Thursday, April 1, 2010

Amsterdarn

Yesterday was sad, packing up and leaving Kijabe. There is so much about it and so many people that we will miss. We definitely hope to go back!

On the way into Nairobi, we stopped and bought some cool paintings and then met up with the Saunders at the "Carnivore" restaurant for lunch. It was really good, although we didn't get to try as many exotic meats as we had hoped. We did try ostrich and crocodile though (along with beef, pork and chicken). There was a really fun playground for the kids to play on and burn energy before getting back into the car.

We went to the Diguna base after that, and were able to get some naps in before heading to the airport. After getting all checked in and through customs, we picked up some yummy drinks from Java house and then boarded our flight. They were really great to us (KLM again) and got us a bulkhead row again (although there were also three other people that had boarding passes for the same row, who then had to be reseated!)

We had a really nice couple with a young child across the aisle from us and some friendly Canadians behind us. It was great to have understanding people around us, because around midnight, when he was going to sleep, Keenan realized (as Philip and I had a couple hours previous) that we had forgotten BUNNY in Kenya! =0/ A huge sad meltdown ensued. I felt so bad for him. Fortunately there is another one waiting for us at home. =)

It was a pretty good night. Moriah slept well in the bassinet and Keenan got a pretty long, uninterrupted stretch of sleep. Philip and I didn't get very much though and were dragging this morning when we landed. =)

We've been in Amsterdam since around 0530 local time and it has been a pretty long day. We could not check-in to our hotel until 1400 so we decided to kill some time looking around the airport and the city.

With more than 24 hours between flights they would not check our bags all the way to the US so we had to claim them and thought we would be lugging them around. Fortunately we found the luggage lockers at Schiphol and were able to cram all four of our checked pieces into an extra-large locker.

Moriah fell alseep and we figured getting her car seat onto the train would wake her up so we explored Schiphol a little bit and found a great kids play area up on the third floor near the panorama terrace viewing area where you can watch plans taxi, takeoff and land. Keenan and Philip were the only ones who actually went outside. We thought it was sprinkling but it turned out to be hail. Keenan wasn't very impressed.

After Moriah woke up we went down and caught the train into the city center. It was a double level train and Keenan Loved it!!

One thing I can say about Amsterdam is that there are A TON OF BIKES!!!! I have Never seen so many bikes in all my life! They are everywhere, being ridden by people of all ages, shapes and sizes, and are parked by the hundreds in some areas. The most intriguing thing to me is that moms carry up to three (fairly large) children on the bike with them! Some have a seat behind them and one in front between the mom and the handlebars, but some others have a "wheelbarrow looking" thing on the front with a little bench in it that two kids can sit in and one on the back! Wow!

We got on a "Canal Bus" and took a tour of the city by water. It was very pretty and allowed Keenan to get in a bit of a nap on the go!

In Philip's research he found this really cool place called "Tun Fun". It's an unused car tunnel that has been transformed into a HUGE underground kid's play area! It has slides, ball pits, trampolines, climbing areas, a bouncy castle, a tots play area, a restaurant, etc... It was Amazing! We were there for several hours and the kids could have played longer!! (Pictures to come)

From here, we got back on the Canal bus, got some more pictures and then disembarked and struck out on foot for a while, so I could get some more "real Amsterdam" pictures. It was COLD and windy, so we didn't take too long before heading back to the train station.

The train took us back to the airport (where I tried my first Raspberry Black Current Frapuccino at Starbucks).

Then we took a bus to our hotel and took some late naps before heading next door to McDonald's (the only restaurant within walking distance). It was actually Super nice inside (didn't even look like a McDonalds) and had a play place too. We were bummed that they didn't offer refills on drinks though, and charged us 45 cents each for ketchup packets!! We let the kids stay up as late as we could tolerate to try and help get closer to the central time zone before tomorrow since the last portion of our day from arrival in Memphis till we get home will be the time our bodies are used to sleeping. We don't fly out till the afternoon so hopefully the kids will sleep in a bit.

That about catches us up! Will hopefully post tomorrow night when we arrive home!

3 comments:

The Woodford's said...

Yay for a fun day in Amsterdarn! =D Hope you have really great sleeps tonight, and we continue to pray for your safe travels tomorrow! Lots of love,
Steph

Mom W. said...

Good to hear how it is all going for you. Andrew is safely home!!! Too bad about bunny =(

Anonymous said...

Nice to hear you spent a day in Amsterdam. I am Dutch and did not even know about the existence of refills before visiting the US. When I was in the US or the first time I was very surprised. I also was surprised you will get tap water for free in US restaurants.
Eating out is something very special to Dutch people, you don't do it often because it's so expensive...
I'm glad you enjoyed your day in spite of the cold weather and the absence of refills :-).
Rinette