Hong Kong? Turkey? Vienna?
Nope. But I’ll help you narrow it down! Right now I’m somewhere in Europe 😉 When I started this blog post I WAS in Amsterdam (though we have moved on to Belgium and then Calais, France a la moment).
This post, though, is all about Amsterdam. Because it was such a neat city it deserved its own post! And I mean that it was neat, quite literally. Clean, tidy…there are other words for it too. As we were walking around in the 48 hours that we had there in Amsterdam, we saw almost no trash or other dirtyness lying about in the streets. No rats, friendly other otherwise! And no big bugs. When you are coming from Texas…that is really, really nice. It seemed that even the fallen, crunchy leaves got swept up every night.
Now, if I can back up for just a moment, let me interject into my story that Little Miss did amazingly on the flight!
However, she only slept for 4 hours of the purposefully overnight flight. So we were tired that first afternoon we were there!
Okay, back to my story. You might think we were a little crazy heading to Europe with a not-quite-yet-two-year-old. A lot of other people thought so. And maybe we were. A little crazy that is. But she has proved herself a worthy little world traveler.
Of course, traveling with a toddler is much different than traveling by yourself as an adult through Europe, I will admite that. But we’re doing it! The big thing we’ve found (and I’m thankful we discovered this even before our trip through Europe began!) is to pick activities that you can market to your children as fun…or have an indulgence planned for them to help them get through something that is more your speed.
For example, Little Miss loved walking through the streets of Amsterdam. What with all the bicycles and bycicle bells, the boats on the canal as that were “like Small World” (her words!), and all the dogs she got to pet.
It helped that we stayed in a lovely hotel with staff that thought she was adorable! If you ever do get the chance to travel to Amsterdam, I would highly recommend the Marriott there just outside of downtown Amsterdam. They were extremely friendly and helpful, our room was gorgeous, and the breakfast was to die for. (As much lox as you could want?! Yes please!!!)
While we are talking about recommendations, another you place you HAVE to try is De Ebeling, an amazing little gastropub where I got the best salad I have had in a LONG time. (It rivals what you can find in France, and that is saying a lot coming from me 😉 )
While out and about walking the quaint streets, we stumbled across a park, which was an added bonus for Little Miss! (And us, because a little bit of carefree play makes for a much happier baby the rest of the day!)
Now, our all around favorite thing that we did in Amsterdam during our 48 hour mini-trip was our tour of the Heineken brewery! If you don’t have kids, it is a worthwhile stop, but if you do have kids while visiting Amsterdam it is a blast! There are so many sights and sounds and shiny things that Little Miss was enthralled! Plus, you get to move at your own pace which is a plus. (And the fact that you get two beers at the end of the tour doesn’t hurt one bit….especially if you have a toddler in tow 😉 ) The surprising thing that made the Heineken Experience a special hit with us all? The club atmosphere – music and lighting – at the end of the tour!
Little Miss danced for over a half hour while we enjoyed our two (small) beers and talked with some backpackers from Australia! Talk about a lovely experience in Amsterdam when you have a strong willed child!
An added bonus to our trip was that I got to see a windmill! (It may sound silly, but it was on my Amsterdam wishlist!)
Amsterdam was definitely a worth while stopover before our France trip! And we would go there again in a heart beat. Especially since Little Miss slept too late for us to go to the museums we longed to experience!
Have you been to Amsterdam before? Would you like to go? Let me know in the comments below!