Heartier Minnesotans often remind the rest of us that yes, it has always snowed in Minnesota in April. But that doesn’t mean we have to like it! I don’t think I’m particularly superstitious but it feels like this could be my fault. Maybe that’s the jet lag talking. But the past few years I’ve taken my son on vacation to warmer places for Spring Break. And every time we return? A blizzard in April. Last year it was so severe school was canceled for several days. And my car got stuck in snow in the alley and needed to be towed. This time around class was canceled but I haven’t bothered to check on my car just yet. This seems to have morphed into more of a thundersnow and sleet situation. Anyhow, Amsterdam. It was delightful. And I wish we could have stayed. Longer or forever. There was so much left to see and do and friends to spend more time with. But I am quite proud of my trip planning skills. I landed a serious deal on our Icelandair flights ($371 each, round trip). Booked a beautiful hotel in a lovely park. And plotted out the most critical activities with nearby vegan-friendly restaurants and stores. There may be too many highlights to list:
- We saw Dumbo at Theater Tuschinski, a “beautifully eclectic mix of architectural styles.”
- We enjoyed warm, sunny weather and strolled through Hortus Botanicus first thing one morning. “Established in 1638 to battle the Black Death, Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is a treasure trove of rare flora.”
- We both loved De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat), a floating cat sanctuary on an Amsterdam canal that has been in operation for 50 years.
- On a Saturday we took a Flixbus from Amsterdam to Efteling, a Dutch amusement park. Eight hours wasn’t quite enough. I could have easily stayed overnight at one of the park’s hotels and gone back through a second day.
- On Sunday my ex-pat friend Holly took us for a drive, to Zandvoort Beach. It was a bit windy but sunny and gorgeous out.
- Thankfully I bought tickets for the Van Gogh Museum well ahead of time, so we spent some quality time there marveling at the thick brush strokes up close. Bonus? The Hockney exhibit is pretty great too.
- We wrapped things up with 700 years of Dutch history at Muiderslot Castle. It was cool.
A+ adventuring with my son. Would adventure to Amsterdam again. Gladly.