Friday in Amsterdam

Friday morning we started off with a tiny snack at home for breakfast and then headed to a pancake house for the real good stuff to start our day. We went to a little place called Sara’s Pancake House which was recommended by the guide book, but as I look around at reviews it got slammed online. For most of our meal only one person was working the restaurant, cooking, taking orders and everything. She was brisk and a bit gruff but we got our food and it was very good. I’ve been trying to make these kinds of pancakes at home (they’re not the small puffy ones but more like crepes, but not quite crepes) if anyone’s got a good authentic recipe.

After breakfast we meandered our way over to the houseboat museum. Amsterdam has around 3000 houseboats, all of them attached up for electricity, some of them can move, some are stationary. They require huge maintenance costs but you are right in the middle of things for sure! We considered renting one and then decided that Celia might walk off the edge as we got in and out too easily and just didn’t need that kind of stress. On our way over, we spied this little boat though!

We then went into the houseboat museum, which is just a houseboat with some information, taking turns with Josie as Celia had fallen asleep. It was interesting to get a peek inside, but quick. It’s a small space, I’m not really sure of the appeal.

After the houseboat museum we tried to buy stamps for our many postcards. We could not find a post office to save our life so we went with our normal mode of helpless tourist, and just asked other people randomly on the street. We were told about stores up there and around the corner, but couldn’t find them, and every store we went into asking for stamps just said ‘no’ and looked at us like we were annoying for not buying something they sold.

After the houseboat we went back to centraal station and caught a bus out to NEMO, the kids science museum of Amsterdam. I think it was raining and so we have no pictures but the outside is interesting, it looks like a ship. And if you’re willing to walk up many flights of stairs it has an amazing roof deck that you can go to for free and see the city. We went inside and explored the place all over. Lots of things to touch and explore, although since it was a science museum it was a bit over Josie’s head and definitely over Celia’s. They enjoyed getting to touch things and move things around a lot. We also watched a short performance (in Dutch) that was one huge domino knockdown, except using lots of things other than dominoes. So that translated well even without any english. It was crazy busy though so we had to keep track of the girls as they whizzed around.

I think the favorite part was a pretend ball packing factory. It had stations with computers that gave a list of balls that needed to be sent down a chute in a particular order and it gave you a scale and size measuring devices. Balls just dropped down randomly for you to find the right one. Celia loved picking up the balls and shoving them in the chute, haphazardly. Josie sort got the idea sometimes, but mostly just liked moving them around and exploring too. Josie also worked with some other kids to raise an elevator by pushing a turnstyle around and around and around and around some more. The one big kid in the elevator with Josie and another boy had to do most of the work! It was all Josie could do to keep walking around in that circle sometimes. I think the museum is really well done and would be fantastic for kids more like 8-12, those who can read and start to understand some more of the science.

After the NEMO we went back to Leidseplein after walking to Centraal Station and grabbed a nice Thai dinner off the main square. The kids were doing really well at eating in restaurants at this point and trying new foods. After dinner we went back to the main square and while we were just looking around some guys set up a big square of rope and started a whole big breakdancing routine. With our hands firmly on our wallets, we watched some very talented guys do spins, dances and gymnastics to music. They were great and we gladly gave them some money at the end. After dinner though our days are pretty much over so with that great entertainment to end our day on, we went home and put the girls to bed.


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