Friday, November 30, 2012


We're now in the season... All the winter treats are here to be had!

Today my mom and I went to Leidseplein to buy some fresh (and hot) oliebollen. Oliebollen are kind of like donuts- or donut holes, but bigger. I had only ever had them once before at a family members home and did not like them because they traditionally have raisins and I can't stand those...

Here you can get plain- but plain is not so plain when it's covered in icing sugar! Yum!

(we might* have them on the menu for tomorrow too)

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Muiden actually has one of the oldest and most famous Dutch castles.

I believe it's from the late 1200's-
I've been in as a child but this time we are too late in the season as only the grounds are open. We had the castle to ourselves!

Return to Muiden

My parents and I were due for a family dinner that evening, but we went early to Muiden to walk around. This is the town where my my Oma as born, as well as many previous generations...

We walked down Weesperstraat where my moms Opa had a house, and most of her cousins eventually had homes. Some of their homes even had barns in the back for 20 cattle. We looked now, and the barns have also become homes!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Local fare

At the Ome Ko in Muiden, kroketten lunch and resident dog sitting at my feet. Both a treat.


My mom and I went to check out the Tassenmuseum (Purse and Bag Museum) in Amsterdam right near Rembrandtplein.

They had examples dating back as far as the 1600's- when clothes didn't have pockets and men and women started having to carry things like coins or keys. The fact that women's bags are so popular now is only a recent development as men carried pouches and bags for their contents for almost as long. But they theorize that men's clothing generally has more pockets and now the need for a bag isn't as great.

Some examples: Early plastic. Tie pouches worn around the waist and tucked into folds of the dress. Wooden school bag. The development of the key ring. Modern design vegetable bags. Art deco. Ivory detail. Glass beads.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Today we rode the 14 tram over to my moms old family apartment at Baarsjesweg 166. We found it and even rang the doorbell (no one was home).

My moms family- 6 kids and their parents lived in the 2 room apartment. She was also born there!

We walked around the neighbourhood and also found her old elementary school, and the secretary let us in to check it out- classes were in session...

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Flavorites Live

Today there was a storm brewing- it was so windy out there! Branches falling, tram delays, almost losing hats!

We went to the north of Amsterdam on a different ferry to another area, to a weekend event called Flavorites: it was a really cool idea, over 190 booths that are usually only web based shops.

All kinds of things- clothing, food, home, party, decore, kids stuff, shoes, purses... Now you can see it all in person! All very nice. I was expecting more Dutch design, but I still walked away with a couple treats!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Market going

Today we went early with other family to do some market shopping- we hit the Noordermarkt and the Lindengrachtmarket. We also went for a coffee and to a really lovely butcher. It was sunny but foggy in the morning, but in the afternoon it got so misty and so cold!

Later on our own we stopped in 2 retail shops that also have 'museums': the cheese museum and the tulip museum.

Happy to be cozy at home. It's started raining and apparently a big storm is due tomorrow...

Resident geese on Mauritskade

(thinking my dad has food for them)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Stedelijk Museum

Today was the long awaited trip to Stedelijk:
The last time I saw this gallery I was 20. Every trip since then I've thought "wasn't there a modern art gallery somewhere around here?". In 2008 they said it's been closed for renovations for years... Then last year, 2011- nope, still closed. When I arrived this time, STILL closed! It opened after about 13 years of renos in late September. Crazy!

The exterior of the addition to the old building was very controversial but now that I've been inside I just can't believe the big deal and that it took so long.

To be honest I was expecting way more modern exhibits and artists- I guess somewhere, some time you have to acknowledge that 1960 is already 50 years old. It was still great to see though!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Out around town, crisp fall day

The Eye

It was sunny and finally a bit warmer- we decided to head to the north of Amsterdam to the film center.

I also got to ride the metro for the first time- I think having a metro underground/ under sea level seems ridiculous here, but it got us through the city way faster than the tram.

I'd been to the Eye once before, but the one exhibit is so cool I wanted my parents to see it, and for me to see it again: Isaac Julien's piece "Ten Thousand Waves" 2010 is stunning. I could sit there for hours.

And this time a shot of the building!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sinterklaas in Amsterdam

There is ONE and only sinterklaas... You know, just like Santa. He arrives in Holland from Spain and then on different days in different cities as he moves his way across the country. So yesterday was Weesp-

Today he arrived in Amsterdam at the shipping museum. We waited for his parade- he had over 700 zwarte Piet's helping... It was so cute as so many kids were dressed up and shouting "Piet! Piet!" hoping they'd stop and shake their hand, take notes on presents they want and hand out pepernoten cookies (small gingersnaps) it was kind of like a cross between Halloween and Christmas as kids were dressed up, but held out bags hoping to get cookies and candy from the Piet's.

Sinterklaas came by on his horse and there was lots if music and dancing! The sun came out too which was great!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Here he is

Today we went to Weesp to see the arrival of sinterklaas. We were most fortunate to get an invite to a family friend who has a home AND balcony right at the entrance of the Weesp waterway/canals to watch the festivities! Seeing sinterklaas has been a life long dream of mine and I feel-despite being 30 years too late- so happy for the experience!

Sinterklaas arrives on ship from Spain. Then rides a white horse on land. He has dozens (hundrededs) of helpers called zwarte Piet's who give out gifts and check on the 'bad' children. After his ship docks he heads to city hall by horse, to make an an announcement to children. There is lots of music and dancing!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Special guests, and birthplaces

My parents arrived yesterday! It wasn't the original plan, but they decided to take me up on the sweet Amsterdam accommodation and pay my moms childhood city a visit.

I went and met them at the train station and then we wandered around my neighbourhood, hit the market and the grocery store and went for lunch- at this small cafe that is known as the birthplace of the croquet: Kwekkeboom

The picture might not be the most appetizing, but it was delicious.