27 March, 2009

Greetings from Amsterdam

Well I survived the journey with two small girls. I know there are people who scale mountains, cross deserts and stay in yurts in Outer Mongolia, while carrying small children in cunningly tied pieces of Indian cotton, but I am not like this. An escalator can strike fear when approached with a 6 year old, 4 year old and too much hand luggage. And that was before I got to passport control in Amsterdam when a terribly nice controller queried the fact that the girls have a different surname. It had never crossed my mind that this would be a problem. Fortunately my eldest has my surname as a middle name and I do look like them and maybe I just looked honest and the children looked like they wanted to be there, so they let me through. But my heart stopped briefly and visions flashed of children being confiscated, and so on. Next time I take copies of their birth certificates.

Anyway we got here. The children enjoyed their first flight (I loathed it but I always do). Lottie held my hand while we landed which turned out to be more for my support than hers as every time the plane and my stomach lurched I had to squeeze her a little tighter. Now we are ensconced in our houseboat in the Jordaan. This was an excellent idea. It's like a flat on water. Cute, comfortable and allows us to have evenings without having to sit on a bed being quiet and watching the kids sleep.

We've just been out with some of Tom's work colleagues and as Emilia said at the end of the evening "It wasn't that boring". I hope they agree! I'm not sure they expected to find themselves playing Uno to the rules of Lottie (idiosyncratic and aimed at her winning). We found ourselves heading into the centre of the city to Dam, with its monument. And there were several hundred lively Scots in kilts. I think there's a football match here tomorrow. There were some kilts on our plane which, given that we live in Wales, was interesting and I suppose it must be an important match. It did lead to us leaving that part of town to find somewhere else to have dinner. And luckily we chanced on La Scarpetta in Herenstraat. Italian, relaxed, happy to have children, interesting menu and very flexible. I'd recommend it. Can't say whether it was reasonably priced or not as right now nothing on the continent seems reasonably priced. We'll be splurging without trying these next few days.


Veronica said...

Oh it sounds like you are having a wonderful time - what a brilliant idea to stay on the houseboat! Enjoy every moment of it. Warm wishes, Vxx

Don said...

my son stayed on a houseboat in stockholm and we are all jealous. it sounds like you are having a great time. any time you see hordes of scots in kilts is no doubt a great time! pass the glen fiddich please

are you bringing home any tulips!??