Amsterdam Part 1.

Here is the first picture installment from our amazing family trip to Amsterdam. We had such a wonderful time. The weather was absolutely perfect (apparently the weather gods smiled down upon us because it was supposed to rain a few times and then it would be sunny instead!). We explored on foot, on tram and learned to look both ways for bicycles because there are a million of bikers! We also used Airbnb for the first time and let me tell you it was awesome! I loved being able to have a home base to come back to at the end of the day and we had two bedrooms so Oliver was able to have his own space too. Airbnb also allowed us to stay in a neighborhood, we stayed in the De Pijp neighborhood which was fun, funky and more residential than where the big hotels are located. We were able to go to the market and make dinners at "home" and also eat out at some local spots, too. 

Click through for a bunch of photos. 

riding the train from the airport, making sure that Muki is watching too.

the view from our apartment. 

the weather was beautiful most days and on out first evening we went to a local park (Sarphati Park) to run around and have a picnic along with most everyone else! 

it is always and adventure and a bit of a challenge going to a foreign market but it is also one of my favourite things to do!

sleepy faced but happy to be outside.

the ducks were so colorful. 

Our first full day in Amsterdam we went to the Royal Artis Zoo. The zoo was lush and the exhibits were large and open with a lot of animals cohabiting. 

my boys. Oliver armed with his binoculars, so cute. 

the giraffes had a house! 

even the architecture in the cafe was beautiful. 

we were trying to be so still to catch a butterfly in the butterfly house. 

the gorilla exhibit was amazing. they were playing, eating and even chasing the meerkats that live with them! 

staring contest. 

one of Oliver's favourites, penguins! 

One tasty treat I was excited to introduce Oliver (and Matt) to was the delightful stroopwafel. A venerable delight comprised of super thin waffle filled with melty caramel sauce akin to the Brit's golden syrup. yum! I think Oliver was a bit overwhelmed by the sheer size! 
We got our stroopwafel at the Albert Cuypmarkt which was right up the street from where we were staying. I was excited to be so close to the "famous" market, especially after living in London and adoring being so close to the Notting Hill market. But alas it was a bit disappointing. It was a lot of junky stuff but there were two highlights; the stroopwafel and...

20 euro Birkenstocks! I'm not sure how the lady selling them procured them but she had a sign pronouncing that she was running an outlet and they are real and they were cheap! love. 

Another bluebird sky day equals another outdoor activity. We took a 1 hour boat cruise starting at Central Station and continued on through the canals of the city. It was a beautiful day and although the pre-recorded "tour" was a bit bland it was a nice way to gain a different perspective through the city. 

i love the architecture and of course bikes and bridges. 

this is a spot where you can see through seven bridges at once. 

it is a parking garage for bikes!

more park exploration. 

so that is it for photo installation number one! next up; museums, more parks and a few favourite food spots.

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