Monday, April 30, 2012

Queens Day 2012

Queens Day 2012
Queen Beatrix
Our first National Dutch Holiday- Koninginnedag! Translation- Queens Day. Queens Day is a way for the Dutch to honor the House of Orange Royal Family. They have a rather unusual way of honoring the Queen- turning the city into one enormous flee market and party. Throughout the city, areas are designated for selling your goods. We chose to celebrate in Vondelpark at the end of our street. The park is designated for Children only. Kids sell their toys, arts and crafts, and baked goods. They also make carnival games, face paint and perform their special talents. We arrived one hour into the celebration and it was PACKED! The entire 120 acres of the park was a sea of orange. After several hours of wondering, we had friends back to our place for lunch before heading out to explore other areas of the city. The afternoon crowds were a bit too much for the little ones and the grown up flee markets were filled with JUNK! 

Getting ready to head out for our first Queens Day- we told
Luke it was one giant birthday party- hence the shear excitement
in this picture
Favorite Dutch Talents: 
Break dancing to Michael Jackson
Singing Adele 
Fitting right in- giving a live performance
 with his "monica"
Taking a break from the sea of Orange flee marketers for a little play time

We really enjoyed our First Queens Day in Amsterdam. I was impressed with how well the kids and Derek handled the crowds. Next year we'll have to get a sitter for the afternoon so we can experience the city center which is filled with music, canals bumper to bumper with boats and Dutch singing traditional songs. 

I was a little disappointed that we did not see a parade- oh wait, what is that noise outside of our kitchen window- A PARADE!

Thank you Harikrishna's for making my Queens Day complete! 

Friday, April 27, 2012

Friday Photo Drop

We are really settling into a routine here. It took almost two months! Luke is in school 5 days a week 1:30-5:00. After three days he came home saying his first few Dutch words- Lammetje (lamb), lekker (yummy) , naa (no) and dank you (thank you). He is the only English speaking kid in the class! We've started to meet people that we see on a regular basis and Derek is traveling- A LOT. Here are a few photos from the past week or so. This weekend is Koninginnedag (Queens Day). It's a Dutch National holiday in Honor of the Queens birthday. We have heard it is like Mardi Gras but much larger and everyone wears Orange.
My Carpool Lane 
This is how much I can hold in my European MiniVan-
A week worth of groceries, two kids, a rain shield and some sand toys!

  Ferris Wheel in Dam Square

They are becoming such good friends- they have started to go to bed at the same time and they read each other stories and sing songs until they pass out (they share a room here)

Must buy Rain gear! Riding in the bike in the rain is a ton of fun...
until you have to come inside and realize you are freezing cold and soaked!
Caught in our first traffic jam in the minivan-
 sat at a drawbridge for 15 minutes-
did not factor that into the commute to school.
We are having a great time- but the learning curve is tough! At the end of the day I have to laugh about all the things that happen in a day and remind myself that in a few months (hopefully) it will all be second nature (or close to it)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Play Amsterdam

I found the parents guide to Amsterdam! I actually read about it before moving here and knew instantly this was the way that I would discover the city of Amsterdam. The kids and I ventured out in the rain last week to pick up our copy at the English Bookstore. Since then we have been having fun riding in the bike and playing eye spy as we search for playgrounds. To date- we have checked off 17 of the 425 playgrounds located within the A10 Ring!

Here we are back in October at our very first Amsterdam playground in the Amsterdam Bos during our househunting trip! They are going to grow so big during this adventure and I can't wait to experience every moment of it with them!

The book is organized into neighborhoods so we (I) plan to just pick an area of town every so often and head out exploring- recording our discoveries as we go.
This one was also on our house hunting trip- I could not believe how brave Luke was climbing on it! It's in Vondelpark and we pass it almost everyday on our bike! The first time we were there Audrey decided she preferred watching from below. Now she climbs it too
Z27-Frans Van Mierisstraat

Z6 Vondelpark
Z5- Vondelpark Melkhuis Cafe
Z3- Vondelpark

Z4- Museumplein

W103- Rembrandt Park: petting zoo-  site of the wild goat attack!

Audrey's first time on a BIG Girl swing
Z-41 Henriette Ronnerplein
Z35 Henrick de Keijserplein
Z14 Hondecoeterstraat

Z53 Mesdagstraat

Z49- Memlingstraat

Luke and Audrey- you can tip your tour guide later!
I love you two and am so glad to be able to have this experience with you-
Here's to a fun adventure, lots of slides, climbing and making memories!

I really need to figure out how to work pictures in this blog- this took way to long and the formating is terrible- oh well.