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Success! Rotterdam with Kids

As I mentioned on Friday, we spent the weekend switching roles. I went to a conference for travel bloggers. My husband stayed with the kids at the hotel. We all survived to talk about it. Not only did we survive, we learned so much.

Their daily walk included crossing various bridges.

Their daily walk included crossing various bridges.

I learned that Rotterdam is now one of my new favorite cities (only because each building deserves its own moment of silence to observe its beauty and uniqueness), that I love listening to success stories (of which there were plenty), and I enjoy meeting like-minded people (yeah, I like hanging out with people who travel). I learned that my husband has no fear taking our two little ones out to explore the city (unlike myself who tends to stay closer to the hotel when I’m the trailing spouse), that my son’s love of all things transportation is still strong (and with views of the boats on the water and trams on the street this made for a fun time for him), and that I still missed them all like crazy even though they were never too far away (how is it possible that an 8 month-old can grow so quickly in a matter of hours?).

Both kids enjoying the Rotterdam Spido Harbor Tour

Both kids enjoying the Rotterdam Spido Harbor Tour

Since my husband stayed with the kids, here are his tips for visiting Rotterdam with kids.

  • Buy the Rotterdam Welcome Card. Available in 1, 2, or 3 consecutive days it gives the user access to all metros, trams and buses in the Rotterdam public transport network. It also offers discounts to many attractions around the city (and the booklet that comes with it let’s you know which of those attractions are family friendly). Plus, it saves having to buy tickets when the toddler in the group must get on the bus RIGHT NOW.
  • Eat a toastie, a small baguette cut in half filled with cheese and ham and melted. Be on the lookout for the toastie stand near a McDonald’s on Coolsingel. The other side of that building has a puppet theater.
  • Go on harbor boat tour. Sit on the right hand side of the boat (aka starboard) if you want to actually see anything. If you want to guarantee that no-one will sit with you, sit on the port side (aka left). They run 75 minutes while telling the story of Rotterdam, the city’s architecture, and the harbor. Only 10.75 EUR and kids under 3 are free.
  • For those with a stroller, note that there is only one place for trams on strollers, towards the middle of the tram. While waiting for the tram, stand towards that area.

We are looking forward to a return trip to Rotterdam to see some of the many places we missed: the Rotterdam Zoo, Maritime Museum, Kinderdijk and oh so much more.

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Toddler Tantrums at Train Museums – Lessons Learned

Last Friday we went to see Thomas the Tank Engine. It was a weekend exhibit at Het Spoorwegmuseum (Railway Museum) in Utrecht, Netherlands.


It was crowded. Beyond belief.

I know. I know. Kids love Thomas.

We thought we were doing things right. We went there on a work day instead of a weekend. We went in the afternoon to avoid the morning rush. But, I knew as soon as we parked that no amount of “avoiding the crowds” was going to avoid the crowds.

The website says in plain English that it gets busy (on a regular day, not even a THOMAS day). Parking fills up. It’s best to take the bus from the train station

We ignored their advice. There was street parking within a 10 minute walk, and with a 10 EUR price tag for 4 hours. The worst part was walking to the museum and seeing bus after bus driving by. Each one filled to capacity. Filled with families with strollers. Knowing those families and their strollers were going exactly where we were going.

My son loved posing for these photos.

So, in honor of my very crazy, hectic, trained-filled Friday at a really cool, crowded, toddler-friendly train museum, I share with you five tips for handling crowded tourist spots at lunch time.

Tips for Handling Toddler Tantrums at Lunchtime while at Museums.

  1. Lunch in Europe means 12:00. To avoid the rush, avoid that time. Now, I realize that this could be true everywhere. However, before kids I ate when I was hungry and that was rarely noon. My kids, though, they like their schedules. Since I’ve only had kids in Europe, this noon lunch-rush is something I associate with Europe.
  2. If a website tells you they are going to be busy on a normal day, and you are visiting on a day when a childhood idol is going to be in attendance, and you plan your arrival to avoid the morning rush, but not to avoid the lunch restaurant-rush… then eat before you go. There is absolutely nothing worst than standing in a long restaurant line with Thomas || this far away with a toddler that has forgotten he’s hungry. Unless, of course, you love starving with screaming toddlers in enclosed locations, and people staring at you and shaking their heads.
  3. If you spot a restaurant with an especially long line, ignore the map the attendant gave you that said there’s only one restaurant. Go ahead and just ask someone to be sure. Because some places actually do have the foresight to have more places to eat located throughout the museum grounds for this special occasion. Since they know it will be busy and all.
  4. If your toddler runs out the restaurant door to take matters into his own hands, leaving with you no option but to leave your baby girl in her stroller to chase after him, really emphasize in your facial expressions that you made eye-contact with your husband standing only a few feet away and he’s watching the stroller. That way, people won’t look at you like you are the worst mother for either having an uncontrollable toddler or leaving the baby behind unattended or both.
  5. Later, when you’re walk through the museum with your child satisfied with the trains he saw and no-one starving, take note. There are other families with screaming, crying children. It’s not just you. Smile and enjoy your day.

