Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Weekend

I love Easter. I have more memories of Easter as a kid than I do of Christmas. I swear one year the Easter bunny came to our house in a silver hatchback car wearing a black vest and bow tie and hid the eggs in the front yard. I was peeking out the front window and saw him!!! My mom, dad and brother all told me it never happened, but a 4 year olds memory doesn't lie. I also remember my mom getting mad at my dad for eating all the Russell Stover Easter candy out of our baskets before Easter Sunday every year forcing her to make a second run to the store to replenish the baskets. And I loved getting a new dress for Easter Sunday every year and getting to wear new white shoes and sometimes a hat.

Anyway, since we live in a foreign country that doesn't celebrate Easter, I made sure to pack up some Easter decorations and I pre bought the stuff for Lily's basket in America before we left. I know she won't remember most of the holidays that we end up spending in Morocco but I am still determined to make them as normal and festive as possible for her.

We started our weekend off with a bike ride to the beach saturday morning followed by dying eggs and then church in the evening.

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On Sunday, we made brunch and then had an Easter egg hunt in the back yard. Of course, Lily wanted to pick up an egg and open it right away to get to the treat inside so it took quite a while for her to get to all the eggs!

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Kisses for her new bunny.

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Lily would not smile for any pictures all weekend long. The is the best we could get!

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Lily and Tessa had to fight it out for a few of the eggs.

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She snuck a cracker in her mouth right before this picture.

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Happy Easter!
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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Weekend in Amsterdam

Danny, Lily and I spent this past weekend on a quick little vacation to Amsterdam. We had a wonderful time walking around town, biking through the tulip fields, taking a boat ride through the canals and visiting the Anne Frank House.

You might be a redneck if your baby walks through european airports without pants! Lily was having some tummy troubles on our travel day and ended up getting her pants dirty on both of our flights so we had to walk through part of the Amsterdam airport without pants on until we could stop by a bathroom and get another change of clothes out of the suitcase.

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We made if from the airport to the train station that was right outside our hotel.

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We stayed at the Park Plaza Victoria right across the street from Amsterdam Central Station. It is an older hotel but I was pleasantly surprised by how big the rooms were and it was the best possible location. It is right across the street from the main train station which made it very convenient to get to and from the airport. It is also easy to walk to all the main attractions in Amsterdam and to get on a canal boat or a tram if you don't feel like walking.

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After dropping off our bags at the hotel we headed out to walk around and grab a quick dinner before it got dark.

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In case you tell by what is in Lily's mouth, we had pizza for dinner. Crazy kid!

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The next morning we were up bright and early to head out to the Kuekenhof. The Keukenhof is a huge garden/flower exhibition that is only open for 8 weeks out of the year. It reminded me a lot of the Dallas Arboretum only about 20 times bigger. We had to take a train and a bus to get out there. Lily loved all the public transportation and said airplane, choo choo train, and bus over and over all weekend long.

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The first thing we did when we made it to our destination was rent bikes so we could cruise through the tulip fields that surround the Keukenhof. This was my favorite part of the trip! It was a gorgeous day and we had so much fun riding bikes and taking in the beautiful scenery. You can't really tell from the pictures but the colors of the flowers were so vivid that they looked fake.

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After our bike ride, we headed inside the Keukenhof. Lily tried to stop and smell every flower she saw!

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Getting Lily some personalized clogs!

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Lily was all smiles when we found the petting zoo.

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Giving her best piggy face

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After the Keukenhof, we came back to the hotel for a quick rest before heading out on a boat ride of the city.

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Lily fell asleep right before we made it on the boat!

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Sleeping beauty finally woke up but still wasn't ready for any more pictures.

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Sunday morning we woke up early again so we could get to the Anne Frank House before it opened. I had read that the line gets crazy long so I wanted to make sure we were some of the first people in line.

We got there about 8:30am and there were about 50 people already in like ahead of us. By the time it opened at 9 am there were probably 500 people in line!

 Lily had a meltdown right as we were walking in to buy our tickets. Full on screaming and laying on the floor. I was determined to not let her ruin our time at the museum, so I strapped her on my back and told Danny to put some crackers from my bag in his pocket. She calmed down once we gave her a few crackers so we started our walk through the Anne Frank House.

It is a very small and somber place and once you walk in there is really no way to turn around and go out. You are stuck in the slow moving line of people. Danny was mortified because everyone was really quiet as they were walking through and then there was Lily loudly saying, "Dada, crackers!"

She fell asleep about halfway through so we were able to relax and enjoy the second half of our time there without any toddler antics.

It was really an amazing place. I re-read The Diary of Anne Frank before our trip so it was really neat to see where it all actually took place.

We spent the rest of the day walking around town before we had to head back to the airport.

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Traveling with a toddler is always exhausting and sometimes embarrassing, but I am so glad we are have the opportunity to do stuff like this as a family.
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