I'm going to miss my three kids being all mine - no friends, no school, no activities, no camps - just us and the adventure of every day and the things we would discover. I will miss hearing so many different languages just walking around. I will miss living like a tourist but feeling like a local. I will miss shopping like a European - going to the bread and cheese store, picking up things for dinner the same day. I will miss the Dutch language and the Dutch people - I have never met such all around niceness. I will miss watching the kids' world broaden and expand, from Karina's new obsession to go to college to become a church bell-ringer to Sullivan's understanding that English is just one of many languages that people speak to Ethan's mastery of the tram system.
The canals and architecture in this city are just marvelous - it's like walking in a museum all the time. I imagine only Venice can be its equal for sheer just walking around wow factor.
Here are the things the kids are going to miss the most:
Dubbel Friss - a juice box drink that is slightly carbonated.
The Dyson Air Blade for drying hands in public bathrooms
The candy store nearby that sells delicious candy -
Sullivan will miss the Jewish Historical Museum, and Max the Matzo. We went there 8 times this summer.
Getting ice cream most everyday. When Grammy came to visit, Karina finally got her wish for two scoops with whipped cream on top at her favorite ice cream place.
Ethan will miss the street names and figuring out words in Dutch. His pronunciation and understanding of Dutch are amazing for living here such a short time.
The parks! They are simply amazing in both their number and their design (and amazingly dangerous). Look at the height of this climbing structure.
Here are the things I won't miss -
Hauling all our groceries home on our shoulders. Soda and milk are extremely heavy, and almost everything else is in glass bottles.
Karina will not miss "the naked Dutch kids at the park."
The smell of the "coffee shops." And the regular smoke smell. No one here has seemingly heard of the Surgeon General.
Nearly getting run over by a bike at least once a day.
My nightmares about Sullivan falling into a canal, that I have about once a week.
Paying too much for stuff, not being able to comparison shop, and losing money with every purchase because of the exchange rate.
Keeping the kids away from certain areas of this fair city - not always successfully.
I never really did figure out the washer/dryer with all Dutch directions- and I think a lot of the clothes have shrunk. Or the kids have grown. Or I've eaten too much bread and cheese.
Here are the things we are most excited to see and do when we get home.
the brand new ice maker in the brand new fridge that makes crushed ice.
being in the same or similar time zone making talking to family and friends easier
the kids own rooms again
go to see a movie in English
And of course, the thing we will miss the very most for the next month - Tim. He doesn't come home until September 28th. And then the May family adventure stateside will begin again.