March 2002

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Last updated 10 June, 2002.
Latest pictures, click here.

Note:  I've resized the images to make them download faster.   Even the full-sized images are a lot smaller than they used to be.   They'll look fine on screen and will print okay, but not great.  If you want full resolution images for high-quality printing, drop me an email to let me know which pictures you want.

March 2002: Crawling for Gadgets

Thijs started to crawl this month...

He's usually headed for some gadget or another...

...such as a digital camera!

The TV Remote was the first gadget to start him crawling.

The hard part is doing something with it while on all fours.

So he had to learn how to get from crawling to sitting while holding something...

Thijs has his own remote now, which Mom and Dad have carefully programmed so it (usually) won't control the TV.

Sitting is okay, but thanks to this Futon (which is _just_ the right size)...

...he learned to pull himself up almost before he was crawling.

March: Pulling Up And Cruising

Standing is just so much fun. The phone is a toy that Dad bought in a feeble attempt to get Thijs to stop chasing the remote control.

Ha ha ha! Nice try, Dad.

The next step is to stand without leaning against anything or holding on. Just a few seconds at a time, but it's _so_ exciting!

The futon is the perfect height, because he can climb up onto it and stand...

...for a better view. "Where's Mommy?"

"Here she comes!"

"Hah!"

Next step: cruising all around the furniture holding on with just one hand or not at all!

March: "I'm Still Standin'..."

"Look! I'm a surfer!" Thijs' balance gets better every day.

Now he can stand for 30 seconds or more, and he can play with things or hold them while he's standing.

He doesn't need two hands any more when he walks. He thinks that's _great_!

Doing all this walking he needs shoes. Aren't these adorable?!

This is Dad's view as they stroll around Amsterdam.

March 5: Nyah Comes To Visit

March ??: Hortus Botanicus

We all went to the Hortus Botanicus. Dad has never been, even though it's just around the corner. This is the old conservatory; a beautiful building and the home of the first coffee plant in Europe.

Plus assorted other tropical plants. The bright sunlight made for dramatic lighting.

It was a bit chillier in the gardens outside, but lots of plants were blooming anyway.

The new conservatory has rain forest, desert and tropical sections with _much_ more interesting plants!

It's strange to have all this lush tropical greenery with Amsterdam canal houses in the background.

Dad thought this was all pretty cool. Thijs was not impressed.

So we went to "David and Goliath" - the cafe in the Amsterdam Historical Museum.

Where Thijs had some of Mom's pancake. Now _that_ is fun.

March 16: Corinne, Gilles, Los and Lucie Come To Visit

Thea's friend Corinne and her family came to visit us for a couple of days. Thijs was delighted.

He's just loves to chase after girls! Lucy, the younger of the two girls, is in the background. Los is examining Thijs' exersaucer.

After lunch, we went sightseeing in Amsterdam. That's Corinne's husband Gilles on the left.

A nice English gentleman offered to take this picture of all of us.

Canal boats are a must for first time visitors (but not for residents:-).

"Watch your step!"

Just after the canal boat pulled away, this rather odd looking ramshackle boat came motoring through. It was piloted by an even odder-looking guy who was blaring loud classical music on his stereo.

Thijs was sleeping peacefully, so Thea & Erik decided to go for a coffee.

Thijs woke up just in time to try some of Thea's hot chocolate. It was a _big_ hit.

We headed out to meet the canal cruise boat at the second Kooij dock. It has a lovely view of the Waag.

While we were waiting, the strange boat was in front of the Stopera.

He was pretty much sailing in circles and still blaring music -- opera this time.

One of the other boats blasted back with Turkish pop music, which made for an.. um... interesting combination with the Opera.

Lucy spotted Erik just as the canal boat sailed beneath the bridge we were standing on.

A short walk later, and we met them as they got off the boat.

We decided to walk back to the apartment via the flower market.

Thijs was in a good mood, since he'd had a nice nap (and some hot chocolate!)

Lucy didn't get a nap, so she was kind of tired.

She perked up once we hit the flower market, though, and everybody went shopping for goodies.

No story for this one, just a nice picture.

"Oh Dad... You just crack me up!"

After the flower market, we headed for home...

...past typical Amsterdam scenery such as this bicycle and quiet canal...

...the coffee shop "Jamaica"...

...and this giant Buick convertible. Okay. This one isn't exactly typical.

We walked past the Amstelveld, which has a nice playground. We decided to stop so the kids could burn off some energy while the adults rest our weary bones.

Thijs knows where Mom keeps the cookies now. Fortunately, he hasn't figured out zippers yet.

Lucie went for one of the rocking toys (which matched her coat) and then to the sandbox.

The slide was a big hit, too.

Lucie was able to climb it herself.

"Ready... set..."

"Go!"

