Rain Rain, Go Away! Arriving in Amsterdam
It has been over a week since our last post, but we are back today to tell you about the last country on our epic Europe road trip adventure. We covered 8000 km, and 15 countries, so getting to the Netherlands, our final country, was a bitter sweet experience! Before arriving in Amsterdam, we had stopped in Brussels. There we dined on all of the Belgium favorites – waffles, chocolates, fries, and beer! The weather started to get poor as we approached the city of Amsterdam. By the time we arrived at our hotel, the rain was POURING. I’m not even exaggerating, it was literally pouring…
Since we were staying in a boutique hotel apartment on one of the canals, we chose to use the parking service that the hotel provided. Parking along the canal would cost us about €30 a day (that amount might be wrong – I’ll let my amazing-memory hubby correct that, if needed). We planned to get around Amsterdam on foot, so there was no need to have our car nearby. Of course, it always feels silly storing your car when you are paying to hire it per day. However, nothing beats getting that same car back a couple day later. In a way, it feels like “going home” when you climb back into that familiar space. We emptied our car and handed the keys over. The South African inn me thought, “OMG, will we ever see that car again?” Hilarious, I know! ?
Despite our attempted to stay dry, we were all quite wet by the time we got into the hotel lobby! The kind man checking us in told us to help ourselves to a table covered with fruit, stroopwafels, pastries, and coffee.
Hmmmmm… *Kids in a Candy Store!* DROOL!
Although we had already spent more money than we care to think about on this trip, we decided to splash out a little on this stop. We had a lot of trouble finding a decent place in Amsterdam, which fitted into our travel budget for this adventure. Rather than stress too much about it, we booked a hotel apartment. When the manager informed us that we had been UPGRADED to a suite… well, no words could explain how happy we were! Woohoooo!!
The picture above gives you an idea of what the bedroom area looked like, but we couldn’t find any pictures of the suite that we had. The windows you see, were large French doors that opened into a private courtyard. Our room was on the ground floor. We had a full kitchen, dining room table, and plenty of room for Eli’s play ‘n play. In fact, we were so thrilled that we no longer cared that the weather forecast showed rain for the next couple of days!
**Seeing as I take photos OF EVERYTHING, I was surprised that we had no pictures of this beautiful hotel suite. I guess, when you get to country number 15, you start to slack off on the picture-taking. Oh well! I guess I was just too excited about our upgrade.**
Some of you might remember our amazement at how Eli could spell these rather long words on this educational app! He had been playing it quite a bit on this journey around Europe. He was, however, in the back of the car so we had no idea how quickly he was learning. When we sat down to play these spelling games with him, he could recognize/ spell words like “Alligator” by looking at the animal associated with each letter. As parents of a two year old that barely talks, we were absolutely thrilled… AND PROUD!
For dinner, we ordered sushi and had it delivered to our apartment. We were LOVING the heavy rain and had no intention of going out in order to find food. Our suite was just perfect and we wanted to take full advantage of it!
The perfect evening, if you ask me!
We picked up some information pamphlets and a map of Amsterdam in the welcome room, and looked over those while we enjoyed our sushi. We had a fridge, and cooking facilities, so we were excited to get some drinks, food and snacks into our room when the rain calmed down the following day. Thanks to all of the snacks in the welcome area of the hotel, we had plenty to eat during the evening. There really is nothing better than a hotel that provides coffee, and stroopwafels….
“A stroopwafel is a waffle made from two thin layers of baked dough with a caramel-like syrup filling in the middle. It is popular in the Netherlands, where they were first made in the city of Gouda.” – Wikipedia
Our sweet sleeping little man!
The following day, after some exploring, we picked up some pizzas to eat in our room. It was so good to know that we could get whatever we liked, and be able to cook it ourselves. In China, we almost always cook dinner at home, and while traveling we find that this is a great way to stay within budget. We got tons of tasty things to fill our fridge with. I still remember this picture of food in our stroller, and the humorous Facebook post, about how much weight we had gained in Europe…
The Calm After the Storm
Although the forecast said rain for days, the skies eventually cleared and we were able to get out and exploring! We walked and walked and walked. Amsterdam is simply amazing, and we thoroughly enjoyed taking all of the charm that it had to offer.
I loved this stage! He wanted his Mama so much that I had to walk next to his stroller. Holding his hand while we did our sightseeing put a huuuuge smile on my face. Too precious for words!
More on our Amsterdam adventure coming up next!