Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Amsterdam - January 2016


Finally! It's time to catch-up. I haven't blogged since 2015 and much has happened since then. The first blog I have is of our trip to Amsterdam in mid-January.

In spite of our apprehensions of going to Amsterdam in the mid winter, Diane and I decided that seeing Isla (and her parents) were worth the cold and wet Amsterdam weather we were likely to encounter. And so off we went.

We got the same Airbnb flat we got last year. It felt like home. Then, with Meredith and Elliot's help, we got their extra bikes and soon we felt like regular Amsterdammers.

One of the things we helped out with was grocery shopping and preparing some of the meals - but even in this case, Isla was always ready to help out.

Isla appears to have a keen sense of the concept of monopoly.

On one of the days there, Isla was invited to Kit's birthday party. It was a small affair held at a public school (cupcakes for the kids, beer for the adults - so Dutch!).

In the past, we never had the chance to celebrate a birthday together. So we decided to go out on Diane's birthday and have a proper dinner celebration at the Rijsel, one of the nicer yet local restaurants near the Amstel River. We all had delicious meals.

Taking Isla for a stroll to the market for shopping or to the nearby Sarphatipark is always a good choice. She loves hanging out in the sandbox that has all kinds of playground toys (and if they're some other kid's trike, she'll use that too).

Even though we got bogged down with colds, Diane and I managed to get to three of the numerous Amsterdam museums. At the Hermitage we saw the exhibit of the Spanish Masters, at the Stedelijk Museum there was a special showing of Isa Genzken's Nefertiti (and some other pretty off-beat things she did), and lastly we stopped in at the Willet-Holthuysen Museum, which had been one of the exclusive canal homes of one of the elite families of Amsterdam (sorry, no photos).

Stedelijk Museum

Isa Genzken's Nefertiti 

The very cool Beanery Bar installation at the Stedelijk Museum
Check out more of this installation here: 

We also spent a few days visiting with our friends Maarten and Ineke, at their home in Loosdrecht, just outside of Amsterdam.  We enjoyed good conversation, nice wines, great walks and good friendship.

This was a remarkable scene as we walked along the wooded path.

This is not Photoshopped - it was pretty nearly his color. 

This dinner photo was actually taken at our flat in Amsterdam.