Saturday, April 23, 2011

Vodelpark and Dead Bodies (never a dull moment!)

Amsterdam, like many cities, doesn't have a whole lot of green areas.  But we'd planned to take the kids to the park to run out some of their energy and hopefully to rent some bikes.  We'd hauled their bike helmets all the way to Amsterdam in the hopes they could ride there.  Vodelpark is one of the bigger parks in the area and was very pretty overall.  Lots of different paths, water features and of course, several playgrounds for the kids to play on.  Unfortunately we never found the bike rental place much to Liam's disappointment :(  I think they still had a good time though!

The boys climbing a cool tree

Running in the grass!!!!

I love GRASS!!!

Cool playground area - reminds me a bit of the climber in the Childrens Museum Boston

I will climb anything I see!

Me too!

I think this is the highest I've ever seen Liam climb!

After the park we decided to hit Hard Rock - we know the kids like it and we might as well try to hit one in each country we go to... kind of like McDonalds and Burger King, right?  Thankfully Hard Rock was right across from the entrance to the park.  However we were surprised upon our arrival to see the bridge that would lead us to Hard Rock closed off with police tape and policemen guarding the tape to make sure no one passed. 

Yum - vanilla shake!

Giant chess game going on across from Hard Rock...the boys were fascinated and sat there for a good 15 minutes!

Initially I didn't ask what happened, after all I wouldn't want to be nosy ;).  However I did ask her when the tape would be opened because we really wanted to get to lunch.  She had no idea but suggested we go down to the next bridge and cross over - duh, makes sense!  So we went around the back of Hard Rock to get in and saw police tape on that side as well.  People were gathered by the tape and curiousity finally got the better of me.  I finally asked the waitress what was going on.  Her response... "they are looking for a body."  Ugh, really???  Of course, Josh had to go over and look.  He told me there were divers in the water but no body while we were there.  Turns out the waitress was right - a friend of ours googled it and this is the article she found. 

Never a dull moment when you are out with the Marcus family right?

But all ended well for us.  The waiter at Sara's the other night had suggested an ice cream place to Aidan and I - only he didn't know the name of the street it was on or the name of the restaurant but just pointed us in the general direction.  On an evening walk after our adventurous day, we stumbled upon it!  Or so we believe - after all, they had blue ice cream just like he had told us!  Aidan was super excited that after all our wandering around that we had found it.  And for me, I was excited because we strolled thru some beautiful parts of Amsterdam that seemed immune to tourism and the noise of the city.  The buildings were beautiful and the streets were clean and everything just seemed calm given the chaos of city life just one street away.  All in all a great end to a really fun family trip!  Can't wait for the next one!

Just love all the unique looking buildings!

Another canal - such a pretty view!

More cool buildings

House boat

I thought this sign in the wall was just very interesting...

A few bikes

This house in the center was built in the 1600s...might explain why it's leaning a bit too

Love the red shutters!

A crane or similar type of bird hanging out on a car - Aidan thought this was very cool

Self portrait

Cute little street

Finally - ice cream!!  Aidan had bubble gum and cotton candy (called Smurf) ice cream - yum!


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