Thursday, June 6, 2013


Never have I seen a paddle boarder in Europe until now. This was such a cool first sight in Amsterdam! 
We all took a turn being a part of Iamsterdam:
Makes me think of Harry Potter's game of chess.
I made a new friend. He was adorable!
I don't think a trip to Amsterdam is really complete without a visit here. Europe is full of history and stories from the past and to encounter one that we've heard about since childhood is truly something unique. I am glad that Anne's story continues to touch people. As hard as it is to walk through these rooms, we should not forget her past or the millions of lives that were lost to racism and hatred.  

For their European trip we had only previously planned for Paris as a non-Belgian excursion. But Amsterdam is only a few train rides away. Granted, they took longer than we thought on the way home and I wouldn't suggest our journey to anyone again, but we did have a great time other than the trains. And even then, if it hadn't been for a very rude family seated across from us and talking loudly about us in Dutch for over an hour, we would've forgiven the long trip. What gives people the right to talk about others in their hearing distance just because those being spoken of can't understand their language? It became obvious to us that we were indeed being spoken about when the other occupants of the train were turning in their seats to stare at us, those being so blatantly talked about in public. The best moment of it at was when Robyn, awoken from her train-nap, realized what was going on and she began signing in ASL with Hannah. That shut them up real quick. I may not have been able to understand either language but I laughed right along with Hannah and Robyn at the absurdity of having the tables turned on these terrible people. I had never encountered such rudeness before and don't apply that experience to the general population of the Netherlands but we also had a similar experience on the way into maybe people riding the trains are just plain mean and everyone else is a sweetheart...yeah, that must be it.

Thankfully the Parisians were MUCH nicer and so pleasant. more to come on that front next week! Tomorrow, a post all on Anne Frank written by a wonderful man.


  1. The Dutch are famous for having big mouths. It's a cultural thing. I read that because their lives are so socially controlled that verbal combat has become the norm.

  2. They probably thought one of you was deaf, then felt like jerks for talking about you guys.

  3. I am an American author who used to live in Belgium so I very much enjoyed your episode on House Hunters. I also wanted to thank you for being so polite and excited about everything. So many Americans on the show complain about everything instead of embracing the experience. Well done. Made me homesick for my beautiful second country.

    Kind regards,

    Elaine Macko


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