Here we are at a canal house mansion museum - and had an interesting discussion about how rich people live. Karina - "So they have lots of rooms for just hanging out, and they don't grow anything in their gardens?"
Another random museum - The Houseboat Museum, which some brilliant person designed for gullible tourists to see the inside of a houseboat on the canal. It looks just like someone's house, except you are on a boat, and you have to watch out or you'll hit your head.
They did have a coloring corner, so it wasn't a total loss.
We went again to the Niewe Kerk (New Church) for a free organ recital - it was fun to watch the organ doors open...
and even more amazing to hear it play.
Tim was able to take a few mornings off this week (and then working until 10 pm) to see some of the sights with us. We did visit the science museum NEMO that the kids enjoyed. We stayed there all day because it cost nearly $100 for a one-time visit! Interestingly for a children's science museum, but strangely in keeping with the Amsterdam vibe, they had a section called "Teen Facts" which went into more detail then one would think appropriate (this is a family blog, so you'll have to fill in the blanks). I kept steering the kids around those particular interactive displays.
Next to NEMO they had a replica of the 1700s trading ship Amsterdam that was fun to explore.
Yesterday we finally made it the The Anne Frank House, which is actually Amsterdam's #1 tourist attraction. They don't allow photos inside. Both Tim and I had the same reaction to the house - we both teared up at the tragedy and incomprehensibility of it all. To walk through the secret bookcase and see the pencil marks on the wall marking Anne and her sister Margot's height growth and the actual pictures of movie stars Anne put on the wall - made it all too real and heartbreaking. It was sobering to hear the bells from the nearby Westerkirk and know that she heard those same bells for the two years she was in hiding. One of the pamphlets had this quote from Holocaust survivor Primo Levi - "One single Anne Frank moves us more than the countless others who suffered just as she did but whose faces have remained in the shadows. Perhaps it is better that way; if we were capable of taking in all the suffering of all those people, we would not be able to live."
After the Anne Frank house, the older kids climbed the Westerkirk bell tower (something Karina has wanted to do for weeks) along with Tim. Sullivan couldn't go because he is too young, and I couldn't go because I'm afraid of heights.
Tomorrow we are hitching along on a work trip to London. Sullivan is very excited to be somewhere where they speak English and to explore new parks! The Princess Diana Memorial Playground is on the docket. Stay tuned!