Tag Archives: Amsterdam

Taking This show on the Road

12th December 2007

About two years ago, Bryan and I traveled constantly, in anticipation of never, ever being able to travel again. We knew we wanted a baby, and everyone very helpfully told us our lives would suck afterward. Also, that we’d never have sex again. Or read a magazine all the way through.

As it turns out, Hank is a happy, flexible guy. He was born that way, so we can’t take much credit, though we’d clearly blame only ourselves if he convulsed with fury at any deviation from routine. Such is parenting.

Fortunately, Hank is so mellow that our largest concern is whether he’ll just hand bullies his lunch money and sigh when he’s older. He doesn’t cry much on planes, or have trouble being in new places. We’re able to put him to sleep even out in the world (thanks Happiest Baby on the Block
!), and he often seems even more content when we travel because he has constant access to both of us.

It’s true that in some ways, traveling with a baby isn’t as much fun as traveling on your own. Especially at first, it was frustrating being unable to go wherever we wanted. In Amsterdam I worried excessively about getting lost and running out of formula or diapers. Of course, Amsterdam has drugstores every three feet or so, but apparently I thought the Dutch allowed their children to crap in the streets and fed them only chocolate until they were old enough for unpasteurized cheese. Live and learn.

At any rate, even when I’m up at 3 a.m. with a wide-awake Henry who hasn’t adjusted to the time change, traveling is still so much fun for us — I can hardly complain that it used to be 10 percent easier. Also, there are so many things about travel that are better with a baby. Hank definitely notices the stuff we’d speed right past, like friendly dogs, or cigarette butts. People are incredibly kind to you, and you waste less time sleeping off hangovers or wondering where the hell you just woke up.

One of the places we visited on our whirlwind pre-baby tour was Argentina, and we fell in love with Buenos Aires. Today, we fly back to live there for a month. (Bryan’s company closes for a couple weeks in winter, and he’s tacking on a couple weeks of his remaining paternity leave.) I’m so excited my stomach is actually flipping every time I think of it. Of course, it’s possible I have some kind of flu, in which case the fifteen-hour flight is going to be even less pleasant than I anticipated.

Anyway, now’s the time to flood me with Argentina tips if you missed your chance last time. We’d like to do every fun thing available, so don’t hold back. We’re also talking about arranging a meet-up, so let us know if you’ll be around too. You can even meet Hank. He’ll be the one eating cigarette butts out of the ashtray.

Check

11th July 2007

Amsterdam goals:

1. Sample unpasteurized cheese at the Wegewijs Cheese Shoppe (Rozengracht 32).
2. Visit the Looier antiques market.
3. See what it’s like to smoke pot legally at The Greenhouse.
4. Try raw herring in season.
5. Choose flowers for the apartment at the floating Bloemenmarkt.
6. Buy some Dutch chocolate at Puccini Bomboni.
7. See van Gogh’s self portrait in real life.
8. Take a boat ride on the canal with the baby.

3.785 Litres

26th June 2007

Our first day in Amsterdam, I approach the counter to order my coffee:

-May I have a latte?
-Yes!
-This may be a silly question, but do you have lowfat milk?
-What do you mean? For your coffee?
– Yes. I usually order my lattes with lowfat milk, but I don’t think they have that here.
-No, we don’t have that.
-OK, no problem.
-Why do you want that? You don’t want foam?
-No. We do that because the lattes in the states are the size of a gallon of milk, and I don’t want to get fat.
-Ah. How much is a gallon?

Advice

8th June 2007

We head back to Amsterdam Tuesday. On our last visit I was oblivious to my new state of pregnancy, which made me very moody (you may recall the Midget Busker Incident). I’m hoping the entire city won’t seem so vaguely uncomfortable this time around. Of course, this time we’ll have a baby with us, so perhaps that’s wishful thinking. Speaking of which, comments on taking international flights with infants and “Amsterdam with a baby” ideas would be much appreciated.