Have you had any really difficult days when taking your kids out to see something they love? Please share in the comments so I know it’s not just me.

This post is part of Travel Tip Tuesday at Suitcases and Sippy Cups and Walkingon Travels. Click on the links for more great travel tips!les sextoys pour luiadvokatSigurabinary trading signals

National Mill Day


There’s just something about windmills. Part nostalgia, part mystery, part “wow those look pretty cool”, and part environmentally friendly. The Open Air Museum in Arnhem, NL has an exhibit that includes looking into a Polder mill. Looking into this mill, you can’t help but appreciate the engineering involved in moving water and air. There are almost 1000 windmills throughout the Netherlands and tomorrow, they will all be  open to the public for viewing. It’s National Mill Day.

Here are some fun facts about Dutch Windmills.

  • There are eight mills in Amsterdam with one regularly open to the public, Molen van Sloten.
  • A nice day trip from Amsterdam is Zaanse Schans (pictured above). Aside from the eight windmills, you can ride a boat, see how wooden clogs are made, and see the first Albert Heijn grocery store.
  • Another popular place to see windmills is at Kinderdijk, a UNESCO World Heritage SiteThe 19 windmills are the main attractions, with walks, bike rides, boat rides, and even horse-drawn carriage rides and small flights to see them.  The story of “Cat and the Cradle” originated here.
  • Many of the nation’s windmills pumped water away from areas that needed to stay dry.
  • Windmills, though a popular Dutch icon, actually originated in France.
  • And one last fact, pictures just don’t do them justice.



Open Air Museum Arnhem, in front of a smaller wind-driven drainage mill. It is also known as a spidermill.


A day trip to Zaanse Schans is a nice way to escape the crowds in Amsterdam and learn more of the country’s history.

This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby.

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The Scene of a Laugh


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One of many fun things to do at the Open Air Museum in Arnhem, Netherlands.

This looks innocent enough. My husband and my son enjoying a small boat ride. What they didn’t know is that most of the people who rode on the boat before them had taken the boat from the starting point, to the other side and back to the starting point. Well, everyone except for the family that went right before my husband. My husband was showing our son the animals (seen in the background) when the previous family got bored with the boat. They opted out of returning it to the dock above, ignoring the line of people waiting for their turn. With the boat at the empty dock, the people on the other side had no choice. They walked away.

When my husband and son finished with the animals, they saw this boat and decided to go ahead and ride to the other side. As I walked with my daughter to meet up with the rest of our family at this dock, I noticed a group of kids running to the dock my husband just left from. They were the next in line when the previous family left and they were going to go get the boat themselves. Only, they didn’t know my husband had already taken it across. Once my husband docked, no one was interested in heading the other direction. They got to the dock and threw their hands up in the air. They watched as their boat docked where they were just standing only 5 minutes ago. They just stood, waiting for a boat that wasn’t going to return to them. Then they made the decision all kids really wanting a boat ride must make, go back to where the boat is.

The journey from one dock to the other, along the lake, isn’t a straight line. It weaves in and out of buildings from the Netherlands past, windmills, a small shopping street, a drawbridge, a poffertjes cafe, into some kind of building, and then around another building before getting to the dock. Strolling it’s a good 15 minute walk. For kids on a mission, it’s a 5 minute sprint.

For the third time in 20 minutes, the kids ended up waiting at an empty dock. Yes, by the time they got there, another unsuspecting family had taken the boat to the dock the kids just left. Whether or not they finally had a chance to ride the boat, I don’t know. Like I said, there was a poffertjes cafe on the way and we had to stop there. I did see those kids later, laughing and having a good time. Whether they rode the boat or not, they didn’t let their boat disappointment ruin their day.


This post is part of Photo Friday at Delicious Baby and RWeThereYetMom Favorite Post Friday.sex shop en ligne masturbateur en forme realistecar cover tarpMichelin X-Ice North XIN3Bushnell