Back in the US.

Hi there! Gosh it seems like it's been a lifetime since I last wrote...and I guess it has almost been two weeks. It feels like I was gone for a lifetime, and also in some ways, five minutes. First things first- we had the BEST time. I will do a detailed play by play when I download the pictures and everything- but for now- I'll just hit the high notes.

We flew to Amsterdam, stopping in Iceland, Friday night and immediately took a nap. It was incredibly hot and sunny there and we had no idea we were missing the only hot and sunny day we would have there. But we HAD to nap. So we napped and then we jumped up for dinner that evening, took a tram to De Pijp (said: The Pipe) and had dinner in a little but lively square of people and restaurants and brown cafes (pubs). The city of Amsterdam has the best vibe. Cheery, but laid back. Friendly and never in a rush, unless you are in the way of a cyclist, in which case, you're about to get your ass run over. Bicycles have the right of way in Amsterdam. Over people walking, over cars, over TRAMS, over anything. There are bikes and people riding bikes literally EVERYWHERE you look.

So we ate late, and then stayed out late, and woke up the next day at 11:30. Which set the tone and trend for our whole vacation. I guess we never really transitioned- but it was sort of fun to be up until 2:00 and 3:00 every morning, out and about, and then it was also fun to sleep in.

Anyway- Amsterdam is so dear and charming and we had so much fun. We didn't do much touristy stuff. It's the number one place for museums, and we only went to one: The Amsterdam Cheese Museum, and that was simply because we happened into it while shopping. Instead, we had dutch pancakes for breakfast, and rode bikes all over, stopped for a beer in the afternoon, walked all over, and then had a late dinner and stayed out with all the people until late. We LOVED it. Some of my favorite things were riding bikes through Vondelpark, and sitting at Hoppe Cafe one day, watching people walk through town while we drank beer and chatted for hours.

And then, on the 4th day, Tuesday, we took a train to Paris. Which was like a different world compared to chilly, sleepy, cheery Amsterdam. Paris was hot and packed. And we had a BLAST. But not necessarily because it was Paris...but because we were just on vacation and dedicated to having a good time. There were really so many people everywhere. And they were having a heat wave so when we left our room at noon, we knew we weren't coming back until at least 11:00 pm because our cute little stone French apartment (along with everywhere else in Paris) didn't have air conditioning. So we hoofed it at least 8-10 miles every day and we sweat like dogs. And it wasn't exactly the chic Paris look i was going for, but oh well. We had a blast. We ate a caprese salad and ice cream almost every day. It was almost too hot for anything else. And again, we just walked around, saw a few touristy things (sacre couer, eiffel tower, arc de triomphe, luxembourg palace, etc) but mainly just palled around looking at shops, and stopping at cafes, and laughing and talking.

Long story short- I'm so glad we went. We HAD SUCH A FUN TIME. And I am so glad to be back. SO SO glad to be back. And however, unplanned, I have to leave for LA tomorrow to fill in for someone whose son is having last minute surgery. Not exactly jazzed about that- but I will be back Saturday and I am just glad my kids are not having last minute surgery. So anyway. That is that.

More to come. Just trying to get caught up a bit for goodness sakes! :-)
A HUGE thanks to my mom and Nikki for keeping the beans- I don't think they missed us one bit! And I'm so glad they were happy and having a ball. What a treat for us all.