I awoke this morning with a neck and shoulder that I could barely move. Sleeping curled up in uncomfortable positions around your acrobatic toddler whilst under the icy blast of an air conditioner is a recipe for disaster. A warm shower helped loosen things up and we went in search of a more substantial breakfast for the Rascal than the bagels of yesterday. In an American style diner he had his first taste of freshly squeezed orange juice while we waited for breakfast to be cooked. “Do you think he knows how to use a straw?”, my husband pondered aloud. The sudden surprised expression on the Rascal’s face as he chewed the straw answered that question. We had to take it away before he hoovered up the entire drink in one go. He was equally delighted with the large plate of apple pancakes and scrambled eggs that arrived soon after. A far cry from his usual healthy bowl of porridge. He devoured it all, then started swiping pieces that were supposed to be mine.
With a full belly (and probably more sugar than he’s ever had before in his entire life), he was more than happy to take a spin in his buggy through the crowds along the busy streets of Amsterdam. He shouted at people in the way, waved coyly at others, and directed the ebb and flow of people and traffic from his kingly perch. Lord of all he surveyed, he enjoyed himself greatly as we wandered in search of a nice coffee shop on the outskirts of the infamous red light district. We, of course, went astray in the winding streets and ended up in the depths of it all. “Oh, there’s one… And another” said my husband. Huh? I caught a flash of busom in a nearby window. Oh right, that. As we cut through a quiet alley we found ourselves surrounded by occupied windows and glass doors. “Haaaaaah!”, said the Rascal, giving a kingly royal wave to all his watching subjects. Most waved back, to his delight. We moved swiftly onwards and eventually found the Metropolitan, which was providing the kind of services we actually wanted to purchase. The brownies were divine, with a spiced hot chocolate to accompany them. The Rascal tasted a crumb of brownie and declared himself impressed.
It was naptime once more. After all the good food and excitement, the Rascal was comatose for almost 3 hours, throwing our tentative afternoon plans into total disarray. Our foray onto the metro lines was disastrous. We searched in vain for Vondel Park which should have been too big to miss. Somehow it was inappropriately marked on our TripAdvisor map, and we ended up settling for a stroll through Museumplein before heading back for dinner in Norling restaurant. Plus points to them for having an ikea antilop for the Rascal to sit in. No more new food stains to add to my jeans, which had assembled quite the varied collection by now. The food was good, though quite small and dainty portions. The Rascal scoffed my spring rolls with more enthusiasm than I’d expected. He preferred to make me feed him curry and rice from my fork instead of using his hands. Once he’d had enough he took the remainder on his tray, mushed it into his hands, and merrily ran them through his hair repeatedly. Nice. We gave him a half spoon of mango sorbet for dessert, purely to see his look of horror at this strange new icy sensation in his mouth. If going back, we would have ordered the meal for three deal between us all. It’s really good value.
It was our last night, so we were tempted to stay out for longer, but we were all a bit weary. We stopped for an evening coffee and brownie, then hit the sack…