I had just put the baby to rest a bit in his cot, whilst my two bigger kids rested after our morning visit to the Artis zoo in Amsterdam. I intended to take a nice cooling shower and wash off all the heat and sweat of our day so far out and about. Feeling rather proud to be touring the stunning capital of the Netherlands with my littles and exceptionally exhilarated thinking about what to do this evening.
Suddenly there was a loud knock at the door and I found Dorothy there wearing nothing but a bath robe and looking disgruntled. I quickly bustled her into our room and motioned her to be quiet for the baby.
“What’s up ?” I ask her rather alarmed.
“My toiletries have gone.” She answers quietly.
“What do you mean, they’re gone ?” I ask her again.
“Gone. As in ‘not there anymore’.” Dorothy’s tone is slightly sarcastic. “I had left them in the paper bag I put all my toiletries in. Didn’t unpack everything, you see.”
“No I don’t see. Why didn’t you unpack everything ?” I am starting to sound annoyed too now, but not for the same reasons. “The housekeeper probably thought it was rubbish and threw it away.”
“Oh no !” Dorothy wailed. “There is stuff in there I really need. Like my deodorant and my nicotine stickers. All my vitamins, my probiotics… The lot. Gone!”
“Just call housekeeping and inform them that they took it by mistake and demand they return your stuff.” I offer as logical solution.
“Oh but I can’t do that !” Dorothy looks at me bewildered. “The anti-lice shampoo is in there too, remember. Whoever finds it is going to think I’ve got bugs.”
“Sweetheart look, you’re going to have to put your pride aside for a moment and just ask for it back. Nobody will mention the anti-lice shampoo.” I promise her.
“You’re right, of course. I’ll just have to keep my head held high whenever they return it. I’ll never see that person again in my life anyway.” Dorothy reluctantly agrees. “What time are we meeting up later on ?”
“Six o’clock downstairs. We can grab some nice little snacks from the executive lounge before heading out.” I suggest.
“Oh goodie. I just love getting free stuff. What are we going to do tonight ?” Dorothy inquires.
“I’d really love to go on one of those canal tours around Amsterdam. Been here so many times and never done that.” I give her a warm smile and see her out. Off to my shower, then some well-deserved feet-up.
100 highlights canal tour
As agreed, we met downstairs for our evening snacks in the executive lounge. Then we headed out towards Amsterdam central station where we booked our tickets for a tour on the canals of Amsterdam by boat. We were too late by then for an open boat tour, but still managed to get a seat on a closed boat. It was near seven o’clock by the time we got down by the water, so the heat had cooled down greatly and a closed boat was welcome.
The boat was comfortable with tables surrounded by comfortable seats, each hosting four or six visitors per table. We also were handed headphones so that the tour was guided in the language of your choice. My children plugged in, and the baby was adamant on following suite here too. So inevitably I had to donate my headphones to the smallest child, leaving me without any explanation. Just the glory of the quaint houses and marvellous buildings I experienced along the ride.
I cannot tell you what we saw since I had no headphones. Though I do know we sailed past Anne Frank’s house and saw hundreds of people queuing up even at this hour. At one point a smaller open boat kind of crashed into our boat. Apparently it had ignored the fact that we had priority. Our captain didn’t seem phased about it and the other boat continued it’s route, though the occupants had been startled by the crash. Nothing happened really.
The Netherlands in general
Till this day I remain a great fan of Holland. It’s more than the land of syrup and pancakes, friendliness and cleanliness, the Netherlands has something for everyone. Whether you would like to pass time on your travels on a stunning road trip or surrounded by water, let the Netherlands blow you away.
If you’re the kind of person who loves to have flannel on your back and s’more in hand, camping is a perfect way to explore the Netherlands. Camping is not really my cup of tea personally, but if you want to experience the best, Holland has a few campsites with unrivalled views, facilities and more.
Back to Amsterdam
By the time our boat trip was over, the kids were simply knockout. Yet they didn’t quite yet want to give into their fatigue. I had promised to take them to the hotel’s Sky Lounge where drinks and snacks are served with a beautiful view on the city.
“Oh yes, cocktails !” Dorothy had said with certain rapture.
The rest, dear peeps, is a tranquil scene of adults sipping margaritas, children playing quietly and baby dozing of snug in mama’s arms.
“Did you get your stuff back ?” I finally ask Dorothy.
“Yes, like you said. The lady just handed me over the bag and apologised explaining that they thought it was to be thrown out with the garbage.” Dorothy goes on. “I think she’d seen the shampoo though, because she couldn’t get away from me fast enough.”
“Oh well, no big deal.” As I finish my drink and feel completely sparked in my energy. Walking around in the open air all day exploring new places has that effect on me. I intend on performing a meditation ritual before bed with my children, to express thanks and gratitude to be living this wonderful life together.