Monday, April 12, 2004

We're home from a wonderful trip to Holland, except it wasn't long enough! We left Friday about 2:30 and headed down the autobahn, our route took us by Frankfurt, Koln (Cologne), Arnhem and finally Utrecht. We stayed just outside in a town called Breukelen, in the Valk Hotel Breukelen. It was very nice and so convenient, right off the autobahn and 3 minute walk to the train station. We didn't drive our car again until we checked out and headed to the Keukenhof Easter Sunday. We arrived in time to relax, read Jacob a story and put him to bed. The next morning we awoke to a gray and drizzly day, but we just dressed for the weather and took the train to Utrecht. Utrecht has canals just like Amsterdam, but not as "touristy" as Amsterdam. Still lots to see, so we didn't really follow a set route, just wandered around and looked stuff up in our guide book as we went along. Since it was Saturday it there was a market going on as well, with lots of flowers and flea market type items. We walked along the canals and looked around the market for a while, then made our way back to the station to catch a train. Then Jacob was ready for a nap, so we joined him!
After we all woke up, the weather had cleared a bit, so we walked back to the station and took the train to Amsterdam. It was a little further than Utrecht, about 15 more minutes on the train. We passed through lots of farmland with sheep and little lambs, and also the huge soccer stadium for the Amsterdam team AJAX. We arrived at Central Station in Amsterdam and walked for a while through the city, and found a place to eat dinner. One of Kenny's coworkers had mentioned the size of the burgers at this place, and we happened to pass by so we stopped there. It's Australian food, there was kangaroo and emu on the menu (we passed on that) but Kenny did get the giant burger. While it did have seating like a restaurant, the atmosphere resembled a rowdy sports bar so Jacob had a new experience. He sat back and enjoyed the last sip from our Pepsi bottles and watched a rugby game, like that was something he did every Saturday night... Here is a photo of him, and a sound clip from the bar, just so you can really get the feel for it Hanging out in Amsterdam After dinner we headed back to the station, we wanted to stop by and see if some relatives were home but it was getting late and Jacob refused to walk another step. Kenny had him on his shoulders for most of the way, like a 30 lb rucksack. He (Kenny) was pretty tired after that too! We hopped the train back to the hotel, arriving close to 10pm. Needless to say, we all went to bed pretty quickly.
The next morning the skies had cleared some, we checked out of our hotel and headed to the Keukenhof (click the English tab at the bottom of their page) and joined the throngs of people who also consider this a great Easter destination. This is the busiest day for the Keukenhof, but it was still pleasant. The crowds only grow as the day goes on, so by the time we were leaving it was getting almost full I think. The flowers are breathtaking, and Jacob enjoyed the animal farm and playground. Also he likes to sniff the flowers and tells us "smells good!" after each one. The flower fields we drove past were amazing, and you could smell the hyacinths from the car. We got totally lost leaving, even though we saw where we were on the map we couldn't get to where we wanted to be. But we drove through some neat little towns, and along canals and farmland. Sometimes being lost lets you see those kinds of things. Eventually we got back to the highway and started back for Germany, arriving home Sunday night.
I think that covers it, I posted more pics on the photosite, you can use this link or the one in the sidebar. Hope everyone had a nice Easter, we really enjoyed ours.

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