Friday, April 24, 2009

Keukenhof Gardens and Amsterdam with Jack & Mary

On Tuesday afternoon, Roxi and I went to Amsterdam in preparation of my parents arriving for a two week visit to Europe. On the way to check into our hotel, we made a stop at our favorite Chinese restaurant in the city, The Golden Chopsticks. Following a filling delicious dinner, we found our way to the hotel, checked in and pretty much went to bed.

On Wednesday morning, we made the short train ride to Schiphol Airport to welcome my parents to Amsterdam. After greeting them and having a a cup of coffee, we stored the luggage in lockers and took a thirty minute bus ride south to Keukenhof Gardens near Lisse. The gardens were simply spectacular. Words and even pictures do not do the gardens justice. The vibrant colors in the park and the surrounding fields seemed too bright to be real.

We made our way around the park stopping for a pleasant lunch midway though the day before seeing an example of a working windmill. Between the tulips and the windmill, my parents got a huge dose of Holland and hadn't even been to Amsterdam yet!

See more pictures here.

As the afternoon progressed, the gardens got more and more crowded. We had seen and photographed enough flowers for one day, we rode the bus back to the airport, collected the luggage and took the train into Amsterdam. After checking my parents into the hotel and giving them some time to settle in and rest, we went to a nearby Argentinian restaurant and had a great meal sitting outside in the warm sun. It's finally warm enough to enjoy outdoor cafe seating in the Netherlands!

Following dinner, we decided to finish off the day with canal cruise around the city. Although we had been on canal cruises before on previous trips to Amsterdam, this one was different because the sun set while we were on the cruise giving Roxi and I a whole new canal perspective of the city. The long day of travel and the jet lag were taking their toll on my parents, but before retiring for the night, we made sure to stop in at a bar to have a Heineken Extra Cold. All-in-all we had a great first day with the folks in Amsterdam!

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