Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

So for a Ski Week trip (totally a European thing....), we went to Amsterdam, The Netherlands, as none of us are skiers (or have any desire to become skiers).

We headed down to the train station. It was the same time to drive versus train, but we didn't have to deal with traffic, construction, and pay for parking once there. Another one of the pluses to taking the train is you can arrive at the train station 10-20 minutes before your train leaves and you are golden (unlike flying where you have to be there hours before). This trip there was a still a mask mandate. We also booked a private car with a door that shut for a little extra protection.

Once in Amsterdam, we grabbed some breakfast items at the grocery stand and headed to our Airbnb. It was in a great location! Right on the bus line (and on the water!).

We knew our Airbnb hosts and they were kind enough to make us dinner the night we arrived! The next morning, we got up and headed downtown. We started the morning with an Anne Frank walking tour. 

It was an insanely windy and rainy day morning. We lost three of our four umbrellas due to gusts of wind snapping the umbrella metal! Due to the bad weather, this was the only picture I took during the two hour walk! The guide mentioned a restaurant right at the end of the tour. We went back there and got some Amsterdam pancakes. The pancakes are thinner than American ones, but not quite crepe thin, and could be sweet or savory. Clarissa got one with honey, I think I had a savory one with tomatoes and mozzarella. I don't remember the rest of the orders other than it was warm and delicious. After we finished, the rain had stopped and we meandered around a bit. We checked out one of the many rubber duck shops and it had this adorably decorated bike in front!

That afternoon we did a city canal tour via boat.

All the canals were filled with houseboats that people live on. Apparently super pricey!

Towards the end of the tour the cloud cover began to break and it was quite lovely!

Our second morning, we had reservations at the Rijksmuseum. This stained glass window with pictures of the artists was pretty cool.

Check out an original selfie.....lol.

During the height of the pandemic, we were all playing Animal Crossing. It was really fun to see and check out paintings and other art we had already collected and put in our museum...lol. Gotta love Baby Jesus with an ab six pack!

Lol.....one of the original 'look at how cute my cat is at testing gravity' pictures.

It was a little ironic checking out art from the Spanish Flu and how it was protrayed on the tail end of the current C-19 pandemic.


If only the kids were still in to Playmobil.....this is an awesome set!!

Being photogenic on a canal near the museum.

After the museum we wandered around the city. Lots of bridges and canals criss crossing back forth. We found and picked up a Starbucks mug for our collection...and did other fun important things.

The next morning was bright and sunny!

Perfect for heading to the train station and leaving (insert eye roll).

We caught our train and enjoyed the 4.5 hour ride back home! Fun little short break. Totally recommend visiting Amsterdam, but probably not in February...lol.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Frankfurt Flora and Fauna

 For a Girl Scouts project one year, Clarissa and her troop made posters and shared a pdf of the flora and fauna around the housing compound and the duck pond. Here's some things they saw (and hopefully everything was properly IDed): 

Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum)

Mallard (Male) - (Anas platyrhynchos)

Mallard (Female) - (Anas platyrhynchos)

Feral Pigeon - (Columba livia domestica)

Carrion Crow - (Corvus corone)

Common Daisy - (Bellis perennis)

Winter Aconite - (Eranthis hyemalis)

Great Cormorant - (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Common Moorhen - (Gallinula chloropus)

Egyptian Goose - (Alopochen aegyptiaca)

European Firebug - (Pyrrhocoris apterus)

Eurasian Red Squirrel - (Sciurus vulgaris)

Snowdrop Anemone (also called Madonna anemone) - (Anemonoides sylvestris)

Norway Maple - (Acer platanoides)

Deer Mushroom - (Pluteus cervinus)

Oregon Grape - (Berberis aquifolium)

You will have to come visit us and check out the poster, if you want to know exactly where things were spotted and three fun facts about each!

Sunday, November 26, 2023

Holidays 2021

Obviously a fail.....but here's some pictures in a effort to catch up (and I'm weird and like posts in chronological order...sort of in hopes of the kids reading back over them one day and treking down memory lane.....).

Tree was decorated...

Cookies were made....

Silly elf shenanigans, but it looks like Santa came!

Christmas meal (the hair and fruit says breakfast, the ketchup says dinner) and the tall child working to get over jet lag after a trip to Texas for the holidays.