Yay! I'm so excited to start recapping our trip. We just got back on Tuesday and it's crazy how fast this trip went. We were gone for 16 days, and we were ready to come home when we did, but we loved every second of our adventure. It was a sweet time for our little family, seeing extended family, and exploring parts of the world that we hadn't seen before. :)
Once we got all checked in at the airport, we were hungry for lunch before we were scheduled to leave at about 3:30.. we ended up being delayed about 30 minutes which honestly was helpful with Beau's schedule.. getting him closer to bedtime!
I don't know about y'all.. but every time we get on a plane I can't wait to get settled in our seats and know what to expect. Booking this flight to Amsterdam with miles, we were pretty far back.. which ended up being AWESOME! We were two steps from the bathroom which I know some people say they don't like because of waking your baby up.. but Beau sleeps through anything so it was just incredibly convenient and I wasn't hauling across the plane to do diaper changes and then wait in a line. There were several other families around us (all Dutch families!) who were incredibly sweet and just put us at ease for the flight ahead. We had a seat for Beau (as you can see below) and we brought on his infant car seat.. thinking it would be easier than his big one that he's used for awhile now.
He slept about 4 hours in the seat before sleepily waking up. Ben picked him up and he just wanted to cuddle, and then he was more comfortable laying out across the seat so we put the carseat on the floor. Upon reflection, we should have just checked it, but it wasn't a big deal at all. Now we know. :)
Beau's Infant Carseat
(and in case you're interested.. his convertible carseat!)
We arrived at 9 am Amsterdam time and headed over to our hotel, which was in a GREAT location. We were in a quiet, beautiful spot. I had emailed all of our hotels our expected arrival time, but this one couldn't accommodate our early check in.. womp womp. They let us put our bags in the room and I freshened up, but the room hadn't been cleaned yet. So we set out to find something to eat and get our first glimpses of the city before our room was ready for us, and our afternoon naps. :) At this point we were so amazed by how good Beau was doing.. and loving the low 70s weather.
Beautiful Amsterdam. So unique.
It's rare to see a photo of just us two these days. :)
I was so proud of Beau at this point.. he had been such a trooper. Just like his mama and daddy, he was surviving on about half of a normal night of sleep.
This was literally RIGHT outside of our hotel. It was so wonderful staying away from the more congested areas.
After a sweet and easy lunch of dutch pancakes and salad, we headed back to our room. I remember that we were dragging at this point, haha! This hotel was also the only hotel that couldn't provide a bed for Beau.. so decided to try out a good old cosleep situation. Not our favorite, but it was fine for two nights. We all slept for a few hours and were then ready to head back out to enjoy the city!
On our walk towards the "I Amsterdam" sign, we saw a charming little place and I couldn't resist a giant raspberry macaron. YUM. Pre dinner snack? :)
These are some of my favorite photos from the trip! The area by the sign wasn't packed by any means but for sure had some fellow visitors. It was fun watching people climb the letters and Beau was in a really great mood (as you can probably tell by the photos, ha!) so we took a few photos and just enjoyed the cooler air. On our evening walk we realized that we could have really enjoyed having brought our jackets.. which was a GREAT feeling for us Texans!
This photo hurts my heart.. I love my boys!
We wandered around and saw people eating outside of The Seafood Bar, and couldn't resist. I got fish and chips with calamari as my chosen fish (delicious amazing treat meal!!) and Ben got this crazy bowl of lots of fish haha. Beau surprised us by loving all of this. He was going to town on his crab salad.
A sweet little hiney enjoying his night night! We went to bed at maybe 9 o clock? and were exhausted!! But we felt like staying up had helped us defeat jet lag.. until the next morning when I woke up so frustrated that I could hear people outside our room. How dare they make noise at 3 am... OOPS JUST KIDDING IT WAS 10!!!!! We all slept a million hours and had made up for our travel day. I literally bolted up when I looked at my phone and woke up Ben and then we woke up Beau. We had places to go and people to see. :) Our destination for the day was a visit outside the city to Zaache Sans, a windmill village that was just a 15 minute train ride away.
Our arrival was nothing less than MAGICAL! I had read online that the proximity of a chocolate factory to the train station made you smell chocolate the second you get there.. and it was true! So amazing and made it feel like a fairy tale!
I'll also note that on this trip I kept paying attention to details that would come in handy as our family grows and we travel with children of different ages. The train tickets were free for under 12.. so I thought it was cool that our 14 euro round trip would have still been 14 euros even if we brought 5 kids along. Probably won't have 5 kids.. but still! :)
We loved the windmills and got our one good family pic of the trip!
Lots of photos Ben insisted taking of me posing with the stroller haha!!
As you can tell, the village was incredibly charming. There was a farm and so many cute little places to eat and get farm made goodies!
Dutch bitterballs.. such a unique snack but they were honestly SO good!
Speaking of good food, we loved all the cheese samples at the cheese factory.
And then I got a little windmill chocolate at the chocolate factory.. it was delicious!
We then decided to head back to the city after loving every bit of our time checking out the windmills. Before this trip, we usually would face Beau's stroller towards us, but we flipped him to see the world which he loved.. and we loved having the little window open to check on him :) This is honestly one of my favorite photos from the trip.
After our train arrived back in Amsterdam, we decided to walk the long way around back to our hotel, stopping at Winkel 43 (a famous apple pie spot!) and to walk by the Anne Frank house. You have to book way in advance to get into the house. We might have been able to get tickets even with our last minute trip, but.. well have y'all seen the fault in our stars? If you haven't this won't make any sense but I remembered from that movie that you're climbing up ladders and stuff which totally makes sense, and I kind of "umm-ed and ahhh-ed" over if Beau could hang and once I decided he was good to go, it had sold out. Not a big deal. :) We still enjoyed walking by and seeing that piece of history.
Sleepy boy ready to get his taste of apple pie! Also, I should note that I purchased him two long sleeved outfits to wear over and over on this trip knowing he would outgrow them by the time we had colder temperatures at home.
There she is!! Such a yummy snack, but Ben kept talking about a sweet friend at his parents' church who makes much better apple pie. He insisted that I comment on her Facebook and tell her how much better hers is.
I should mention that the day of this adventure was July 4th! We were really sad to miss being home for the holiday.. celebrating with our family and remembering the sweet life of the baby I miscarried on July 4th of 2015.. but the only way we could see my grandmother on this trip was to leave on July 2, so that's what we did. We decided to make our dinner a little July 4th family celebration.
The whole time we were taking these photos I kept telling Ben I hoped people didn't think we were some kind of weird American supremacists because of Beau's outfit.. but literally no one cared haha!! I will cherish these images forever!
We ate dinner at a fun pizza place, and the napkins were very on brand for Beau, haha!!
We headed back to our room and set 18 alarms before going to bed because of our late wakeup that morning, and our early train to Brussels the next day! :) We loved our short and sweet time in Amsterdam!