The first night we drove two hours to a hotel on an army base. The next day we drove past a bunch of castles and visited two on the way to our Holland hotel. It was awesome.
The first castle had been torn down and rebuilt. It was called Burg Reinfels. We hiked up to it, paid the family fee, and explored all the ins and outs. Tunnels abounded, dark passageways, maps showing us how to get to the ramparts were helpful. They also charted out different defenses the indoor city held. It was huge.
On the way back through the little city, we ate lunch. I tried some meat with orange sauce. I forget what it was called, but while cutting it with a butter knife, I splattered orange sauce all over my white shirt. I didn't have any bleach with me, but the waitresses let me use some hot water and a towel to try and get the worst off. I've since washed it and it may be ruined forever. I'll let you know after the second wash. Except I already dried it, so my shirt's probably stained for life. Dumb, because I just bought it.
Then we passed a couple other castles and ended up at Burg Eltz. It's a magical castle from afar and still owned by the Eltz family. From what we learned, the castle has never been attacked, so it's in great condition. Danielle mentioned that meant they were probably traitors. True. The furnishings etc were still in the house. No pictures in the castle, but the flower displays inside were amazing. Apparently Grandma Eltz is 89 and goes into town to handpick the flowers as needed. Very cool.
The weather on our trip was mighty fine. Just like the sort of spring I hoped for. We got to Holland that night and slept in our comfortable Days Inn beds until the next morning, where we ate the buffet breakfast.
There were many available cheeses, breads, and fruits. I took advantage and wasn't hungry for the rest of the day. Amsterdam held my dreams for the day. We almost missed the bus, took the train into Amsterdam, and walked around all day. We heard there wasn't any parking, so we took the train in for that reason. It was only about half an hour away.
We took a canal ride, saw Anne Frank's house, and toured the Rijks Museum. Then Danielle and I ate delicious waffles and took the train to our hotel. While waiting in line to see Anne Frank's house, we looked for toilets. All we saw were public areas for men. So yeah, the bathroom inside was glorious, but the line took about 1.5 hours to walk through. The boys left after that, so Danielle and I saw the museum. It had a bunch of Rembrandts and Dutch art in it.
The next day was Easter. We toured the replicas of every major city in Holland, at a place I can't remember the name of. This was the place a man turned around asking Danielle and I where we were from.
She said Texas and he nodded. I said Missouri and he laughed. She asked what was so funny and he said Missouri is where all the geeks live. Then he turned around and left. Poo to that. I wonder where he heard that. It was chilly that day. Maybe the wind told him.
We ate the Easter dinner and the snobby waiter asked us about drinks. We didn't find out until later the drinks were not included in the price of the buffet. Oops. It was a delicious Easter dinner though, and we tried to sample all the little things. Despite our excessive eating, we still swam an hour later.
Monday we visited the Keukenhof. It was a very flowery place and quite enjoyable. Then we drove home. Not much happened that was terribly eventful except: Ben, the 9 yr old, forgot his shoes. They'd had the boys put on their pajamas Thursday night when we left, so he didn't wear any in the car. So we had to buy him some the next day. He didn't realize he needed them until we were 3 hours away.
Ben also dropped his waffle at the Keukenhof on the ground and ate it with dirt on the top. Me being called a geek. Me getting orange crud all over my shirt. I think that's all. Overall, it was a fantastic trip to Holland for Easter.