bridges and funky house boats. We walked through the floating tulip market. Oh my, there were so many bulbs that needed a home in my garden, but customs is a fun wrecker when it comes to plant matter.

Had to get a picture of this creepy fence-love it!

We decided the best way to see the city would be a boat tour. The grown ups sat inside where it was warm and the kids naturally wanted nothing to do with us.

(Sweet man and i snuzzeling- no wonder the kids didn't want to be near us!) Row after row of houses like this line the canal. In the evening the water is hopping with boats and people enjoying the night life on the water.

A lot of people live in house boats like this one. It's complete with electricity and plumbing. Like that little deck on top?

There were so many tall ships like these in the harbor.

Later that evening we had dinner in an area that reminded us of Little Italy in New York. We had great pizza and pasta, and the company of a couple furry customers. At one point this Beagle got down and walked into the restaurant. The kids were convinced he went to use the restroom! Maybe he did.

There is a great feeling of community here. Everyone has been very friendly and welcoming. Could it be the result of legalized marijuana? I don't know, but there were a lot of very happy people wandering the streets!

Lets end our little visit in Amsterdam here. Meet me back here again next time, and i'll show you some more of our adventure. Thanks for sticking with me!

Have a great weekend!

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