Friday we went to Amsterdam. We had a wonderful time visiting the Rijks Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. I have never seen such awesome works of art in person. It's too hard to even describe the beauty, the massive size and intensity in these works. Aaron's favorite artist at the Rijks was Jan Steen, Heidi loved the dollhouses on display, Derreck was so impressed with Rembrant - as we all were! and I really loved seening the work of Karel du Jardin. I think collectively, our favorite artist is Vincent Van Gogh and I can't describe how awesome it was to see his work. Not only did they have a huge collection of his paintings, but also his drawings and Scribbles, as they called them and his letters to Theo, his brother. I've always been fascinated with Van Gogh's style and seeing his work in person, in chronilogical order made so much sense.
We did not get to go into the Anne Frank House, we wanted to, but it is just an existing house with one narrow set of stairs that leads to the room they hid in. People line up to go in and as you might imagine, it is very narrow and takes a long time to get people in and out. So we passed on that this time.
We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe in Amsterdam, as we heard they had real American food and drinks with lots of ice and free refills. Well, the food was pretty good, though not quite "American" but they did have a larger size cup than what is normal for here and did fill it half full of ice. We asked first for Rootbeer, then Lemonade, then Dr. Pepper and shot down on all. So we settled for Pepsi and 7-up.
We took a Canal tour of the city. I hadn't realised how extensive the canal system is in Amsterdam until we took the tour. It was a nice way to see the city (and miss the bad stuff). There are 2500 house boats in Amsterdam, some were very posh, but most were older and rundown a bit. One thing is every single houseboat had at least one plant on the deck. Most had very nice "gardens" on their houseboat.