day 35 (10/6)
we thought we got a quick start to the day so we wouldn’t have to stand in line at the Van Gogh museum. unfortunately, we were looking for a stop and it never came as we didn’t have the correct stop name. so i finally asked and we had to jump off and wait and then ride back. doh. so instead of arriving a little after 9:00 we arrived around 10:30. there was no line. we walked right in. the kids enjoyed the museum, but they also had their tired moments where we’d enter a room of paintings and they’d just sit and wait. but they did listen to us tell them about Van Gogh’s life and the museum even had narratives where you could see where Van Gogh would experiment with new techniques and then later see if those experiments turned up in his regular painting. the museum was pretty awesome. we hit the gift shop on the way out and Ellie bought some postcards and a book while JD bought a little artist set.
we then walked to a place for lunch — pancakes. and these were real pancakes. for example, JD wanted pancakes and bacon — it came and the bacon strips cooked right in. neat stuff. we then took a tram to the Anne Frank house. again we worried about a line, yet we arrived to find absolutely no line so we were in and experiencing it right away. this museum made for some really good discussions with the kids and at the end of the museum is a room where you can sit with the remote control and watch short videos and then answer a yes / no question with the group results tabulated on the screen. for example, a video might talk about freedom of the press . . . but then present a “press” that is hateful towards another group and ask if that should still be allowed (it wasn’t in the US). Ellie gave it some good thought before voting and asked very good questions as she struggled to her decision and then i’d ask her to explain her response. as we walked out, we came to the gift shop. Ellie had to buy an Anne Frank book and JD wanted an eraser.
we took a tram back to the Dam area of town and shopped. prices here in Amsterdam are far better than anywhere else we’ve shopped in all of Europe. i bought a couple of t-shirts and JD bought some clothes as well. this is funny because Ellie and Paula wanted to shop and they bought nothing. but there was a boat tour of the city through the many canals and then grabbed dinner — Italian food, which we missed dearly. homework for the kids and then bed.