Hunting the Hummingbird - by David C Hoffman

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Amsterdam NEMO

For our final full day in Amsterdam, we headed to the NEMO Science Museum.

We started the morning with yet another breakfast at the cute little eatery up the street from our place...

Then we walked over to the museum, enjoying the streets of Amsterdam along the way.

Even the area outside the museum was full of things to look at!

These two and their maps make me smile =)

The museum had several levels, including an entire sloping roof top area. We were all a little overwhelmed when we first went inside, and I kept making sure I could see both kids...I was extra nervous about losing a kiddo while we were traveling! I knew so little about the areas we were in! Our phones worked in every country we stayed in, and our kids know the numbers by heart, and nearly everyone spoke English in Paris, Amsterdam, and Iceland...but still, is it 911 in this country? I don't know. If we get separated, are the kids going to be able to communicate with someone to help them call us? I don't know.
(Welcome to my anxious momma heart. It's messy in there, huh? ;) )

So, it took me lots of  some time to relax and really appreciate how cool this place was, but once I did, I was so thankful to get to experience visiting a Children's Museum in Holland! 

Ok these pictures don't quite do justice how cool this little illusion area was...

This little crooked house that played tricks on perspective could have entertained me for hours.

The Dutch are much more liberated when it comes to sex and such things...and at times this felt like quite a shock after living in the Middle East for two years!

This was an exhibit on drug use. It identified different drugs, and showed you what the effects of each one were. 
This was another one of those things that really stood out to me. Like, "we're just talking about this openly?! Wow!" because Kuwait was just so incredibly conservative about nearly everything.

I loved reading all about bilirubin lights. 
What a neat thing.
My niece was a micro-preemie at birth, and I clearly remember seeing pics of her wrapped up in bumpers just like that while under those lights! 

The view from the roof was really great!
I think Amsterdam is so, so pretty.

The kids were making different fountains pop up at different times...

Dave and I kept saying to each other how thankful we were for this time in Europe.
We had packed up our family back in the summer of 2015 and headed to a place we'd never been to start a new life for two years. It had been quite an adventure, and to be really honest, we'd considered giving up and coming home that first spring...when I fractured my toe just eight weeks after emergency surgery...but we are both so very grateful we didn't. Things started to really turn around right after all that. We started to find our groove over there, and man am I so grateful we stuck it out because we made some amazing Forever Friends, and had some incredible experiences.
This time traveling around on vacation felt like the culmination of all of it.
And there was a slight sense of victory as well.
We DID it. 


We've got mad selfie skills.

We walked back home and spent the rest of the afternoon playing out front...

And Dave and I took turns going for walks around the area sans kids...

I mean, isn't Amsterdam so cool looking?!?
I just fell in love.
We all did.
Our only regret was we didn't have more time! When we'd planned the trip, we'd thought five nights would be plenty, but there was just so much to see and do, and I felt like we could have soaked it up for another month, at least.
I'm pretty sure I want to retire there =).

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Canals, paintings, and tulips

The next day we took a canal tour!
Because when in Amsterdam, you must ride the canals.

Dave found a tour stop close to our AirBnb, and we walked over to wait for our ride...

(the orange shades were Brother's pick from the Amsterdam Zoo ;) )
We ended up having to wait awhile for our boat, and I was proud of how our little globetrotter's handled the passing time...

Dave created different challenges for them at one point...

Pretty proud of this travel buddy as well...

...he handled all of the planning of our Amsterdam days and we got to do SO MUCH because of him!
Finally boarded...

Okay, you have to look really closely at this one; do you see the roofline of the right side looks different at the very end?
That whole section is actually draping for construction!
They were remodeling the outside of that portion, and wanted it to still look presentable during the process...

This girl and her lovies...

It was such a lovely way to view Amsterdam! We really learned a lot as well. The captain would often give information regarding what we were passing by, or about houseboats, canals, and Amsterdam in general over the loudspeaker.

Love these handsome boys of mine...


After our canal ride we made our way over to the famous Iamsterdam sign...

...and for some reason, like a total rookie, I'd assumed we'd get a big shot of just the four of us in front of the sign.
I really don't know why I thought that would happen??
So I was a bit disappointed that these were about the best we could get...but, I mean, duh.

...even though we had to share the sign with other tourists, it was still pretty cool =).

Sister didn't care about the picture.
She was just happy there were dogs around.

This one is pretty great!

Next up: the Ruks Musem! 

Dave had been really looking forward to checking this out, and I was looking forward to introducing the kids to the fine art, and giving them an opportunity to watch their dad enjoy something he loves. 

They both did pretty well behaving themselves, for which I was grateful, and the art was so beautiful.

My man in his element...

This boy is such a ham...

After the museum, we grabbed some lunch and then made our way to Vondel Park!
The largest city park in Amsterdam.

We walked and walked and enjoyed the luscious trees and scenery...


In Vondelpark there are six different play areas and one really large playground. We made it our mission to see them all!

Vondelpark was so very pretty...

Our beautiful girl...

Such cool play areas there!

We eventually found our way to this famous climbing tree in the middle of the park...

And, Sister found another dog...

When we finished up seeing Vondelpark, we hopped on the street car and rode to a street fair...

So many tulips...

 By the time we made it back to our place that evening, we were kicked, but extremely thankful for another great day in Amsterdam.