Friday, August 15, 2008

Back in the 'Du

We have made it back to the 'Du and I am slowly getting over my jet lag. I have to say I am not doing very well this time around, but I think I am making up for having no problems when coming and going to and from the US and going to the UK. I have seemed to figure out my problem with blogger and I am still able to read blogs again in China, yeah! I am planning on catching up with my summer posts now that I have a little time before our crazy routine of school begins next Thursday. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Amster Damn!

On our way back from Northern Ireland we had a long layover in Amsterdam. We had never been so we were excited to see this city. We had heard so many good things about it from our Dutch friends in Chengdu that we were really looking forward to judging for ourselves. The best thing about our visit was that our friends Dan Mahoney, his wife Madeline and two girls, Lillianne and Amelie.

Dan was so gracious to pick us up at the airport and the great thing was it was only a short distance from the city center. It was so great to see them as we hadn't seen them in over a year and had yet to meet Amelie. It was so great to see the Mahoney family and they were fantastic hosts! We got a great overview of the city and we are looking forward to coming back next summer for an extended stay.


Gemma, Angus, and Lillianne in their flat in Amsterdam.


The beautiful canals in the middle of the city.


This is a very bicycle friendly city with very few cars around. Here are some of the small quaint streets in Amsterdam.


We were able to see Anne Frank's House, but we didn't have enough time to go for a tour. Next time we will though!


Anne Frank's House


For brunch we had the pleasure of going to a very famous Dutch Pancake restaurant called "The Pancake Bakery". The pancakes were not like your American-style pancakes. They were much lighter and you could choose several different toppings including savory fillings. I had a cheese and mushroom pancake and it was delicious and so filling.


Dan outside The Pancake Bakery.


Amelie getting ready to enjoy her pancake. They had great pancakes for the kids including a princess pancake for Gemma served with a crown and a Policeman pancake for Angus served with a gun and handcuffs.


We went to the main square where the palace is and there were many performers. Angus couldn't believe his eyes when he saw a very unfit looking Spiderman!


They also had a Madame Tussaud's in this gorgeous old building.


Angus and Jonny with the Square in the background.


The Palace


Of course we couldn't pass up a tour of the red light district.


It was quite interesting to be in a place where people really didn't care about sex and drugs. Everyone seems less uptight and less judgmental. Obviously Jonny was feeling less uptight!



I really loved taking pictures of the canals and all of the bicycles were really great to see too!


We struggled with the kids to take this pictures!


There were these cute shoes by the main square and we couldn't resist taking a picture in it!


The Mahoneys!