Los went down the slide a few times, too.

The rope jungle gym was a hit...

...with both of the girls.

Thijs is still too small for most of the games (though he did go down part of the slide while Mommy held him) but he was happy to just walk around the park.

And take an inventory of all of the things he'd be able to do the next time around....

Like splash in the muddy little runoff drain. Yuck!

Thijs went walking with Dad, too. Dad lets him hold on one-handed.

He finally found a toy he could play with now. How cool is that?!

It took two adults to pry him away...

...even for just a minute.

"Hi Mom! This is _great_!!"

The playground was just packed with parents and children of all ages. The adorable little girl in the colored hat lost the use of her car after she drove it into the muddy drain. The little boy in the red bandana (sprinting away in the background) never seemed to be moving any slower than Mach 2.

Kids on bicycles, like this cool character, came racing through pretty much continuously.

We'd seen the little boy with the frog boots and bucket at the end of the previous summer.

He spent all of his time playing in the water then, too.

Last time, he was spilling the water mostly on himself. This time, his aim is a bit better.

Finally, everybody is wiped out so we head back over the Magere Brug and home.

16 March: The Silent Procession

While all the sane and normal people went to bed, Erik talked Thea's friend Constanze into going on the Silent Procession - an annual pilgrimage in Amsterdam to commemorate the Amsterdam Miracle.

This is the mass before the procession. This church (on the Singel, across from the Spui) is rather dark and forbidding from the outside but inside it's just wonderful. While we were in the mass, a steady stream of tour busses outside disgorged literally thousands of people who walked in the procession.

The Amsterdam Miracle occured on this spot in 1345, hence the light. We don't really have enough space here to describe the miracle, but we'll create a separate page with more information for the curious.

17 March: Zaanse Schans with Corinne, Gilles, Los and Lucie

The next day, we all went to Zaanse Schans, the open air museum just outside of Amsterdam. Everything really was this intense green.

Zaanse Schans has (mostly relocated) old buildings that are typical of the area.

Including workers and craftsmen in period costume.

This is an old farmhouse which is now a "Kaasborderij" or cheese farm (factory).

The girls preferred the real cheese inside, but they had fun with this cheese carrier (used at the cheese market in Gouda) and wooden cheese.

The real main attraction at Zaanse Schans, though, is the windmills.

Lucie makes a friend.

The countryside is flat and green, so the windmills and livestock make for the very picture of Holland.

In a photograph, you can tell if a windmill is operating by the sails on the vanes.

All but one of the windmills was operating. That's the most we've ever seen.

"When I grow up, I wanna be just like them!"

This is "De Kat" a paint mill which is usually operating (and described in detail on Thea's site).

They built a new winch and gave it a fresh coat of paint during the off season. Personally, I think it looks great!

Corinne went up to the observation deck in "De Kat" -- Los looked around inside but the ladder/stairs were too steep so she stayed on the ground floor.

A short walk away is the oil mill "De Zoeker" which hasn't been operating the other times we were here.

First, Gilles went up to the observation deck. It's lower than "De Kat" but still too high for any of the kids.

The inside of De Zoeker has a much different atmosphere than De Kat. In De Kat, you notice the gears and machinery much more.

They were roasting and pressing peanuts. The roasting makes the inside smoky, which gives a wonderful rich smell and a funky atmosphere.

Although it isn't as high as De Kat, the view from the observation deck is stil lovely. The next windmill over is De Kat, and the second is De Poelenburg (a sawmill).

Erik also shot a picture of everyone else waiting below...

He'd better be careful. Thea shoots back.

This is the sawmill, which was operating (though just barely). We've never seen it in action before. If you look at the frame on the left, you'll notice two giant sawblades.

In this picture, you can see that the frames are moving up and down (and sawing planks in the process).

We stopped at the bakery (museum), which serves "Duijvelkater" (Devil Cat), which is a wonderfully light and lemony bread. It's typical of the Zaan and is normally only served at new years. Fortunately, this bakery (called "the crowned devil cat") caters to tourists and serves it year-round. Yum!

The rains rolled in just about the time we hit the pancake restaurant...

March 24-27: Berlin

Mom and Dad took a few days of vacation and went to Germany.   Some of the pictures don't have me in them, so Mommy decided to put them on her site.   Click on the picture below to see pictures from my first trip to Berlin.

March 28: Quedlinburg

On the way back from Berlin, we stopped in a charming little (formerly East) German town.   Those pictures are on Mom's site, too, so click on the picture below to see them.

March 30: Keukenhof Gardens

Mom and Dad and I went to Keukenhof Gardens with our friends Constanze and Astrid.    Click on the picture below to see me "tiptoe through the tulips" (okay, _near_ the tulips - Mom and Dad can be _so_ boring sometimes).

 

 

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