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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last photo op.

It was a running joke throughout the trip how hard it was to get a picture of both girls, looking at the camera and smiling. It took super-human patience and an insane amount of luck to get one in each place we visited. But, on our last night in Amsterdam, on the walk home, they posed for this all by themselves.Lily, Lily's tiger and Rory, all posing nicely in front of some random building with topiaries in front. Who knows what it is, as we never went there.
Figures. Silly girls!

More pancakes.

Our last dinner in Amsterdam? Pancakes of course!
Rory was mostly recovered by this point.

And Lily was excited about sitting outside. And pancakes. And getting a tiger like Rory's. And fristi!
Mommy was excited about her last euro beer. Where you sit down at a restaurant and just order a large beer. And they bring you what they have. So un-fussy!
Auntie was excited about the nice day.
And Daddy was thrilled to not be carrying anything for a few minutes.
The pancakes were divine. That's ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce on our dessert choice.
Lemon and sugar on another. (The ham and cheese was already half eaten when we remembered to take pictures!)
Rory really liked her princess meal, and she really, REALLY liked the powdered sugar on her pancakes.I mean, she really liked it.

Lily, who had been expecting a pencil case like the one Rory got, was beyond excited to get a real stuffed tiger with her pancake.
Best last dinner on a trip ever!

Souvenir shopping.

We still had one more thing to do... get the girls each a Christmas ornament from the trip. Auntie took us to her favorite souvenir shop and we let them each choose their own. Lily picked a Christmas wooden shoe.
Which was added to her water bottle from Haarlem, her fan from Madrid, her Eiffel Tower (made of *real* gold) from Paris, her sea shell that she found at a playground in Amsterdam and the windmill pen (bribe) from Haarlem.
Rory chose a delft train. Which seemed perfect, since the only bedtime story she would allow anyone to read to her the entire trip was The Little Engine that Could.
This was added to her collection that's almost identical to Lily's. Except she chose a pink fan in Madrid. Which she broke the next day. And then she broke Lily's too.Lily had also picked two postcards from the palace in Madrid - one of the outside and one of the dining room, because that was her favorite.

And both girls had gotten postcards from the gift shop in Grote Kerk as well.

All of which we can add to our pile of tickets - from planes, trains, buses, trams, metros, the zoo, museums and monuments - to help us remember our trip.

Only in Amsterdam.

Rory in Amsterdam.

This was when Rory didn't want her picture taken, for fear of being put in another tree. So she wouldn't pose with Auntie. But she did give Mommy a little snuggle.In the background... bikes, boats, water and canal houses. A perfect Amsterdam moment!

Best friends in Amsterdam.

Flowers for Auntie.

After the girls fell out of the tree, we headed back to the apartment so that Rory could take a nap and then Lily came with the big girls to do a little shoe shopping. And ice cream eating. And flower buying. Auntie has a flower stand at the end of her street, right next to the ice cream place, full of gorgeous, fresh flowers. And she needed some more for her apartment. So while she was picking out some really pretty sunflowers, Lily was choosing a bouquet of pink roses for her best friend. I let her choose them, and she "ordered" them from the guy working and she paid for them.
And then she handed them to Auntie. We had talked about how she should tell her thank-you for letting us stay with her. But when I asked Lily if there was anything she wanted to say, she forgot what the flowers were for. But I think Auntie got the general idea.

The tree incident.

Y'all, we made it to the very. last. day. We made it through three countries, six airports, a gazillion train stations, a million sidewalks and over thousands of cobblestones with only minor injuries. No one got sick, or bled or needed to see a doctor. We were feeling overconfident.

So when we rode through the park that afternoon and saw this pretty tree, we thought "Hey, what a pretty picture that would be - the girls in the tree, with the water and the buildings in the background." So we got them perched up there, several feet above the ground, and Auntie and Mommy held on for a minute while Daddy got the shot set.
And then we let go to go stand behind Daddy and jump up and down and make funny faces so that the girls would look at us and smile. And then something happened, We think Lily leaned back a little and thought she was falling. (She wasn't.) But then she overcompensated and leaned forward, which saved her from forward, out of the tree. The only trouble was that she had her arm around Rory. So she basically pushed Rory out of the tree, and Rory landed pretty much face first in the dirt. And then, without Rory there to steady her, Lily fell on top of her. While all three adults stood there and watched. *Parents of the year here, folks.*

So we ran over sure that someone had a broken bone, or several knocked out teeth. And when I picked Rory up and looked into her mouth (which was easy - it was open so that she could scream), all I saw was a ton of dark liquid oozing out. I panicked because I thought it was blood. But no, it was just dirt. The poor kid had a mouthful of dirt. And she ended up with a fat lip and a scraped and bruised chip. But that was it. And even after all that, she only cried for a minute or two. Mostly she just told us repeatedly that "I don't wanna get back in dat twee!"
(The evidence of our bad decisions.)

Lily was scared, but uninjured. And a few minutes later, while Rory was still whimpering, Lily asked to get back in the tree and try the picture again. But she wanted Auntie to hold her foot. So she wouldn't fall again.
Safety first!
Not our best parenting moment ever. Although that first picture did come out pretty nice. (I'm kidding. Mostly.)

Four hours later, after a nap and all kinds of other activities, in a totally different location with no trees in sight, I mentioned that we were going to take a picture and Rory announced, "Not in dat twee where Auntie an' Lily fell. An' I fell. An' bumped my lip. An' bumped my face. An' bumped my knee. An' my chin."

Fair enough. No more trees.

Pickled herring.

Someone had to eat pickled herring on this trip. And, clearly, it had to be Daddy.

He said it just tasted like sushi. You know, if sushi had onions and relish on top of it.

One last playground.

We started our last day with a ride through the park. We wanted to have lunch here.Because Mommy really wanted to have mint tea one more time.
And because, in addition to the water views, it also had an amazing playground in the back. With things like a kid-powered merry-go-round.
And a single teacup.

And teeter-totters!

And did I mention the zipline?

For reals.

We could have easily spent all day here.

But there were a few things we still wanted to do...